Poetry in Photos: The ‘Ancient Olive Grove’ and the Children of Gaza

A Palestinian child harvesting olives in Gaza. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

Poem by Timothy McCord

Photos by Mahmoud Ajjour

From above the valley, Doha gazed down

upon her ancient olive grove,

cradled in the fertile crescent,

not far from Nablus;

proud of the beautiful branches: their silent symbolism.

Her once soft hands gnarled with age,

like the twisted trunks of the time-honored trees

she so lovingly tended.

But close to her grove – too close – a very

different type of crop was burrowing its roots

into the blood-rusted soil,

drawing the goodness from the land,

greedy for more – too greedy.

Doha was anxious, worried by what its harvest

might bring, fearful of a strange

and far more bitter fruit.

At night, she often asked herself

how it had come to this – a people and their culture

slowly but steadily being swept aside,

displaced, driven from their land –

and wondered for how long

others could continue to walk by, blind

to the injustice, unmoved by the voices

that would never be silenced.

Then came the day Doha had dreaded.

She woke to a death rattle

ringing in her ears

and could but watch and weep,

the stinging tears coursing down her cheeks,

as history was uprooted,

leaving the bones of a broken country,

picked clean and laid bare,

beneath her burning eyes.

(All Photos: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

– Timothy McCord has a passion for writing poetry. He lives in France, where he taught English for many years. Timothy was born and grew up in Britain, and became politically active there through his involvement in the anti-apartheid movement. He 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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