Wind on the Land

Updated: May 26

Poem by David Leshchiner


I blew the rocks that murdered your family

These rocks were once giant boulders

The men of past stared at them in wonder as they built towns and villages

The boulders shrunk

Canaanites cut them to make axes

They were no match against Egyptian bronze

I made their arrows fly farther

Men melding into Earth

Escaping my touch

People from the Sea, whose sails I blew, came and went

New clay looked upon the boulders

Men of knotted cloth looked up at me and thanked me for these mighty creatures

I only dissipated and reformed

Red splashed these monuments

Words whispered through me as the boulders stood in silence

Though of the same tone, the words these men whispered determined their fates, their lives

Assyrians, Babylonians, Achaemenids, Macedonians, Selucids

Iron and Fire ravaged the land

I spread the fires, and I made them vanish

Like the men who had caused them

The people of hammers smashed the stones

Masters once again, they would control

Never be controlled

I blew once again, and how quickly they became hypocrites, for they were subjugated once again

The boulders were dismantled, impressed into the defense of the city

Roman children played in their shade

Or were they Jewish children?

I gave strength to their words

The hearths burnt, some angry, some calm

I love to dance in the pale moonlight

Men who looked up to me filled this land

Crowds gathered to listen to the exhortations of strange men

When they died, they tilted their heads to the stars

In great towers of metals and stone I carried the words that brought the city to a stop

The two sticks replaced by a waxing moon

Armored blobs of metal surrounded the city

Wooden contraptions hurled hunks of stone at the walls

The boulders, bound to the wall, were released from their bondage

Trampled over by angry men

I know, I moved the rock that smashed the wall

Red liquid colored the city

Like any other collision between men

Some chanted for Allah and Imams

Others for Jesus and Priests

I flew through the unseen chasm that separated these brothers

Buildings were erected

Men looked up to the sky

More words were said

Rashiduns, Umayyads, Abbasids, Fatimids, Crusaders, Ayyubids, Mamluks, the French, Ottomans

The land was full with people

Metal pellets strewn the earth

Spheres of Metal smashed into the sand

The people did not look up, for they jumped high into the skies

Anger felt on all sides

Their heat gave me strength

Zionists, Palestinians, British

Stuck in a locked cell

As the sun beat down on them

The verdant green not yet realized

My breeze helped, but the killings continued

Explosions at buildings where strangers slept

Disturbed my restless pass

The boulders, now small rocks

Were tossed around in the bazaars of the city

Until they hit metal wire

Watched over by men with shiny gadgets

Past and Present collided in new breaths

Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Palestine, the West Bank

Men from my domain fell into the city

They cried when they saw the mighty stone built long before their time

Others in the shadows, where they cannot escape the wind, were forced to escape these wailing men

More explosions, guns, and planes

My path more often interrupted

I blew the former boulders down the hill

Whittled, but resilient

A human picked them up

He stared at these stones with passion, and great suffering

rock clutched in hand, he threw it at men in kevlar vests and M16 rifles

One fell, his shouts tossed into the air

A bang broke the cacophony, the man hit the ground

Blood on the streets

You died

I moved

You died

I am the wind

And the wizened boulders were always corrupt


David Leshchiner '23, won his 2020 CIS Israel Writing Prize for his poem about Israel through the millennia, "Wind on the Land." At AU, David is the editor-at-large forThe American Agora, an outlet for political commentary and analysis. 

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