Thursday, 16 February 2012

The Levant

I have a very sketchy
Picture of the Eastern
Mediterranean and
The lands beyond;
Holidays in Greece
And Cyprus whilst
Very enjoyable are
Still in Christendom;
The beautiful ikons
Of the sad Theotokos
And stern Pantokrator
Adorn the ikonostasis
Of a thousand
Whitewashed chapels
Countless fishing
Vessels are placed
Under the protection
Of the local Saint;
Spyridion in Corfu
Dionysios in Zakynthos
Or the generic
Patron Saint of fishermen
Agios Andreas;
My knowledge of the
Islamic and Jewish
Countries is perforce
Limited to books,
Films and telly;
Although at boarding
School there were
Two Lebanese brothers
But they did not like me
And did not tell
Me stories of that ancient
Cedary land;
Israel feels far more
Familiar to one who
Was brought up in the
Christian world;
The dusty streets of
First century Jerusalem
And the little town of
Bethlehem are part of
My mental map; I know
Far more about these
Places than, say,
Rotherham or Cheadle Hulme;
Every day bad news
Pours out of the media
Concerning Israel and
Her neighbours;
Today's Medes, Scythians
And Persians are poised
To strike the Holy Land
With fire and brimstone;
Perhaps it will all go
Tits Up
At Har Megiddo as the
Scriptures foretell;
Then various Beasts
And Plagues and What-
Not will be unleashed
It is all rather

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