Gaza 2009

I wrote this poem on the invasion of Gaza in 2008-9. Sadly, things have not changed much since then.


Walking Home (on 2008-9 Invasion of Gaza)

Like three dolls in a toy bed

One girl, two little boys

With peaceful faces, eyes closed

No wounds, no blood—a clean death

The girl, a smile etched on her face

Dreaming, probably, of a better place


The boys, holding hands, unsmiling

Like guardian angels walking their sister home:

Through bombed streets of the walled city

Jumping over trash, avoiding piss and blood

Through ranks of soldiers, columns of tanks

Breathing gunpowder, smoke, phosphorous

Carrying their sister across the wall

To a city of light, cafes, and pristine streets


They stop in front of a candy store

Silent, hopeful, cautious, a bit afraid

Then one of them, the one in blue jeans

A white t-shirt and a black baseball hat,

Enters, after wiping his feet on the door mat

In his stretched hand a Jordanian coin

Found in a dusty Gaza street, right

By the deserted, defunct Bus stop.


Sir, he says to the man in the candy store

Sir, my sister would like an orange drop


Gaza 2014

A Catalog of my Silences

This is a catalog of my silence
A record of words unsaid
Of failed guarantees, muted testimonies
Of going on, despite the calls of the dead. 
The Afghan dead–in thousands
The raped and tortured bodies of Bosnia
Of young girls plucked from schools
Latter day concubines under ancient rites. 
And of Gaza!
Yes, Gaza–the last concentration camp!
Yes, we should have the guts to name it so.
A walled city–with twenty-four feet tall concrete walls
And two closely guarded gates.
And YOU call this wall a fence!
Such elegant bullshit.
Like calling camel turd, mangoes.
Yes this is a record of my silences
A catalog of my complicities
and of my bourgeois cowardice.
For not speaking the truth
YOU are not victims any more
YOU with tanks, guns, and warships
YOU are murderers enabled by us
To slowly kill an inconvenient people.
To possess their land
In the name of a history of victimhood!
I shall say no more.
Your actions disgust me!
And your rationalizations are just a pack of shit.
And shit can never be mangoes!