Sunday, October 8, 2017

"Mount Arbel in the Moonlight"

Photo credit:

Israel Pilgrimage--2006

Traveling in the tour bus from Tel Aviv
we arrive at the base of Mount Arbel
before twilight turns to dusk

The prudent would
postpone this venture
till daybreak, but
the zealous are rarely prudent

so seventy of us
imprudent zealous pilgrims
hastily begin an uphill trek
dodging rocky obstacles
Sprightly pilgrim feet
shuffle, sprint and stumble
up the mount
right to the cliff edge
at the pinnacle

The last vestiges of twilight
reveal the Galilee
flowing below us, darkly
like a great well of ink
Thousands of twinkling pin-lights
emanate from across the lake
…the city of Tiberius

The full moon
makes shadows of us all
as our guide teaches
and our rabbi ministers

We sing
O how we sing—

We are standing
on holy ground and we know
that there are angels all around…

and song after song of praise
unconcerned about hour or nightfall

Our exhilarated spirits mellow
and we lapse into solemn silence
except for muffled adoration
by a few and gentle weeping
by those bearing weighty burdens

then one by one
we make our way
down the steep, stony path
as God’s great October orb
casts a holy beacon
upon what otherwise would be
a treacherous, dark descent

Maude Carolan Pych

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