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Jetlagged at 3:30 am

In the middle of the night
As the stars still twinkle bright
As coyotes reunite
Their howling causing fright
I’m getting more and more uptight
Because the sun is out of sight
But my mind’s neurons are alight
Connecting explosively like dynamite
Thumbs on iPhone furiously type
Like that Hamilton playwright
But there’s no inspiration nor insight
Nothing rises to brilliance to copyright
I’m just pissed (that’s impolite)
That I’m lying awake way past midnight
There’s no nighttime ladder (like Torah’s Jacobite)
Just fleeing sleep (how do I extradite?)
I’m so tired, is that alright?!
‘Cause I’m a transplanted Canaanite
On the night after my international flight
Where I enjoyed my Jewish birthright…
I’m awake.

Thinking about our trip to the Holy Land
With 41 others, now a band
Whose love of Zion has been fanned
Who have been harmonized to understand
With ideas once contraband
That nuance and complexity they now demand
Knowing each issue has an ampersand
Going beyond the cable newsstand
Beyond sloganeering which they now withstand
History, religion, politics, that we too often misunderstand
As we love our beautiful Jewish homeland
Which is also Palestine, their motherland
Oy such thinking, once contraband
Opened up worlds to contemplate, that was unplanned,
Amidst the memories so grande:
Of Jerusalem’s gold we saw firsthand
Tel Aviv-Jaffa our eyes had scanned
Shabbat at the Jordan River, our Rio Grande
Celebrating that Arab/Jewish-women’s-olive-growing-collaborative, give them a hand
Listening to peace-loving Palestinian and Jewish young firebrands
And buying special-needs-grown Tulip wines, cash in hand,
Emoting at Ben Gurion’s grave in the Negev fatherland
Contemplating life after Yad Vashem’s collection of Nazi armbands
Amazed by Eilat and Petra and our sun-induced skin tanned
And Kibbutz Lotan’s eco-building with mud, straw and sand
We ate too much, again unplanned
Delicious beef (chateaubriand?)
Fresh veggies from the central Galilean farmland
And too much falafel/shawarma/humus
In amounts we really should withstand
As they did damage to our digestive gland
While talking about our Israeli niece’s soon-to-be-worn wedding band
And the other niece’s brilliant biological-computer science slight of hand,
And Lana’s brilliant guiding, a concert grand
Oy, Da’at Travel, too many memories, I must reprimand…
I gotta go back to sleep.

Well, it’s time to say goodbye
To the jetlag I must defy
No tossing, turning, or deep sigh
I’m back in to bed to rectify
This lack of nighttime sleepy eye
From a trip to Israel, a splendid spiritual high,
A “foreign country” now demystified
A complex place once oversimplified
A love burrowed into my heart which makes me cry
Remembering our closing circle, not one dry eye,
As we went to say goodbye
To each other and the Holy Land, while wondering why
All we hear about are the war cries
And not the majority of peace seekers (where’s our Versailles?)
We need a Moses on Mt. Sinai
Or a peace-preaching reform rabbi
To show us the way forward, and identify
The shared love that really underlies
That sacred place, that preoccupies
Our far off hearts, our inner third eye
“Next year in Jerusalem” we all proscribe
But my tearing up exhausted eye
Tells me, nigh…
I’m still awake.

Oy, the sunlight’s peaking in
I’m still writing, that’s my sin
This jetlag is really gonna win
(Cue the maudalin violin)
As I think about Israel, my conjoined twin
And the love that has always been
A centering place right here within
Claiming my heart, soul, and very skin
So, after two weeks in Zion, jetlag’s akin
To taking it once more on the chin
For that trip to settle in
Where milk and honey still flows in
So I give up, I cannot win
It’s biological, ain’t no sin
It’s a new day, hey, let’s begin…
Dammit, I’m awake!