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by Max Roytenberg, April 5, 2013

The Promised Land


Breathless water, overcome with eagerness,

rushes down rock-strewn hills

bearing brimming life to thirsty plants

waiting patiently in the sun,

bringing flowers for children,

forget-me-nots for lovers-and bread.

Blood, sweat and tears water stony fields around the globe.


Time and time and time again

fertile gardens did create burning envy,

rousing greed, yielding death and destruction.


We slough off parts.

We surrender parts to comfort, parts to fear,

parts to cruel steel, fire and ashes.

Remnants, life-forces flowing on,

make fertile others’ potentialities.


There is the one place, promised long ago,

remembered in our minds,

remembered with our bodies

remembered with our treasure,

a garden neglected as we were driven

to the far outskirts of the circling globe,

remembered as we tended others’ heritage

wherever we were flung.


Abandoned gardens turned to swamp and desert,

desolate rock-bound hills and forlorn valleys

despised by all but we-

always remembered,

dreamt of -that “land of milk and honey”.


Here we make our stand.

Here our swamps are drained,

our deserts made to bloom.

Once barren hills now shimmer

and shine with the green of growth.

The ranges of our habitations explode

to decorate the barren slopes,

sparkling with the creative genius of our heritage.


Back to back we stand

withstanding the greed and envy of what we build.

Here our epic story flowers and flourishes

on once stony ground reborn as a garden,

rebuilding a vision of the world’s Eden.


Here we die if need be,

or live, if blessed be,

giving new life to our Promised Land.

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