“Fresh, forlorn flower
Looked like a lady in lilac.
Grew inside a grand golden gate.
Spent, slept, stared.
Stood, and stood then seated.
Wept, wished to be winged with winds.
Wilted while waiting.
A lady in lilac looked like
A frail, forlon flower.
Inside a grand golden gate,
Spent, slept, stared.
Stood and stood then seated.
Wept, wished to be the winds.
She waited and waited…
Till she wilted.”
Caught between a rock
Gaza is a hard place.
Boxed into the trenches of abyss.
Jawed between the teeth of darkness.
Slowly filtered off life.
Sea left to salt.
Remembered when the night gnaws the dusk.
Forgotten when the dawn makes the almonds husk.
Dusted, trumped, rusted, crushed.
Like a piece of rusk.
The dim din.
The ticking bomb.
The sand clock
The Pandora box.
Gaza is a rock.
Gaza is a hard place.
Rose and fought.
Filters in light.
Remembered with pride.
Forgot to recline.
From dawn to dusk…
when crushed like a rusk
When the almonds husk
Gaza never succumbs.
I will rub your feet.
I am here.
watching you breath.
They say when you sleep deep
you will eat.
Your tiny feet.
warm, I will keep.
I am your shield.
don’t mind my tears.
With angels you’ll eat…
Angel, you will be.
Don’t mind my tears.
From one stop.
To a final stop.
A Full stop.
In a sea.
Escape. Fire. Waves. War.
Dark. Shock. Chocked.
Drone. Black Hawk.
The interviewer thought that the frank answer was a herald of a long conversation that will result with some relief. However, she wasn’t feeling the same. She was thinking of the next question. She promised herself to answer. She promised herself to sincerely answer. She promised herself that she’d seek answers. She owes it to herself.
“Talk to me about motherhood..” the interviewer calmly said.
Her eyes opened wide like a window giving birth to strong light. She knew that this question was coming, but she also knew that she didn’t have an answer or she’s still doesn’t have a clear answer.
She took a deep breath that lasted long enough to reel back all the memories of her being a mother. She gave the interviewer a half-faced look, and said “do you want an answer, or you want poetry?!”
The interviewer said:” I want you to give me an answer that if you say it to others, they’ll judge you…”
She chocked a smile and said:” I don’t know what I think about motherhood, but I know that too much is expected from me…”
“I’m expected to trade my feelings for being a holy creature whose under feet there’s a heaven while I can only feel that under my feet there are toys, vomiting, and little hands clutching me”
“I’m expected to sacrifice my freedom to nurture someone’s else life with love and freedom…”
“Sometimes I wake up not wanting to sacrifice anything, not wanting to nurture anything. I just want to have some tea on the couch and enjoy some silence. And when I feel this way, guilt eats me up. And I feel inadequate not just to be a mother but a human being…”
“I don’t know…”
“I know that I love my kids, I know that I would anything to protect them and be there for them…”
“But…” the interviewer interrupted.
“But sometimes I wish I can just figure out who am I without shouldering this great responsibility…”
“guess that’s what motherhood is…”
“unconditioned sacrifice, responsibility, and patience, and those feelings are rarely done without a pinch exhaustion, frustration, doubt even boredom…”
“but these “negative” feelings are still outweighed by unconditioned sacrifice, responsibility, and patience…and love…”
“Everyday is like being on an uncharted island. You want to discover things to survive. But sometimes you step on some field on cactus and you get pricked. Sometimes, you find yourself in oasis where you find water and dates and feel just fine…”
The interviewer looked at her and said:” now that’s poetry.”
She chuckled and said:” and not good one”
Write what you know…
I know that I am a Palestinian,
I know that clichés reside in my rhetoric
That olive tree, that dove of peace
that Gandhi they preach
all the talk about the steadfastness of refugees,
this steadfastness is imposed on me
like a curfew…
and that rock that I threw
it was because I was angry
about that young blue-eyed solider
who told me in his American accent:” No entry!”
This refugee camp is like a swamp.
Don’t want you to fix the water tap,
don’t want you to fix electricity grid
I want this to end
And I don’t want you to use me as your slogan
in the next conference you attend
I don’t want to be a symbol,
nor consider a short visit to my besieged city symbolic
nor cherish the key of my grandma for its symbolism…
I don’t want to live in a memory
A story of a great tragedy
A memory eroding by apathy,
I don’t want your bubble,
Don’t throw your NGO money on the problem,
It won’t go…
You are safe
save your dignity,
save your ingenuity.
Don’t talk to me about a featureless state,
Look at my state,
There’s a country I want to retake…
I don’t want to keep writing poetry
inspired by dispossessed, imprisoned, oppressed muses
Who shed words to heal my bruises.
I want to see the sea for what it is
and marvel the sunset
without a permit,
without a time limit,
without feeling that I am fulfilling a promise.
This poem doesn’t rhyme
and loses the rhythm along this lines
This is an overflow of desensitized emotions
recollected in a moment of intensity, clarity.
A recollection of worthlessness
in a city, a shantytown, in a sweatshop, in a refugee camp,
life is raped;
barrels of dead,
tons of dead,
piles of dead,
life is stitched
It’s a recollection of dry, cracked lips
eyes paralyzed in rims
Figures identified with black pen
name, age written on foreheads
It’s a recollection of bones broken like twigs
thin skin, emaciated by hunger and thirst
like birds with amputated wings
The recollection of the self,
vacuumed into nothingness
consumed by everything,
deconstructed by narratives,
without beginnings, open ended…
A self that lost itself,
its faith in itself