Nisan Jaffee
Former Ornithologist

A Cry in the Wilderness


a leaderless people
must fight a never-ending war
against a phantom enemy
that drinks blood

their blood is not shed
those who sit in war cabinets
with their vision blurred
by their own narcissism

of what value
is the blood of soldiers
and butchered hostages
to their own ambitions

they listen rather to voices
foreign and domestic
who would lull us into a vision
of the new normal

they speak of iron fists
and use empty slogans
which belie a people’s faith
and call it victory

a motivated holy army
whose power could be unleashed
but whose spears are blunted
by political equivocation

what new acts of barbarism
must we endure
while they gain the favor
of their benefactors

they merely up the ante
on the level of bloodlust
that will be required to awaken us
the next time

About the Author
Born in New York City in 1952, Nisan moved in 1967 to St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands. He graduated from Colgate University, and received an MA in Biology from William and Mary. Nisan resided in Charlottesville, VA, Newtonville, MA, and Baltimore, MD before making aliyah in 2013. He has been married for 40 years, with three adult children and ten grandchildren. He lives in Efrat.
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