July 31, 2014 § 1 Comment
If I were to be jealous, I’d be jealous of Time,
Because it has been your greatest companion,
By recording your first breath
And possibly your very last.
You are always asking for it, as it ticks on your wrist
In the form of a grey watch,
And on your bedroom wall
In the form of a cockatoo clock,
Where it replies in click-clocks and tick-tocks,
Like the steps your feet take on the floor,
But these days are ones you mark on your calendar,
Or perhaps a play in which you act the protagonist’s role.
Never in the rush of its company to end,
Wishing it be everlasting.
Though nothing is such; Time
Accompanies deadlines and memorials
For those who thought it stay by them forever.
It won’t always be there, as it has
Fooled you into thinking so.
Time will betray you one day,
By leaving unexpected,
But if I were to pass on anything I’ve learnt,
It would be, to distrust it.
July 22, 2014 § 2 Comments
(Found on the streets of Shuja’iyya) 21 July 2013
I am terrified. I am so scared, and as I write this down my hands are shaking, my fingers are trembling and I can barely feel anything anymore. Maybe I feel so much; I feel so much I had to run to paper to try to put these feelings elsewhere. Maybe I cannot take it any longer.
It feels as though someone is fishing through my mouth, it is as though my heart is the sea and there has been an ongoing tornado for two weeks. I am terrified. Maybe I should make this worth reading by stating what has happened, although it is obvious. It is obvious.
My cousin was murdered, he was thrown down on the ground; he was forced to kneel down to one of those men- those men with their camouflaged uniforms in green. I never understood why they wore green. Why? Where is the greenery here? They cut down all of our olive trees; they burned our farms, what more do they want? It’s a desert, and any green we had has been flourished with blood. I say flourished because the blood of our people has fallen on our ground, to where it came from, to where it belongs. My cousin knelt down and the figure in the green suit was with his companions, and… and they started humiliating my cousin. He was about to die in shame, they videotaped him and laughed. They said things I did not understand. Why do they know my language, when I can’t speak theirs? What was so comical about the scene? Was there a camera hiding somewhere, was it a prank? Mezhe? I am crying, as I was then. I am so terrified. One of the figures looked at me; he was so tall I couldn’t see his face. I could not see him. I did not want to. He said something to his mate but I couldn’t hear it. All of my senses were sucked by their infected voices, and my emotions as well, except for terror. My heart’s beating was the loudest rhythm I could hear. I think they wanted to do something with me, I didn’t know. Before they got any closer, my cousin jumped up and shouted “Orkody! Run!” I ran. I didn’t even think about it. I couldn’t think twice and I don’t know how I did it. How did I run if I’d forgotten how to pick my feet off the ground? Maybe a malak held me. Maybe an angel saved me. Maybe his soul jumped as quickly as the gun shot pierced his chest, to hold my hand – and we ran.
My cousin didn’t die in shame. He died a hero, batal, but I wish he’d protected someone worthy of protecting. What can I do? I’m only thirteen years old. I’m supposed to be dancing in the field and laughing. I’m supposed to be twirling around in my Eid clothes; everything around me should be colourful but all I see now are red and grey; I think I’ve forgotten what a clear sky looks like anymore. I imagine it was clear, and blue; maybe some white added, painted and scattered all-over. He was only fourteen. This is not supposed to happen to us. I’m not supposed to be writing this; I’m supposed to be wrapped in the arms of my mother, or my sister; I’m supposed to be comforted by them. Someone is supposed to hold me and tell me we will soon wake up from this nightmare. Where is Allah? Where is everyone?
I am exhausted. I miss my mother and I miss my sister. They’re both gone. They were stolen away by them, they kidnapped their souls. They killed my mother in 2008, and the hospital wasn’t equipped enough to save my sister when she was sick. They wouldn’t even let us cross the border, and by the time they accepted our papers it was too late, the angel of death had already come. I still remember it. I remember it all. I hate that my mind only remembers my relatives’ deaths. Will anyone even read this? Do I matter at all? I can’t keep this in me. I can’t. I shouldn’t be bitter. I shouldn’t be bitter. But I am terrified. I haven’t eaten in days and I forgot what it was like to have an appetite.
I hope someone listens. I wish to die, at least I’d go back to my family, at least we’d be reunited in Jannah. Maybe then, I can visit the Palestine my grandmother would tell us stories about. She told us that the nakba, the invasion, occurred when she was eleven. I wish none of this ever happened. Maybe 66 years from now someone will pick this up and read it. Maybe I’ll read it to my grandchildren, and the future would be bright. It would be so bright the sky won’t even be blue, it would be so bright, that when someone looks above they wouldn’t be able to, they’d be blinded. Maybe this is a cycle, it’s only a cycle. Maybe they will leave us as they left Europa. Maybe we will be free.
I feel so desperate. I am so scared. I can only find myself writing that, I can’t write anymore, what is there to say? If no one can hear my screams, my calling, over their bombs, how is anyone going to read this? Nobody cares! All who did went to Jannah! I shouldn’t be bitter. I shouldn’t be bitter. But it’s not fair, it’s not fair.
I can hear bombs a few kilometres away. It is so loud. I am shaking. I can’t feel my heart beating anymore. I should run, but I’m still writing. Maybe this is it. Maybe God is finally answering my prayers. I will not run this time. It’s not like my knees are doing me any favours. There is nowhere to run, even if I escape my mind will never forget. Hathi beladi. This is my home and I should not feel victimized in my own home. I will stand still, ‘ashen bkawem. Ana el mokawameh. We will resist.
July 6, 2014 § 1 Comment
You entered my bubble
and introduced me to a different form of air,
other than that containing Nitrogen and Oxygen,
They were alien elements, from your world, I suppose,
I almost fainted at first,
My heart raced
and my mind chased it to the finish line of the running track,
You gave me all of the symptoms,
whereby being afraid and comforted
at the same time was no longer an irony.
They say Oxygen slowly rusts
in our bodies,
acting as a catalyst to death.
Perhaps you entered to save me,
I breathed a different atmosphere,
and Oxygen was no longer vital to my survival,
but when you left,
the symptoms crept again,
except, it was as an allergic reaction;
my eyes would flood my cheeks
with tears, staining my once-dry sleeves.
You know, it’s eerie, because I am not allergic to anything,
but some say you discover hidden allergies
once you’re older;
guess it took me seventeen years,
that I am allergic to your absence.