The Jasmin Ballads
Poetry & Lyrics from Jasmine Elizabeth McMeeking

Brit-Am Poetry.
Great Poems of the Nether-Never

Jasmine Elizabeth McMeeking: Poetry
Jasmine Elizabeth McMeeking is a supporter of Brit-Am. A few years ago Jasmin helped out as a volunteer in the Brit-Am office in Jerusalem. She has since returned to Australia. Jasmin sent us a sample of her poetry based in part on impressions from her time in Israel.

1. The Promise.
2. Home.
3. FEATHERS - Shir Ahava [Love Song]
4. THE KOTEL [The Western Wall]

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Arise now my brothers
& take up your guns,
Kiss your fathers & mothers
Who fear for their sons.
Awaken my sisters,
You've candles to light
For our faces are dark
& you must make them bright.
Our enemies
In our fields, in our towns,
They are our
Who threaten us now.
They seek our destruction,
They seek our demise -
In our land, in our cities
Their terror, their lies!
Do not fear defeat
For our people are strong
We've a promise to keep
These thousands years long.
Our houses may burn
& our families may mourn
But we shall not turn
From the land for which we're born.
No matter their numbers,
No matter their guns,
They are divided
While we stand as one.
Every bullet they make,
Every stone, every sword,
Cannot match us for virtue
Or strength from our Lord.
No terror, no threat,
No weapon, no toll,
Can conquer our people
Nor injure our soul.
Don't fear for your children
Our people are strong,
We've a promise made to us
These thousands years long.
Brothers, sisters -
The war will soon start
& our enemies quaver
In fear of our heart.
Brothers, sisters - remember,
When you yearn for your homes
You've taken it with you
& you are not alone.
Let love guide your weapon
Let strength lift your shield
Your loved ones await
Your return from the field.
We trust you'll return,
If you fall don't despair
At your side are your brethren
Who won't leave you there.
Don't fear for the future
Our people are strong
Have trust in the promise
These thousands years long.

Jasmine Elizabeth McMeeking
BS"D November, 2003. 5764. Written in Canberra, NSW (Australia).


Across the fields of scattered stones I wandered weak & weary
& the mist upon the hills made vision through the tears seem bleary
& my face was cold & pale, not unlike the cobblestones
With a crater in my chest just like a grave without the bones
& not a sound whispered to me, not a rustle, not a peep
Through the cold & ill-lit darkness such uncertainty did creep
Every fault & every doubt, missteps
profounding my mistakes
Enters my seclusion, through my consciousness it rakes
I know that I am powerless & weak to change this truth
But it's ridiculous to mourn here like a widow in my youth
If I'm to sink into the shadows that are reaching out to me
I'll be a failure to myself & to The One Who
madeth me
& I balk at the disparity assaulting both my eyes
How the planet has descended into wickedness & lies
& I'm surveying the wreckage in the wake of it all
& I get back on my own two feet for now I recall
Through every strain & struggle never shall I be alone
Here I stand in
Eretz Yisrael  has brought me home.

17 March, 2004. (24 Adar I, 5764). Written in Tzfat (Safed), northern Israel.


FEATHERS - Shir Ahava [Love Song]

[For explanation of Hebrew Words used see Glossary below.]

I saw you perched upon your throne
Surrounded by the glow cast by the wisdom-weathered stone
& the sun on your complexion made your skin shine like
In contemplation swaying gently to the
niggun* of the Rav*
With your
sefarim* spread before you like a banquet for your soul
Absorbing every word, each letter making you more whole
& your eyes dance across the pages like the sunlight on the sea
You don your raiment of
kedusha* like a dove so gracefully
& the tears of your
teshuva form a mikveh* on the floor
I could have sworn I saw your wings, even your feet must be
The sound of your
tefillah* sent a shiver down my spine
I couldn't understand the words but I wished that they were mine.
I set out through the streets to find someone to tell me how
How I could touch the heights celestial while doubled in a bow
Came to the
chabad* by the sea with a mezuzah* on the door
I walked inside, the Rabbi looked through me in silence to my core
He might have been a
navi* like his forefather Aharon*
Transcending time,
kadosh* just like the scrolls inside the aron*
Sat me down across him, zapped my mind out of its chair
& took the blindfold from my eyes that I had never known was there
Took a
siddur* from the shelf & taught me how to say Shema*
& sent me off in peace so I would learn my own
& the pages he had taught me had a feather white inside
I knew not yet 'twas for the wings that I was yet to find.
I saw you in the distance striding from the
beit midrash*
So I followed so as to ask you if you knew the
I couldn't seem to catch up to you, struggle as I might
Unbeknownst to me though, you had sympathy for my plight
I thought I'd lost my chance, I thought that I was out of time
But you stopped & waited for me just to turn your eyes to mine
& I had hoped to glance perhaps perchance if you indeed had wings
But drawn inside your silver eyes that remind me of the
colour of clouds lining I didn't see a thing.
Into the subway chariot, the people turned to stare
I stepped out with my luggage & a feather in my hair
Inside our hired refuge we indulged there to recline
As sweet the taste to lay there as the
chalav* of the kine
In the early morning after on the terrace there we sat
Draped in light, the world to me more perfect then to look at
The budding leaves were smiling & the Brooklyn bricks seemed clean
& the barred windows around us seemed to glimmer, seemed to gleam
& the concrete lay below us like fresh turf upon the lawn
The pigeons danced around us there like angels with the dawn
The was cold but warm & blowing kisses on my skin
& at your feet, your voice was soothing to the ache that lay within.
Down the staircase in the evening through the kingdom from our nest
Where the paupers & the poets of The King came forth to jest
In your concern, dexterously outfoxed apothecaries
& with the athenaeum
cerberus, reparteed, topic varies
While the tomes provide a discourse from our
jacund larkish exertion
In the nights our warm embrace consoles the pangs of our dispersion
Our ardency was scented with the taste of finest mead
But who am I to question what the heavens have decreed?
Came the morning that you whispered then the name that you had called me
So to wake me & farewell me knowing not when next we'd meet
& my eyelids fluttered open in objection to the fact
Unspoken promises we know not if we'd keep, my brains were wracked
& in the nights I lay in exile, tears of
maror* marked the hours
My heart was like back in
Mitzrayim* where my sorrow stays & towers
But your letters brought me comfort, in the meantime then I planned
To journey from that place to study in the promised land.
Since I delayed in my attempt, you came & went, I wasn't there -
& by the time I reached the shores, you'd gone & I, left to despair.
Here & there I gathered feathers white, not knowing what they're for
As your letters dimmed & dwindled & I turned to my
Time goes by, for all I know it could have been 2000 years
& though I fight to serve
Malkaynu*, time has not allayed my fears.
Of that which I don't understand there are still many things
But I know now that the feathers are intended to build wings
& with every word of Torah* learnt, a feather flutters down
To wait for actualization, for to lift us from the ground.
I never saw your wings, just feathers scattered like the stars
But if it takes a thousand lifetimes to trade feathers for my scars
I shall
labour day & night til I fly to the Beit haMikdash*
If I must learn every
maseqhet*, every pasuk*, every midrash*
I'd love to say I'd wait for your & build your wings as well
If I could I'd do it for you so I could your sorrows quell
& if I found for one pair that I didn't have the time
I'd flutter up with one wing or I'd walk or crawl or climb
I've gone too long without you, & I never saw your wings
I understand not my travail, like so many other things
Though lush forest turns to desert, every dune is but His will
& in
simqha* or in sorrow we must deign to serve Him still
I cannot comprehend what His intentions are for me
But I'll wake up every morning, breathe, & say
Modah Ani*.

 zahav* - gold
niggun*  - tune

 Rav* - Rabbi, Spiritual Guide
sefarim* - holy books
kedusha*  holiness
teshuva - repentance
mikveh* -ritual pool for purification.
tahor* -pure
tefillah* - prayer
chabad*  Chabad House, Religious Hostel.

mezuzah* parchment with scriptural passages placed on the dooorpost.
navi* - prophet

Aharon*- Aharaon brother of Moses and  forefather of the Priests (Cohens).
 kadosh* - holy

aron* - Cabinet where Torah scrolls are kept
siddur* - Prayer Book

Shema* - Hear O Israel, HaShem Our God, HaShem is One!
tefillah* - prayer
beit midrash* - Place of Study
Maharash* - Rabbinical Commentator
chalav* - milk
maror* - bitter herd eaten on Pesach.
Mitzrayim* - Egypt
siddur* - Prayer Book
Malkaynu* Our King.
Torah* - Torah, religious teaching.
Beit haMikdash* - Holy Temple (in Jerusalem)
maseqhet* - Portion of the Talmud

pasuk* - verse.
midrash* - Midrash, Rabbinicial Saying.
simqha* - Happiness, happy occasion.

Modah Ani* - Thank You Prayer said in the morning upon awakening.

2004. (5764). Written in my caravan in Bat Ayin, Gush Etzion (west bank of Israel).

Jasmine Poetry
Continued on Page 2


Brit-Am Poetry



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