Your Nakba, and Mine – A Poem

Jan 17 2013 / 5:55 pm
(Art: Ismail Shammout)
(Art: Ismail Shammout)

By Ramzy Baroud

When your grandfather deserted his horse
At the lower edge of the Pacific
My family’s steed was still grazing
By the southern hills of Palestine
Your Nakba started before mine
But mine is yet to end.

Your name is molded to mean many things
And signify nothing
Mine is ‘gun powder’
The bones of my ancestors keep the mountains of Galilee standing
My cousins are the ones holding the Gaza fort
Against the invading Khazars.

Our ruggedness might not suit your taste
But we inherited the language of the trees
So that the legacy of olives and figs may live through our children
Until we harvest the remaining citrus of Beit Daras
And redraw our music to rhyme with love and life
And everything in between.

I have to fight to preserve the essence of my name
And I mustn’t die – as of yet
Until my children are old enough to inherit their grandmother’s Thoub
And return to the very road between hope and exile
Looking for her childhood
Amid dying peasants.

So don’t talk to me about pain
For I plead at every border just to prove that my face in the photo is my face
And that my home exists between the port of Haifa and eternity
And the blood of my father was the same blood that drenched the skin of Jesus
After he was caught at a Roman military checkpoint
Hiding a poem about love
And a recipe for revolution.

And don’t talk to me about love
For mine are the roots of a thousand olive trees
And the echoes of the war songs of all the men of Jaffa
Before the last battle was lost to the brutes of the pitiless north
And all the love letters of refugee women
Sent to suspended men at crosses
Overlooking the Martyrs Graveyard
Bordering my house, and what remains of yours

And Yet,
I love you still
Because in your eyes I see my beginnings
And the promise that my assured passage into forgetfulness
.. will never end.

(Ramzy Baroud, Chile, Jan 10, 13 – Art: Ismail Shammout)

image_pdfimage_print
Posted by on Jan 17 2013 . Filed under Articles, Poetry . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 . You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

6 Comments for “Your Nakba, and Mine – A Poem”

  1. Felicity

    A soul, a family, a country encapsulated. Superb, Ramzy. Be well.

  2. Vacy Vlazna

    A noble poem..stunning lines and profound in feeling and thoughts.

  3. Abed

    Please Ramzi, send it in Arabic to Marcel Khalife. He’ll know how to caress it with his eternal music. I know he will.
    You are amazing Sir!!

  4. Hatim Kanaaneh

    Moving and inspiring, especially inhaled into the soul with my first cup of coffee at dawn.

  5. Mhara Costello

    Beautiful, heart rending, as ever.

  6. Rayhan

    The fragrance of Palestine embodied in a poem.
    Moving and yes, as ever.

Leave a Comment

Please insert the correct number.


+ 5 = 7

The Free Zone | Blog

  • May 23, 2015

    Did the Metropolitan Police Send Staff to Israel During Last Year's Gaza Assault?

    Last November, a post appeared on the blogging platform Medium which claimed that between March 1, 2014 and August 31, 2014 - a period of six months - some 80 employees of London's Metropolitan Police had "travelled to Israel." - This overlaps in part with Israel's unprecedented assault on the Gaza Strip, which lasted from July 8 to August 26. During 'Operation Protective Edge', Israeli armed forces killed some 2,100... More →
  • May 18, 2015

    Israeli Government to Pay African Refugees $3,500 to Leave

    The Israeli government will pay $3,500 grants to African refugees to encourage them to leave the country, it has said. - The country’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the move was designed to “protect the Jewish and democratic character” of the Middle Eastern state. - The country’s coalition cabinet voted unanimously last weekend to approve the plan, drawn up by the country’s new Interior Minister... More →
  • May 17, 2015

    Even in Gaza, You Can't Have a Film Festival without a Red Carpet

    While Israeli entertainment reporters have been busy covering the DocAviv documentary film festival in Tel Aviv in recent days, but nearby, another rather exceptional film festival came to a close Thursday evening in the Shujaiyeh neighborhood of Gaza City —a festival dedicated entirely to films about human rights. - Shujaiyeh, where the festival was held, was the scene of some of the heaviest fighting and... More →
  • May 17, 2015

    NYT Public Editor Faults Paper for Failing to Quote Jews who Support BDS

    In recent days we have made a lot of the fact that the New York Times ran a front-page article equating the campus Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign (BDS) against Israel with anti-Semitism. The piece completely left out the fact that many Jewish students support BDS (about one in five of activists Weiss has seen in his travels). - Well, Margaret Sullivan, the Times public editor, agrees. In a piece titled,... More →
  • May 17, 2015

    Siege on Gaza Prevents Children from Receiving Needed Medical Formula

    On May 11, Dan Cohen reported on how the the Najjar family is one of manyfamilies in the Gaza village of Khuza’a are being forced to live in shipping containers because reconstruction has not yet begun following last summer’s Israeli assault. Here is a follow-up on one member of the Najjar family who is not able to receive medicine due to the siege on Gaza. - Two-and-a-half-year-old Ahmad Najjar’s condition is a... More →
$12,000.00
$10,800.00
$9,600.00
$8,400.00
$7,200.00
$6,000.00
$4,800.00
$3,600.00
$2,400.00
$1,200.00
$0.00
Support Palestine Chronicle
Support Palestine Chronicle
"The Palestine Chronicle is a beacon. History, witness, analysis and ways forward are here, written with authority and humanity. Long may it publish." — John Pilger.
Subscribe to Newsletter
Enter your email address to subscribe to our mailing list.
Email:
separator
Chief Complaint
Return: A Palestinian Memoir
Idea of Israel
Disclaimer RSS Feed Contact us Donation Popup
© Copyright 1999-2015 PalestineChronicle.com. All rights reserved
Powered By MediaSeniors