In a deep and narrow gorge
the wadi winds its tortuous course
in a cliff face pocked with caves
monks ensconced in steep enclaves
Elijah was fed by ravens
praised the Lord, beheld the heavens
Down a steep and winding path
What good is being a polymath?
Wadi Qelt a holy place
I feel God’s serene embrace
past are now my life’s transgressions
I embrace my sins as lessons.
*The poem is inspired by the monastery of St. George of Koziba in The Judean Desert. The spectacle of the Monastery of St George — a cliff-hanging complex carved into a sheer rock wall, overlooking an unexpectedly lush garden with olive and cypress trees — is one of the most striking sights of the Holy Land. The wadi winds its deep and tortuous course for 35 kilometres between Jerusalem and Jericho — for most of the way providing a route for the Roman road on which Jesus set the parable of the Good Samaritan