I must remember that
some hearts are calm trees;
love stored in silence
until spring reveals
tiny buds which suddenly
bloom into brilliant blossoms
seemingly overnight expressions of love
potential pent-up all winter
present but under the surface -
though for an entire season
they shared no hint of what lay beyond the curtain.
While other hearts love differently;
compelled by chemistry
triggered at the core
pulled into another’s orbit
even little exposure provokes a supernova
bright and bold and enormous
display of love and endless energy
these hearts illuminate
full of light
igniting space and time with their love
burning up in passion
The buds also wither away;
as seasons change
the blossoms cannot remain
green leaves give way
ultimately bare branches are all that stay
no longer willing to perform love
the curtain drops again
and the heart returns to compose
an internal score
time for storing potential once more
until next season’s love
beckons another beautiful blossom forth.
This is the Basque:
all waving emerald hillside,
dotted with white horses and tanned cattle grazing,
terraced by stone farmhouses with white wooden windowpanes which
frame the proud armies of pine standing at attention for voluptuous, fertile valleys and
the rugged, steely grey of granite.
Highways tunnel through
from green on to blue,
passed shaggy sheep
and shallow riverbeds laced with marigolds.
In the distance, the mountains are dressed in a suggestive mist.
The locals speak in a unique tongue.
The beaches beckon.
Delicious pintxos line the countertops of tabernas.
As I walk along the river, I pass a girl with her pet rabbit on a leash.
So this is the Basque.
the glowing embers of Palestine
mapping out lost cities
gleaming like lit coal
the salt of the earth smiling upon us
away to the roman bath
to the infinte pools of our past
moonbathing among slippery strings of time
the rise and luxury of the orient
fools intoxicated by the
symphony of stars orchestrating the farce of the universe
seedless grapes feeding hefty apes
and Jerusalem an undying ember
with endless lovers to idolize each gesture
Let me meet the devil you know
on a frosty street corner
under an amber glow;
I will tell him about
all the seeds that I've sown
and he will harvest my soul all alone..
Let me tell you about
the fears I have met
born of the memories I've lived to forget;
they still circle me slowly,
a shark and its prey,
my mind starts to race,
my heart dreams to pray..
Let's trade stories of villains
we've battled in war,
victories and submissions--
always fighting for more.
The bright days of the future,
a glimmering hope
that kept us pushing upward,
Sisyphus and his slope.
Let us toast to the glory
of the time we've been given,
toast to legacy immortal
when bodies stop giving.
Hold our glasses high
for all earthly wonders,
and ask forgiveness
for our mortal blunders.
Let us beg that illusion
to us will be kind,
that when the curtain falls
it will not shatter the mind
to experience what is beyond
this worldly guise--
a heavenly sanctuary,
a hellish demise.
Toast and drink up,
brothers and sisters
and when you are done,
I shall offer my hand
to face the darkness
side by side
and illuminate eternity
with our humble light.
Paint me a picture with your words. Close your eyes. Visualize the scene. Soon the details will emerge from lips, or fingertips submerged in color. The lines between your eyes will blur and, in a flutter, you will awake to a dreamscape. Paint me a picture with your words. I want to sink into your skin and flaunt the freedom of birds. The power to move. To breathe. To fantasize and fly away into other worlds, To draw the blinds over our eyes and investigate the darkness of one mind. To seek and then to find. The key. Paint for me. A promise fulfilled is artistry.
You never say to me, for example
'You are the starlight which illuminates my new moon night!"
You never tell me that I am the mortar which binds your dreams to reality.
You never admit that I am the heart of your heart,
you never speak of the infinite ways you would dare to love me.
first there was space
which became a place
along came energy and gave it a face
duality of experience
gave it a few I's
and a voice that would sound in a billion cries
then on the hour, a whooping whistle, a hoot and a holler, a howl to the pack
the feel good tribe
but if ever a member should sound instead a battle cry,
it would ignite the sky with such piercing electricity,
zues himself would be proud of their work
we are turning towards the sun
in the infinite
arena of space--
for a glimpse of
a seagull wafts past,
a formation of ducks
pass over head-
there is no HD like this.
pink and orange clouds
round water belly
we call Michigan.
I am unreachable
among the translucent clouds which
the wind sweeps
mosaic of ivy
the side of
at the end of the world.
If I'm buried once I'm dead,
should my ashes go unspread
round the world where people laugh,
let this be my epitaph:
"Love has been the only thing worth knowing!
We don't need money where we are going."
7ft and slender
white but weathered
it stretched out
coral pockets peaking
where the joint snapped from jaw.
so engraved on a chin of a giant, we saw
numbers, shapes and patterns
hyroglighs and runes,
in an epitaph to humanity
enscribed so eloquently
on the remains of something once alive.
the lineages of Babel
now bound to bone
as momentous as the application of rhythem and tone.
this piece now home to
every folk song sung,
creation tale and doomsday lore,
every hero that woman ever bore,
each fantasy whispered in the dark,
a canvas of individuals who had left their mark!
stories remained so we’d never forget.
They call me Nekba,
named for the catastrophe born on the same day as I.
64 years of fighting the threat of genocide
has left me un-spooled, like the thread I use
to embroider pillows and thobes
with passion and the hope
that one day I will again feel at home
on this land that my grandfather tilled with his hands
under the umbrage of a gold- leafed dome..
And all I’ve inherited is internal displacement:
like my gut in my throat
when I hear of olive trees,
older than you and me by centuries,
uprooted like so many families
relinquished to refugee
camps where there is no defense.
Though in the West Bank we are restrained by a fence
thick enough to drown the sounds of our sorrows,
and muffle the marching beat of endless feet
martyred in neat piles
which the media sweeps so slyly
under the rug of humanity.
The insanity of your alleged “birthright”,
Israeli’s minting fresh citizens:
you import entitlement
and market it as democracy!
And though your apartheid apathy
acknowledges 1 million of my friends
as second-class citizens
among you, 4 million more are caught in between,
unaccounted for in your governmental scheme.
And that doesn’t include the millions still who can only dream
of one day reclaiming their ancestry:
frozen in the struggle to remain Palestinian and present,
to retain the essence
of zaatar w zaytoon,
il loz w laymoon..
In the spirit of those lost,
the Arab spring thaws
the sting of aching jaws letting cries of “Freedom!”
ring through bullet-battered walls.
But the numbers dead here still spiral like some stupefying defect:
1 missing, 1 lost, 2 killed, 3 buried, 5, 8, 13..
we’ve grown accustomed to this pattern of killing!
But when does the sequence end?
Tell me Israel, through which ethical lens
does your ethnic cleansing make sense?
The irony is a bit much for me to tolerate:
while Palestinian children are dying,
your IDF soldiers are toasting “l’chaim!”
Our sons and daughters detained prisoners of war
starving for your empathy,
living on salt and water,
and I don’t mean tears alone...
So tell me how, Danny Ayalon,
can you deny that Palestine ever existed?
How can you say, with a straight face, that before ‘48
there was nothing here but the potential for a Jewish state?
Before you fed us your hate
we ate like kings in the fertile crescent--
doctors, lawyers and musicians!
Our land was golden, the most bountiful, and open!
You’ve defiled our stunning cities and our wholesome history.
And yet, I’ll grant you amnesty,
you orphan-making orphans,
because you have never known
the sanctuary of a home and
it’s no wonder you want this land for your own.
Our mountains and coastline, lush green and stones,
which still stand to rebel
against your bomb shells,
are a sight to remind you that your might
does not negate our right to life.
And I must admit I was jealous
when I heard you sent love letters to Iran!
Made me wonder, when did I ever do you wrong?
Made me wonder, what possesses a throng
of Americans to suit up and serve
to protect another homeland which they don’t deserve.
With only weapons in the water, only ammo in the bread,
I was knocked out from rage with stars of David round my head,
last time I yelled,
“Hey Ariel Pharaoh, will you let my people go?”
Because this land is holy, and was so
before your uranium blasts,
and at the end of the day we share the same Semetic past..
But in the 1950’s your discriminatory policies
helped you confiscate our land, classifying us as absentees,
though we never left sight of home.
It was only out of reach,
as we stood helpless caught in your checkpoints, present absentees,
and watched as Jewish families
commandeered Palestinian homes
with food still cooking hot on the stove,
beds made and bills paid, and pets sullen on the floor
sniffing out the stranger who just walked through door.
We never abandoned our Falastin,
and now as refugees
we carry her spirit internationally.
And Israel, we refute
your dumbing down of this occupation
to call it a “dispute”,
though it’s not just a semantic issue.
So I will continue
amidst your tanks and settlements:
separating, segregating, discriminating in your racist strategy..
Netenyahu, who “chose” you to inflict so much suffering unto me?
Israel, I dream of peace,
which is no substitute for justice:
Israel with your barbed wire hugs, and
Israel with your uranium love, and
Israel with your bullet-proof apathy,
Israel with your affinity for make believe.
Israel I am waiting for your liberating compassion,
for you to discover your love
of Palestinian bedouins and Bashas.
For this love cannot be contained,
(which is why love doesn’t die when bodies don’t remain)
which is why love is all that’s left
though my heart has hardened
like the stone pit of an olive.
Don’t you see, Israel?
The only way I know to give you my very best
is to rip open my vest, reach into my chest,
dislodge this now calcified organ,
kiss my fist, and with a wish
send it flying over the wall
towards your settlements (which haven’t settled anything at all)
and hope you receive my good intent.
You see I don’t resent you,
we’d never move passed this if I did--
my life has passed and I just want a better future for my kids.
This rock was meant for nothing more
than to knock some sense into you..
Why continue war?!
We are one human race,
there are no "walls" in space,
and if you could just see my face..
the daughter of a catastrophe--
Perhaps it may inspire some humanity,
Israel, all I do is give you time
but until you get in line,
I’ll keep throwing these
love letters from Palestine.