1. In the Lobby of a Hotel, Kranjska Gora, May 2013
Are we between the wars again?
Or back when Empires froze and stared
At mountains barely understood?
We take “the tour”, we are the world,
And then that gap has opened up.
There’s knowledge here no one can know:
Israeli cases, linen suits,
A sporting team, some Irish girls
(Who laugh, then buy too many drinks).
We all look lost, but some breeze through.
The world we are will shift and twist,
And leave us clinging to our pasts.
We see ourselves one step removed.
We pass our evening sharing time.
2. Listening to an Israeli Tour Group
I roll in music born of tongues,
The beauty of the unheard sounds,
The meanings gleaned from rise and fall,
The other worlds I cannot know.
A flow of fear and joy combined,
A mystery from a mythic prose:
There’s sun in there and lemon groves,
There’s salt and desert, birth and dreams,
And then the stillness when they leave,
Their final rumble lingers on.
I hear the echoes down the hall:
A question mark which breaks through song.
Whatever place the words come from,
The human voice always belongs.
One border is a mountain range,
An earthquake shattered caravan,
A sheer drop of broken seas:
We stand outside its distant age.
Another border has its plaques,
It hides in parks and deep in books,
It towers like the end of time:
We cannot touch its heroes here.
The final border has no words.
It creeps out from the forest edge,
It fights for life with every breath:
Its meaning is its force within.
We cross a line and sense a change:
The air is clear, the buildings strange.
4. New Europeans
The rain falls straight from limestone clouds.
She huddles tight beneath the roof
And stares at puddles, danced with drops.
The bus will come in half and hour.
In other years the water fell
On streets she felt she knew too well.
But now they melt around her feet,
Their patterns seem an old deceit.
Across the street another bus
Takes other people to the north –
Frustrated, tired and seeking truth,
Or work (whichever comes by first).
The rain falls straight, there is no wind.
The bus will come in half an hour.