Two Poems in Protest for Palestine

Thousands of New Yorkers protest the Israeli war on Gaza in May 2021. (Photo: via Friends of Palestine Facebook Page)

By Farrah Sarafa

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.

I.

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

 

Better. Stronger.

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.

 

II.

Moonlight Pill

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

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

1 Comment

  1. At least in New York City (where protesters are entitled to police protection against terrorist attacks), pro-Palestine protesters don’t have to worry about being savagely attacked or killed by Jewish supremacist terrorists, which is always the case over in the genocidal, apartheid state of Israel.

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