100 Poetry

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This page forms part of the resources for 100 Jerusalem Mourned in the Jesus Database project of FaithFutures Foundation

Crossan Inventory | 100 Literature | 100 Parallels | 100 Commentary | 100 Poetry | 100 Images



This poem originated as a contribution to the HODOS online community by Gene Stecher. It is published with Gene's consent but he explicitly retains full rights as the creative author. You welcome to use it for personal study and worship, but it should not be published in any other form without the author's prior consent. [Index to Gene Stecher's poems]

The population of Jerusalem, as censored at the end of 2002, was 680,400 people, of which 458,600 (67.4%) were Jews and 221,800 (32.6%) were non-Jews. 30,000 acres. 44.2% of population aged 0-19.

........the old city is roughly divided into four sections: Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and Armenian. The Armenians are a Christian ethnic group from the area that is now northern Turkey.

The focus of much of the energy of Jerusalem has been on "Mt. Moriah." This is the original location of Solomons Temple. For the past several hundred years it has been the site of the Dome of the Rock mosque.

On the Eastern side of the old city (outside the walls) is East Jerusalem, the old Arab & Muslim section. On the Western side is the newer Jewish section.

All of the city is currently under the political control of Israel and has been since the 1967 "Six Days War." The old city was under the control of Jordan from 1945 until1967. From the end of World War I until 1945 it was under the British and for several hundered years prior to World War 1 it was under the control of the Ottoman Turkish Empire.

Jerusalem has the highest poverty rate of the three largest cities in Israel. In 2002, 22.2 percent of families in Jerusalem (not including eastern Jerusalem) had available income below the poverty line - which accounts for 27.9 percent of the total population and 38.8 percent of the children.

The areas with the highest residential density (less than 10 sq. meters per person) are almost exclusively located in Arab neighborhoods. The areas with medium-low density (10.1-18.1 meters per person) are located mainly in certain Arab neighborhoods, ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods, and neighborhoods undergoing rehabilitation. The areas of the lowest density (30+ meters per person) are located mainly in the center of the city and the periphery.

......(There has been) a significant drop in the number of conferences (29 percent less) in Jerusalem and the number of participants (60 percent less) attending them, when compared to 1996. The overall situation in Israel has been similarly dire with a 36 percent drop in the number of conferences and a 61 percent decline in the number of participants respectively.

The Weeping and Wailing Factor

Armenian, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim,
21st c. women in old city Quarters:
Fallen upon and covered by history's miseries,
do they wail for the city or themselves?

1st c. Women wailing for Jesus,
women weeping for self and children,
crying and wailing for Jairus' child,
with Jerusalem's sons rendered helpless.

(Mk 5:39)

Jesus wept, but not very long afterward
he sent the vendors scrambling for cover,
signaling Jerusalem's visitation and mourning.

(Lk 19:41-45)

Who among you heard this temple word
and kept it? For you have no need to mourn.
Yes, these would be called the family of Jesus.

(Mk 3:31-35; Thom 99:1-3)

But not the nobody family of Armenian Mary
who mourned a child who shouts at demons,
them we' mourn, as well as their blind critics.

(Mk 3:21, 31-32; 6:2-3)

Yet Mary and her ilk had wailing, waiting,
serving, bankrolling, cajoling, annointing power.
The Muslim cynic mother outwitted Jesus
and the child rose up before her Jewish father.

(Mk 15:40-45; 14:3-9; 7:28-29; 5:39)

And the mourning for Jerusalem was
like a distant echo at the synamosque
as the child ate a meal celebrating
fruitfull wombs and milk filled breasts.

(Mk 5:43)

To identify the target, don't underestimate:

The weeping and wailing factor,
otherwise known as the very long
and very loud nonviolent protest,
never necessarily gender specific,
now much mourned for its absence
from those motivational influences
upon which any leader relies to
escape the circle of reasoning
between the head and the naval.