The sun goes down
As the dawn prepares a visit
Not too long
Until it’s gone as well
We’re lost in time where no
But a past and a possible future
There’s light in the dark
But no darkness in the light.
There is the shadow of a moment
Passing by the shadow of a life
And the shadow of passengers
On this ride
Until one last breath is taken
One last goodbye is said
All to the world of peace
I sit by the river and gaze at emptiness
And stuff myself with nonsense
And hear the birds
And pretend they call for me
When I know they’re not
I see the passing flash of a star
Shooting towards emptiness
I feel the rhythm of the wind
As it whispers nothing to my head
I long for solitude in the rush
And the havoc of the self
I long for peace and serenity
And a garden of poetry
Where poems are the leaves
And my words are the fruit
And I, the gardener, sleep
Knowing that although dawn will come and go
I’ll see it breaking the dark, shattering it to nothingness.
I will witness what comes once every day
But only few can truly see.
War teaches you a lot of lessons. So many that in times of tranquility you can hardly think of one or two. You just want to feel that peace that tranquility offers. But at late hours, you seem to hold on, grab with all your might the one thing you have always whispered for and dreamed of. In my case, it is poetry. In times of death, we think of the things that are most dear to us as humans, as souls which roam this world and will eventually reside under the ground. Therefore, you cannot but consider all the times you have sat by your window at night and prayed for that one wish to come true. In war, you realize that life’s too short though you have come to that conclusion before when someone you know has passed away. The war keeps ringing the bell to remind you of it. With every bang. Scream. Shout. Whimper. Tear. You strive to survive the war thinking you want to fulfill your desire of achieving a dream.
A dream of poetry, of teaching, of inspiration, of learning, of love, of respect, of desire, of affection.
You fall in a coma, soaked in dusty dreams barely shining in the night; barely clear in daylight. You hear the drones and the F16s killing dreams. Killing pasts and futures and ruining the present. You see the death of the young before the old and think to yourself that you may never be the dream. You may never stand before a group of students and teach them about the poetry of love and peace. Teach them about the recollection of tranquility because in wars you have no tranquility. In wars, there is no peace. However, you decide to make peace with your inner self hoping for some calmness. Some beauty or some flowers, or anything related to nature and meditation.
You think of all the superheroes in comic books, all the superheroes created by Hollywood and find yourself the hero, the only superhero of your story. You are left with no superpowers and no “chosen one” prophecies but you have your heart. The same heart that cried over those whose souls were ripped off their bodies with one click. The same heart which was startled by the sounds of rockets being fired at you, your neighbors, your people. The same heart which was beaten over and over without being allowed to beat normally as it should. It is the heart, the same heart which saw the bodies of infants wrapped in white being prepared for their permanent stay underground. In their graves. Where the light of sun can never reach them but the light of God and His mercy and their innocence breaks through the gloom and widens the space. That particular heart, which tasted all the agony one heart can never comprehend, finally understands the importance of the passing second, knows that “So long as [the lungs] can breathe, or [the eye] can see,\ So long lives [the dream], and [it] gives life to [me].”
It may never happen. I may die tomorrow. I may end the journey of teaching and poetry before it even begins. But until that happens, I will gladly dream. I will gladly hold my pen and paper in the middle of the dark and write a poem about hope, about a future, about a dream. Because if the soul perishes, the memory may last a little bit longer. The dream will definitely pass on from a generation to another. Because people carry dreams. People die. Dreams don’t. That’s what the occupation should understand. Carriers of the dreams change. Dreams differ. But as long as the people of Palestine are here, on this land, the dreaming will never stop no matter how many lives are put under the ground. Put under the wreck. Put under the destruction. Put under the remains of memories. They will dream. They will survive. They will not need to strive for survival. They will live. They will dream. And no one can put a dream out. It is not a candle. It is not a flashlight. It is the past. The present. The future. It is everything that ever was and everything that will ever, ever be.
The breath fastened, The eyes bleed; The water falls, And the soul keeps: All the stories, All the memories, And the affection for the gone, And the desperate need for a future of one’s own; All hidden from what a dry eye can never see And a safe heart can ever feel; All kept as a secret of the damned: Hiding their faces from the charmed. Everything put in its place, That is everywhere. Havoc And chaos reveal How ordered thoughts can be: The history of one is still to be written As the past is already wiped; And the now is partially dying But the wish for a tomorrow remains Carefully saved Behind the water, Behind the cracks, Behind enemy line, The heart.
“Good, we’ve evacuated our house, you know how dangerous the situation there. Yesterday, they showered us with their US missiles. I couldn’t sleep because of the explosions.” I said
“May God help you and your family, my friend.” Khaled said
“Say Khaled, what do you think of what happened to the Shijaiyah neighbourhood?” I said
ــ That’s genocide.
“I know, may God help those innocent people. Oh, right, tell me about your place. Is it safe there? No damages? You can come here to the UN school to live for a while. I know they are inappropriate for humans to live, but at least it’s safe here.”
ــ A UN school has been targeted by Israeli warplane a few minutes ago.
“Hhhh. Don’t you worry. We’re safe, we’re in the safest place.” Khaled said
“But, I heard that the troops are invading the east area of Khan Yunis.” I said
“No, they are still far away. We’re safe. Don’t worry.”
“Ok, do you want anything? Don’t hesitate.” I said
“That’s so kind of you, Mohammed. No thanks.” Khaled said
“Aha, I should go. Keep me posted.” I said
“Sure, thanks for calling, man.” Khaled said
“C’mon! You’re my closest friend! It’s my duty to check on you. Don’t say that. Most importantly, take good care of yourself.” I said
Two days after, I heard the news that Khaled was targeted by an Israeli drone while he was riding his motorcycle. Khaled Sahmoud is 20-year-old student. He was studying Mechanical Engineering in the Islamic University of Gaza(IUG).
ــ Is riding a motorcycle a growing threat?!!
Israel will continue its assaults against Palestinians as long as US continues its support for this systematic injustice program under the observation of a lopsided international court. Palestinian in Gaza are going to suffer as long as Israel deals with the issue by what-is-mine-is mine-and-what-is-yours-is-negotiable principle.
ــ I don’t want condemnations
ــ I don’t want UN-conferences
ــ I don’t want foreign aid
War. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing. A famous song, yes. But the stories that make a war so hideous and so awful are not. No one knows what the wreck of the houses has caused. No one knows what kind of love and memories the orders of the killing wiped. Perhaps those who press the trigger must read about their targets before they shoot. Perhaps someone should hand them a profile of all the names that will mourn the killed. Perhaps they should be killed first for a day to realize how difficult it is to end someone’s life. To put an end for memories. For families. Brothers. Sisters. Sons. Daughters. Even strangers. War, alone, is just a word found in W section in any dictionary. However, everything else that makes the war is what matters. The shattered. The broken. The bent. The burned. Everything. Tears are a result of any grief or happiness, extreme happiness. But tears made of blood only appear when the hell of war unleashes its fire on the innocent. On the small. On the big. On the birds. On the trees. Life slowly takes its part on building many lives so murder would come and reap. War takes what cannot be restored. War is humans. The victims are humans. But the first is unaware of that fact. He sees: targets. He sees orders. He does not see the life he ends. Or the laughter he captures. Or the memories he destroys.
He is wearing sunglasses in the middle of the night
And claims that someone turned tthe lights off.
He shoots to kill and ignores what will be killed. A picture, lifeless and electronic. Not knowing that it breathes like he does. The hearts of the targets beat like his heart does Those children are like the child he was Those parents are like his Those toys, those buildings, Those stores.. Are the same he goes to With one difference: different faces. Exactly the same but with different faces. And hearts with different races.
Imagine the following:
A Palestinian mother was killed by an israeli bomb. It shattered her to pieces. But the child saw her last whole. The little girl sits at her window. Stares at the sky, the full blue moon covered by the clouds. Half orange, dark orange, half dark, half white, half all the colors combined. She listens very carefully. She tries to reach the stars as she hears her mother sing a lullaby, a berceuse:
“When the right moment comes,
Our moons will collide.
When the right time is here,
Our stars will align.
And we will be together..
Once.. And.. forever.
Once.. And.. Forever.”
She keeps hearing: Once.. and.. forever.
She sleeps on the wreck of what is left of the house. Holds the half burned photo. Mutters: Once and for ever. Once and For ever, mama.