DIMi labeled your smile green i labeled my land running i labeled my sky pure i labeled the light a mirror i labeled my home a halo i labeled my skin a birth i labeled the end a butterfly knowing all wings echo knowing all things begin again
MY PEOPLEWhen I tell you you're my people I mean I see homeland in your voice My people run to neighbours living under houses on fire and burn their own wings Because what is a dream if it was built upon somebody else's ashes? My people write love letters to the sea, and seal them with a kiss My people call you habibi on the first day you meet My people say I love you with the weight of the word "love" so light, you can ride it to the clouds I love my people and sometimes it's so heavy it sinks me into the ground, shrinks me down into a fetus And when I'm born again, I'll kiss both of my knees because my people taught me how to stand up My people hold on to grief like a knife But truth is, it's a needle, slowly piercing into their core My people carry dead relatives in the bags under their eyes So when they cry, their tears mixed with blood My people are still bleeding I ran out of time for anybody less
other chants other worlds*scores for vowels: a = part lips make a black hole visible where anger is i = cut face into boomerang severe it from ignorance (cruel kind) e = transtranstrans gress cend action mit pull up (literally intifāḍah) vowel from ancestors (soft bit) o = excavate embalming authorities look inspect them keep what cares u = (re) turn , = a bracket in time a collection find it in boundaries = stand with the roots of stones soften gaze open pray palms and wait until Cosmos’ re: . = doesn’t exist From the river to the sea From my wo/mb pursing her lip>s For one to 64, 65, 66, 67 days Refusing to speak to to spe/ak In the no/w. Apocalyps, Now From h♡arts to CRAMPS Burning my insides at night SIRENS wailing with not for Say it Say it out loud Whisper in in in in in in in in Don’t lie about volcanoes incomptence prhence lack non knowence shame tamed guilting Don’t lie about peace cliches pre>chewed>down narratives Say it Say say it Say the bodies out loud Say them say them in your mouth Coat them in your spit make them Bitters bottle them trans port/form them blOw them to Stars Make them your vocabulary Bite into de dead weigh them in your veins retain every Syllable swallowed for the sake of killing. who is o>ur grammar? Joy Say it Whisper init init use that Knife of breath as the gullets Cut off from every right now for two Months Seventy who is o>ur anger? Five Years For the day awhiteman set Foot on land and called it His Is human* real? Free Free What beyond hum
anity Free solidar- What beyond hum anity Free Free Palestine will be Free will being be Palestine Free Free From from Our rivers to our seas We will we will we will
thirty-threePlumes red, black, green laughing emojis onscreen You’re not a pixel you’re a beating heart It’s 2 o clock I’ve got up To stir so late not in our name Learning heartbreak by heart stop the cars Drunk on schooling I’ve seen your cruelty Useful idiot your flesh and blood No soul to wear it thirty-three years of sharing These seas please leave
Sasha Cyril @sasha__cyril
Waking in the DarkI think of the mothers, the rubble, the mothers, the rubble, I think of the mothers, my child’s own heart beat next to me is something I have not earnt, too precious even for a poem the warmth of her, What if this pain can radiate outwards so that they might feel it, so that they might know, if it burns bright enough, if I shout loud ENOUGH! I think of the mothers, their arms wrapped around stone cold rubble, I think of the mothers, the rubble, the mothers, the rubble.
Ruby Truth @rubytruthpoems
ReflectionsA holy land, that’s yet to see a holy day A land of spirit, that’s yet to see a single soul Abundant with olive trees, but yet to see an olive branch When will we understand? That the state of Palestine, is just a reflection of the state of man
To beTo be Palestinian Is to know death before living To know pain yet still forgiving It is to know that your very existence is a mirror to your surroundings And throughout life you will be surprised with your findings To be Palestinian Is to be united in your struggle but not with your land A difficulty you don’t forget but with time you learn to withstand They say when one part of the body is harmed, the rest of the body will rush to its aid They say the same about humanity, but we were left out in the shade To be Palestinian Is to live from an empty place So that the world can learn to form a new base In hopes that this stain on humanity won’t leave a massive trace
Laila Shaheen @lailers
A MOMENT OF SILENCEFor the not numbers For the faces For the dreams and the places For the schools hospitals mosques and churches For the evidence stacked negligent in searches For the mother wailing in a silent degree For a father carrying bags of remains and debris For a sister and a brother and a tree and a home For the chaos back home breaking up the back bones For the image that you painted that’s not mine We’re not the sons of the graves you designed When a coloniser claimed his what was always mine When a paper-drawn border threw my names in a folder Threw my skin in a folder Threw my blood in a folder Let it rot till revenge grew thick with broad shoulders Cause we are not the sons of the grave you designed We are not a sum on a plane you device We are not a sinking boat of wrong answers We are not the missing poem we are the bold stanzas Read through your history you ignorant sheep The land always remembers what your guns sill not keep Tell your castles that mountains move And planets quake Every empire must and we will be there to celebrate We are not the sons of the grave you designed We do not come with bloodstains intertwined we are not the victims you framed into minds We are not helpless, not dragging behind We are not surrender, defeat or the end Now you call me enemy, when I tried to be friend Don’t get it twisted and let’s not pretend shields can be swords at just the right bend And at just the right angle, pain turns to pen With just the right scream, one voice turns to ten When a child turns to ash a mother turns to beast Roaring for the pack to bring her back a full feast We are not the sons of the graves that you made You still fall prey to the same old mistakes You have the guns and the ships and the planes We have a god we have a faith We don’t die we multiply We eat acid rain for lunch we digest Mock you on the screen you jokes, you’ll die jests Hide behind your castles, we’ll take you with no vest We are not the sons of the graves you missed Death is not the end to a man who submits Keep paying for the graves and the walls and the gates Keep paying for blood and generational hate act so afraid your claims are limited Your name is so fake, it has the word real in it But let’s reel it in I feel sorry for you Living with all that fear Just to cry when rebuked No one swears it wasn’t him more than a guilty thief Your feet are shaky as flaky as your so called beliefs, So fuck a moment of silence, this is a moment to scream For syria Iraq lebanon sudan And a free felesteen
Ziad Gadou @ziadgadou
Paisaje de infiernoEsta es la zona de los cuerpos. Las almas se han ido atravesando el lago. Llueve sin alma y el cuerpo de la lluvia no entiende su propio pálpito sobre el lago. El tilo hierve a gritos sedantes. Un alma reparte los tazones. Las demás velan el pálpito de la lluvia sobre el lago.
Mane Ferret @maneferret
They told meThe stories I hear weren’t real But I painted them anyway. They told me To protest peacefully was hateful But I marched peacefully anyway. They told me I didn’t know the history But I spoke out anyway. They told me These were savages and terrorists But I felt their pain anyway. They told me It wasn’t my business But I bore witness anyway. They told me Humanity was gone But I held on to mine anyway.
Henna Bakhshi @browngirlart
Free PalestineOne day my mum told me that the world was dying, and the children in Palestine were crying. So, we went marching to save people who were starving. I wanted to do more to save the brave people, so, me and my friends slept outside to collect money, that would affect Palestinians lives. Even though some are making fun of people’s son, who is being pointed at with the gun, They’ve done nothing wrong but are being bombed, But they are staying strong. The people in heaven are looking down at the watermelon, Wondering what Israel’s doing is real. Because of the war people are sleeping on the floor. We need to take action for fighting on what’s right and lighting the path of justice brightly. We should not be furious but curious on how we can help. So next time you’re marching for this situation, Remember your lighting up the dying embers of the Palestinians who won’t surrender.
Amaya Bakhshi (10 years old).
Ci raccontano che GazaCi raccontano che Gaza mentre cammina sa di musk Mentre marcia in macerie e carezza carcasse I suoi corpi e membra ora sono lumi di luce E i suoi gridi si elevano alati in canti di tasbiح Tra noi e loro Ci accumuna una nuvola Ci unisce un cielo dove sorge un sole e un pensiero Quello che quando tramontiamo nell'eterna akhira, una volta spiegato questo emisfero Il dolore si eclissa in beatitudine In gioia letizia, lenta e infinita
Salma Charfi @eupho.nies
My Kingdom for a Drop of Your DignityAs we debate the definition of terrorism a hospital goes missing grief becomes skin My dream deferred I pray not for the first time for something like heaven for a time where you are without having to enter where what’s forbidden are checkpoints where you survive to see your colours paint the earth in your innocence I ask myself the fortunate ones how many times does the white world have to fuck you before it hits it’s killing you hard, not softly None of us not wounded none of us whole and I want to scream when I rediscover what it means to have a voice or the damage a mouth can do to their power I tell you that I want us to remember all the names of our siblings in peril all the names of our elected representatives openly administering social death all the names of those lost to the falsehood of moral neutrality and (what we said) No peace without justice Now is the time here is a gift the Faqqua Iris (still) dying standing upright urging us to exercise our right to refuse
Lilly Marks @dustbreeding
Strength, Shame and SorrowWhen the yellow leaves stain the dark Parisian streets And shine amongst the varnished rain, as unnoticed tears do As youthful blood has uninterested my brainwashed city Levantine souls screamed and muted for their voices were judged before they spoke They have cried in the shadows, felt betrayed and betraying Miles away a people that holds my genes is dying Their land had been full of colors, so bright, they bothered the demons And so, this autumn, they may cease to exist all under your curious eyes All while you read the lies that will keep you silenced Theft is your culture Stealing our land, food, flesh and skin and calling it yours Our people have nurtured your trees, built your homes and fed your soil As this land holds their name, Palestine If democracy is encaging civilians and capitalising the rain If being civilised entails clapping for the shattered limbs of children And calling animals those you have forbidden to ever meet liberty Then I don’t want it Call me barbaric if I don’t blindly follow your tyranny If I’d rather risk my respect and stand with humanity I’d resist alongside those who’s love holds more importance than safety All while you bloodily purchase the narrative, and put your atrocity in our name Yet another theft of the pain you inflict on my people Shame on you
Juliette Bejani @juliettebeja
Gazan LamentThe white corner where walls and ceiling met collapsed wailing like mother from the next room. Head covered, ready to take flight at the scent of cement dust fire, gore. Fingers pinched, she asked for god. Laundry basket Football socks, size 11, never washed again. Love so deep it turns to grief Grief so deep it turns to love. Next door fragment of a garden chair is pulpit for Uncle’s sermon. Voice cracking, he asks for god to curse their canals their drones their planes Curse the oil that nature gave The greed that clouds their sight The wasteland where once were homes The strength of our faith that it must be so tested The beauty of our children that they must be plucked Our power that it must be challenged ‘How mighty we must be,’ he laughs. ‘What a curse to be so bountiful that all they want is to take.’ Olive stones scattered on an abandoned kitchen table will one day grow groves.
Lalah-Simone Springer @lalahsimone
shieldsafter Adania Shibli after the bombing of the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital, Gaza if language proliferates into seams of all worlds precious focused attached hanging to smallness 3 & both speaking & oxygen primed detonate status treatment embodiment silence tracking disintegrations , the repetition of bodyminds on barbed politics / & on the cycles of memory you are not to be eliminated— language weeping holds form, pages refusing narrative or co/herence or to move when held at gunpoint, denied acculturated rites & the roads profuse with blood refuse to disappear in the threat to every aspect of vital substance , before the fire derelict of the imperial dreams of colonists unfixed, toxic , claiming to last & if the bile we expel crouched, low, venerate emerging illegible, exiled, pale but draped in expansive colours that fall by our own perspiration to floors tiled thorned aromatic rare burnt perturbed antisocial,, & all the parts of the narrative are removed, inspected for political motive rebranded reordered disappeared executed by air raid or firing squad when they weren’t even in narrative form in the first place,, unmade, gunshy with adhered fractures of belonging — could we relearn lines of protection , lines in lust, singing dismantled melodies an absolute blues grievous of these decades years minutes dissolving changing phase flame-licked, as the distance between cities multiplies, becomes a gulf of borders, impossibility, occupation, apartheid, hostility, the burning planet one horrific hour at a time in Gaza glean hunger intimate ocular in admission crescendo profanities into the vacuum, into the void— if even the suspension of hope promises something more, if even the poets are also dead, our lovers silenced, memory a kindling animating lines incandescent to negate abstractions capital land nationhood reaching beyond solipsism to a future – & if it is possible to forget the sensations of love, but so easy to erase its absence eyes adjusting to the seasons executed one by one clothes accordingly dried in sweat, inter -generational anxiety, the mobilisation of spirit to serve patriarchal dominance — trapping captives fallen like trees in deep forest, shredding like technological vibrations, gazed in the whirl of a drone, no longer visible in the parochial cities , without music or movement or fluids & if next time they shoot us, we refuse to die, held in permanent sounding the finality of poems the tonality of ink our bodies like dreams lying on the floors of the nations of the world, words gripping spines hands cognitives animating the next flesh & if the nations of the world blame a people for the war crimes they enact against you— keep your grammar in the forge casting the magnitude of violence in the everyday if the map grasping the poem around you could spare the bullet at the spirit at the checkpoint & the state of affairs robs you of the power to speak & if we admitted writing was everything but it was never the only thing dreaming in trauma of the horrors of loss when the subjects of trauma are foot-soldiers of nations & I wake in the library of endless night, overhearing you in the books disappeared in service of national cohesion, indexing practices politics under the logics of surveillance & if the books of our friends are to be claimed from the processes of complicity letting the notes of the words swaddle us adorned like Parisian capes, shawls from Hebron & Srinigar, cloaked nameless anonymous we meet in a vigorous quiet, the debris of the cities of our worlds collapsing about us, en -veloping thought, setting alight the author’s subjection inverting the weave of community in encampment, breathing w/ the prescriptions of being // holding the cup of thought released, refusing status, as evidence or motive, inverting in small sounds the harshest fictions of nations, the justifications of violence & defence & genocide if even that could taste like the nectar of a lover or the word of a friend departed turning to spare the blinding & if the poem only offers truth, a soft pillow, & some type of love when these have all become tools of division & separation— & each extremity of violence manufactured & made routine in the same service of colonisation & ethnic cleansing— & if we meet avian music wheeling w/ a pulsating encompassed grief, a physical lament— auspicious days ringing w/ mortar, tear gas deserted creopolitan streets discharged missiles at or from rooftops groves skylight white phosphorescent was it ever like the narratives of empires, fabricated from enclosed trees in factories busted of unions, text set crude (petroleum-based) to cohere accumulation through war, dispossession, extraction & defense held steadfast to not in our name? manoeuvring to align the technologies of genocide, to criminalise the acts of dissidents, or ordinary peoples proposing they are the real terror, to target hospitals or ancient churches or mosques or children, for nations to become synonyms of ethnicities, & to fear all the same — Palestine was not stolen in a day & the poem refuses to beg for forgiveness or rights, to appeal to moral sentiments when tonight there is no cease fire tonight another hospital or block of apartments will be the target labelled a terrorist base, that any number of lives is a sacrificial price for american- & european-backed imperialism & the poem’s refrain is simply no more genocide no more military industrial complex no more dying if in it were the shelter fashioned from tanks rusted stopped in the streets by the bodies of our friends or lovers or grandparents & in these shelters we ate yoghurt with honey, drank peppermint tea to soothe nerves frayed intergenerationally— & then, awake, lay lines for you held by the fallacy of lyric, the hope of poetics trying to sense & feel & move into the world in a manner that might yet stop a war crime, & even if they mine every last section of the land forging beaches from the bones of your dead,, even if healthcare is a target or a ration even if they decry their use of their own mercy weapons bombs even if ‘they’ turn out to have once been our friends those who’d call themselves our ‘fellow citizens’ & the poem retreats from the demonstration called for our ‘protection’, when the protestors don’t check how we were travelling home, or if there was a home or safety, & if moving through the world was to cloak us from a continual atmospheric of violence & if the prasad was dates from Ramallah, & then rice pudding with cloves & cardamon, maple sugar & strawberry jam & here it was simply a cessation of work, a wildcat we laid down in an honest vulnerability, practicing the softest form of strength, committed to deep empathy up all night writing letters to friends forged & bonded amidst harm, the escalation of war a permanent solidarity beyond ourselves & if you can cross the apartment to make coffee, stranded like a haar that never lifts, or dust that becomes part of the fabric & if I am grinding the beans wrapping the fabric emerald, clasped about our breasts , or tying the braid around the wrist of a sibling in a refusal of gendering & if the radial cones in the eyes of the lover multiply, & she never closes her eyes again— & if the colours don’t (yet) return to her dreaming & if everyone is ready to hate the haters but no-one is ready to love the oppressed— & in the swell of silence, our bodyminds feel the crescendo of forms swaying with bass & beat & synthesis , cry out into choral hells hidden under the matter of poems & not one phrase of speech passes between us visions thrilling realities unbearable ordinary in insolent weeping, grievous, the voice bared by the bodymind itself a psychic crater in which matter disappears from the universe, yet continues to be the held steadfast beacons beyond the humanitarian lull in thinness, grasping, extending, come— lay your hairs, precision muscular whirring stethoscopic as the waves filter living by the shortest sentences of the most poetic manifestoes— cradling the howl of the dog— 18.10.23
Nat Raha @full_nommunism
Transcending DIasporaThe intergenerational sentiment of diaspora handed down from mother to daughter, The sentiment of constant ‘non-belonging’ made apparent by one side and the other, Escaping war from our mother country but not finding peace at our destination, Rebuilding ourselves to try and fit the mould When we were never meant to be whole, My heart torn between religion and secularism, I see my sisters and brothers massacred, Their pain is mine, while the oppressor’s cruel judgement passes onto me My brown body yet removed from the land, remains the target of their hatred To which I oppose, my voice becomes the vessel for all: Hamas is not Palestine, The Taliban don’t preach Islam, And that Muslim kid in your class.. is not a terrorist
PLSTN.my latin is useless, is spent already, bent down by the evidence of each word-act as it fails to world forth a small fire, unassuming portrait of orchards (later discarded), or fist blown right through blooms of rage broken and old, yet ever eager to reshape the surface in its image, if only as means to bear witness. faulty, mal-coded, micro-managed: witness. this image of nothings, as curated by prisms of proper/ improper attention. each successive distance of sight is a dispossession of the political heart: drains it of its wills, oils, bloods. knives, minds, old muds. no full gesture allowed to halt, to alter: to shatter this plainness of fucking disaster, sans glimmer of failure in its unmaking, the angular pattern of my breath is no structure of aid, withdrawal, or repair. just something occurring at present conjecture of [objectivity], as it swallows the skies in the fullness of death; constant horizons of hurt perceived as they reorient to no end; impeccably perfect each harm enacted in its intrinsic design; i cannot even alter or halt this mind, without wishing forth old stone crows, olive trees, crowning in gold, oceans, fevers, phoenix-like creatures, the thickest of raindrops ever imagined, or the bulk of black ships built of nothing but song to come, dream again: undo this world, & yield (please.) that other one.
Salomé Honório @salome___h
Para Mohammad al-TamimiLos tiempos se han doblado como una pesada manta de flores. Hay un niño tumbado encima. Parece que duerme, una estrecha grieta le atraviesa, ¡el río! Suenan juncos, nunca debió dormir. El niño amarillento escuece y baila en nuestro vientre. Madre y tías se apretujan para verlo nacer en esta tierra que era un amor por cultivar. Los tiempos se han doblado. La artillería no duerme; los niños ajados hacen volteretas y el cielo es una gran alubia pinta. Hemos puesto límites: de ceniza y sangre. Aprietan los costados de la tierra, salta la costra. Palestina se abre como una inmensa pupila. El río, la luz, nuestros abuelos: todos entrarán.
Carlota Nieto @qcherty
Exodusmishearing Louis Zukofsky’s “A”-12 “Never—” hearing “again” of worship-induced gentrification Tanakh nulled by teen tours Extreme Sentimentalism lionized by Israeli fixations and enemies here meant midnight pillow talk. Glow sticks aim missiles, Aliyah to steadfast wounds heartsore land fictions. I’m averse to monadic destiny. After nature shudders Nazis, exile… bible-thumping ruins of the Warsaw Ghetto now breast a tumor hailing suburbanites: tasteless pursuit of warfare, worse, call it “Exodus.”
Noa Micaela Fields @doyounoapoet
On Occupation: We are Indignant,Your silence Your double standards of humanity Your methods of quantifying massacres Your rationalization of the death of civilians Your disinformation Your racism - that forms differences between retaliation and terror; collateral damage and victims - which defines some as dead and others as killed. Your debates on an ongoing genocide Your propaganda Your denial Your conditional consideration of human rights MAKE US INDIGNANT We condemn silence that grips so strongly onto violence We condemn this violence that is complicit with the oppressor We condemn the oppressors. who loot and dispossess. who turn lands into prisons who assign prisons as homes who turn lands into graveyards who call graveyards war zones who turn people into thieves who call thieves righteous who turn people into murderers who call murderers an army who turn people to hate who call hate reasonable who show hate as justified who call this justification a fact who look at children as shields and their death as collateral damage. who turn fears into reality and dreams- into a luxury, a privilege, a hope, an impossibility who turn people into mirrors of their oppressors We condemn those who condemn others to such a life. We condemn narratives that refuse to acknowledge the occupation and humanitarian crisis in Palestine. We condemn colonialist and imperialist mindsets that teach us to devalue the humanity of some over others. We condemn those who reduce people to their religion their color their race their proximity to Europe to collateral, because their loss, their death, causes some no pain Your coloniality shrouds your humanity The “western” world The “civilized” world These (supposed) “democracies” have banned protests but funded death We are Indignant We are ENRAGED We are grieving We are Fearful We are hurting We are Fighting We are RESISTING! We call for justice before any narrative of cohabitation We call for the elevation of the Gaza siege We call for the release of all hostages We call for the end of the genocide We promote seeing We promote listening We promote speaking We promote conversing We promote mobilizing For as long as it takes We promote hope And we hope that you will echo our plea- to end occupation to end apartheid to end the loss of innocent lives So let it be heard From the River to the Sea Palestine will be free.
Enraged, Grieving, Fearful, Fighting
Ana Gabriela, Anisha, and Marita
This Was No Natural DisasterSay Baba. Say yes, I’m here. Say I drew scribbles on the walls, I ripped up your wedding photos, I started a fire. Say Baba, I’m hurt. Say Baba, I’m bleeding and I don’t know if I’ll make it. Say Allah let the earth swallow those who push buttons to kill children, to kill bakers, and reporters, and defenders of our home. Say where is help, where is the world? Say I am a burst pomegranate seed in the palm of an angel should I not let him carry me away? Say there’s no peace here, Baba. Say the sky is a gash of flesh raining bombs that never cease. Say this is living hell. Please. Say this is not a life - so I know you have some left in you.
(The IDF Stole My Babies’ Voices)
To Prove I Was HereI write with a half-dry ball point pen I write in spray paint on train track walls I write postcard notes home, which curl when I run out of space I write the groom’s name in henna I write battle rap on envelopes from HMRC I write over teardrops on the paper I write to my painfully silent local MP when there is everything to say and no words we write furious until the pen splits and ink stains everything to counter what we’ve read where lies stain everything we write nightmares from the pictures we can’t clean from our minds, like a doctor’s address from a courtyard of dead bodies, or a swaddled infant, turning a potato sack red, or Palestinian children who write their names on their hands so when death seeks them out, viciously early someone will know who they were.
Rakaya Fetuga @rakayaesime
untitled 23.11.2023Do not let the coloniser confuse you with nation states. Most of our nations are younger than our grandparents. Most national borders divide neighbour from neighbour. Divide mountain from mountain. Divide root from root. Most of our great-grandparents never saw our flags. There was a time when we did not need flags to prove that we exist. Unfortunately, that time is not today. Today, we raise our black and white and green and red, as one people – united against genocide and brutality. Our politicians want us to look away. But today, we bear witness, as our governments arm the war machine, whose goal is to extract money from the bodies of children; whose goal is to destabilise the Middle East and steal her oil; whose goal is to bring that same bloodthirst back home, and subjugate us, too. Today, we bear witness as our politicians pretend that four days is enough to heal bullet wounds. Let alone clear the smoke of 14,000 candles snuffed out in a single breath. Let alone archive the histories of 900 bloodlines. Let alone dry our tears. They want us to forget that we are one people. That this is bigger than Palestine, or Sudan, or Congo, or Myanmar. This is Afghanistan 2021. This is Iraq 2011. This is South Africa 1994. This is Vietnam 1975. This is Jamaica 1962. This is liberation for all people. And we will not rest until all people are liberated. There is nothing humanitarian about a temporary pause. The only hope for humanity is a full ceasefire, followed by an end to the occupation, followed by land back, followed by the fall of all oppressive empires worldwide, and the freedom of all people to live without state violence. So today, we remember the dead, and we fight for the living. Today, we boycott, and we disrupt, and we keep each other safe. And one day, our children will be free.
Samiir Saunders @smaiduskhan
Shy‘Women are shy to tell you of this, but they don’t have to be shy, actually. The world is not shy to let us to death for 62 days now.’ — Bisan Owda, on the lack of menstrual products in Gaza twists of the stomach the awkward everyday made impossible to bear. in a place where bloodshed ordinarily means death, in these shy moments, is a sign of life — a life unendurable. women made to bleed into their beds, leave stains imprints of a body breathing. privacy has become a privilege. it is a privilege to recoil out of choice. it is a privilege to own a home in which to recoil for your own comfort for your own safety. it is a privilege to bleed and have it be mundane. there should be more to life than this bloodletting. no donations of pads permitted. the daily algorithm informs the world outside where the daily papers erase these voices that we must hold on to. do not let this online archive be destroyed. each day, palestinian footage is censored or removed. this archive of gaps and silences. this archive needs freedom to thrive and recoil. to rest, to bleed, to breathe.
Sylvie Jane Lewis @sylviejanelewis
SolidarityNot a mere ‘choice’ Nor an ‘agreement’ Nor a ‘conscious identification’ Such feeble definitions falter, incapable of capturing the fervent fire that violently consumes my belly. It transcends the act of donning a badge. Goes far beyond clutching a picket sign. More than a hollow social media post, None of which could possibly convey the searing acid that scalds my tongue in profound dismay. Solidarity is akin to tightly grasping my mother’s hand as we ragefully watch Al Jazeera, It mirrors a tender embrace from my cousins as we exchange our cherished Palestinian poetry, It embodies my father’s hand solemnly anchored upon my shoulder as we march for Falasteen. It evokes a sensation vaster than us, a cosmic roar, It resonates as a religious vocation, It manifests as an innate spirituality, It is our survival.
No Words: After Living InI’ve been meaning to write To you again Need to spell out a few things I regret these letters Their false starts Cut out my tongue It starts I’m sorry I wrote you This letter I deplore its forged nostalgia Its staged retreat Its black logic Its entire lack of yelping dogs Inside this letter Moved hands of mowed up grass So I give you tonight And every single other night To say, Free Palestine Against the occupying army Against their petty checkpoints Their poems of racist laws Say, Free Palestine Against their wall That field of profit Their webs of ordered silk Their humiliations, prisons Their slow control of Gaza’s Poisoned water As in 70% of your body And then with what remains Of your flesh say Free Palestine Against the tourist, the thief In a hail of stones In a certain hail of peace In endurance In boycott In Oslo Say, Free Palestine And these are your only words Free Palestine At Arizona’s border Inside Rishi Sunak’s hemlock lung In Balfour’s bleeding ear In the ventricular halls of England’s colonial heart Say Free Palestine It ends in music Yes, it ends in frozen coins of blissful glass Say Free Palestine It starts in your mouth It ends in the streets Say Free Free Palestine Say its been good writing to you Say it clear as hell And then say it again Free Free Palestine Go on I know these words are in you.
HomeHome used to be four walls up Home used to be chandeliers and cozy winter nights Home used to be the tyndall of sunlight seeping through the curtains And this, this is still home All that we have left is getting used to it
Graveyard of DreamsI wonder how many coffins I’ll need For my graveyard of dreams Scattered with withered roses Colourless petals crumbled cluelessly Blunt thorns that poked one too many hopes An eerie silence echoes The buzz of a billion bees Banished by broken promises Where once a droplet of nectar Oozed after a thousand attempts Thirsty for tomorrow Dreams awoken by countless sleepless nights Only to be put to sleep for eternity Rest they shall, beyond the unfortunate bed of life Rest in peace, my dreams rest in pieces
Adel Awad @the.metropolitan.hermit
thornless.a bud crudely displaced from her laying ground is a child made spineless by the weight of the world a beast implicated in an unearthy trade is a child destined to cry the last tears of a decade.
Sara Alexandra Shellard @sashellard
Burn our deadDrown our dead Hang our dead They weren’t alive to you They weren’t human to you Beat our dead Drive our dead to suicide Alienate and destroy the will of our dead You don’t even know what it means to be alive They are at rest but you will never live in peace Sell our dead Damn them to exploited lives Your hands will never be clean The blood will run for generations painted on our bodies and your cruel cruel psyche Gaslight our dead Gaslight their deaths Tell me again about how long ago it was Tell me again how Grenfell was a mistake Tell me again about the swarms and swarms Mine the Earth to nothing Chase out of our homes Ignore our dead Bomb our dead Bomb our dead Destroy our lives The land remembers The body remembers The community remembers And every fallen member Will live forever They will rest in the Earths arms and we will weep over them as you pass on to ruin Palestine Sudan and Congo forever. Solidarity with all oppressed peoples forever.
The Soul of my SoulI saw a beautiful man today, My heart broke with sadness As he kissed the eyes of Reem The Soul of his soul I saw a beautiful man today, I wanted to give him everything I had As he cried at the loss of The Soul of his soul Oh beautiful man, I see the light upon your face, You will drink from the hands of our beloved prophet pbuh You will be reunited with the soul of your soul
Tăcerea creează consens pentru genocid–fragmente/fragments– [...]
poem pentru Palestina liberă
بالروح بالدم نفديك يا فلسطين
بالروح بالدم نفديك يا فلسطين
îmi amintesc că în școală la ora de literatură la ora de istorie la educație civică am vorbit despre tăcerea oamenilor care locuiau lângă lagărele de exterminare a evreilor și romilor în Al Doilea Război Mondial așa o să vorbească și copiii noștri despre tăcerea oamenilor care aleg să NU se uite acum care aleg să nu vadă nimic altceva decât povestea în numele căreia este creat consensul pentru genocid tăcerea creează consens pentru genocid colonizatorii își spală mâinile în sânge un poem nu poate opri nicio bombă nici măcar sute și mii de poeme palestiniene nu au putut și cine știe dacă milioane de protestatarx pot dacă rezistența milioanelor de oameni din Palestina poate mă simt fără putere și cea mai mare putere pe care AM, în locul unde mă aflu, este să vorbesc să mă opun să protestez să nu-mi dau acordul la genocid tăcerea creează consens pentru genocid colonizatorii își spală mâinile în sânge cred într-o Palestina liberă și într-o lume decolonială nu-mi dau voie să-mi pierd speranța fiind martoră la distanță mare și cu chirie și cu job și cu mâncare și apă mereu, ce privilegiu în capitalismul colonialist, nu-mi dau voie să-mi pierd speranța, ci vreau să folosesc toate resursele, furia și tristețea pe care le am, să lupt în solidaritate cu palestinieni să lupt pentru o palestină liberă chiar dacă sunt departe, în mod special PENTRU CĂ sunt departe ar fi ușor să aleg să nu văd, să uit totul, să nu mă gândesc la tovarăși și tovarășe palestiniene, ar fi atât de ușor de așa departe să tac, și tocmai de asta nu am voie, ȘI TOCMAI DE ASTA, nu am voie să tac, NU AVEM VOIE SĂ TACEM *și nu suntem atât de departe când țările noastre fac afaceri de armament cu israel, de ex. finlanda pentru 317 milioane de euro și eu sunt în finlanda acum - tu unde esți?* palestinienii condamnați la moarte nu au privilegiul de a alege tăcerea și lumea colonială încearcă să le acopere vocile și strigătele și lumea colonială încearcă să le acopere vocile și strigătele palestinienilor dar nu poate! nu reușește! vreau să strig cu tovarășii și tovarășele palestinieni ca să nu mai fie posibil să fie mascat și acoperit genocidul! vreau să strig cu tovarășii și tovarășele palestinieni să arătăm făptașilor că ne putem uni, global că vocile solidare se aud de peste tot din lume că visăm împreună la libertate și ceea ce face israel cu susținerea altora, altor puteri mari nu trece neobservat nu acceptăm este genocid cred într-o Palestina liberă și într-o lume decolonială nu ne oprim din luptă până când rezistența anticolonială a palestinienilor strigă pentru o Palestina LIBERĂ! [...]
Staying silent creates consensus for genocide[...] I remember that in school in literature class in history class in civic education we talked about the silence of the people who lived near the extermination camps for Jews and the Roma in World War II so will our children speak about the silence of people who choose NOT to look now who choose not to see nothing but the story in the name of which consensus is created for genocide staying silent creates consensus for genocide colonizers are washing their hands in blood a poem cannot stop no bomb not even hundreds and thousands of Palestinian poems could and who knows if millions of protesters would if the resistance of millions of Palestinians will sometimes I feel powerless and from where I am, the greatest power that I still HAVE, is to speak to oppose to protest to not give my consent to genocide staying silent creates consensus for genocide colonizers are washing their hands in blood I believe in a free Palestine and a decolonial world I do not allow myself to lose hope witnessing from afar [...]
Nóra Ugron @norkadorkaa
My daughter said to me today“I wish superheroes existed. I wish they were real To help Gaza” I teared up and wished it to be true then I turned And said “Superheroes are born in Gaza” If she was old enough to understand I would tell her that superheroes wear blue press vests, risking their lives every day to share their truth to the world. Superheroes are ordinary men, who bomb after bomb, used their bare hands to claw through rubble to save lives. Superheroes are mothers who had the faith to thank Allah with their heads raised to the skies as they cradled their dead babies and whispered goodbyes. Superheroes are fathers who had the strength to through tears carry the bodies of their children from hospitals to the grave. Superheroes are hospital staff who refused to leave their patients in the face of threats and bombs, they work tirelessly day and night to save lives, and care for babies as if they were their own. Superheroes were the children taken before they had a chance to live and make the world right again. The children who sat covered in rubble and dust shaking from fear, yet found the courage once again to play and find joy in their lives while bombs flew above. I will say to her superheroes do exist because the world could do nothing for the people of Gaza but watch them save themselves day after day, in the face of the oppressor they said this land Palestine is my home. I will say to her superheroes do exist and they are Born in Gaza.
In the cradle of the olive's grace, Palestine's story findsIn shadows cast on ancient land, A tale unfolds, a haunting brand. Where olive trees once touched the sky, Now silenced, stifled, the mournful cry. Through ages past, a history etched, In sacred soil, injustice fetched. Occupied hearts, the tearful gaze, Longing for freedom's sunlit blaze. A wall divides, where dreams aspire, Yet, hope persists, an ember's fire. In Gaza's tears, resilience sown, A struggle shared, not walked alone. Injustice, a bitter cup they drink, Yet, through the rubble, voices link. A prayer for peace, a plea for grace, In the heart of conflict, a sacred space. Oh, ancient land, let justice reign, Release the shackles, break the chain. For in the whispers of the olive trees, Lies the song of peace, carried on the breeze.
Questions for US(A) After Reading, “Fifteen-Year Old Girl KilledDoes the context ever matter to hungry eyes staring down their next meal? Does a war machine see context outside of red, white, and blue? Do you? Do I? What context would justify a baby killed before they could be named? What context could explain burning entire blood lines? Whole groves of history? What is context to a shaking, wide-eyed three-year-old, alone after watching their parents die? To a girl watching on a small screen as a soldier plays with her cat in the rubble of her home? To a boy carrying his brother's body parts in a backpack? Did you see the context when you moved in? Do you see the context you disturb, disrupt, destroy? When did context become background noise? Will adding context restore your soul? When does context bring long-awaited peace instead of worn-out absolution?
For Attempting to Kill a Soldier (With a Nail File),
Or Context,” by Mohammed El-Kurd
To a place once called Gaza: prayer in V*I pray for humans I pray for peace My heart is weeping T’find release The load is heavy I feel their pains The bloodied river through my veins “Please stop the terror!” “Stop the war!” My cry to humans hits a wall I pray for humans I pray in peace The harm is done There’s no release No hope for us, the human race The once prized city gone to waste. *V from “vain” & “vein” Written on 15/16th Oct 23
Alina Mircea @alina.4.0
One night I watched a fragment unfurlthe body as song the poet’s voice clack of the camera aperture the body as
nationaction as family as displacement the clack of the camera the poet the mirror of us the body as words the poem as movement
NovemberWhile the boys pillowfight we share a beer We talk about death We say the word genocide We speak about oil Unmentionable things And yet Death Genocide Oil It’s all we think about these days
At last a need worth crying overWe don’t call it dreaming any more we cannot speak its name. It isn’t scorpions in the covers or sponges for nails. A bubble fortress in which to test justice. Gravity is a kick so we don’t call it dreaming we tell ourselves to sink like orange roughies alive for many years deep and barely awake. She once gave hugs that healed. A scaffold for the soul. Was it sickness or grief, who can say for sure? We separated for a while and no longer lingered. Back then I thought someone like her would save the world. But who can save a thing when they’re no longer held? Scaffolding when dropped clatters, clangs like bells.
FROM THE RIVER TO THE SEATHE NEW PRESENT TENSE spectres of today and always, nihilistic devices, white phosphorus flesh and sight, IS A BROKEN STRIP THE NEW PRESENT TENSE defence dictionaries, wax-like skin, remnants of personal details and intimate rights IS A KILL BOX IN WHICH DEATH IS MINE THE NEW PRESENT TENSE kill strategies, kill maps, kill lists, drones firing outside the door and safe traps COMES IN, COMES IN AND OUT RELENTLESSLY THE NEW PRESENT TENSE a cheap blood propaganda, genocidal lyrics, deadly ultimatums & stones in the mouth FALLS ON US THERMOBARIC THE NEW PRESENT TENSE draconian nightmares, olive scars, shattered soil & sounds of dispossession IS STILL ALIVE BUT BARELY THE NEW PRESENT TENSE final words, last pictures, mass graves and record numbers NATURALLY IT IS NOT IS A MARTYR
Dimitra Ioannou @hotel_repertoire
This is their home!Don’t you dare deny it! While you dismiss their history, Plague it with your lies. Claiming you saved us, from their terrorism. NOW YOU COMMIT GENOCIDE Sending them back, To the only one who can save them. Families together, Lined up in body bags, For the angels to take them… You won’t stop till they are all dead! Everywhere they look, They have been alienated. No longer seen as human. Outcasts to everyone. This is their home! You tried steal if from their ancestors. Created this divide for the world to see. Cut them open and made them bleed. You convinced the world with lies, That you could offer a better life. Now they are shamed and blamed for everything Wrong, with your lives. They have no home! You are destroying their land! Constantly having to prove themselves, Fighting for their lives. Defending every action. Never forgetting, big brother is always watching. Treated like zoo animals Expected to suffer in silence. That’s what you wanted, To divide and conquer. That’s how you keep your power. This is their home! You can never have it!
BITE COMBINATION LOCKWe are all Palestinian — our brain stem dents the axe that rains down in discriminately from the Gospel whose death toll’s incline steepens, shakes off the rust from spiritual electronics I melt against to globalise the Shuddering in song, in remembrance of Gazaean families deleted from the civil registry, their slaughter industrial and the West so complicit I want to smear a confession onto my enhanced DBS. So to each of you who fails to keep vigil at the index of malignant horror, let this hit your amygdala your extremities your deep tissue your lacrimal fossa: the toxic waste treatment plant inside the penthouse underneath your fucked-up soul’s place of rest, it leaks. And the pomegranate rolling under your bed that is programmed to go off when you wake up, it is covered in my fingerprints. NO RETROCEDISCA (in solidarity with S Rakocevic)
autumn songstrong winds lately lift up our fallen leaves causing ripples down the river coursing through pretty reds and greens. the sky is clear and cloudless not a puff of white in sight watch out get ready to put up a fight winter’s cold comes quickly get your layers on sweaters, scarves, and friends and family together we’ll keep warm
erin st breen
Dream Siblingsjag ska viska till dig innan du somnar: var inte rädd behöver du falla isär en stund så finns jag här och när morgonen kommer så känner vi solen bakom ögonlocken vi andas vartannat andetag och håller hårt i värmen vi skapat de ska inte få våra hjärtan så lätt känner du elden under huden vi ska aldrig glömma vad kärlek är det är vi som skapat den jag vill kunna översätta hela världen för oss ge alla språk ett nytt hjärta skriva dikter som nödvändiga slag i bröstkorgar du jag och våran armé av drömsyskon I will whisper to you before you fall asleep: do not be afraid if you need to fall apart a little I’m here and when the morning comes we will feel the sun behind our eyelids we breathe every other breath and hold tight to the warmth we have created they will not get our hearts so easily do you feel the fire under our skin we will never forget what love is we are the ones who created it I want to translate the whole world for us give all languages a new heart write all poems as necessary punches in the chest you me and our army of dream siblings
Drömsyskon/Dream siblings @dromsyskon_zine
Emotional Irrigation SystemsHow impoverished our world will come, if we only have time to describe that which happens on the abstract plane, in the economy or the nation, those religious realms that pull at the strings of lived reality like the will of God once moved the limbs of peasants, guiding their actions without ever showing face. All the while, our emotions flow through the irrigation system, our need for love, the hunger to grow in our spirits, as bell hooks names it. It is this hunger that searches outlets, whilst the barren landscape of profit births yet another wave of the same hunger unfulfilled, all the more ravenous, while nation tears at the fabric of human existence. So we go in circles, short bursts of emotion that return to their sender, a short-circuit. They circle the epicentre of our anxieties, or that which these ruts have rendered unspeakable, insofar as we have been made to believe that that which can be made extinct in language does not exist at all. But we know that which goes unspoken shapes the world. The irrigation system overflows, and in those moments, we have the opportunity to find one another again. From the river to the sea.
jag älskar digsolen kysser din bara hud varje morgon värmen väcker kärleken inom dig och du andas i ett rytmiskt lugn dina andetag får mig att finna sinnesfrid jag älskar dig dina ögon gnistrar i solens strålar vi sitter på min balkong och dricker te te från världens heliga oas du ler och njuter jag suckar av vördnad, för gudinnorna vet om hur vacker du är varför kom det sig att du lämnade mig och oss alla så ung? jag älskar dig stjärnorna skriver ditt namn i skyn, och varje gång jag öppnar mina ögon ser jag dig lika tydligt som en klar himmel du lämnar aldrig horisonten, och din sång kommer aldrig att lämna mig alla sagor sjunger om din kärlek din kärlek för universum och kärleken självt lyser upp alla rum ingenstans du går lämnas någon ensam du är vacker som en gudinna jag älskar dig de heliga dalarna viskar ditt namn de ljuva olivträden minns din klara och kärleksfulla stämma de magiska rötter som väver samman våra berättelser kommer alltid att växa runtom oss alla vi minns alltid dig vi glömmer aldrig dig min kära vän, aldrig kommer jag att sluta gråta för dig, och aldrig kommer jag att sluta strida för dig jag älskar dig ditt leende kunde väcka en tusen solar dina ord kunde ge frihet åt oss alla ditt hjärta kunde väcka alla åter till liv det finns ingenstans du går där jag inte är likaså känner jag dina armar om mig när den blåa tyngden över min bröstkorg trycker det finns ingen som älskade så som du älskade livet och kärleken jag älskar dig jag tänder detta ljus för dig ikväll, och håller denna oas öppen för alla känslor och all sorg när morgondagen kommer, då reser vi oss, och då slåss vi åter igen för vår frihet för vår rätt att leva för vår rätt att älska jag älskar dig ni är de jag tänker på när jag öppnar ögonen om morgonen ni är de jag tänker på när jag sluter ögonen om kvällen mitt hopp för revolution växer sig starkare för var dag och natt liksom sorgen och förtreten hur ni aldrig igen kommer få vakna av solens varma strålar hur vi aldrig igen kommer få se världen vakna med smaken av teet från ditt hemland på våra läppar hur era namn och ansikten alltid kommer att stanna med mig jag älskar dig hur vi dansade till denna rytmiska melodi under månens sken av lust kroppen bär en livstid av minnen och jag vill andas in dem alla tack för detta liv med dig tack för allt detta vi varit med om tillsammans du är en själ jag aldrig kommer att glömma, min kära jag älskar dig friheten dansar i vinden, och vi dansar med den i skyn glöm mig aldrig och tillsammans kommer vi att för alltid att förbli jag älskar er
april mei and phoenix toni willow zoë aspen plyhm