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Stones, Seas, and Memories

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A dedicated haiku To everyone who Encouraged me to follow My passions and dreams

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Stones Seas and Memories By Yoni Schwartzman every photograph in this book was taken by the author Copyright 2017 by Yoni Art ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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Hope Against Hope Energy erupting Flowing emerging From a secret store to yell your roar for war Courage inspiring Guiding exploding A coup d tat lava Carving the way In a fiery blaze Magma eruptions leave Innocents departed Yet fear is lifted Through a war It started Dangerous to quell Destructive forces Make no mistake Still they swell Suppressions Strengthen Reactions Dim it then watch it Return brighter Kill it then watch it Return stronger

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Let history be a guide to see That humanity always defied Rulers kings Monarchies fallen Romanoffs and Windsors Dictators turned to cinders Beware suppressing Liberty s canon For the caged Bird fights Beak and Talon For the caged bird sings of freedom When caged bird Cries she sings My anthem When caged bird sings She sings of freedom

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To Defeat Deviations Naught but help dealt Can stop our evocations Naught but love felt Can reform our foundations My lips are tightly curled They yearn to utter creations My lips are deftly heard They speak nothing but variations For their words are coarse Their tone runs thin Like words of importance Yelled over the din And through it all The games the imitations Forgetfulness and deviations I may still be able To defeat my provocations

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Self Discovery So many questions labor me Where should I go Who should I be So many swirling all around edict ed by society Why can t I just be who I am Why is the world so cruel How can I find the path to take without wisdom as my tool Scarring terrible memories burn deeply into my mind they ve warped it into something else that what was once divine Who would I be if society had not infected me How great I d stand above my flaws stronger than fear s devilry If only I could separate my true self from my conscious mind When at last I find myself who knows what I will find

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Stand up and raise your eyes to cities and lies To shinning seas across the expanse curling in the distance And every moment When you feel disconnected You blame yourself While your loves are neglected Why can t we friends ride tandem bikes Bring two man tents on future hikes Stand up Look around you today Your people your team Was never far away But we do drive in carpools schmooze in cafes and share in our troubles Look out On the cities That you thought Were lies They may not seem like miraculous occurrences but we do get along despite our differences But despite strife Under these shared skies We share our life For the rest of our lives It might not be with every human being but there are 7 billion of us so many you haven t seen It s never perfect But together It s worth it

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A Better Tomorrow Why can t we stop the rain of hatred that lands as rockets on the face of Israel Why can t the world be free of all the differences that we say are true but are really illusions Every nation on Earth is a part of one race started from one birth Racism is insanity mankind s greatest vanity inflating all our egos destroying all of humanity Making us think that we re better when in reality we re all the same

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Let s finally knock down the Berlin Wall for real this time So the Western Wall won t fall into ruin Together be free of the faults you see and love everyone for the person they can be not for the person they ve become Live with every life beat with every heart sing with every voice so that world peace can start Find a connection show true affection even if that person isn t a reflection of your beliefs Understand every view Put yourself in every shoe love every face Bring peace to the human race Bring peace on Earth

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Blinded to Death A clear tear drops off a high cliff poured forth from a man at his lowest point It fell past all the man accomplished Every plateau he reached every obstacle he overcame Past the sunset whose last rays set the tear ablaze with a flash of orange flame until it finally hit the ocean s traitorous waters The man collapsed onto his knees despite all he achieved crushed by the mountain that loomed before him In desperation he screamed Why did I ever start climbing when all along this Everest was here to stop me If only he looked down and saw all that he conquered which was impossible before he willed himself to try such easy hills to him now that were once frightful mountains If only the man looked backed to see how strong he truly was instead of being ensnared by the menace ahead defeated by fear Alas the fear sent him following his tear and so he fell into the ocean into the greedy hands of Death

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So many keys To unknown doors Keeping secrets Hiding yours Those that you store In unfound places Where secrets fester In many cases So many keys round my keyring Each so different As one they swing All keys on a keyring remained Kept my secrets closed contained But can our deepest Darkest truths Lay hidden long From the world s sleuths

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How come by thee These secrets of mine How come you nigh To hidden shrine I stored my secrets Under mountains Beneath rocks Guised as fountains But you knew all along Read between lines Of my life s song I thought I stopped My secret s reigns Twas I all along That suffered their chains Each key shackles my limbs Every secret thwarts my whims Every weight holds a knife to my heart

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Wood Lives On Sunlight dims and colors darken Trees shake limbs and proud elk hearken Meandrous creek whispers on Oblivious to diving swan Fireflies flash faint flashes Huntsman s fires turn to ashes Rabbits huddle in dug dens Nests are warmed by mother wrens Silver studs speckle black skies wolf choirs meet them with long cries Flowers close when owls soar Moles noses sniff when foxes snore Would sun go down if it knew that When moon rises so does shy bat Wood lives on when it is gone To next day s light the wood lives on

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Gold At The Equinox Springing rustling Saplings sprout Their leaves and buds at season s out Birds roost in ancestral nests When winter rests In Jerusalem Swerving chirping Swallows wheel Crowning a city where many kneel Blossoms open sleepy eyes When Springtime arrives In Jerusalem Growing brightening Flowers grow From clay pots in every window Droves of faces pass them by When Swallows fly In Jerusalem A Laughing dancing People sings With tambourines and fervent strings And at sunset all turns to gold When petals unfold In Jerusalem Creaking turning high Cranes raise A city taller than in all her days A blue star shines on every dome When we come home To Jerusalem

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Har Nevo You just don t see the land as I do You lost sight of the truth your hate blinded you Rain falls year round in your country Rockets fall year round in my home You look to diplomacy in your country They trade it for terror in my home If only If only you could see from Mount Nevo See the land for what it is instead of what you think you know How dare you demean yourself by believing what they say instead of seeing the truth for yourself

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But no You won t You don t want to see Reality Why would you How could you sacrifice your Ideology Is it that They are wrong And you see the unseen Must it be Black or white Not a shade in between Rise above the misguided the rumors See beyond your emotional tumors It takes time to climb Mount Nevo To unravel lies You think you know But tell me what you see when you reach the plateau Once you see the full picture will you still call me foe

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Walk in the Park Passing me by is a black man with half moon spectacles yellowed teeth gripping a wooden pipe smoking while he jogs to keep up his health To my left sits a boy and girl turned away from each other facing their screens together sharing in their loneliness for despite the friends their phones say they have they are alone A religious man wearing a disheveled shirt and open tie pushes a stroller at mid day because he never got too busy making a living that he forgot to make a life

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Invigorate Nothing revitalizes quite like it With strength as a cold winter stream To invigorate the human spirit Ferocity that swells inside For sake of good it rises Tears dry that you cried Unburdening swollen eyelids Call it genetics I call it love We love to live We love who we live for And we know what we ll die for For you I love endlessly Your strengthening ferocity Inspires me to stand and be My greatest self my highest me Of course my faith lies With humanity And by extension In divinity But to you To Hope I say this That without your flame Mine would be extinguished

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Voices Rising Voices rising higher Violin s notes strumming faster Drum beats echo deeply across valleys From Times Square players to bygone alleys Come all from near and far Dawn your tuba strum a guitar Raise that baton to marching band Wheel in your pianos from baby to grand Gold horns blowing Soft silver flutes whistling Send bongo drums tropically booming With all our voices rising to worlds uniting

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Spring Showers Listening to rain fall in my bed holding me hostage in my room Til patters stop above my head noon sun frees me from my tomb Gigantic ball of bright where gray clouds split Stunning my eyesight while showers flit Suddenly a sparkling drop flashes rainbow flames glittering splashes Causing every leaf and grass to glow every glass bead s light to grow to twinkle as a brilliant Galaxy of stars

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I see hundreds of birds in unity Fly in the distance gracefully Swooping and dancing Looping entrancing But always going In circles Three birds break away From an endless mindless ballet Wise enough to know their delusions Strong enough to see past their confusions I want to be the bird Who leaves the fray To explore paths That may lead Me astray Not bird that flies as society commands Who is willful and wise One who understands Our maze to freedom Our ways to fly free

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Crossroads Fog deepens from gray to black You can t go forward You can t go back Trapped You re trapped in the webs of temptation In the prisons of anger Condemned to damnation A strong spirit He mocks Could a strong spirit fall so easily A whisper an invader In the sinews of death A knight a spark A light in the dark

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To choose good Is to tall To choose evil Is to fall The choice is the power The will is the weapon Like all weapons It can be used For good But beware The snare The cage Of rage To break free From the iron chains You must learn To love Again

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Run Down Memory Lane Galloping down Bennet Avenue Runs Amitai and Akiva too In the footsteps of history Where once walked our family Greeted by Statue of Liberty Peter Swersky arrives with his family On crowded ship came Levys too To freely live life as a Jew Sabba with his parents on escapades On hot summer days to the Palisades While old radio plays waltz melody Danced to by Opah and Esti A young man from Manitoba Is sent here to learn in Yeshiva A Madrich falls in love at Bnei Akiva For a chanicha from Fulda A girl looks up at a great bridge That spans two states from ridge to ridge Believes her dad designed it all For its blueprint hangs on the wall Omma s grandsons carry her finally On her very last journey Down Bennet on Saturday night Carrying her by street lamp s light And now Akiva waddles down that street With Amitai galloping at his feet Away from the Heights like their family No one ever stays in New York City chanicha feminine Hebrew word for camper

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Season s Arrival Sweet scented air passed along through bare tree limbs Soft breeze dances shriveled leaves that unhinged and fell in stormy winds They fell from heights down in great flights Spinning to the ground landing without sound Darkened skies hasten the arrival of a longer pitch black night and shorter daylight Fall brings out nature s beauty mingled with great fright The sweet autumn fails at early coming of night

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Fall Song Wind dancing boughs of trees whoosh of waves made by red leaves Maple s keys spin down from great height acorns stored away for winter s long night Fresh clear scent wafts through the grass azure streaks over as Blue Jays pass Yet underneath the plant s roots freeze and silent now are the dormant bees Few flowers still have yet to fail to reopen their petals pail Lightning bugs no longer lit crunchy brown leaves on the floor sit Fall s beauty lies amidst two realms Between summer s grace and winter s snow whelms

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Lifetimes Work The student who seeks perfection Has only to grapple with himself If he s without impatience and aggression He shall discover tranquilities wealth Seek perfection without blame Falsely given to friends See the flaws in yourself And view life from a new lens Impatience is a trick Of the mind Making us sick So we can t find The tranquility Of a calmed heart Slowed and rhythmic In tune with the world Mindfulness is the key to happiness When your goals and your actions collide every day will have meaning regardless of the chaos spinning all around us

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Strongest Will A strong will penetrates every thought has the strength to control everything it was taught A strong will can be faced with overwhelming hatred and choose not to let it override its humanity A strong will sees anger as a poison if we understand those we hate for the people they are we can remedy the wounds of anger that festers with fear

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In hearts in minds In arrows long Aimed to the East Let fly your song Raise your freedom Your cries abate From inner peace A world create Rustling leaves In gentle breeze Roots expand In barren wasteland Soldiers of Judah Swords unsheathed Shields under dunes Beneath sands deeped Veins of gold Hidden in peoples Disguised as Jews In polish shteebles

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Become mastery Of destiny Fulfil the dreams Of so many Wave the flag With all as one Build your home Under the sun Beneath the trees the fields the moors Lay undying truths Disguised as lores Of kings of men Who showed the world What we can be In unity Unlocked unmasked O king don t hide Healed revealed King I see inside

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Elijah Walking through the desert haze journeying for forty days He passed the remnants of their camps sand dunes infinitely in his gaze Til last he came to the mountain ringed with ash from what happened The bare ground cracked from the heat scarred by three million people s feet He climbed the way that Moses climbed up Har Chorev that none can find And reached a cave where a bush grows he removes his sandals from his toes And looking out to barren lands he raised his care worn dirtied hands To Hashem from the depths he cried Til he fell to his knees on that mountainside Flames spit from fissures in the ground the earth trembles all around Thunder cracks and lightning clashes the wind howls the mountain crashes Then a still voice breathes hushed words upon a breeze Why are you here everyone has a different answer

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Mindful Maxims The subconscious mind lies beneath memories Experiences that control how we act Our actions define our futures We can only look forwards not back Virtuous love all that they have Satisfied without desire to further find The soul is man s immortality Enduring without death or time Memories don t define what s inside The divinity within all mankind See the connection in all Realize our hearts beat as one Acceptance drives in inner peace Transcendence delivers wisdom Reach the height of potential And leave this world complete

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A Song of Your Reflection

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Revival of the Lion s Heart An old man guides a small boy into a white courtyard as an army files in through the gates to stand guard Outside they hear a women scream as her army rushes to the scene to snuff out the last burning flame to stop the king being ordained The guards lower their spears facing away from prince and priest amidst the fray An ousted queen leads soldiers clad in green Atalyah enraged comes with her regime The circle of spears can t be broken like the line of David the king is chosen anointed here for all to see by Yehoyadya and his assembly Where once a small boy knelt before King Yoash rises to his army s roar as green clad soldiers bend the knee and the king s grandmother attempts to flee But when the Kings finally rise they shall bring their enemy s demise none can withstand true rulers of Jerusalem for the hearts of Israel belong to them

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Clear State Of Consciousness A powerful mind can revert to its infant state undisturbed by character molding memories void of society s teachings filled with purity clarity and understanding Only when the mind is clear of all the joy sadness and fear after every memory like a shroud is lifted unveiling the deepest level of consciousness Where only G d Himself exists in the depths of the psyche where the soul is kept kindled solely by love the fire of G d In tune with every exhale the trees send to the sky finally understanding why healthy newborns cry Why it s an illusion to think we die We cry tears of sorrow when sight of G d is lost We regress to fear death when we forget to accept it s a deception

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Jerusalem Reborn You stand on Rechov Misgav Ladach facing golden lions that solemnly guard the way down to the Western Wall that our nation fought for long and hard The weathered cobblestones paved on the street were not tread by our ancestor s feet the King s Road lies in tunnels deep their stones unused sit there and sleep Until the Princes rise again to retake their city Jerusalem when memories and souls tumble in the deep tunnels crisscrossing under you Lost spirits will return at last to high notes that silver trumpets blast and all the roads will fall below as buildings rise white stones aglow Mount Moriah as three cities in one when all damage of history is made undone the buildings that withstood the death of time will stand like new as in their prime With golden domes and pale white stones great marketplaces and vaulted homes levels of cities built on one another to form a city like no other

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Like a Lion Lion s tail waves as her flag in the breeze Hind legs like her tanks beneath the trees Lion teeth sharp as her army s wits Like her people he never quits You are a beacon of morality Like a lion s eyes in the dark you see Paws firmly planted in solidarity Hearts yearning for divinity Power to turn dreams into reality Like the king of beasts who dare challenge them Who now can topple the walls of Jerusalem

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Fire Returned From deepest night a fire shall be woken a light from the shadows shall spring Renewed shall be blade that was broken the crownless again shall be king Strong will be hands of redeemer in whom the line of David endured He shall rise above all as a healer fighting til all evils are cured He shall gather the pure hearted s might behind his blue shield they shall stand Forth from his hand shall shine light piercing the darkness of the land Though in night light may seem frail by king s hand will Death find defeat When stabbed evil will fall in Zion shall be the king s seat He shall repave the roads in gold and reopen the city s arched gate Jerusalem will shine as of old when at last falls the servant of hate When all evils shall be righted joy will rain down from above When king and throne are reunited mankind will know endless love

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