(Eilat on the Red Sea, near the Jordanian border, 1971)


Beneath the cool black sky

Adrip with brilliant moon and stars

As if just washed and shining

There lies a deep wadi

A wandering sunken monument

Carved by sudden bursts of flood

That are seldom seen yet leave their scars


Into the vacuum of this clear night

Golden candlelight escapes

The wooden slats of a nomad’s resting place

His refuge from the savage sun

He has hollowed out of the wadi wall


The desert is an unforgiving host

It shows frail mercy if at all

Yet within the tiny shelter sit a Bedouin and Jew

Immersed in conversation

Forgetting who is who

And in the blinking of an instant

Their eyes embrace as one

As they see their ancient sorrow

Eclipsed by friendship’s sun


There is manna from the heavens

There are also works of man

But clear borders fade to shadows

In the night upon the sand