The washed shutters in pearl blues
Stand half-open revealing eyes of
Darkened rooms.
Its holder: a house built from stone
Sitting high on four pillars upon
The edge of an ageless Semitic hill.

Empty, empty, they are all gone.
Everything was found intact,
Even the dishes left in the rack.
Did they really hope to come back?
What prophecies did they believe?
Oh those poor children, how they were
Their intended victims were not.
Their conscience only now begins to bleed
In hate against those dreams which were
Promised but never came
True, true.

What is truth?
Only a different lie for you
Than it is for me.
What is an Arab?
What is a Jew?
Only brothers who have been torn in two.
Their father was Abraham,
Not the Muslim, not the Jew!

And now empty houses with window shutters
Painted for Allah’s eyes alone, await patiently,
Wait, wait.

Wait to the wars are over
And the final judgments have been made.
Magog and Gog are knocking upon their

We are all refugees.

About the author:  Philip Hyams is an Israeli/Canadian novelist and poet living near Tel-Aviv. His first novel Canaan Barred was published in 1995 by Tell Books in New York and Toronto. He has performed his work in Amsterdam under the auspices of One World Poetry.

His work has been published in First Time Magazine (England / 1995), Isibongo (South Africa / 1998),  Ariga (Israel / 1997 & 1998).  Forthcoming works are scheduled for publication in Talus & Scree ( U.S.A. / February 1998) and  Almogaver (Spain / 1998).

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Copyright 1998 by Philip Hyams. Send comments to jfmorales@baharna.com.