‘Let it Be a Tale’ – A Villanelle in Memory of Dr. Refaat Alareer

Professor Refaat Alareer was killed by an Israeli airstrike in Gaza. (Image: Palestine Chronicle)

By Helen J. Carl

Will at least there remain some kind of night

beyond what’s left to cover what’s been done?

Out there how do stars see through such a sight?


Some chart long tails or any cloth colored white.

That’s all he asked for, down here, from everyone;

leastways up there stream some lines of something bright.


So go make a long tail—try to get it right

& love might lend another day above.

Then, at least, there remains some kind of night.


Floodlight our stark skies: go fly Refaat’s kite!

(Even you who know no love to speak of.)

Out there overthrow moonscapes with his light.


Down here no one counts on cease-fires or flight.

Pen what’s wise. Let it be a tale he wrote.

Out there who will share some good news tonight?


Wing-footed already running out of night,

clearing peaks of rubble—inked limbs unwind

until stiller now—one long full moon’s might

makes room for frames dressed in white cloth: Refaat’s kites.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

– Helen J. Carl is an English teacher living in Nice, France. She contributed this poem to the Palestine Chronicle.

(The Palestine Chronicle is a registered 501(c)3 organization, thus, all donations are tax deductible.)
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