Into the arid space between earth and sky,
the cracks of the human soul seep. They fill
with hail of stones from the Temple Mount,
the Wafq’s iron door slammed, barring Jews
who wish to pray in small circles of ten,
their blue fringed shawls worth lives
of 69 martyrs — if only the shawls stay
folded, unused and grow drenched
with suicides’ blood. Stones play well
in the press. So come puppet children
and hurl them. My poor little slaves
of hate, make of my Iago a saint.
Note: The Waqf is the body of Muslim clerics to which Israel gave control of the Temple Mount in 1967 out of respect for Muslim belief—although it is Judaism’s holiest site, where the Second Temple stood until its destruction in 70 A.D. The Waqf has long denied access to any minyon—the minimum of ten men required by Jewish law to offer prayers. In May, 2000 it began destroying Second Temple remains as well.
First published in Neovictorian/Cochlea, winter, 2001
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Alyssa A. Lappen is a U.S.-based investigative journalist. She is the former Managing Editor at the Leeb Group (2012-2017); a former Senior Fellow of the American Center for Democracy (2005-2008); and a former Senior Editor of Institutional Investor (1993-1999), Working Woman (1991-1993) and Corporate Finance (1991).
She served six of her 12 years at Forbes (1978-1990) as an Associate Editor. Ms. Lappen was also a staff reporter at The New Haven Register (1975-1977).
During a decade as a freelance, her work appeared in Big Peace, Pajamas Media, Front Page Magazine, American Thinker, Right Side News, Family Security Matters, the Washington Times and many other Internet and print journals. Ms. Lappen also contributed to the Terror Finance Blog, among others.
She supports the right of journalists worldwide to write without fear or restriction on politics, governments, international affairs, terrorism, terror financing and religious support for terrorism, among other subjects.
Ms. Lappen is also an accomplished poet. Her first full-length collection, The Minstrel's Song, was published by Cross-Cultural Communications in April 2015. Her poems have been published in the 2nd 2007 edition of Blood to Remember: American Poets on the Holocaust and both 2007 issues of Wales' award-winning Seventh Quarry: Swansea Poetry Magazine.
Dozens of her poems have appeared in print and online literary journals and books. She won the 2000 annual Ruah: A Journal of Spiritual Poetry chapbook award and has received a Harvard Summer Poetry Prize and several honorable mentions.
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