Dan Savery Raz is a journalist, travel writer and poet from London based in Tel Aviv. He is the co-author of Lonely Planet Israel & the Palestinian Territories and his work has been published in Time Out, Haaretz and Private Photo Review. He organizes the Stanza poetry evenings and lives five minutes’ walk from the Mediterranean Sea.
For details, please visit: www.danscribe.com
Tel Aviv is a French film
black & white, jump cuts, edited by students
with haircuts, long brown curls, girls with flowers
in their handbags, shopping on Dizengoff
for wedding dresses to cry on.
Tel Aviv is the Café Voltaire, in Zurich,
Switzerland, where surreal Dadaists painted poetry
on pub toilet walls, forever is never the end,
cats make love below balconies, while bicycles
circle in silence.
Tel Aviv is Manhattan in the 60s, where
Bob Dylan and Ginsberg drink tea and smoke
weed, honey, lemon and speed past
the falafel stalls to be human,
once more, to the core.
Tel Aviv is and will be
a dream, unless men and women
with hindsight and insight use the light switch
to switch the tide of time, a Mediterranean mind
game that nobody can win.
From the Cypriot red that flows from the vine,
to Israeli merlots in Roman Palestine,
from black and green olives in the Peloponese,
to humous, falafal and Labaneh cheese.
From the mosques and bazaars of Turkish Istanbul,
to Byzantine mosaics and Nabatean walls,
from Bedouin tribes and shifting sands,
to the Spanish who banished those from their land.
From the imperial reach of Napoleonic France,
to ancient Greek ampitheatres, the warriors danced
from Sicily to Crete, from Andalucia to Rhodes,
colossal statues of mythical heroes.
From Italian chapels built on green hills,
to Moorish fortresses, men have killed,
conquered, fallen and risen again,
over the Mediterranean blood we share in our veins.
This is the blood that was drained on the shore,
and bottled by bloodthirsty kings of war.
This is the blood we drink to this day,
whether red or white or sparkling rose.
Poetry in this post: © Dan Savery Raz
Published with the permission of Dan Savery Raz