Speaking of lemon trees and home: Late night Poetry

we speak of lemon trees

that are,

that aren’t.

we speak of olive trees

– one of the first things I noticed in the Diaspora

was how the olives tasted different-

and how home tastes different.

the further away I am,

the more time passes,

home is different,

but I think it still welcomes me

even when it’s painful to write about

because sometimes

it seems like I write

about lemon trees

that are,

that weren’t,

and olive trees

-the shade of those trees are different –

that call us,

that want us,

that remind us

where we were…and how long we’ve come

for home,

for the homes we make.

IMG_9786

Sebastia, Summer 2017

 

 

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The Storm Within

She watched as the waves rose,

folded,

and collapsed,

hitting the shore with all its force,

and thought, “Not many of us choose to observe storms.”

We only listen to hear if the storm has calmed.

But we rarely listen to the storm.

We take cover.

Run.

Hide.

 

Put on our sweaters

and

go home.

She thought of the storm within her.

She observes,

listens to why it is there

While those around her take cover.

Run.

Hide.

Put on their sweaters

and

go home

before they’re swallowed deep down.

She wonders if anyone out there

will ever embrace the storm within.

 

Anyone who would run towards it

and not away from.

Anyone who would overcome the fear

and observe,

listen.

Who would find calm

in the storm that is her.

 

Watch: Poetry

Time ticks on the watch,

a bit ahead of the time

I fought for,

I recieved,

I need…that’s what I tell myself.

I can’t bring myself

to turn the hands of time to their past

and my future.

I want their past.

I understand the meaning to their past.

Now.

My left wrist

remains bare;

the once covered skin

integrating with the rest of the tan

from walking through time.

I can’t bring myself to put it on.

I feel a shock run through my veins,

a shock I am not ready to accept.

Time ticks on the watch,

a bit ahead of the time

I fought for,

I recieved,

I need…that’s what I tell myself.

 

 

Abu Ward*, “Father of Flowers”: Poetry

Abu Ward, the “father of flowers”:

Abu Ward, the flower forced to rest

by your “accidental” missles

fighting a terror created

by your own terror.

Silenced.

Silenced. 

Leaving his flowers in gray-colored pots,

 

not growing in dirt but dead under the rocks.

His son’s tears irrigating his late father’s plots.

Abu Ward’s halo is their sunshine…

Their very own photosynthesis…

if they still grow. I hope they still grow.

The flowers he once plucked,

and handed them to those who saw the dirt

in the midst of rubble

the way he saw the blue sky

in the midst of the smoke and fire raised,

are now laying on his tombstone by his son…

a tombstone made too soon. Flowers plucked too soon.

Abu Ward, the father of flowers growing in war. Remember him.

 

*I learned about Abu Ward in four minutes while sitting in a coffee shop in a comfortable area. Abu Ward was a gardener in Aleppo, Syria, who was killed by airstrikes recently. In the midst of war that eventually took him life, he was growing life. Abu Ward is just onr story. Those four minutes I watched don’t even cover his life. May he and those lives lost to heinous regimes rest in peace. Watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJGp3g93h6M

 

“Brexit” to Fix It: Late night poetry

“Go back to your home!”
He shouted at her…and…him
…and them.
And her and him and them
wanted to ask:
“What home?
The home touched
by your weaponry,
funded by what your hands
reach for in your jean pockets
when you want to buy this
and that,
berated by men in suits
around round wooden tables…
What home?
Our brown skin,
olive skin,
a shade darker than your
whiteness,
has you looking
over your shoulder
onto my hands,
as if I’d be carrying
the dagger you paint me in your
taploids carrying.
Headscarf, turban,
beard, niqab,
no headscarf, no turban,
beardless, niqabless,
what home? 

“Go back to your home!”
He shouted at her…and him…
and them.
And her and him and them
observed the news,
watched as lines on diagrams
of graphs plummeted
and bigotry beginning to rise,
wondering where
is home. 

“Go back to your home!”
He shouted at her…and him
…and them,
all the while forgetting that
his home 
was completed by diversity
of brown, olive-colored,
a shade darker
than your whiteness…

“Go back to your home!”
so you can close your borders
and have a happy independence day!

Our Mother Tongues Not Quite One: Late night poetry

For a moment,
we were not quite one.
We were…I and you.
We did not use our mother tongues
when we exchanged our “hello”‘s
and “thank you”‘s.
You, wearing your yellow clown costume
with red painted around your foreign lips
that blew into balloons
making children laugh…
Our and your children laugh.

You handed over a balloon,
and I handed over money in your currency.
We exchanged smiles in a moment you’d forget

At least for the moment
when we were not quite one.

We did not use our mother tongues
when we exchanged our “hello”‘s
and “thank you”‘s.
You didn’t discriminate and let
your kind fall in line before me
because I am the “other.”
I didn’t walk away and boycott you,
as I had refrained from buying that yellow
skirt made on land that is soaked
by my people’s blood…and yours?

We did not think of the war that was to come
in a year, and if you had enlisted
and carried firearms.
You, a clown. I, someone wanting to laugh.

We did not use our mother tongues when we exchanged
our “hello”‘s and “thank you”‘s.
For a moment,
we were not quite one.
We were…I and you…
and questions never to be answered,
not in our mother tongues…
not in any language.

Whispering Secrets: Late night poetry

She was the secret
he whispered to the wind
and to the horses he rode.

He whispered her name
in the hallways he walked through,
and spoke of her in metaphors
to the ones that crossed his path.

He poured her through the tips
of his fingers on the keyboard
as he created her into the character
he wanted her to be.

He wondered if she ever did the same.

(The first stanza was originally a Haiku I wrote a few weeks ago).

Redeeming Ourselves: Late Night Poetry

You’re not a beggar’s son
but the beggar himself.
Your voice soft, convincing…
Why does it have to be convincing
for me to believe you…
to decide if I should put my
hand in my purse and dig for a few coins
to give you while you watch me with your sad eyes?

You’re not a beggar’s son
but the beggar himself.
And I’m not the first to walk away.
I’m not the first to question your honesty.
“Maybe someone sent him.”
“Maybe he was going to buy a pack of cigarettes.”
“Maybe someone else found him
and listened to his call.”

I’m not the first to come up with excuses
in hopes of redeeming myself
for walking away.
But I have not been redeemed.
We feel like we’d be cheated by you,
but we’re constantly being cheated
in vintage shops and over-priced cafes.
Your suspected dishonesty
could one day be suspected on my behalf.
Your suspected dishonesty
is someone else’s true calling,
and that should not be ignored.