29 years old
Denver, Colorado, USA
Nancy Stohlman is the organizer of the Colorado Campaign for Middle East Peace.
Palestine's cries shatter the silence of night--
an eerie screen flickers tortured images of my beloved.
Her face beaten and bruised, again.
I check the screen each day
to make sure she still breathes—
like pressing an ear to her chest.
With dirt-smudged cheeks
she once welcomed me into her world.
where buildings collapse on fathers,
and searchlights comb the obsidian night
looking for brothers...
I snuck into her bedroom
past the soldiers and the checkpoints,
climbed her hair like Rapunzel delivered
into her gun-shelled bedroom,
finding brown eyes ringed with insomnia
as the cigarette smoke of uncertainty
swirled above our heads.
We sang rat-a-tat-tat lullabies,
broken only by the occasional
puff of black smoke
raking the streets
looking for her,
I watched her stripped,
burned with cigarettes,
knife held to my throat
bile in my gut
forced to watch her
screams drowned by
whirling blades of
US Apache helicopters.
wailing to her rescue but
I dug with Palestine among the remains.
Pulling pieces of her family from
demolished houses that buried them alive
while her children called me amo,
I cannot even cry.
Her rapist becomes "a man of peace"
without a trial
and Palestine, a refugee from humanity,
left in a collapsed doorway,
dances the ghost dance
while the genocide continues.
Now, thousands of miles away from her
the images are lodged in my throat.
Night after night, like a tortured lover
I return to the flickering screen,
headlines our only connection.
I am afraid to look.
Please not today.
So Cry Palestine, Cry.
The road we walk
Der 11-ter November
by David Edelshtat
(translated from Yiddish by Ori Kiritz)
from, Kiritz, Ori. The Poetics of Anarchy: David Edelshtat's Revolutionary Poetry. Frankfurt: Lang, Europaischer Verlag der Wissenschaften, 1997.
Again the blood-red banners are fluttering!
Freedom's holy voice is ringing!
Again the people are reminded
Of the fighters who lived and died for them!
In world history again we will
Turn over and find the page of martyrs
Which is still fresh with the blood of our brothers,
Murdered by money-sacks, church and state!
Five spirits stained with blood will hover
Over the people's-tribune among suffering slaves;
And they will give us invincible courage
To live and die for freedom and justice!
They will remind us of the will
Which they left for the workers:
"Fight for your freedom! No evil beast
Should drive you away from the holy post!"
"Don't be afraid of the hangmen and their gallows!
Fight and ring the freedom-bell!
And announce to the slaves of all the world
That that very day would be the day of liberation!"
And on both shores of the great ocean
The slaves of all the nations
Will give each other in friendship a brother-hand
And swear to annihilate chains and thrones...
November 7, 1890