Go Tell Your Poem (to the children of Gaza)

Go Tell Your Poem  (to the children of Gaza)

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 “But how can I eat and drink when

It is from the starving that I wrest my food and

My glass of water is snatched from the thirsty?

Yet I do eat and I drink…”

 (‘To Those Born After’ Bertolt Brecht)

 

It seems, my (lost) friends,

this world

is too old for poetry

or too young to heed its warning,

or too heartbroken now

to grieve its exiled ghosts.

 

So i say:

 

go tell your poem to the children

left without arms in an abandoned city

while a world filled with expensive dinners,

with diplomats and shiny suits

tells her:

“Your dead family

deserve everything they got…”

 

Go tell these sad shadows your most sacred verse

so they can judge us the half beings we really are

each day we sit down to eat the fruits

of another’s labour?

 

Maybe, instead… go tell Death itself

the best you have to offer!

As if you could dare stand

dead centre of this highway

one hand raised, on the road to Gaza,

commanding Death: turn back!

 

Turn back, you American motherfucker,

(you try say in your imagination but

it sticks in your throat):

Go feast on the thieves that stole their land

go feed on the monsters that bomb children

go feed anywhere but here…

 

…where every single one

of these desperate hearts

have already

been broken.

 

But of course, you know your poem

is worse than useless

and even if it was any good

it seems this world we live in

is

 

too old now to bear the burden

of poems and poetry

and too young to believe

that our voices

can truly raise the dead

and the dispossessed

 

and bring them home

safely

before twilight

falls.

 

séamas carraher

december 24-25, 2023

 

Notes

(“Poem” Version 2)

 

“Go Tell It – to the Children of Israel”

 

“But those in power

Sat safer without me : that was my hope.”

(To Those Born After’, Bertolt Brecht)

 

Israel speaks:

 

Maj. Gen. Ghassan Alian, (head of COGAT):

 “Human animals must be treated as such. There will be no electricity and no water [in Gaza], there will only be destruction. You wanted hell, you will get hell.” (Times of Israel)

Yoav Gallant (Defense Minister):

“I have ordered a complete siege on the Gaza Strip. There will be no electricity, no food, no fuel, everything is closed…We are fighting human animals and we are acting accordingly(Times of Israel).

Itamar Ben-Gvir (Israel’s far-right National Security Minister):

“To be clear, when they say that Hamas needs to be eliminated, it also means those who sing, those who support and those who distribute candy, all of these are terrorists. […] They should all be eliminated…” (Andalou Agency)

Shlomo Karhi, (Minister of Communications, Likud Party)

“There will be no Palestinian state here. We will never allow another state to be established between the Jordan and the sea. We will never go back to Oslo…

Ariel Kallner, (Likud Party)

“Right now, one goal: Nakba! A Nakba that will overshadow the Nakba of 48. Nakba in Gaza and Nakba to anyone who dares to join!” (PBS Newshour).

[Tweet preserved here (Twitter/X)]

 

…And the Children of Gaza Reply

 

“O red Saturday, the owls have approached from afar

rising to new havoc

where bleak clouds were covered by the smoke

where darkness became darker

where one martyr followed the other

and the owls caw from afar

 

The remains of our dismembered bodies slapped their conscience

and the remains of our dismembered bodies revealed their secrets.

My people have sold me out to the owls

on an ominous red Saturday.

 

Therefore hear us out, World,

Gaza shall not yield to the canon

Gaza is the nation’s pride

Gaza is the homeland of chivalry

and Gaza is the daughter of Palestine…

and in Palestine loving the land is ingrained in our religion

and my faith forbids me to fade away or remain calm.

 

O my murderer, my murderer, take as much as you please from our stones

take as much as you please from our trees

and get as drunk as your heart desires from the blood of our children

served to you by these pretentious phony men

the servers of the thrones and villainy.

You….the murderers of children take as much as you please from our

stones and our trees

drop tons of your bombs of hatred on us

and go gentle on your soul

because, regardless of everything, we, the rebels

are here to stay…

and it doesn’t matter if you deliver your soul to your creator, either way

we will live in honour and freedom or rise as martyr and righteous souls.”

 

Palestinian children(’s fund) – Poem

Palestine’s Children’s Fund – Video

 

Image

by Unicorn Riot

 

Video

#Biden and Allies – a War Criminal?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EtY9-BGmiBE

 

Thanks to

The inhumanity of the soldiers is unbearable. They shoot civilians in the street, imprison and torture children , and strip and humiliate innocent men. But the soldiers are having fun. They’re posting to TikTok, doing some  war crimes, then celebrating on the beach. I hate them. I hate them.” Paul Biggar Blog

 

Poetry

Brecht Poems (1976 Edition, Edited by John Willett and Ralph Manheim)

Brecht, The Collected Poems, (2019, 2015, Tom Kuhn and David Constantine)

 

Other poems for Palestine

Time is ticking by, the world is standing by – a poem dedicated to Palestinians

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KOAk_x4a6w

 

Scottish actor Brian Cox reads final poem of Palestinian scholar and poet Refaat Alareer (killed by Israeli military)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ualqa-MIwpg

Version 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGz4YzTYD8w

Remi Kanazi: A Poem for Gaza

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZJ4bWfPa1k

Three Poems by Mosab Abu Toha, performed by Isabel Adomakoh Young

“Mosab Abu Toha is an award-winning poet, whose collection THINGS YOU MAY FIND IN MY EAR, was nominated for a National Book Award. He, like millions of Palestinians, has been trapped in Gaza under Israeli bombardment since October 8th. He has been posting to his social media accounts as often as he can, keeping the world informed of the horrors as they rain down around him.

On November 20th he was abducted by Israeli soldiers from a checkpoint, separated from his family and beaten in prison. On release, four days later, he wrote:

“I’m safe but still have pain in nose and teeth after being beaten by Israeli army. I gave them all my family’s passports, including my American son’s but they didn’t return anything. Also my clothes & my children’s were taken and not returned to me. No wallet, money, credit cards.” The Palestine Festival of Literature

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zthVsnp1Gfg

A Palestinian Poet’s Perilous Journey (Mosab Abu Toha)

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2024/01/01/a-palestinian-poets-perilous-journey-out-of-gaza

Tobias Menzies reads social media posts by poet trapped in Gaza, Mosab Abu Toha (November 2023)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ct29MNq3R4

Israel defends Western Civilization: A Poem

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cKdy5E3_8Y

 

#poetry for #Gaza #FreePalestine

 



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