To the Last-Ten-Days of Ramadhan Moon

How can I find the words,

When tears blind my eyes?

At night, when darkness comes

Shall sleep come peacefully

To this grieving heart?

How can I close my eyes

When in Gaza, bombs

Lit their evenings?

Will a mother not share

The anguish of a fellow mother?

What do four little boys–

Who, despite the insanity around

Still made sense of life and

Find fun on the beach—

Could ever be guilty of?

Then because I was silent,

I was afraid to speak out,

I was indifferent, for

They are not my boys after all,

Because I, together with the rest

Will just walk away anyway

From it all,

They were hit as they ran

Desperately for their lives

Only to fall. Ah, innocent kids,

Don’t they know there is

Nowhere to run?

That it is useless to resist?

And I will maintain my silence,

I will keep my democracy,

Because, I know what you do,

Mainstream media

Have already condemned you so,

You have deserved your

Punishment for resisting!

Yes, you—mothers, sons, daughters

And babies!

Oh, I prefer my silence,

I will turn away from images

Of limbs torn,

Bodies maimed,

Buildings blown up,

Hospitals and mosques destroyed–

Well, civilized people have to defend

Themselves from you!

Can I be wrong?

When the lone superpower on earth

The great police of the world,

The vanguard of democracy,

The great nation that taught me

The grandeur of freedom

Bankrolls those missiles and

The Iron Dome?

Surely, in the wisdom of this

Benevolent leader and other monarchs,

Presidents and CEOs,

Is something worthy to ape.

Night comes again,

The Iftar food is laid on the table

And as I try to eat a morsel

I remember Gaza,

I remember the little girl and her doll,

I remember the orphan who still

Believed his family are at home.

Oh dear God,

I cannot be silent anymore,

I was never really silent.

As the missiles rained on them,

As the world spits on them,

My heart is torn asunder,

The tears flow from my heart,

Why does the world watch?

How can the world see this carnage,

Like it watches a fictional war movie?

Didn’t Shylock also ask,

“Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands,

organs, dimensions, senses, affections,passions; fed with the same

food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases,

healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter

and summer, as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If

you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die?

And if you wrong us, do we not revenge?”

Why can’t a Palestinian raise the same questions?

If others have the right to self-defense,

Why can’t the Palestinians have the right to life?

It wasn’t right for Shylock to get a pound of Christian flesh,

Yet, it is all right to pound the flesh and lives of the Palestinians?

Do they not also bleed? Do they not also laugh?

Ah, but I shall not whisper these questions

To a mute wall of indifference,double-standard

And murderous intent.

That wall will crumble under its own rotten weight someday—

But, I cannot help but cry out,

To the waning last ten days of the  Ramadan moon,

Oh, may I ask, where is Salahudin Ayubi?

Where is he among us?

Oh Masjid al-Aqsa

Will I ever set foot  on your hallowed steps?

Oh Salahudin Ayubi,

Remember when you liberated Jerusalem?

Muslims, Christians and Jews

Were allowed to practice their religions

In the Holy land.

Do you still recall how you replaced King Richard’s

Horse? Oh Salahudin,

If only you knew how Muslims are notallowed

To pray in your beloved Masjid al-Aqsa.

Oh, how I mourn, o woe!

Oh Palestine. O mothers, sons and daughters,

Let those tears dry now.

No more of them. Even if all olive branches fell,

Even if there is no more a shoulder you can rely on,

Or a patch of land you can step on,

Or never a fellow mother who shall equally grieve—

We  are but strangers here on earth.

Those of you—four young Gazans on  the beach:

Mohammed, Ahed, Zakaria, and Mohammed Bakr,

When Salahudin Ayubi welcomes you,

Just tell him, he is still remembered.

In memory of the four boys on the beach by Amir Schiby.

In memory of the four boys on the beach by Amir Schiby.


About darangenwomentoday

PhD student University of Melbourne, Australia (Culture and Communication); MA-Media Studies (New School University, New York City); Director, Press and Information Office (Mindanao State University); Former Vice-Head, National Commission on Culture and the Arts Committee on Cultural Information and Special Events; Former member, National Commission on Culture and the Arts Committee on Monuments and Sites; and Former Vice-Chancellor for Research and Extension (Mindanao State University).
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