Read introduction

This poem is inspired by the moment in the Old Testament in which Moses dies and passes on his 'Baruch' or Blessing to Joshua...

BARUCH

Me_cafe_rougeby Jake Murray10 May 2015

BARUCH

"And the children of Israel wept..."
- Deuteronomy 34

Twisted heat of the desert,
Sweat and dry breath, wounds
Caked with sand, corpses
From war and famine, betrayal
Behind them, here at the border
The old man cradles the young
Man's head in his arms. Bitter
With the effort, the incantation
Begins as a passing on, then
The song of a soul drowned deep
With passion, the guilt of wounds
Remembered, the haunting of
Nights when choices made
Left bodies shattered in
The dust.
Grief gives way to
Words flowing from fingers
Tight in the young man's hair. The
Old man looks to the distance, the
Music of birds alive in the trees
Lost to him. Promises of landscapes
Green with leaves, fields of gold,
Vineyards of dreams vomit themselves
Up from a deep pain. Weeping with
The strain, the old man is finished.
His body lies among the scrub,
A tiny spindle of breath passing on
The Baruch
That twines like a crown
Around the young man's head.