Jerusalem Jerusalem - Poem by Andy Brookes
Empty yet the bright eyes of stained glass
Are lit with the glow of a thousand candles
Smoky with frankincense and Myrrh
The churches are stuffed with sad eyed saints,
Awaiting the the daily masses of pilgrims
Rewarded by Mass' sent heavenwards.
Golden domes and shrines in caves,
Crosses, stars and crescent moons
Here meet the three faiths of the book
A flock of chattering nuns pass by
crossing paths with black clad praying rabbis.
A daily sight in this city of the mount.
Bloodied knees bend in genuflection
Bared souls cry wailing at walls
Berating themselves, asking Gods forgiveness.
Rotating rattling rosaries clack to mumbled prayers
Of mystic mournful monks,
Flagellating on the Via Delorosa.
Fragrant incense rises in daily sacrifice,
Blood seeps at the periphery,
Making the pavements slick with pain.
Heaven and hell here proclaimed.
Sin of the sinners runs deep;
A thousand lamentations soak the walls.
Sellers of trinkets, crosses, praying hands,
Carved from olive wood
Said to be from the Very Mount of Olives.
The hawker's voices blend in the cacophony
Palm waving pilgrims singing hymns
Carrying a heavy wooden cross.
Welcome to religion in Jerusalem.
Where orthodoxy meets the mundane
And heaven meets hell.
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