A Diversion on the Road to the Dead Sea

We drove due east
past the concrete wall –
by the older stones
which marked the fall

of carved-up gods
honed by man’s cold sword –
through the broken centre
of this confusing world –

here restricted Jews
and Muslims had bled
under scythed prayers
of crusading men –

Rose water was scrubbed
to reclaim the rock –
to wash from the slabs
the foul tread of a god –

When the mosque was burnt
in a war on the dome
a madness was found –
Jerusalem Syndrome

Hopes raise and implode
back to rubble and dust –
Forty centuries of walls
have never been lost


E170119

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