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  • Writer's picturecharlie kesem

Maps / Elul* in the Motherland

Two poems written on a 2 month trip to England this Summer - reunited with family and friends after the 2 year pandemic gap.

*Elul refers to the 12th and final month of the Jewish calendar, before the New Year begins. It is traditionally a time of reflection and making amends - whether with ourselves, others or the world.


Across London

footsteps walking upon paths

once known

familiar and old -

a Primrose hill view

of the Shard

the Cathedral

the Gherkin

the flashing light on top of Canary Wharf.

Pointing out to my love

who looks with fresh eyes

- observes.

We lose the compass

until we find East again;

Three pees under a tree after tea...

Winding round

meandering our way to the canal

covered in bright green Summer moss;

it's cold to us but not the cold

I once knew

And over the bridge at Camden Lock

I take photos like a tourist

- even though I grew here every Saturday -

pointing out to my love the used tos

used to be's

and the

here it still is!

I remember the place where incense permanently burned

I gaze upon the empty brick wall

where hippy fabrics would hang.

The stalls now so clean cut and corporate

trendy boutique chique.

I always yearn for what

once was,

though then - I yearned for what will be

And, walking next to my love

who I wish to create life with

I yearn...

In the meantime

carving out steps of now

into memory.

Elul in the Motherland

Starting to feel a shift

as I wonder what's cooking inside me...

(sending love)

as I walk upon green paths...

(talking too much)

I feel the winds of change,

the new month creeping closer

with the wisdom of reflection



Time to make amends

and sew (back) together fragile fragments of

self, or other,

or both,


Starting to gather seeds and intend

without even meaning to,

born from the deep places


Wishing for and creating life with its' own physis

what's Yes becomes clearer

what's no remains no

and I re-remind myself

to listen

to move

and trust each healing step

upon this Mother Land.

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