This Thing Called Palestine

This woman I see
like my mother, like my sister
her hands are manifestations of modern tragedies
she grasps ink dry pens to record poetry
she breathes words into her dying lungs
this mother who is beautiful
this wife that is tragic
has a wing span that can stretch across an ocean
or at least wrap itself around her children,
who write unfinished haikus on tall block walls
words like ‘this profiliterate gray is killing me’
or ‘why must you take so much away from me?’
and barely audible whispers seep
in to Sun dried pupils
battered from tears of lifetimes
that could forge river deep remorse
drenched in scattered lifelines
while the heart and mind intwine
this thing called Palestine

that olive oil, soothing the blood stained soil
of roots uprooted in diaspora
branches broken like limbs, they resist with a quiet dignity
but these fathers and brothers are not this tree
they are the trappings of a cactus
that refuses to die
withstanding the might of goliath machines
it plants itself with every zephyr
every doldrum wind carries a seed
constructing new stages for its hazy flowers to dance
a beautiful display of a yet to be dreamt up color line
this thing called Palestine

But this woman, this beautiful creature
hears oceans laughing
and mountains posing for still life art
this still life town of voiceless minarets
who call in the night for an unrequited greatness
in a cry that rings of sweet lament
here, poets could write masterpiece elegies
depicting an orechestra of struggling echoes
This mother, this wife, scribbles encrypted diaries
left for a frail world to decipher
a long list of porcelin dreams she’s had
described as something so divine
this thing called Palestine

Though this wall from the yard
this cemetary playground
this chisled segregation
this sweet coated flirtation
burns flag shaped tatooed scars
the stripes and stars
contrast the green and red
the black and white
for this woman I see
like my mother, like my sister
she is a footnote in an unwritten history
I alone wonder what sorrow these hazel eyes disguise
and her children are monarch butterflies
foreign to this land
she kneels on her broken hands
her broken knees
to form a pedestal on her broken spine
for her children to seize
this thing called Palestine


  • Dear Nas,

    Your poem is touching and your metaphors are strong. There is a lot of literary theory out there in regards to equating nations with women and the origins and implications of such an equation. Might be of interest to you? Congratulations on the prize.

  • thank you dana. yes i do like that equation, the feminine, has always been used to describe much larger and collective things such as mother nature. it is the mother figure which appeals i suppose as most can relate to it. thanks again

Your Two Piasters: