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Welcome poet Chana Shenderovich

Chana Shenderovich is a poet originally from Ukraine. Today she lives  in Israel and works as an ESL college lecturer, healer and trauma therapist. Her poem "Tel Aviv and Jerusalem" made me think of the daylight between the two cities. Both sets of my father's grandparents came to Ottoman Palestine in the early 1880s. His paternal grandparents settled in the Old City of Jerusalem while his maternal grandparents settled in Jaffa-Tel Aviv. The debate continues...



I have been sitting up here for 3,000 years. 

 Tel Aviv and Jerusalem

Move over, you're blocking my view!

-Of the future, - he added.

I have been sitting up here

For three thousand years,

Maybe four.

She shrugged her hills

And didn't budge an inch.

And who may you be, sir?

What makes you think,

He persisted,

That some piles of old stones,

Ruins and dust,

our long outskirts,

A few donkey-wide streets,

The infinite bloodshed and prayer,

Of hordes of obstinate bigots,

Are of any use today?

He puffed out smoke,

Rudely scratching his dunes,

Adjusted his chimneys,

And leaned back to listen,

Dear newcomer,

She was shaking with fury,

Tel Aviv, - he corrected.

Whoever you may…

I am a hundred years young!

He insisted.

Would you please be still for a moment?

I cannot, - he protested.

I shan't ever stop moving,

Dancing and walking,

Grooving and biking…

Hey, are you sleeping again?

My streets have never stopped singing,

Prayers and memories,

Spirits and rabbis,

Sacred and pure,

The quivering air

Upholding the hope,

Of generations…

Poor lady, oh no…

Have you ever heard of equality?

Marching for freedoms,

Liberal values,

End occupation,

This is what matters,

Gain some awareness…

Where's that written?

In our Independence,

What? You don't know?

Which volume of Talmud?

She was getting impatient.

Letters of fire

Floating on parchment.

Crowns and vowels,

Sang out loud,

Voices of prophets,

Ringing Truth in your ears…

Says who? - laughed the youngster.

What? You don't know?

***

 They argue and argue,

Year after year,

Through storms and the rockets,

Heatwaves and swelter,

Neighbours forever,

Infinite rivals,Tel Aviv and Jerusalem,

Polar opposite cities.

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Monday, 17 June 2024

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