I wrote an e-mail to Natalie Abou Shakra yesterday asking her permission to reprint her poem here on my blog. Here is her response and her beautiful poem:
Thank you much for your ecouraging words... we are striving to get the world to change its course as regards to Arabs and the Palestinian cause here, and to alter the image created about us by the Israeli narration of events...
Please do post my poem there...
Lebanese Blogger Natalie Abou Shakra, from Gaza, PalestineJanuary 10, 2008
To whom it may concern: my name is… who cares? Dignity, resistance, resilience… they all drove me nowhere. They are but scribbles on the walls of my history. They are dreams of a people swallowed by gluttony. They are cause and effect, lies and regrets, to erase and forget.
Shame on those who read me, and turn their backs somewhere. It is I who made history, past and present, today tomorrow… everywhere.
I hold the word, and fight darkness and despair, from the caves of a wounded people, my ancestors… I still hear them, sharp and clear.
I hold existence, on papers on the desk, on faces in the crowd, on tombs of the martyrs.I hold life in bread crumbs, with candles, in books on a rusty shelf.I hold strife with mirth, with children who have taught me to fight with a smile and kill with a prayer.
I hold justice with memory, with a broken poem, exile and a state of nowhere.I hold death with eternity, an eternal dream, an eternal love, an eternal struggle, an aim, a cause… I know not despair. I am the subconscious of every human. You cannot eat, you cannot sleep, you cannot dream, I shall haunt you… you who stole… stole the world from me, I shall live not to forget.
On my land, you stole the fruit, the work of a day, the days of a youth, time will take note, place will witness.When our children, in the morning, awaken; when the milk from their mouths is taken; when the symphonies of tears are shaken; when our mothers and fathers drown, helpless against their infants; when our candle, at night, have melted; when our eyes, swollen and tired, in the fields of an endless night, cry blood and lose their sight; when our bodies from the cold grow weaker; when the only warmth that comes, comes from the elderly that you have broken; when you sit in your golden haven… sit down and take note of this:
Take note; our pens do sway, in every direction. They insist, persist and spit out the bullets of your oppression.Take note; our journals are filled with the acts of your wretched intentions, of your day-to-day crimes against our existence, of your delirious threats and excruciating torture.Take note; our tongues will live to narrate, tales of the history of your racism, your apartheid world, and your ignorant hatred.Take note; children will grow, they are the seeds your oppressions sough.Take note; we, the wretched, the students of strife, hunger, and poverty, will rise and rise and rise above your cruelty, above your lies, and false "brotherhood" solidarity, we shall rise and rise with the flames of our passionate will to live, on our land, with our people, against all your traps and deadly mazes. We shall return to our homes, against your will, against your bullets and tanks, against your bribes and ranks, against all of your attempts to makes us beasts, the savages against your so-called "liberty."Take note; o you slavish corpses, you dormant rulers, and forgetful masses!
Natalie Abou Shakra International Solidarity MovementGaza, Palestine
5 days ago