translated from the Hebrew by Riva Rubin
I also want to be a partner
in the building of Jerusalem. With you
sing hymns to her with a great voice
in the assemblage of her mutes;
with you encompass her wall
in a glory=march among her lame celebrants.
I have the right to be a partner, after all I spilled the fury
of my youth on her:
fights with zealots and night patrols
in the shadow of fences, sniping from her lattices.
Wait, don`t finish without me, I`ve
bought rough sandals and white linen
to flourish with you on her towers,
before I smash myself on the squares
and am pounded by her stones like you powdered fine
coveting the dust of her saints.
Retirement translated from the Hebrew by Aura Hammer
Poets do not retire
On reaching their time to be silent,
Praising the beauty of Jerusalem
They are pushed slowly eastward
Thrust aside forgotten to the desert.
And there, suddenly in absolute secrecy
Drop mutely from the cliff,
And the bone of their poetry, drying
Bleaching and gathering dust
Descends to the cave opening.
Sinks slowly, gathered
In the dust cloud of the scrolls.
Elisha's Poetry Menu at THE WEB
Edited by CG Mair