Log Cabin Chronicles

Lesson in Geology

ELISHA PORAT

>"The anomaly of Jerusalem is not simple to perceive,
at a glance, transparent: Mountain platform and
chalkstone, an elevated Holy Site."
He tapped with his stonemason's hammer,
chipping crimson flakes off a stone taken from a wall.
"The Flawless red stone of Jerusalem testifies
that there in the subterranean depth of the city,
all is broken burst and smashed.
Like a gigantic inverted funnel -
a cistern for Jewish blood pumping,
draining into it from all worlds."
I remember his lesson as if it was yesterday:
the city afloat, the street suddenly swaying,
the veins of rust and dim and deep beneath me,
the rustle and seethe of a primeval river.

Translated from the Hebrew by Riva Rubin

Elisha Porat writes on a kibbutz in Israel.

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