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Catalonian Pyramid in Jerusalem

The human pyramid is like a tree
said the man from Catalonia
his chest muscling over broad black waistband

it grows, level upon level, each defined in shape
position and function, three stalwart centuries
of tradition support its skyward lunge:
peux the base, the strong ones
waistbands, wound proud and tight
to protect spines, lessen the weight of the tower
tronco the trunk, and pomo the summit


And there she was
our little pomo
barely three years old
beaming, arms spread wide
on the shoulders of the Catalonian giant
on a rainy afternoon in Jerusalem


Jew or Arab we cared not
for here we  were all together, the children
would-be circus performers, wriggling
like joyful tadpoles, juggling, hula-hooping,
hanging grinning upside-down from trapeze bars
rolling in acrobatic balls across patchwork mats
unicycling, wobbling, falling
serious as goslings learning to fly


Driving home we battled through traffic
saw drivers all stern robots, faces set in
grim moulds, laughed at pedestrians caricatures of
themselves, all shouting into cell-phones
while everywhere the black costumes
of the believers, hurrying from
prayer to prayer


That night in a dream I beheld
the temple mount, layer upon layer
of destruction, bloodshed, babble of prayers
in many tongues, armies of believers
all standing on each others shoulders
crushing those below.  I climbed
the painful steps to the summit
cold walls frowned down, showed no
patch of pink, no touch of cerise
no sign of our little birthday candle on the top


Disappointed, I awoke and knew,
Jerusalem still sighs bitterly through the centuries
the temple mount has no sugar plum fairy on its icing
and Pomo still waits in vain
to crown the pyramid with joy

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© Johnmichael Simon



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