Tuesday, December 21, 2010

We are Invisible

This year the Old Man seemed so frail.
His eyes grew dim, his skin was pale.
His once smart tunic, smudged and torn,
the scarlet cloth, threadbare and worn.
His shoulders sagged as if the burden was too much.
He seemed to shrink from any human touch.
He did not hear the bells' tinkling any more
drowned out by the F16's triumphant roar.
Carefully, he picked his way along the broken street,
discarded toys crumbling beneath his feet.
Journey's end, the ones he sought,  could not be far,
following the relentless phosphorous star?

Now he has gone, I search the place
and  though the air's still heavy with his shame,
of his presence there is no trace,
only a tear-stained note, or was it only dew?
'Oh children of Gaza, I came.
but  in this place, I could not find you.'

This poem was inspired by the Xmas card sent out by Medical Aid for Palestinians. The image was painted by Fatima, in the Bourj al Barajneh refugee camp in Lebanon, whose own life must be hard enough without thinking of her brothers and sisters in Gaza. The translation of the Arabic reads, "Oh children of Gaza, I came and didn't find you."

Friday, December 03, 2010

There's a hole in my Firewall!

Once there was a Wikileak struck all dumb,
Two-faced politicians, now on the run,
Caught with their pants down, having too much fun.
No decent citizen would’ve kept mum.

Red faces, burnt fingers, exposure to The Sun?
Fat chance of those hacks getting off their bums,
No profit in this, they can all do sums,
Two-faced politicians now on the run.

Kick-backs and expenses, still smoking gun
Unplanned , not what you promised on the stump,
Swore you’d make a statesman, not Forest Gump
Caught with your pants down, having too much fun.

No decent citizen could’ve kept mum.
What did you expect, treating all like scum.
Too late feeling sorry now, looking glum,
Once there is a Wikileak, no use playing dumb.

Break the culture of secrecy! Stop the undercover warmongers!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010


Listen to the olive groves whispering
in the dusk, more insistent
with each shaking of the ground,
strong voices not to be drowned,
not to be broken, even as each bough
is splintered, veiled in dust.

Harvesters of hate, you must
learn how the wind gathers up their words,
against your will, under your noses,
sets them free to cross check-points,
searching round each angle of the wall,
whistling through each crack
impossible to hold back.

Here we sit before the fire,
plates full, glasses raised.
The curtains are drawn tight
The conversation intelligent, polite,
but nothing can displace
the windows’ stubborn rattle,
well-travelled winds arriving,
infiltrating unsought for words,
unbidden stories of trees at battle.

Another one set off by a CD,  this time '...for the ghosts within' Robert Wyatt, Gilad Atzmon and Ros Stephen. I find constant inspiration in the poetry and music of others. The photograph shows a Palestinian olive grove set ablaze by Zionist settlers.