My only expectation from childhood on,
had been to arrive here and marvel
at the stories told for centuries now
and stand firm once more and for good.

The dusty roads I was prepared to walk,
with wonder and with awe
to hear the echo roaming the hills
of wisdom — cunning and pure.

The olive trees I’d seek for shade
and the grass for softest cushion,
the bread I was surely keen to break
and the night I was going to guard.

The people, finally, I’d recognize,
as kin of the ancient clan…

And then we got to town.
And saw the crowds.
And boom: all bubbles burst.

Insta-stories hot and hip,
have made the verses subside.
Rich pastures ebbed for whatsapp’s green
and voicemails replaced people’s talk.

The roads are crammed with blinded herds
and sights’re commercial pits
and raised hands either signal a tour
or an evangelist being reborn.

Elbows are glued to passports firm
and exclude all the others out there
and tears are shed on drama’s stage
as long as others watch.

Small seems belief to’ve become around here
and popular the mis-en-scène,
all strings are attached and pulled up tight
to prevent any mishap or fall.

Dependency has taken the place of faith
and put everyone in chains
and all the pilgrims seem to love it too
and facebook their food and fame.

In the Eastern part of this captured  ground,
the Arabs are not much different,
and the Jews veil their women just the same
and think they’ve respected her rights.

My head is spinning on and on
as I leave these cobbles behind.
Perhaps all the quest is only about
navigating the mess here and now.