Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Haiku reflections

Today we made a big transition from the West Bank/Palestine, crossing the military checkpoint into Jerusalem.  The van dropped us off at the Damascus Gate, and loaded with our packs we wended our way through the narrow streets to our hostel in the Old City.  Here we have had time to eat, and talk, and think about what we've done on this trip, and what we still want to do.

One of the ways we have done some debriefing is by writing some "Haiku" poems about what we've seen.  A haiku poem is a Japanese form of poetry that consists of three lines, with the first line having 5 syllables, the second line having 7 syllables, and the last line having 5 syllables.  It's a tiny little poem, but you can pack a lot into a few small words.  Here are some haiku poems that reflect some of our thoughts.  There were lots of good poems, but not everyone wanted to share them with the world!

In this dusty soil
where hope of peace has dried up
An olive tree grows.                                     Michaela

Walls, cactus, fences
Who do you say that I am?
God is not tribal.                                          Stephanie

All windows are closed
Just like hearts are closed with hate
Peace does not exist                                     Kailey

The Crusaders Came
A Powerful Enemy
An Empire Crumbled                                   Julieanne

My haikus stink bad
Why don't any of my haikus sound good
Seth wrote this haiku.                                       Caleb

Sitting in darkness
We've seen a great light.  So now...
Will it shine through us?                                    Alissa

Crossroads of the world,
a holy land, precious, dear.
Each people cries "MINE!"                              Carol

In a fertile land
Under the Israeli sun
Water is precious.                                           Ryan

The Kingdom of God
Is like the tear on my cheek
That feeds change within.                              Allan

Will there always be?
Vibrant hope, violent fear
My prayers are deep.                                       Emily

In the wilderness
land is our worst enemy
and most loyal friend.                                        Seth

As you can see, we have lots of things percolating in our minds as we begin our time in Jerusalem.  We will be staying here in this hostel for the rest of our time here.  Many are loaded down with gifts for people at home (we did visit an MCC olive wood factory today!), and are glad we don't have to slog our packs around very much longer from place to place. 

Today as we sat on the roof of our hostel, we ended our time with prayer, just as the Muslim call to prayer came ringing out from the minarets.  The dark Jerusalem sky, the call to prayer, our group gathered in a circle in this place that is holy for so many people.  What will tomorrow bring?      Carol Penner


  1. wow, deep comments on your experience. sounds like budding Psalmists for today's world


  2. i love these haikus - very powerful. But where is Derek's?