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

'That light within will make me stay..'

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 must have made her choke,
That filthy whore, protecting beasts
Who don’t acknowledge in the least
That God and guns have made this land
A place for Jews, so eat the sand,
You bitch, and think before you die
That this is simply eye for eye,
A state of mind these smelly swine
Can’t understand, they only whine
That maybe they have rights as well,
That they’re the victims, hear them yell
And moan, they want to steal our prize,
Our birthright and our brilliant guise,
The victimhood that makes us strong
Precludes all blame, precludes all wrong,
The alibi of alibis
Was ready-made to justify
The things we need to do to make
Our special tribe have its fat cake,
And Rachel’s sorry ass is now
Like goat dung underneath the plow,
It serves her right, the rancid shrew,
For biting more than she could chew,
For we’re the ones who have the right
To carve this land, we have the might
To choose what’s right and make the rest
Inspect their nails and do their best
For us who bear the weight of hate
And love it, since it makes us great,
We wear that hate around our neck,
A shining jewel, a pass to wreck
The lives of others if they don’t
Make room for us, or if they won’t
Bow down to number one, that’s us;
Their lives are pointless, why the fuss?

So Rachel, dear, you greasy twat,
You should have seen it weren’t your lot
To stand up to a great machine,
To think your teary eyes could mean
That we’d back down and give a heed
To what these ugly creatures need,
Compassion’s wasted on these dogs,
They’ve got no feelings, senseless wogs,
You should have saved your blurry eyes
For us who could have used your sighs
To help us pull the power strings,
The ones that turn us into kings!
But no, you thought your orange suit
Could stop an engine, don’t be cute,
That teddy’s meant to wreck and raze,
To punish, terrify and daze,
And that’s what we will always do,
To you, and you, and you, and you!

* Explanatory note: a “teddy,” as in “teddy bear,” is the nickname the Israelis have given to their armored Caterpillars.

March 16, 2003 (II): The View towards the Caterpillar

In view of all I’m standing here,
The Caterpillar shifts its gear,
It trundles towards me, ghastly thing,
Its purpose is to wreck and bring
Destruction, but more to the point,
To throw the spirit out of joint,
To let defenseless people know
Their humbled state, they’re far below
The puny earthworm, let them feel
The truth from which there’s no repeal,
The truth that makes them less than slaves,
The truth they’ll carry to their graves,
That flesh and bone cannot resist
Relentless might, a massive fist,
That those who dream they own their lives
Have no more liberty than flies,
And when they raise their heads as men
They’ll learn the hard way once again
That earth and heaven do abide
The ruin of those who cannot hide
Behind their tanks, behind their boundless pride.

And yet I can’t believe that all
Is lost, that no one hears the call
To undo history and give
The other room to breathe and live,
Undo the past and find a way
To stop a base demented bray,
To curb self-righteousness and find
Oneself at one with all mankind,
To let the tribal fires die,
To open windows to the sky
And let the stifling air creep through
And vanish as the morning dew,
That arrogance and hate take flight
And be refreshed by sun and light
And true good will that’s pure and shining bright.

The Caterpillar tracks draw near,
I clench my fists to fight off fear,
There is a simple man within,
A man who loves his kith and kin,
Who want to end his shift today
And watch his dog and children play,
I’m sure he’ll see me as I am,
A human who believes she can
Advance a bit a cause that’s just
And does it since she thinks she must;
Her life of ease she left behind,
The plight of others haunts her mind,
She thinks that simple kindness might
Remake the world, restore what’s right,
That’s all she wants, to work for good,
To find a path to leave the wood,
To find the open skies of right,
To find a way to end the blight,
To hail the sun and overcome the night.

It’s close now, close enough to feel
It’s heat, to hear the squeal
Of anguished earth beneath its tread;
I think the system wants me dead
For standing up to its conceit;
My instincts tell me to retreat,
But no, another inner urge
Restrains the tide of doubt, the surge
Of dread that makes me shake and sway;
That light within will make me stay
And hold my ground against blind power
And insolence, till my last hour,
This vile machine will never make me cower!

– Eugene Sigaloff is a retired teacher of music theory at the conservatory of Amsterdam in The Netherlands. He contributed this poem to PalestineChronicle.com.

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1 Comment

  1. What a wonderfully powerful poem!
    Captures the essence of israeli arrogance, I can just imagine the voices at tel aviv cafe’s
    using these very words after her death.
    Thank you Eugene for holding a mirror up to them – do you think that THEY will recognise

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