poetry

The summer sun beat down on August 21 as thousands of Palestinians set out on a silent march in al-Rama, a Palestinian town in the northern Galilee region of present-day Israel, honouring the recently deceased poet and activist Samih al-Qasim.

The 76-year-old al-Qasim, who battled cancer for three years, died late on August 19.

Placards bearing verses of al-Qasim’s poetry and Palestinian flags bobbed above the marching crowd, which eventually arrived at the town’s main amphitheater. Al-Qasim’s relatives, prominent religious figures and politicians all spoke.

A dove
that flew off
just after the fall of Afghan Buddha
Didn’t have enough
Unoccupied airspace
Unoccupied skies
To flap its wings to restart the heart beats gone numb
Of zillions resting in
Graves
Segregated apart as
For the occupant and by the ccupied.
The names on the tombstones
of the graves of the occupied
Could later become undecipherable,
Though they
Far outnumber that of the occupants.

Hope the dead never wake up,
to scrutinize their underrepresented statistics,
to check the word limit of reports from Gaza,

Jan Woolf is the cultural coordinator of the No Glory in War campaign, a group that seeks to counter the celebratory narrative of the British government’s commemorations of World War I. She spoke to online radical cultural Red Wedge Magaize about the campaign’s use of art and media — both past and present — to communicate its message. It is abridged from Red Wedge Magazine.

***

Why was No Glory started?

Despite Israel’s relentless aerial bombardments, shelling and ground attacks since July 7, Palestinian writers in Gaza have responded to the latest onslaught by doing what they know — writing.
Ra Page, director of Manchester-based Comma Press, which recently published a collection of short stories from writers in Gaza, says “all of the Book of Gaza contributors are writing away like crazy, whilst they have power”.

Irish singer Sinead O’Connor has joined the growing list of artists who respect the global boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign to isolate Israel, cancelling a show in Israel scheduled for September 11.

“You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.”

So wrote Maya Angelou, in her poem “Still I Rise”. She died on May 28 at 86 at her home in North Carolina.

In remembering Maya Angelou, it is important to recall her commitment to the struggle for equality, not just for herself, or for women, or for African-Americans. She was committed to peace and justice for all.

Fuck Tony Fuckin’ Abbott
After the revolution
The solution
Abbott made to stand down
Send him to Hanover down town
Spend a term there
Maybe then he’ll care

Fuck Tony Fuckin’ Abbott
Let the boats in, I say
Don’t turn em’ away
The politician’s oversight
Illegals – no
Declaration of Human Rights
That’s the UN
Say it once again

Fuck Tony Fuckin’ Abbott
People waiting in dole queues
He’s giving me the blues
Mental illness is rife
Due partly to his strife

Fuck Tony Fuckin’ Abbott
When it comes to the end

@Resistance Centre - Green Left Weekly, 22 Mountain Street Ultimo, Sydney, Australia 2007

Join us for another special evening of poetry and performance that celebrates struggle and resistance! With the talent of Aboriginal warrior Elizabeth Jarrett and drumming and poetic legend Gabrielle Jones and many more inspiring acts. Call 0403 517 266 to offer your poetic prowess of find out more information 

Tasty meal available. Entry: $7 concession, $12 waged, $20 solidarity. All funds go towards peoples power media Green Left Weekly

 

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