The protest for Palestine in Manhattan this past month was one of a kind. Erected in wake of ongoing displacements, settlement expansions, and militarized upsurges in East Jerusalem, Palestinian voices have risen to the surface. Loud and clear, “Free Free Palestine, from the River to the Sea,” descendants of grandparents dispossessed of their land, freedom, and integrities are crying out against Israeli apartheid, ethnic cleansing and genocide.
-The first poem delves into the refreshing experience of solidarity during an NYC protest for Palestine.
-The second poem probes introspectively into WHY we have a duty and longing to protest at all.
Painting Palestine through Protest
We painted Manhattan PALESTINE this day.
Green, Black, and Red— reflected interminably
off mirrored skyscrapers. Facets of
Emerald, Onyx, and Ruby braided street wires
into nutritious gyres that dynamize all.
Lighting fire fractals of freedom from within,
those khaffiyeh belts, flags and headbands of protest
inspire bystanders to accessorize
We are all one: Sisters and Brothers
Bound by the Green of olive trees, zaatar leaves.
and jasmine laden irises of newborns
from within Hebron, Gaza, Jenin—
Palestinians cry shades of labradorite.
Tears imbued with iridescence flash
to grandpa jido’s large fig tree whose canopy
once concealed safe memories and hill stones—
retaliation for exhuming family bones.
Glimpses of the glistening seaside devolve
into visions of blinding ash from buildings shot
down instantly, precisely dissolved
into remnants of a much milder dust bowl.
Estranged by the cloaked colonizers in Black,
cadavers ferment decrepitly from Gaza…
Cold stone onyx pupils narrate pain,
stories lost with rain refueled by intifada.
Protest tenderizes outlook and sympathies.
Ruby Red fires hint muhammarra and blood
Hearts sizzle, torpedo and eclipse
like pomegranates whose chambers hold truth in bud.
Most of us cannot imagine screaming from our cores—
from underneath a pile of rubble,
only to have it rain double
debris that splits your family from four
Most of us cannot imagine treading obstacle
On the way to buy milk…walking to school…
Lambs poisoned and trees burnt with fuel
upon returning—this is no ordinary rule.
Most of us cannot imagine praying for freedom
within a sacred, stone, lead and gold dome—
where your prophet once preached, his home—
only to be shot at, tear gassed, and arrested.
Most of us cannot imagine watching our land
seized by foreigners against our will.
They deface, drill and derive thrill
from destroying your grandma’s grave, garden and quill.
Well, this is the Palestine pill for you. A wall stands
protecting the eyes of Israelis
accustomed to fragrant sea breezes
and multilayered intentions to seize it all.
Coexist? An unforeseeable dream—tender gleams
of moonlight sneak in their arak shots,
but it is never enough. Robots
will likely roam the earth before coexisting.
– Farrah is a Professor of Literature and Modern Languages, educator, and Editor-in-Chief of Fractyll Culture Magazine. Her mother grew up under occupation in the West Bank, and several members of her family continue to reside in Palestine. She has been publishing poetry since high school, and derives solace in combatting apartheid through the transmutation of memory, hopes, and tears into poem. She contributed these poems to The Palestine Chronicle