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Jerusalem Blessing in a Palestinian New Year


Jerusalem Blessing in a Palestinian New Year

By Genevieve Cora Fraser

Baptized in Jerusalem

Sprinkled with Holy Water

From a Holy Land

Inundated by torrential rain

Spilling blessings

Dripped through a plastic tarp

Braced with wooden cross

Beams overhanging

An aged grape vine

Spread over a garden

Cafe warmed

By gas flame heaters

Breath and body

Heat, patrons' chatter

Laughter, argeela smoke

And wine euphoric

The rain falls in sheets

Scouring

Cleansing

In preparation

For New Year Blessings

Bought by martyrs'

Blood Arafat's

Passing

A lasting legacy

An election promises

A fresh start

To old dreams

A new day

In a new year

Blessed

In this tiny Palestinian

Paradise sanctuary Jerusalem

Washed in tears

In blood in memories

Sacred to Arabs, Jews

Christians, Islamic

Prayer spills

Like rain

From pathways

Doorways cavernous

Market stalls

Ripe with produce

Clothing, jewelry

Cell phones

Clothes teaming

Humanity

Arabic, Hebrew

English, French

Russian, Dutch

Languages as plentiful

As the Tower of Babble

Blessed are the stones

Grimy with pilgrim feet

And trade dirt

From whence we

Come we go

Aching humanity

Plying and praying

Playing at life

Washed in the Blood

Of the Lamb

Wet with sweat

Cleansed in torrential

Outpourings

From a heaven

Bursting with Love

For the cursed

And confused

The militant

The messianic

The meek seeking

Their inheritance

Hearts worn

As the stones

Beneath breathing

Life from death

From the eternal

Blessed

Being

Sacred

As commandments

That guide us

Through the Via Dolorossa

The agony and passion

Of upholding the dignity

Of life despite the darkness

That would swallow us whole

Except for living in Faith

As the world waits

Hearts dwell

In the House

Of the Lord

In Jerusalem

In kindness

In charity

Is found Peace

Hope for a Happy

And Blessed New Year

Radiating throughout the World

Shining its way back

To Bethlehem's

New beginning


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