How many more generations?Posted: 2015/10/11
Text: Solveig Hansen
The two poems below are each in their way about children caught in the middle of a prolonged conflict where the violence is carried on and the fiery rhetoric has become like a mantra frozen in time. The pictures coming out of Israel these days speak for themselves.
Marjorie Rosenfeld’s Nekama (Revenge) is for the three Israeli boys who were kidnapped and killed in 2014, and the Palestinian boy kidnapped and killed in return. Fred Jeremy Seligson’s Dear Neighbor was written during the Israeli-Gaza conflict in 2014 and is a plea from one neighbor to another to teach their children to love, not hate.
By Marjorie Stamm Rosenfeld, 2014
For Mohamed Abu Khdeir, Eyal Yifrah, Gilad Shaar,
and Naftali Fraenkel
Nothing breathes. Air so still here even
leaves on trees won’t stir from slumber. Far off
a spark has set a conflagration going. A boy, burned
in retribution. Three boys guilty of this crime,
while men have killed the boys who could have told
the killer boys that vengeance was not theirs.
I see children struggling on a forest floor.
The trees, aghast, drop leaves. Limbs fall. And boys
(no game) play pickup sticks, each stick a cane
with which to beat an able brother. No blood
can quench this fire. How will it end? And where
were you, Lord, distant in this distant land?
By Fred Jeremy Seligson, July 2014
For the Sake
Of our Religions
Our One G-d
I will Promise
To teach my
If my own
Then you could
If your own
So they might
For the sake
For their own