(Kinneret is the Hebrew word for the Sea of Galilee. It is derived from the Hebrew word for harp, which the shape of the lake resembles.)

We sat beside the water’s edge
while evening settled on the lake
each glimpsing how it could inspire     
a thirst no drink could ever slake –

no man-made harp could ever catch
the silent music in that peace
which soothed us like a pledge that some 
deep harmony would never cease –

but then a voice behind us called
proposing beers, and we turned back
towards the guest house, where we’d dine
and talk, and joke, and kiss, and pack –

and though I still remember all
we felt it meant for me and you,     
what’s also lasted through the years
and what registered as just as true   

is the vision the next morning when
driving down to Tel Aviv:
young soldiers hitch-hiking; the killing
fields too many had believed

belonged to them – in the fierce sun         
the Horns of Hattin, the Golan Heights,
Megiddo . . .  How could we connect
such history with the previous night’s

unheralded, unmerited
sense of a sudden offering,
of a one-off, privileged insight
into the carefree heart of things?   

We’ve stumbled since, and when I read
the news about the Promised Land     
I note that nothing’s solved – but were
we lucky to halt there, hand-in-hand

those few stunned hours, if that’s as close
as human beings can ever be;
when it seemed time paused and blessed us both
beside the Sea of Galilee?

Tom Vaughan

If you have any thoughts on this poem, Tom Vaughan would be pleased to hear them.