This Poem was Submitted By: Mark Andrew Hislop On Date: 2006-06-18 19:45:24 . . . Click Here To Mail this Poem to a Friend!

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Meet me in Jerusalem

There's nothing in the holy city but the tourist precincts of spectres, nothing but the vacuum you're ever offering to fill with yourself, my sad redeemer. I imagine, when I bend to emboss the pilgrims' headstone with my flinty lips, your apparition behind me, hale, whole: when I turn, you wail, or become a wall. O bleak love, through all your reaching I slip dark like an echo over cobblestones and when the sun sighs up the olive groves, I arise under the aegis of ash. These are the chances, the angles, the bluffs, my strays that you keep your door open for. The desert is near, you eye the temple, your menorah flickers like a dreamer in denial. You cannot roll back the stone; the sky is black with distance and with cold; there is one last heartbeat; the ghost is gone; and Jerusalem awaits us, again.

Copyright © June 2006 Mark Andrew Hislop

This Poem was Critiqued By: Terry A On Date: 2006-06-27 15:39:15
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 1.00000
Mark, This poem is truly extraordinary. I have been reading Hart Crane and there is little of his I have read that comes near to your- IN EVERY LINE- sustaining intensity you have in this poem. Has mankind always had such an uneasy relationship with their God? Somehow focalized with all longing, all hope, all dispair? Profoundly spiritual, profoundly human yet something much more. I see no loss of faith in this poem, and it has more of spirituality, then any pulpit on any Sunday. This poem Mark, is where I think the word 'brilliant' applies. Terry

This Poem was Critiqued By: Mark Steven Scheffer On Date: 2006-06-22 08:19:14
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
MAH, I've tried to come up with something deep to say about this. But damn, that kind of effort can be turned into a poem, no? Seems a waste of energy, poetry lust - to critique. The good poems speak to us, register. It would be a sacrilege to not comment on this because it is one of the poems here that speaks to me; a good poem. Sorry, mate. I can only say "thank you" for posting this, and contributing your artistry to our little cyberspace adventure. MSS
This Poem was Critiqued By: Lora Silvey On Date: 2006-06-19 18:30:21
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.93750
Mark, Perhaps I may be way off on what I came away from this powerful piece with. I am humbled by your talent, your subtle rhyme, the meter by which this reads. Each line draws the reader into the next. The poingant sadness, the realization of things as they are, the intrusion almost to the point of defiling, as if in disrespect of those who were there before, has everyone forgotten? You close this as completing a circle, of live, of belief, of the watch for what will be. And yes, Jerusalem awaits you, again, it is right and fitting.... Thanks for sharing such a truly heart felt composition with us and trusting us with your inner vision. Kudos! Best always, Lora PS you might have to read between the lines on this, I know you are up to it
This Poem was Critiqued By: marilyn terwilleger On Date: 2006-06-19 13:43:58
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.76923
Hi Mark...I know I cannot do justice to this poem with any words inside my feeble mind, but let me tell you how you words affect me. I can't help thinking this poem is a metaphor for something much deeper than it seems on the surface. If, in fact, it is then it leaves me sad and a bit forlorn. I imagine, when I bend to emboss the pilgrims' headstone with my flinty lips, your apparition behind me, hale, whole: when I turn, you wail, or become a wall..............your first stanza is lovely but these words are ..............especially poignant to me..."flinty lips" is wonderful. .............."or become a wall" is something my husband use to say ...............about me. He said, you have an imaginary wall that ...............surrounds you for protection whenever you need it. So ...............thinking along those lines I cannot shake the fact ...............that I think this poem is a metaphor for something ...............more profound that a city. O bleak love, through all your reaching I slip dark like an echo over cobblestones and when the sun sighs up the olive groves, I arise under the aegis of ash........................these lines are so romantic...I am hopeless in that ........................regard. I love the notion of the sun sighing. I had look up 'aegis'....great word and I will remember it These are the chances, the angles, the bluffs, my strays that you keep your door open for. The desert is near, you eye the temple, your menorah flickers like a dreamer................'your eye the temple'....stunning....I also had to .................look up 'menorah'....not being of the Jewish faith you .................must forgive me for not knowing the meaning! in denial. You cannot roll back the stone; the sky is black with distance and with cold; there is one last heartbeat; the ghost is gone; and Jerusalem awaits us, the enjambment here. these lines have such a ......................melancholy feel and I have read them over ......................and over again. Who was the ghost that is now gone? ......................'you cannot roll back the stone'....only He could do .......................that. You leave us with a sky that is black and .......................cold....a very miserable to be. Is there sunlight .......................behind the blackness? Is there only one hearbeat .......................left to nourish the soul? Another lovely poem from you pen and even though it leaves me with bleakness I love the words and the way you have phrased them. Come out into the is much warmer here. A warm hug and some red roses for this one...Mazza
This Poem was Critiqued By: Ellen K Lewis On Date: 2006-06-19 10:03:34
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Mark! This is an awesome work. I am left feeling a bit sad. I know nothing, if very little, about the Jewish faith or it's traditions so I am going to offer my critique from the viewpoint of an inept reader. I nearly passed by; feeling less than adequate; but this is a compeling piece! I will share with you what I can see as a poet. There's nothing in the holy city but the tourist precincts of spectres>>>>wow. How sad, and I am afraid, how true. I can sense the dispair. The way you have said this is easy for me to 'see' the Holy City from another perspective. I imagine, when I bend to emboss the pilgrims' headstone with my flinty lips,>>flinty-cool choice of words-I had to look it up! It's fitting! your apparition behind me, hale, whole: when I turn, you wail, or become a wall.>> again, I can only view it through eyes of my own faith, but I like it. It fits my (Christian) beliefs that the choice to ''see' is an option, a statement of faith, that we will see! I believe your intent is to show that all is not well, and that change is inevitable. The flow of your words is good here. You've made it an easy read with a deeper understanding than that which lies open. I like the way the words flow from my tongue. through all your reaching I slip dark like an echo over cobblestones>>very picturesque. I love those few words. They are taunting; calling. They are a reminder of the fraility of humans. You cannot roll back the stone; the sky is black with distance and with cold; there is one last heartbeat; the ghost is gone; and Jerusalem awaits us, again. >>a sky black with distance and cold, in the dessert yet. Strong sentences that leave me with 'goosebumps'. >>>the ghost is gone...yes how empty it feels fills this reader with dread and wonder. >>>and Jerusalem awaits us, again. > the vision of a new beginning, a harder road to walk and still holds promise. I like your ending alot. It is the finality of the new that makes it so 'haunting' to this reader. I hope that it helps to hear from a different perspective. I have offered what I could. I really like the work because it leaves me with a feeling of "oooo".....thanks for sharing!
This Poem was Critiqued By: Rachel F. Spinoza On Date: 2006-06-19 08:05:24
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
this is not a real critique - just stopped by to tell you tht I think this is lovely - image rich and filled with captivating illusion. Best Rachel
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