ON THE ROAD TO DAMASCUS
The road that I travel is rough, filled with the holes of time and war.
It is a road that has been traveled by countless armies over the millennia,
Infantries of antiquity marching in cadence with me this present day.
Comrades in arms walk with me today, trodding over unfamiliar ground,
The crisp morning air scented by the lovely cedars of Lebanon.
This land I could call my own, the milk and honey would I eat,
But the ravages of war prevent me from musing any farther.
Such a wondrous sunrise over the mountains that witnessed it so many times,
The life giving light that brings warmth and comfort; and another battle.
The same star rising in the east in quiet majesty,
Alighting over Mount Hermon, like it has, shining from the beginning of creation.
O how the armies of Assyria and Persia must have beheld the same sight,
How Alexander and Pharaoh’s have seen the sun come over the same crest.
The villages are quiet but for the stirrings of the few early risers,
Their work interrupted as they spy us and return indoors out of fear,
Or perhaps out of expectation of events that they know about all too well.
Perhaps their ancestors acted the same when Pharaoh’s army came over the rise,
Or Nebuchadnezzar’s or the legions of Rome, or the Crusaders.
They play out their parts in a production that is old as time itself,
Proving to me that there truly is nothing new under the sun.
We wait quietly, certain that those who have escaped, those who ran inside,
Might they will sound the alarm, to alert our ardent enemy, our sworn foe?
Surprise overcomes us as minutes tick by, the quiet continues.
Even the birds have ceased their music, their joyful chatter,
Waiting in expectation of what they somehow know is going to transpire.
Moving forward in silence, my heartbeat louder than any gun, any weapon of war,
Surely someone can hear it beating, someone will be alerted by its rapid thumping.
My mind checks itself constantly; safety off, three round burst, one round chambered;
And yes, the grenades are there, just like they were ten seconds ago; all is set.
What’s this I see, she’s so young so fragile, can’t be more than seven or eight.
If she was back home she’d be getting ready for school, picking out her clothes for this day.
But here she’s standing in harm’s way, about to witness death and destruction.
Sweet Yeshua, keep her safe, envelope her in your safe arms during the melee.
She motions to a house with shuttered windows, a tattered wooden door,
It appears to be dark, the peace of sleep seems to emanate from it; not for long.
Go inside I motion to the little angel who guides my way, shows me my path.
Thank you Yeshua, she went inside, she’s behind the stone walls of the house.
My foot crashes against the door, it breaks and falls to the floor with a thud.
A look of surprise from eight, no ten, no it’s twelve men lying on the floor.
Faces that seem to still in the fog of sleep, waking to a startling reality;
Today they’ll breath their last, their sleep will be perpetual in the twinkling of an eye.
With instinct some reach for their weapons, a mistake I wish they didn’t make.
My training takes control and I feel my finger squeeze back on the trigger.
My weapon rears up like a wild stallion as it gallops into the kill of the battle.
Flashes of light bounce off of the dark walls, ensigns of lightning my finger is producing.
One by one the men fall, reminding me of idols blowing down in the wind.
I grab an RPG that is standing like an guard against the wall,
It’s a sentinel asleep while on duty, standing there without orders, without a commander.
I’ll be your commander and I’ll give you specific orders, you will obey my commands.
We exit the hovel in full assurance we will not be accosted, no harm will befall us.
But what is this I hear, popping in quick succession, little flashes coming from another home.
The rock on the wall next to me chips away like someone invisible using a jack hammer,
This wall taking a terrible beating meant for me and my comrades.
The weapon in my hand levels, its aim being them trying to do us harm.
Then a noise like a Roman Candle, sparks and a trail of fire and smoke leave me behind.
A flash eliminates my assailer, he who sought my life is no more.
Running, but my attention is drawn back to that home, rapidly disintegrating into rubble.
Countless secondary explosions that increase exponentially each second,
Like some eternal conflagration, a glimpse at the lake of fire I surmise.
With haste we depart, choosing to hike rather than the highway in which we came,
Alexander’s highway, the Assyrian thoroughfare no longer safe, we’re the enemy.
Estimating the klicks as we walk, one, two, three – we’re probably safe.
But now the drone of a vehicle and what sounds like men screaming in Arabic.
Oh Yahweh, we’ve been made, discovered; enemies advance against us, frothing at the mouth.
In an instant one comrade falls, a bullet through the neck, he never had a chance.
We take cover, but in a ravine, our enemies on the hill; we’re ducks in a shooting gallery.
Another comrade shot in the leg, his blood spurting with every heartbeat; I can’t save him.
One by one, picked off like trout in a barrel, like a game animal during season.
I’m going to die anyway; must take some of the other guys with me I surmise.
I got two Yahweh, but there are so many, and they won’t stop till I’m dead; help me I pray.
My stomach hurts Yahweh, like someone just kicked me there, what does this mean?
I gaze down, there’s blood, lots of it…am I coming home to be with you now?
They’re coming down the hill now Yahweh, oh please deliver me from my enemies,
You did promise to do that, I remember all of the promises, all your precepts, you are my trust.
Gunfire, helicopters, voices coming from behind, not from the direction of danger?
Not the sound of Arabic, no, it’s the ancient voice of the Jew…you’ve kept your promise Yahweh!
The pain of hot lead, my gut hurts greatly, waves of unconsciousness crashed on my shore; I fight them.
Fight sleep until I know their fate, those who are as brothers to me, the Diaspora Brigade.
Medic shakes his head each time; their loss more painful than my bullet wound,
Each confirmation like another bullet entering the very center of my being, they’re all gone.
Too much pain to bear, I will succumb this time to the the waves of unconsciousness crashing upon me.
I awake, the ceiling moving, people walking beside where I lay, a sensation of motion; I feel safe.
Nurses gaze upon me, the object of their adoration, one whom they respect; I am content.
Thoughts of my parents, both busy about their lives and their families; not aware of my condition,
No knowledge of where I am or what I’m doing, thinking that I’m living the life of a loner, a recluse.
If I perish they will never know what I did, secrecy will keep them from being proud of me, silence is essential.
I want to hug my dad, kiss my mom and talk to my sister just once more time, please let me live Yahweh.
Drugs wearing off again, pain increasing, do the doctors hear me? Am I even alive?
Pain is leaving again…surgery??
Conscious again, stirred by a monotonous Hebrew man talking, oh, it’s the news on television.
Someone’s standing next to me; vision blurry; it’s a man with gray hair, his voice broken,
Broken by waves of emotion that toss him to and fro – please hand me my glasses I ask.
Aluf Sharon at my bedside; praying while holding back tears; Baruch Ha Shem, my son lives,
Looking up toward heaven he breaths a sigh of relief and thankfulness, hands lifted up in praise to Yahweh.
Reflections of how blessed I am – Aluf Sharon considers me as one of his own – I’m honored!
Bless Yahweh, now the voice that I’ve waited to hear,
An ever delicate voice that sets my heart to flight whenever I hear even her whisper.
My precious Leah, my love, pushes past my commander.
Her very motion letting all in the room know that she is in command now,
All would gladly obey her, no matter what the order.
Tears fall from her face and light upon mine like a soft rain, a welcomed rain.
She holds me tight, like she’s never going to let me go.
My wound hurts, but don’t release me; the best pain I’ve ever felt
Her tears salty yet sweet refresh my very soul.
Utter contentment fills my entire being.
More my love, once I awake from my impending sleep.
Hallel Yahweh, you preserved me; my ever present help in time of trouble.
Yeshua, my light and my salvation, I shall not fear nor shall I dread.
The hosts of my enemy were camped against me, and by your grace I did not fear.
You are my shield and my buckler O’ strength of my soul.
On the road to Damascus, in the fertile fields of Eretz Yisrael, anywhere on earth,
Or somewhere in the vastness of endless space and time – You Are My G-d
Copyright 07/13/2007 David Ben Yakov