Tag Archive for Peace

And He Came Down From High

and he came down from high

and surveyed his lands

wiping a bit of sand out of his eye

from his ten-thousand–year nap


things had changed

since he had last seen this world,

he noted sadly.

the beat of wardrums grew ever stronger

as he watched

the women covering the eyes of their children

but not their trigger fingers

and heard the incessant refrain of

god will protect us

god is on our side

and we will be victorious


as bombs rained from the skies

like wish-seeds from a dandelion

he wondered where he had gone wrong


he climbed back on high

sighing heavily

and once again, closed his eyes

and weighted them down with sandbags

in preparation for ten thousand years more.

with a crystal tear tracing down his wizened face

Peace wondered how he’d been so forsaken.

Holy War

Holy Land, holy war,

and the Saturday morning prayer


with pops of bullets.

Each “Amen” is punctuated by a firm “crack.”


Holy Land, holy war,

and the scent of baking Shabbat

bread as it twists into the acrid odor of blood—

only a block away.


The taste of peace fills my mouth, bulging my cheeks

in all of its addictive,


saccharine flavor.

Then there is the taste of revenge.

Like water, it is flavorless… ordorless.

It boils, scalding my mouth—

leaving my taste buds buzzing

and the pink flesh of my inner cheek



Holy hopes, holy war,

and the feel of my father’s fingers,

coarse and worn,

wrinkled like his thick camouflage suit.

I know the valleys of his hands like I know the rough creases

of his uniform.

Here I’ve leaned my head,

innumerable times.


He’s been gone so long.

All that I remember are his hands.

In our final moment together, his left hand held a gun

and his right the skullcap of his youth.

He held it fast on his head as he placed an army hat

atop his kippah.

Then he tucked the Torah into his gun sack

for Friday night readings in the trenches of a war.


This work received a Gold Award in The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards of 2002.