Four poems from The Holy Land

1. The land that is

A calling God
from the secret room of the desert cliff.
A voice
interpretable, vulnerable;
like the silence
from the mouth of affliction.

Words as stones
or bread
like the fruits of life.
Or like the river of Jordan
frail like a dream
of peace.

The call of the desert cliff,
from the land
that carries milk and honey,
during the heat of the day
and the chill of the night,
between the chaos of rain
and the cracks of drought.

Like the poles of life.
A voice
of words and pain.

Hans-Evert Renérius

3. Where boundaries are fixed

We cannot live
where boundaries are fixed.

We are not allowed to die
where hate flourishes.

Because fear
has to lose its power
and life has to conquer
its inward strength.

The unbounded
must be given time to live,
to gain light in order to see

has to lift
the newborn baby
with warm hands!

Hans-Evert Renérius

(Translated by Rolli Fölsch)


2. The stones of the West Bank

Stones darken.
The sun gets weaker.
We are depraved of our dreams
and see faces
emptied in trust.

Homeless families,
pressed against red soil.
The blasted house,
and the canvas outside,
that blinds rage.

Rifle bullets have pierced
our legs
and unvisible hearts.
The silence of peace
puts the gloaming
under the frail tension of the skin.

Some wonder
how stones can speak?
Others - how the blasted soil of the fields
will carry light?

Hans-Evert Renérius

(Translated by Rolli Fölsch

4. In the eye of conflict

When the darkness hits
the vehicles of the soldiers break
a hot silence;
headlights cut
through the gravel of the desert

The face of the outrage
in the vulnerable light
of a dusk that is hard to interpret.

We stand like strangers
on the dark wounds of the West Bank,
for a moment involved
in the field of affliction.

Like a spectator
in the eye of conflict

Hans-Evert Renérius

(Translated by Rolli Fölsch)

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