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Events Above the Threshold


Most of life’s moments

pass by undetected

under some threshold

unrecorded events

flattening into a dun page

a windless canvas

a hiss of carrier wave



1973 – Yom Kippur War

after six months in the Sinai desert

the world sculptured into shades of brown

sand, tanks, tarpaulins, tents

waiting for the disengagement

dull days folding into

variations on a dry palette

inside a Hercules transport

on our first weekend home

twin engine troop carrier

weaving low at almost sand dune altitude

to escape detection by enemy missiles


Suddenly we break out of it

roar out of the desert

over a painfully azure Mediterranean

screaming green palms

shocking yellow airstrip

bleeding red fire trucks

cars in parks daubed with sophisticated

pastel hues we had forgotten existed

all assaulting the eyes

driving the senses wild with bewildering color



Almost a quarter century later

after the surgery

sameness of days of tubes and bandages

no food nor drink allowed

save the boredom of an aluminum drip

then gradually a spoonful of water

a sip of tea


Suddenly shattering into the foreground

a first breakfast

semolina porridge, buttermilk, strawberry jam!

a brazen horn call of Food

sweet, sour and piquant metallic

each calorie, additive, preservative

a screaming culinary torture

by every instrument in the hospital kitchen

an assault on the palate

driving the senses wild with bewildering flavors



How comforting these under threshold moments

that pass slow, monotonous

undetected flattening into a dun page

a windless canvas

a hiss of carrier wave

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© Johnmichael Simon



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