Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘poem

In memoriam for the slain in Palestinian refugee camp of Sabra and Shatila: Poem

(With a few editing, my style)

Luis Lázaro Tijerina. September 18, 2019

Shostakovich Leningrad Symphony
comes to mind this night, this cold September air
receding into the terrible morning,

As Israel armor and bulldozers
Drive through our lives with impunity,

Death, the talisman of their fury,
They and others kill Palestinians (and downtrodden Lebanese living there)
as if harvesting leaves falling

And burning on an autumn night.
How many sheaves of horror, how many dead
reported at Sabra and Shatila?

We count your heroic dead
as we count the aimless years
of our hypocritical lives.

We the spectators (the Silent Majority)
who did nothing here in America or abroad.
How many dead, how many dead,

Their fingers broken,
The young men’s faces slashed
because they refused
to sell-out their lives to the Phalangist thugs,
and their Israeli puppet-masters pulling the strings

In this macabre play of horror,
In the Lebanese night.
Haddad, the butcher, and his Israeli henchmen,
Boastful brutes

Their insidious laughter
coming from their snarled mouths
on a bitter Friday night,

Others in the world slept in self-satisfied beds.

The Shostakovich symphony of disaster echoes
like the rumble of dark thunder,

How many dead, I ask myself.
Hundreds, thousands? Those rivers of blood
spilled across the earthen floor of the camps.

On television screens
We still see the horror
In a tragic mural painted in more blood—
Those butchered, shot,
and thrown into piles of garbage (in a mass burying ground in the Sport Stadium by Israeli bulldozers).

The women raped
And hung, their screams like the screeching of violins

In this Soviet symphony I hear on a night
in loveless September.
The cinder block houses stormed
by dark monsters with machine-guns—

Israeli Uzis, not unlike the Nazi troops
who searched for defenseless, quarry at Leningrad…
Now at Shatila and Sabra,
Old men and women lay
In a shattered sleep—
bullets in their heads
against the walls.

The camps of Shatila and Sabra,
those Goya nightmares— our nightmares
on a September night,

There you are—
families gunned down.
See the smiles
on the Phalangists and Israeli faces?

They never cared about life,
For they feared death.
Cowards against a defenseless people,

The only passion they knew
on a heartless September night.
Sharon, the bloated,
stubby-fingered general,
planned the massacre with glee
in the privacy
of his wobbling, arrogant head.

Cover your dead with our grief,
Those of you who survived the bloodshed,
Remember the Palestinian dead
on this Crystal Night massacre.

The wailing and screaming tears the bitter skies.
Bullet-proof vests, Phalangists in shorts
They scurry like rats from cinder-house
to cinder-house.

At Akka Hospital,
Maimed and wounded, carried away,
Nurses raped and beaten
by Christian militia, professing innocence
in their sordid wet dreams
at Shatila and Sabra.

The refugee streets stink with death
Our lives stink with death.
Hypocrisy, our makeshift plumbing,
in our nightmares.

I hear the horns, the violins, the flutes singing
In the September night wind.

What song do they sing?
We have lived for centuries
of the old denial, the blood-walls of hate.

Identification papers handed-out
At a sport stadium; Zionist troops interrogate
the dead whose skins are pale like manikins,
and then we ask why—

Why so many dead in the streets
at Shatila and Sabra?
Rubble, death, medical wives,

Sisters kissing reporters’ arms
Because they want to know
“Who killed my brother?
Where is my father?
When will it all end!”

Shostakovitch symphony comes to its heroic end
on this September morning,
The slumber, my sleep, in our history,
Half-dream, half nightmare,
As the first autumn leaves begin to fall…

The revenge of cymbals, of the militant drums,
I hear in this morning dawn…
The tiers of the stadium wet with blood,
Palestinian blood,

Our hands are caked with their blood,
and the blood of others

We left behind in the gutted street
of retribution.

Note 1: I was in Lebanon at that period and we knew about this monster massacre 3 days later, after Israel allowed journalists and reporters to visit the camp.

Israeli bulldozers unloaded tons of chalk on the dumped bodies, one layers after the next ones.

Israeli troops lighted the sky for 2 nights so that the murderer mercenaries could achieve their macaber task thoroughly.

Note 2: I posted on my blog several articles on that events from various eyewitnesses and reporters.

Note 3: The camp had no fighters or weapons. All the fighters were shipped out of Beirut to Tunisia a few ago back with US guarantees that the helpless Palestinians in camps will be safe and secure. Even the Lebanese army stationed close by failed to intervene.

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Luis Lázaro Tijerina, Burlington, Vermont

Hiroshima was my City-like, until Beirut and its Port displaced it

Hiroshima is my City-like

You don’t want to approach Hiroshima.

You don’t need to visit my city like:

You touch a wall

You turn a rock.

 

What do you care of my city?

You will see but flies and road holes.

The only living friend

Is my gigantic boredom.

 

What should you care of my city like?

It was captured many times by hordes of Moguls and Tatars.

Every adventurer who set eyes on my city

Ended up suicidal.

 

Be careful my ignorant tourist.

Keep a distance of its broken columns,

Its hundred stone idols.

 

My heart is same as my closed in city like

Moonlight apprehends visiting it.

My heart is wet, a wet traveling kerchief,

 

A bird, for centuries lost in down pouring rain,

An empty bottle harassed on ocean waves.

Keep away from Hiroshima.

 

Tis no time turning a block of salt.

Note 1: A poem in Arabic that I extracted with abridged liberty from the late Syrian poet Nizar Qabbani.

Note 2: this atomic conflagration on the port of Beirut left over 200 dead and over 6,500 injured from the blast. More than 7,000 residence were demolished.

Avatar getting shielded by their Gods?

Puny avatar; why in the name of God?

 

Show me a single religion condemning

As blasphemy, the biggest sin of all,

Speaking in the name of its God.

 

Puny avatar;

Why in the name of God?

Allah, Jehovah, Krishna, Buddha

 

Show me a single religion

Not inaugurating a President

In the name of its God.

 

Not haranguing the troops

In the name of a God.

Not persecuting other religions

In the name of a God.

 

Puny avatar; why are you hiding your weaknesses

In the name of a God?

Are you scaring me with eternal fire?

Is a candle burn not bad enough?

 

Are you frightening me to obedience by eternal pain?

Millions are suffering constant pain in hospitals, tents, in open air;

Of curable diseases, famine, thirst,

 

No pain-killer powerful enough to let go in peace.

Isn’t a single case bad enough to you?

 

Are you enticing me for immortality?

Anything scarier than boring immortality?

 

Puny avatar; why are you heaping your ignorant arrogance on me

In the name of a God?

 

Is there a single religion with enough imagination?

A total silence preceding a major cataclysm as God.

A complete darkness, not a candle flickering.

 

A world devoid of the feeling of touch;

Not a single soft breeze, not a wet loving kiss.

A world odorless and tasteless as God

 

Any one of that kinds of Gods would scare the hell out of me

And you won’t have to preach in his Name.

 

Puny avatar; talk in the name of God

And stay a dwarf: petty, mean, and coward.

 

Mankind! Stand up.  Wake up.

Dare speak in the name of Man.

Take on your responsibilities in the name of mankind.

Embrace your countless limitations;

Develop your limitless potentials.

 

Pray your God in the solitude of your heart;

Give grace to your God in the many ways to enjoying life;

For the opportunity to working with passion and sweating labor.

 

Puny avatar you were and is

In the name of God.

Try speaking in the name of man

With respect and humility to your fellow co-survivors

 

Sharing the same boat, the toil, hardship, and labor.

Sharing the smiles, joy, laughter, and compassion

Sharing what earth has in reserve to us all.

 

Singing with birds, the breeze, the sea wind.

Avatar you are and will be

And puny no more.

This Stranger in the coffin

“The Stranger”. Poem by late Palestinian Mahmoud Darwish

This person was a stranger to me

I had no idea what she could have done before
I saw a coffin, people in mourning
I walked with her, (the masses of mourners?)
Her head low, in an important respect attitude
She was walking ahead of me.
I found no opportunity to ask her my well-composed questions
“Who is in the coffin? How this late person died? How it lived?”
Of the many ways people died from,
I can vouch for one that I experienced
“Living badly”
Note: The mourners have been strangers in Palestine since 1948, the establishment of colonial implant of Israel

Take off your cloths, I have to talk to You

“Toutes les lettres d’amour sont ridicules”

Note:  Attached a video in 3 languages, including Portuguese (superbement) par Maria de Medeiros

By Gerard Dappelo, Feb, 15, 2018

Elles ne seraient pas des lettres d’amour si elles n’étaient pas Ridicules.
Moi aussi en mon temps j’ai écrit des lettres d’amour,
Comme les autres Ridicules.
Les lettres d’amour, si amour il y a,
Sont fatalement Ridicules.
Mais, tout bien compté,
Il n’y a guère que ceux qui jamais N’ont écrit de lettres d’amour
Qui sont Ridicules.
Ah, retrouver le temps où j’écrivais
A mon insu Des lettres d’amour
Ridicules …
La vérité c’est qu’aujourd’hui
Ce sont mes souvenirs
De ces lettres d’amour
Qui sont Ridicules.
(Tous les mots malaisément accentués, (proparoxytoniques*)
Comme les sentiments excessivement singuliers (paroxystiques)
Sont naturellement Ridicules.)
Álvaro de Campos, in “Poemas” . Hétéronyme de Fernando Pessoa

Sur Internet, il est facile de trouver des modèles tout prêts de lettres d’amour

Naturellement, elles sont ridicules. Parfois très ridicules !
Trois extraits :

En te voyant, mon cœur s’est emballé comme un moteur de course…

  • De t’avoir touché, mes mains tremblent comme des ailes de papillon de nuit dans la brise du soir…
  • Ma respiration est coupée, j’étouffe, je meurs, j’agonise. Un mot de toi et je ressuscite…

De beaux SMS anonymes sur le compte Instagram “Amours solitaires”

  • Si tu savais à quel point je t’aime, tu t’enfuirais
  • Déshabille-toi, j’ai à te parler.

Didn’t George looked like you?

George Floyd #

René Philombe wrote in 1977.

The man who looks like you,

.. Why ask me
If I’m from Africa
If I’m from America
If I’m from Asia
If I’m from Europe

Why ask me
The length of my nose
The thickness of my mouth
The color of my skin
What about the name of my gods?

I’m not black
I’m not a red one
I’m not a white man
I’m not a yellow

Because I am a man
The man of all heaven
The man of all time
The man who looks like you!

I liked my relatives, us

I Like Nous (Written on Nov. 2002)

I need nous (“we” in French), of yesteryears,

Together, an extended family.

Living close to one another

And hopping on a bus for a tour of Lebanon

At a moment notice,

 

I liked nous, children and growing up.

Way before we became professionals,

Married with children

Scattered in the five corners of the world.

 

I am cozy within my new nous;

Of a newer generation:

A very restricted family

Of a new generation who abhors extended families.

 

A new generation who gets busy when called upon to be visited

By an older generation.

Some hide in the attic finishing a much delayed project

A few are locked in the computer room,

Riveted to a stupid monitor.

 

I woke up at 4 am in the morning, read a book for an hour

And I went back to bed.

 

I’m now dreaming.

I read the title of this poem and its first “stanza in my dream.

I remember in my dream, the four of us cousins sitting around a table,

Jihad, Hassib, Nassif and I.

 

It was morning in a well lit room, pretty untidy;

I think we were sitting in the kitchen.

Jihad was reading a newspaper, sipping his cup of coffee and smoking a cigarette.

Hassib was at the other side of the rectangular white table, a pipe helping his readings.

He was restless, acting unperturbed, aloof, and English.

Nassif was cheerful, carefree, not self-centered, an uncharacteristic Nassif.

Nassif is reading in silence, on a white napkin, a piece of poem.

 

A napkin like the one used in Pizza Huts.

Nassif might have guessed the poem was meant to Hassib and written by me.

Nassif handed Hassib the poem who faked to be unconcerned.

 

While I was chatting with Nassif, the “English” surreptitiously read the poem and sets it aside.

Nassif is flipping through reams of computer pages,

Printouts we used ages ago, computer statements inputted on punch cards.

 

Nassif says “This is beautiful” and let me read a few scribbled lines

On one greenish printout.

I said “This is my handwriting. I don’t remember having written these lines”.

 

I was reading the title and the first stanza.

I woke up from my dream.

A sweet dream, sweet nous, of now grown ups.

Note:

Barely meeting altogether, or part of us, once every decades.

Even those living in the same town, we barely meet or visit,

Even before the covid-19 confinement.

During this pandemics, we installed a Whatsapp group to connect every day.

Pretty soon, all overseas cousins disconnected.

 

As I say: the past is a phase to grow up, Not to dwell upon.

You moved forward, keep moving onward.

Just hold your thoughts a few seconds

Once I sneak into your consciousness.

Oh c’mon, where’s your Compassion?

Note: Re-edit of “A Gentle Touch. (Written in 1997 and posted on September 20, 2008)

A Gentle Touch (1997)

Prettier than white dust

You shall never be.

Uglier than a skeleton

You can never be.

 

Toward the scared souls, scared of death,

Scared in living,

Let your stretched hand

Be gentler, your voice softer.

Funny Bliss (1998)

      Twain is a funny guy.

He was frustrated, at fourteen, with his father’s ignorance.

At twenty, how dumb struck he felt

That his father could be such a quick learner.

 

I was thirteen and I wrote in my essay:

“What do I know?” (Que sais-je?”

My old French Jesuit teacher loved it.

He said the French essayist Montaigne used it.

 

At fifty, I said:

I feel I know nothing”.

My thirteen year old niece skewered her eyes and mumbled:

“I am embarrassed, what a loser!”

What are you worried about Becky-Sue?

Becky-Sue (1998)

1.   Are you worried Becky-Sue about the asteroids?

One of them slamming earth any time soon?

I’m not worried.  I’ll still be around.

 

Breathing or not,

Above or underground,

Mostly under for added protection.

2.   Are you worried Becky-Sue of Earthquakes,

Volcanoes, El Nino, tornadoes, tidal waves, ozone depletion?

I’m not worried.  They tend to visit my neighbors.

 

I see them on the TV screen when the President or his Vice

Hovers in choppers

Over the devastated areas.

3.   I am somewhat worried about the toxins

Created by Man, about radioactive materials

Dumped in my backyard.

 

But I already outlived my ancestors

Way before Man meddled with Nature.

4.   I am surely worried, Becky-Sue, of the forced issues:

Women shortening the periods of breastfeeding,

Child rearing age, post pregnancy recovery

 

Because promotion at work matters,

Because equality with the stupid man matters.

5.   We are what we are

Because mothers made the human specie

Grow and stay alive, against all odds, wars and calamities.

 

Because mothers stayed and gathered moss

While men wandered, rolled and rumbled.

6.   Are you worried, Becky-Sue?

I really don’t know you:

Take me to the movie, tonight.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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