A Prayer for Houston…. And, – A Poem

By Gary Corseri Please help the people in Houston, Lord. And, while You’re at it, in Palestine, too! Though worlds apart, they are kindred, as all suffering creatures are kindred. Is the child who is crying black or white? Do I speak the same tongue as the mother, holding her frightened child—against the storms, against […]

Beyond Liveability – A Poem by Samah Sabawi

By Samah Sabawi life beyond livability is inevitable like the rainfall and the winter storms life inside the walls is ferocious…stubborn unstoppable It grows like dandelions through parched rocks inevitable it transcends obstacles and powers through like inexorable love like an irresistible kiss like the birthing of new life beyond the statistics and the rhetoric […]

Transcription – A Poem

By Ramona Wadi the potent permanence of frenzied excavation in remnants of spaces between sand and stone I pause at intonations framed against books unrivalled eloquence festering behind screens glass stained in blue an essence of sky reflecting the voice that paints my canvas with slivers of Palestine bloodied, disheveled, triumphant a vibrating transcendence between […]

Wasting the Milk in the Summer – Poetry Review

Reviewed by Samah Sabwai (Wasting the Milk in the Summer by Sara Saleh) Once in a while, you come across a poetry collection and your world comes to a stand still! You hold your breath as the images rise from the pages to confront, terrorize or soothe you. You lose yourself in the spaces between […]

POWS from Palestine – A Poem

By Pande Manoylov Water and salt, water and salt every day… And for a moment you felt like a man in the Israel jail, far underground they only give you water and salt they tell you: You are Palestinian, you are in Israeli jail, you raised the voice – FREEDOM! Because when they come to […]

‘Imagine’ – A Poem

By Stephen Brackens Brinkley Imagine a world where anyone can do anything to anyone else without fear of being punished. Imagine a world where someone is being attacked and there are crowds of people witnessing the event and no one ever intervenes in any way. Imagine a world where human rights are not afforded and […]

Freedom and Dignity – A Poem Honoring Palestine’s Hunger Strikers

By Aida Qasim Salt of the earth Lead me to the water   Noble sons and daughters Of  this Free earth That spreads through Your mother’s land All the birds And olive trees Prostrate At your feet At the hills Of resistance   Salt of the earth Lead me to the water   Heroic fathers […]

Why? – A Poem

(To the old woman in Jerusalem, who lost everything.) By George Polley   Why did these men in black steal my house with all my things in it, saying my house is theirs, that it belonged to their family before   it belonged to mine? How could that be, as my great-grandfather Hamid built it, […]

To Syrian Children – A Poem

By Sonnet Mondal You all are culpable— for wending your way to schools for going to hospitals, for playing in open spaces and for keeping at your dreams within a country in rags. Yes, you never knew that you would be going down with a fever that would burn your fleshes into a universal white […]

My Sisters and Brothers, Don’t You, Can’t You, Won’t You, See? – A Poem

By Stephen Brackens Brinkley We are all interconnected We are all interdependent We are all part of the One My Sisters and Brothers, Don’t you see? Every microcosm is reflective of the macrocosm As above so it is below We are all each other’s keepers in the Human Family My Sisters and Brothers, Can’t You […]

Systematic Dehumanization – A Poem

By Stuart Rees (To record a young Gazan student’s characteristically gutsy six week wait, with her two-year-old son, for permission to exit Gaza via Israel to Jordan, eventually having to escape through the Rafah crossing into Egypt, then to Cairo for a flight home to Australia.) The uniforms have confiscated your papers but will not […]

The Kiss of Life – A Poem

By Chris Lane is a warm welcome breeze from  the womb, for kittens and kids a mother’s tongue for desert life, water for us the kiss of love. living is an enormous void an incalculable, unpredictable present a confusion of choices simply given, simply taken away. one mistake  forever embedded. birthed in the right  western […]

The Hooded Crow of Jerusalem – A Poem

By Niall McDevitt   at the Citadel of Jerusalem built by John Hyrcanus I there is barbed wire and yellow weeds   the hooded crow of Jerusalem calls from the Minaret of the Mosque, raw muezzin   in a courtyard below the ramparts are jeeps which say, in English, POLICE   an invisible deus-ex-machina hums […]

The Familiar Stranger – A Poem

By Aida Qasim It was neither an exceptional nor particularly mundane morning but I was not the same The bashful sun cautiously lifted the white shroud hovering above Ramallah’s towering skyline Memories nurtured and cajoled like a precocious child have abandoned me for a suitcase of wind and clouds that I collected on the shores […]

Israeli Radio Chief Summoned on ‘Controversial’ Programme on Darwish

The late Palestinian poet and icon, Mahmoud Darwish, has stirred controversy in Israel eight years after his death after Army Radio aired a show about him as inciting terrorism. Israeli defence ministry yesterday issued a statement saying Defence Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, has summoned Army Radio chief, Yoran Dekel, due to the radio’s broadcast about Darwish which […]

When Time Fails, Family Heals – A Poem

(In 1995, Osama ElBorno, the author’s father, was shot in the head by an Israeli soldier on the third day of Eid, while visiting a friend in Gaza. His last words were, “Is everyone okay?” This poem is to commemorate his memory.) By Nour ElBorno – Gaza H owling winds don’t shake me a bit: A fter all […]

Palestine, An Unfinished History – A Poem

By George Polley They came from Europe, these people, single and in families, eager to settle. They said they were returning home, though we had never seen them, were here for generations stretching back for a thousand years or more. Then, along about 1917 – a British Lord named Balfour said our land was theirs without asking if […]

Stolen Joys – A Poem

By Nour El-Borno – Gaza   Moons shine through her eyes As she walks past her house: Here, she once laughed; There, she once cried.   “I remember,” she whispers.   The dark hours that once took over Are now gone in the past, But so are the happy moments She once had.   “What […]

Gaza: Resistance Through Poetry

By Ramzy Baroud “(At dawn) … I will resist … (Since) upon the wall there is still a white sheet … And my fingers are yet to (completely) dissolve.” This is a translated verse from Mu’in Bseiso’ “Three Walls of the Torture Chamber”. He was -and remains – one of Gaza’s most influential intellectual and […]

IUG Graduates Celebrate American Literature in Gaza

By Yousef M. Aljamal – Gaza A group of female graduates at the Islamic University of Gaza, in collaboration with the American Consulate in Jerusalem, organized American Literature Day on May 5, 2016, at Gaza’s Roots Restaurant. The event, attended by hundreds of graduates and students, highlighted the works of American authors such as Hemingway, […]

Love Letter to a Comrade – A Poem

By Aida Qasim I knew you long before the planets determined their order Awakening a higher purpose in me And unearthing a consciousness of a noble cause Patiently you listened as I explored my relationship with the world A Sufi silence and measured calmness tamed my wild spirit But now there is a different silence […]

Poets Saving Palestine: I Remember My Name

Reviewed by Stuart Rees (Vacy Vlazna, ed., I remember my name – Poetry by Samah Sabawi, Ramzy Baroud, Jehan Bseiso. Novum Publishing, 2016) Poetry’s Panacea Conditions on the West Bank, in Gaza, in East Jerusalem and in myriad Palestinian refugee camps are monstrous. What non-violent response can there be to the violence and hatred, the killings […]

Dima’s Eyes – A Poem

By Aida Qasim Eyes like an unfinished poem possess my spirit They rise the moon out of its slothiness Shaking away the stillness of my pillow I shudder and solicit a memory: Sweet mint tea in my aunt’s patio on Salaheddein Street in Al Quds Long oblong sesame Ka’ek warm as the freshly boiled salt […]

In Jerusalem – Poems

By Rachel Astarte In Jerusalem There is a quiet I am looking for from bulldozers from blastings from smoldering anger There is a place I have never seen although I have imagined it during childhood Passover seders. The ones when my Sicilian father, having embraced my mother’s ethnicity as his own, hid the afikomen almost […]

Memory is the Cactus of Exile – A Poem

By Aida Qasim Why do you laugh like a giddy school girl in your mid life? And why does your face rebel against the artist’s chisel? Growing cactus in your garden rather than respectable hyacinth Pining a first love That keeps you up at night A tempered indifference is more befitting of your years Settle […]

Ode to Lifta – A Poem

By Aida Qasim Even Neruda’s birds that once roamed from sea to sea have flown to other continents The stones I once rested against during the olive harvest seem to sit by indifferently as another kingdom reigns Have you forgotten me? Like monuments among fertile landscapes of almond trees you once waved me back at sunset […]

Reflections on Palestine – A Poem

By Stephen Brackens-Brinkley & Dorothy Dot Milnes-Simm Beautiful the olive trees that grew in Palestine, and beautiful the buildings rising up through branches fine. Wonderful the people that were thrown into a cell Israel’s the name that has built for them this hell. Chosen was the olive branch to show forth life anew, It was […]

‘I Have Been Wronged!’ – A Poem

By Eugene Sigaloff “I have been wronged!” This is my theme, and from This theme I’ve woven the tapestry of my life, I have been wronged, by all those faced around me, I have been wronged, but they shall also feel that wrong. What was my life before I found my lamp, Before I found […]

On the Occasion of World Poetry Day Haidar Eid Sings for Detained Poet Ashraf Fayyadh!

On the Occasion of World Poetry Day (21.3.2016), Gaza- based  human rights activists released an amateur video-clip in support of the Palestinian poet Ashraf Fayyadh, who has been detained in a Saudi prison since January 1, 2014, without access to a lawyer since then. He was initially sentenced to death for “apostasy” by a regional […]

‘That light within will make me stay’ – In Compassionate Memory of Rachel Corrie – A Poem

By Eugene Sigaloff March 16, 2003 (I): The View from the Caterpillar That Rachel Corrie, stupid cunt, She thought that she’d alone confront A Caterpillar armed with steel, She thought that she could make a meal Of strength unseen since David killed Goliath, who was always billed As greater than the chosen folk, That really […]

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