“Ramat Tan”

Michael Peach

Despite my declining
Physical state,
Increasing introspection
And aversion to mobile phones
I cannot but admire
The vibrant extraversion,
Cheerful confidence
And democratic spirit
Of most of the young couples
Who, with their kids and pet dogs,
Dominate the neighbourhoods
Bordering the Yarkon Park –
A jackal sanctuary;
My “Ramat Tan”.

Not only do they treat
These creatures with respect
Within the park,
But at night
They let them roam freely,
Choiring constantly,
Through the local streets and yards.

In short,
My vivacious neighbours
Know how to make the best
Of the here and now.
Yet, inevitably affected
By the ongoing catastrophic war,
Which (due to the evil Iranian regime
And personal drama
Of our Faustian Prime Minister)
Could easily lead
To Armageddon,
They too must be fearful
Regarding the future –
Especially that of their children

Believe it or not,
One of the affects
This direful situation
Has had on me
Is that the jackal-headed
Ancient Egyptian god
Who guided Souls of the dead
From this world to the next,
Often enters my mind –
Not least while walking with Bouli,
Our kind and elderly female dog,
Near the Yarkon River
At night.

For we are always accompanied
By a pack of spritely,
Inquisitive and, yes, mysterious
Young jackals,
Who, when they approach
To gently nudge the back of my legs
With their muzzles
Or try to sniff Bouli,
If the park’s lamps aren’t lit
Look like flitting, shadowy

In a word,
The Anubis of my imagination
Represents not Satanic Sin-War
And his Hellish underground tunnels,
Nor our Pied Piper Bibi,
But, rather, an angelic guide
Who escorts the innocent victims
Of this tragic conflict
From darkness to Divine Light.

Of this I am certain:
If the Israeli hostages
Are released,
Peace with the Palestinians
And Apocalypse averted,
I shall again see –
Even in the dark –
These delightful creatures
As frolicking
Furry fairies.

Instead of reading Hamlet,
Macbeth and King Lear,
I’ll gladly return
To All’s Well That Ends Well,
As You Like It
And A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Meanwhile, thank God,
I can rely
On the radiant smile
Of my infant grandson

Ramat Gan
6 April 2023

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