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Poem – Holy Land, Batman (By Mankh)

Holy Land, Batman (a tragi-comic poetic journey)
– By Mankh

Holy land, Batman.
The holy is all upside down.

And the big question is not if Jesus will attend the Second Coming
(I’ve knee-mailed Him and haven’t heard back)
but if Netanyahu will ever really smile.
For Christ’s, er, Jehovah’s sake,
Jewish People are supposed to be funny
(i should know, i have the circumcised dick to prove it).
And Jewish People are supposed to be well-read
but tell me where in The Books does it say,
‘Bomb thy neighbor as thy self’?

Basho rolls in his grave for Fukushima and rolls again
for the Middle East,
“. . . and the birds cry out―
tears in the eyes of fish.”1

Holy land, Batman.
The holy is all upside down.

Woody Guthrie rolls in his grave:
This holy land is my holy land,
This holy land is your holy land,
from the Palestinian olive groves
to the Dead Sea waters,
from the Israeli grape vines
to the Arab hummus highway
this land was made for Abrahamic brothers and sisters
(and you and me and Indigenous Peoples).

Allen Ginsberg (a Jewish poet) rolls in his grave,
“Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! 
Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! 
The world is holy! The soul is holy! The skin is holy! 
The nose is holy! The tongue and cock and hand 
and asshole holy! 
Everything is holy! everybody’s holy! everywhere is 
holy! everyday is in eternity! Everyman’s an angel! . . .
Holy forgiveness! mercy! charity! faith! Holy! Ours! 
bodies! suffering! magnanimity! 
Holy the supernatural extra brilliant intelligent 
kindness of the soul!”2

Mahmoud Darwish (a Palestinian poet rolls in his grave),
“A woman said to a cloud: cover my dear one, 
for my clothes are wet with his blood. 
If you are not rain, o dear one, 
then be a tree, 
fertile and verdant. Be a tree.
 And if not a tree, o dear one 
be a stone
laden with dew. Be a stone. 
And if not a stone, o dear one, 
be the moon itself
 in the dreams of she who loves you. Be the moon itself. 
[thus a woman said 
to her son, in his funeral]”3

And Israeli boys and girls and elders and soldiers and civilians
all roll in their holy graves.

And Palestinian boys and girls and elders and soldiers and civilians
all roll in their holy graves.

And when they roll the Mother Earth rolls
but She is right side up, wait, She has no sides
for She is round as a grape, round as an olive,
round as an apple that has never been bitten
and so still carries the memory of Paradise
(and the eating of apples is a Paradise, too).

Holy land, Batman.
The holy is all upside down.

So how do we right the ship?
Here’s a start:
“Over 50 Israeli Reservists Declare ‘We Refuse to Serve’”4
and on the radio Bob Dylan
(a Jewish artist, a born-again, a human being) singing,
“Mama, put my guns in the ground
 I can’t shoot them anymore 
That long black cloud is comin’ down 
I feel like I’m knockin’ on heaven’s door
Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door”

So i got down on my knees and prayed
that the ghost of Ronald McDonald Reagan
would appear
(like a vision of the Virgin Mary
in the breakfast toast of everyone in the holy land)
and declare:
“Tear down this wall!”

Mankh (Walter E. Harris III) is an essayist and resident poet on Axis of Logic. In addition to his work as a writer, he is a small press publisher and Turtle Islander. His newest haiku chapbook is “so many people go hungry.” He also hosts an audio show “Between the Lines: listening to literature online.” You can contact him via his literary website.

READ MORE POETRY AND ESSAYS BY MANKH ON AXIS OF LOGIC

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