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Wednesday, December 09, 2009


She brings parts of
that part
of the world

She brings sun
in Turkish coffee cups

She brings news of freshly-brewed war
on the TV channel that
doesn't play here

the story of the
made-in-Abu Ghraib
that no one could identify
at the neighbor's garden gate

She brings smiles
from better times

She brings hope
that people over there
can continue to live
and carry on
to the next war...

Note: This poem was read at Igtham Mote in England as part of  
an event to "Mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War (care of the National Trust across England & Wales, in remembrance of those affected by conflict)"

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Walls of the Neighbor's Home in Mansoor

Moist damp walls
and frivolous cats used to

run their long tails
in the slits
between the hinges
of the doors

Now the creepers

run the windows
where bullet cracks capture

the smeared drops of last breath

And cold gardens of pain linger

where some wished they could have blended
with the weeping soil

Now it is...

Then it had laughed
when the sun tickled

its belly to beautiful mornings

Those days the palms will tell you
knew stories

that could warm sniffling infants to sleep
for hours if their mothers wished…

Those days the street lamps glistened

to the hum of love-making coming
from the rooms

Nights, under leaves

where toes grasped grass
and released
under stars

pushing swings
sharing thoughts of


Then the walls stood strong

gathered us in
and guarded our thoughts
less they turn into sin...

Now they hide the hate
and remind

We no longer belong…

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I, the terrorist...

I, the terrorist,
watched the bread break off
my brother’s bleeding teeth,
had he tasted blood-flavored bread before?...

I, the terrorist held my breath,
as the bricks from my kitchen ceiling
hit my forehead…
I could still stand…

I, the terrorist,
took the rut-filled road to get water
for my suckling infant.

I lost a few fingers
on the way,
to a precision sniper…

I, the terrorist,
dug-up some dirt water
with what was left of my stubs,
and tried
to nurse my wailing one,
as he lay in the arms
of the still-warm
body of his departed mother…

I, the terrorist, hated
that my newborn had to taste
blood-stained water;
I hated
the scarlet stuff
now forming bubbles on his lips…

Then, I the terrorist,
that he,
like his mother,
like my brother,
and every other terrorist
who had sat for a meal
at the now fractured kitchen table
had suddenly
stopped feeding too…

Note: Inspired by a survivor of the Gaza massacre, sitting in what remained of his home with what looked like a fingerless bleeding hand...