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On The Ner River


There's a young voice moving across still water

the wake from the boat is slapping the bank


Workers in the fields stop to listen

sitting on their baskets as the voice drifts to silence


Songbirds fill the vacant air

Following or replacing responding or remaining?


The voice will return the workers will leave

Songbirds will fill the silent space, no-one will hear


◄ Disinterred

Bottle ►


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keith jeffries

Thu 22nd Feb 2024 16:58

Thank you for the information contained in your response to my comment. It's a wonder our paths never crossed as I worked in Oman for close on eight years. Whilst there I visited a few of the Gulf States. My experience of the Holy Land was in the main leading pilgrimages and raising funds in the UK for orphanges on the West Bank.

Whilst working in Oman I learned Arabic from a Palestinian gentleman and came to know many other such people who carried Jordanian passports but came from Palestine originally. I was made very aware of the situation in Palestine and this was supported by a Rabbi friend of mine in Jerusalem.

I used the words 'A Noble People' in a very general sense of the word. I found most Palestinians to be erudite people with an unusually high proportion who were University graduates. I also found them to be articulate and well travelled.

I understand and support your views on the use of term 'hitleresque'. I now live in Spain and have done so on and off since 1967 when I was stationed in Gibraltar and frequently hear the expression 'Francismo' referring to Franco the erstwhile dictator.

Your explanation of this poem and the historical facts you raise, I believe, are worthwhile especially for the benefit of fellow members who do not have a good knowledge of history. I thank you for taking the time and trouble in addressing me on the issue of Palestine. Incidentaly I enjoy your poetic style. Thank you again. Keith

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David RL Moore

Thu 22nd Feb 2024 07:56

Thank you for the recent likes.

Reflecting on the comments I made yesterday and reading them this morning has reminded me of the vulnerabilities people expose themselves to when they actively seek to support others, irrespective of their own allegiances and beliefs.

Knowing the realities of situations having had first hand experience of them is burdensome, especially when attempting to describe honestly what you have seen and learned.

Of course many might say there is no necessity for anyone to unburden themselves on this forum. I say why not?

I'm pleased with my poem and am continually motivated by the thought outlined in its final stanza. Thankyou.

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David RL Moore

Wed 21st Feb 2024 12:00

I appreciate your commenting Keith.

I lived in Jerusalem in 2018 and worked extensively in Gaza with the EU and UNWRA. I have worked throughout the middle east during a long varied career, places included Lebanon, Bahrain, Jordan and Syria. You are correct the situation is complex.

I have sympathy with The Palestinian people and their History, I also recognise the history of Israel I have many Israeli friends who are currently in Israel. I have sympathy for all those who have suffered at the hands of murderous elements on both sides. I have met Hamas on many occasions, when I was in Gaza it was mandatory that anyone working for the EU or UNWRA would require an escort at all times within the territory. We ate together and for all purposes communicated as people must when attempting to cooperate and get things done. Without exception Hamas members wanted to annihalate the State of Israel and wished to do so without mercy in what I can only describe as a biblical and apocalyptic fashion.

None of that excuses the actions of The State of Israel today in Gaza. As you say it is complicated.

I read your poem this morning and was going to comment but thought better of it. Having read you comments here I thought I would now respond. I note in your poem you referred to those now surviving in Gaza as "A noble people" I was unsure if you meant Palestinians all...or just those having suffered loss and unconnected with Hamas. These are dangerous and tentative areas, it cannot be possible that 100% of any nation can qualify their existance as noble...surely any of those involved in the massacre of Israeli's are not honourable, neither is the massacre of Palestinian women and Children in Gaza or the Occupied Territories.

I just find it somewhat problematic that some poetry at present appears to dismiss one side in favour of another, this is probably not deliberate but there needs to be balance and it seems to me that not addressing atrocity on both sides begins to look like preference. I have also read in a comment elsewhere on this site today the word "Hitleresque" when referring to the countrymen of Israel. I do believe that writers who post publicly should be extremely careful about specific wording, the use of such a word when referring to Israel entire is irresponsible and wreckless. Neither The State of Israel or Hamas speak entirely for their populations, not all of those people are in sync with their representation and that should be reflected somehow in the balance of what is written.

I apologise for the length of this comment and for its deviation from poetry, I am aware some people see little value in it. In some circumstances I believe debate is necessary and useful.

I will now do my best to return to comments more in keeping with a poetry site.

To clarify, my sympathies are with all those innocents on all sides who suffer at the hands of murderous organisations, Governmental or otherwise.

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keith jeffries

Wed 21st Feb 2024 11:31

Carlton, as a visitor to Jerusalem several times and other places on the West Bank, I had various opportunities to speak with people from different communities which live in Palestine. The situation is highly complex and the subject of a never ending debate. It helps to delve into the history of the country, the plight of the Jews in World War Two and events before and after the creation of the state of Israel. Both the Jewish and Palestinian people have been damaged by their respective experiences. We now witness the results of these. It troubles me greatly that the onslaught into Gaza will achieve one thing, that is a new generation of Palestinians who are maimed, physically and mentally by recent events. What next?
Thank you for the poem and video clip.

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David RL Moore

Wed 21st Feb 2024 11:06

For context:

I would recommend revisiting "Shoah" at this point in time. It helps bring context and perspective to what is happening now in Israel, Gaza and The Occupied Territories. It does so without excusing anyones current behaviour. In fact it highlights areas those on all sides should re-focus on

I've been watching Claude Lanzmann's Shoah again (in parts) This scribble is inspired from the opening scene were a former prisoner returns to Chelmno and relates a story about his experience. Someone once complimented Lanzmann telling him this particular scene was beautiful. To say he was upset would be putting it mildly. The scene is beautiful but the story horrific. I wanted to convey something of that tranquility and peace whilst relating it to horrific events.

Apart from the title there is really no clue what this scribble might be other than a picture of nature.

I can't imagine the damage this man experienced as a child and how it might have bled into associations in every day life.

Chelmno is now a relatively quiet hamlet you would speed through in about 20 seconds not knowing anything so hellish ever happened there.

The clip is linked here:

There is a long read in but if you jump to 03.00mins it picks up the filmtrack.

The read in provides context so is worth it. The text refers to the River Narew but apparently these events occured on a tributory caller Ner.

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David RL Moore

Wed 21st Feb 2024 07:23

Thank you for the likes this morning.

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