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Who Can This Mortal Be?






We come flocking,

through the gates,

the press of us,




the configurations of

some transcendental dance,

wired for celebration,

the waters of Babylon

long forgotten,

and the weeping, too.


We come bearing

the imprint of our

drawn and driven history,

seeking embodiment,

spurred by the significance

of Time and Place.

How we rejoice

to be united in Zion! -

the city that is and

the city that will be -

Next Year,

or the one after that.


This Year is different.

Something new tinges the air;

a sound that rings

and stings True.

The breath catches

with the ebb and flow

of the heart,

the blood surging

this way and that,

mind and spirit

following suit;

harmony and hostility

vying with each other;

it's difficult to know

where it's coming from.


has never been

a feature of the Feast.


But what is this? A sideshow?

Word is that some demented

Galilean thinks he's sent

by God to save us;

some say he's a prophet,

that miracles have been done

powerful enough to gall

the Temple hierarchy

and bring down curses

upon his regal-looking brow.

He's on an ass, of all things,

in keeping some might think.


The unbred youths

who follow him around

break into cheers.

The throng parts to make way;

the cloven Sea of Reeds

stirs within our psyche

and we are sparked to fire!

The ripple of Hosanna! swells

to a joyous tumult

and a fanfare of palm leaves

criss-crosses his path.

Who can this mortal be?

I only know that as he passes,

the very stones are singing

and my soul shivers in

the lacustrine depths

of his tender eye.

This Man is something else.



from JERICHO ROSE, Songs from the Wilderness ( poetry collection long in preparation).

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