I walked amongst them in the Holy land

By Israel Bonan

I blocked all my senses

and let only my ears, be my guide


I heard the soft plaint of the innocent baby suckling at his mother's breast

I heard the cries of the mother wailing at her son's grave

I heard the murmur of the waters of the river Jordan

I heard the cooing of the dove

and I heard the thud of the belt exploding amid the innocent


And when I could not take it any more, I opened my eyes

and shut off my ears once more


I saw the baby craddled in his mothers arms

I saw a mother splayed across her son's grave

I saw Arab & Jewish children playing together and smiling

I saw them also, at home, puzzled at the cries of their elders

and I saw a bus blown up and charred


And when I wished to see no more, I shut my eyes

and allowed my sense of taste to guide me


I tasted the morning dew on my lips

I tasted the cordite grit from the air in my mouth

I tasted the dates off the date tree

I tasted the bitterness in people's thoughts

and I tasted the sweetness of people's hearts


And when I had my fill, I allowed myself to only touch


I touched the moistness and warmth of a baby's pate

I touched the blood soaked shawl of a young student

I touched the leaves of the old olive tree

I touched the Wall of separation

and I touched the Wall of tears


And when I allowed myself to only smell


I smelled the scent of a blooming flower

I smelled the acrid smoke of a burning bus

I smelled the sweet odor of the cuddled new born

I smelled the aromas of the kitchens

and I smelled the stench of the burning flesh


And when I finally allowed all my senses to come alive


All of sudden I was overwhelmed

I was assaulted and crushed by it all; I wept and I smiled

and I wished I'd only heard half of what I heard,

that I'd only saw half of what I saw, tasted half of what tasted,

that I'd touched half of what I touched and smelled only half of what I smelled


But alas, it was not to be, because I walked amongst them in the Holy land


Forgiving Ali

The Voice of Peace is not Rational

About Israel Bonan

A Personal Exodus Story - By Israel Bonan, at the web site of 'JAC' (Jews From Arab Countries)

OR at: Abstract -- Story

Articles published in HopeWays' 'News & Views' section

The HSJE (Historical Society of Jews from Egypt)

E-mail Israel Bonan

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