This poem was inspired by the fact that Interpal, the Palestinian Relief and Developmental Fund, is holding a poetry competition as part of its Nakba commemoration event in late May.
The competition, open to UK residents, is to write a poem about Palestine.
I live in Australia, but have submitted this poem to Interpal nevertheless as a way of showing solidarity with Palestinians where ever they live..
Samoud. A Tale of Palestine
Might is the right of self-defence,
Attack its best form,
Strike fast, strike hard, give them no chance,
Destroy but as a norm.
Calm summer’s day, peace on the land lay,
Purple people plied their trade,
Philistines farmed, nomads stray,
Their own Gods worshiped, obeyed.
One man from the East came to farm,
With family, servants laid a claim,
By itself a breeze disturbing the calm;
Life, their God demanded, was no longer the same.
Time passed, peace bloomed yet once more,
Till came a drought. The interlopers left;
Until there came a time of plague,
Of firstborn were Egyptians left, bereft.
Seism dried a river, broke a wall,
Interlopers conquered come what may,
A summer’s calm became a winter squall,
El and Baal quailed; one God had his way.
Why do the strong invade a land,
Destroy the lives of people living there,
What cruel god plays a master’s hand,
That aboriginals must all crosses bear?
Temples came and went. Interlopers spent;
They left again, driven out by gods
Foreign to their own. Centuries went
Palestinians came, no philistines they.
Then did Weitzmann bemuse the minds of men
With sickly sweet breath of acetone;
In haze did one declare: It belongs to them,
Let the land of Israel be their throne.
The stage was set, the players knew their role,
From loins of one more war dripping gore,
Did nations, united in their righteous whole,
Open yet again the bane interlopers’ door.
No summer this, a furious tempest gusting hard
Dispersed the people of Palestine
To graves, to camps, a bitter shard;
Yet some stayed on land they called Mine.
Then did the abuse begin. No apartheid mind
Had yet defiled the rights of man so well;
Tasmania, Wounded Knee the Ennui
Were naught, compared with this Israeli hell.
What is this farce, this right to self-defence?
Justice abandoned. What murderous intent
Of Hegemony grown rich by all means foul?
Women, kids, innocent, lives are spent.
Might is the right of self-defence
Attack is its best form
Strike fast strike hard give them no chance
Destroy but as a norm.
Israel claims Hamas equates with terror,
US licking Israeli knees, agrees;
European court acknowledges error,
Hamas election wins US, UK displease.
Operation cast lead, but what was thrown
Was not confined to legal arms,
White phosphorous, burned to the bone
While US media lies and Obama calms.
I, John Kerry want a Noble Prize,
Obama has one, why not me?
Two state solution I surmise
Will be just the trick, ’tis easy.
Then came protective edge, cruel blow,
Flechettes and bombs, two thousand killed;
From DIME, survivors hideous cancers grow,
Israel’s lust for murder not yet filled.
Three children shelled, displaced a lakh,
Even water, Gazans are denied,
Gas stolen by turning fishermen back,
Rebuilding fails, even though tried.
Al-Aqsa mosque defiled by those
Using righteousness as a bane,
Stolen houses are bulldozed,
Jerusalem is ours, a claim they deign.
A few can take no more. Just twenty three
She slowly walked, held out a knife, stood still.
Take my life, she prayed, can you not see
I cannot live this way? A soldier kill.
A soldier murders a wounded man,
Manslaughter is his plea,
Five thousand protest in Rabin Square.
My honour is loyalty, SS Nazi.
But wait Hillary the hawk is here,
More bellicose than Eagle is she,
Biased for Israel, thus we must fear,
As Palestinians, we’re the enemy.
Samoud: Stygian black made light,
Samoud: Burned olives will grow again,
Samoud: All injustice will we fight,
Samoud: Heals our wounds, placates our pain.