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I am Ethiopian with Jewish descent on my mother's side. I live in Norway. I am lecturer at various universities in Norway in the field of ethnic minorities. I wrote the attached poem which glorifies the Israeli heroes. I was motivated to write this poem as a tribute to Israeli heroes and my grand father who lived most of his life as a fugitive in Ethiopia and one of war heroes during the Ethio-Italian war (1935-1940). Many of the characters I used in the poem shows the harsh situations my Jewish ancestors have gone through and their resilience and heroism in the face of adversity.
Bete Israel from Oslo
Tiger: The bold and the beautiful
by Leoul Mekonen
A message came to me in a deep sleep
I dreamt of a Zodiac animal
With mystical features and qualities
That has penetrated deep into my soul.
Then I remembered, the book of Wisdom
My forefathers’ treasure, the Talmud
That says a dream is like an unread letter
It must be interpreted!
Yes, I dreamt!
A living symbol of strength,
A magnificent creature,
Dressed in a yellow gold-coat
Full of power and vigour
Yes I dreamt, I saw!
The symbol of power and beauty
Yellow-coat striped in black
Beneath his embroidered ferocity
He is polite, calm and frank.
Concealing his tracks with his paws
Through dark and dense forest
The Tiger enters his stride with grace
In armour of knowledge and faith
Prowling in a world full of dangers
Peril, evil, malice and hazards
Suspiciousness is his trusted compass
To detect pitfalls and traps
Oh! Tiger, Tiger!
You are prudent and alert
Graceful yet noble in the jungle
One of a kind in an enigmatic forest
A courageous and gallant rebel
Oh! What a talent and beauty?
A magnetic personality
Wise men are attracted to you
Like bees to honey
Yes I dreamt and I saw Tiger!
What a noble creature?
Animal of regal quality
Symbol of life and death
An emblem of dignity
Yes, I dreamt!
Tiger is like a man of action,
Love for adventure is his passion
He aims high and pursues goals
Defying defeat and temptation
Yes, Tiger is a man of action!
The Sinai Commando on a mission
Who spots the enemy and ambushes alone
Under stars and a changing moon
Tiger is a decorated warrior
Adorned with an innate camouflage
He surprises those who cross his path
And encages them with undying courage
What a magnificent creature
With a great leaping agility
Alert in the grassland or in the snow
For the sake of territorial integrity
What a grace? What a noble?
Tactical fighter in a jungle
Tracing his enemy and avenging alone
Overpowering from any angle
I believe in the Asian Lore!
Tiger lives between two worlds
Among the living and the dead
He visits graves to assure peace
For fallen heroes who have passed.
Tiger is often misunderstood!
He is not only a hunter
Tactician killer, matador
But also a vessel of libido
A flirtatious, sensual lover
What a power and beauty?
Tiger is strikingly mystical
His agony emanates from his nature
So solitary, proud and territorial
Tiger is a person of multiple charms
Attractive, honoured and blessed
But solitude is the price he pays
For his loner attitude and pride
Tiger is a curious scientist
In his territory and habitat
His thirst for knowledge insatiable
His quest for insight is constant
Who would refuse to accept?
Who would reject your philosophy?
The one that gives you honour
And your majestic identity
I have finally gotten the message, Tiger!
Why you face trials graciously
For you have long known the very fact
That there is no adversity without life
And no life without adversity!
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