Monday, March 19, 2012

Cedar Tree

As I read old poetry I scribbled years ago, I stumble upon one that I actually used to perform in spoken word performances. I am beginning to realize the rhythm of it, but it may not be obvious to the reader. 

Another poem about a massacre. October 25 2006.


The storm has continued the barrage for days
Crops of this field have been flooded with rain
Young roots in this soil can no longer drink
The bullets of rain these storm clouds spray
And blood from wars now remains as a stain
The young cedar is battered, the old mountains sink

They ushered me with their weapons to my seat
While all I held was an old rake and dry seeds
After sowing a nation and spirit scarred
And years of taking to the shelled street
In search of my nation’s lost beads
Of prayer and hope and unity, yet they began to bombard

My country. Now with them I am seated
They say: You with the dirty, worked hands committed the crime
I am accused of raising children vile to their needs
And my sentence is to accept that I am defeated
And with my people I must serve time
Behind bars of humanity’s silence, who pays no heed

To the fact that these children I bore are children of war
Raised by my accusers and taught death and starvation
Reared to believe that they are wanderers with no name
Told that it is their kind this world will deplore
That they deserve no rolling hills or fields of a nation
And are slapped with the iron will of one with no shame

These children were spat on by the mouth of no reason
Targeted by an eye with no sight
Ignored by an ear deaf to cries and whimpers, children whose cry is this
Melody muffled by the overcast of a morbid season
Clouds overarching truth and banning the sunlight
My only crime is being the voice that screams music of justice

Like Fairuz, who opened the cedar door
To a world where my accusers are the ones in the right
Because they bomb children while they sleep
And crush men who are pinned to the floor
By the prayer one utters under the rain of gunfight
In mourning of a way of life now buried deep

Under the rubble of my hopes shattered by a bomb, one ton
Of hatred dumped on the veiled women who weep
In agony when passing places where the children ran
While playing games, but now running is not for fun
For my hungry accusers chase me in my sleep
And slowly awakening, I realize their plan

To hide in the shadow of words like democracy
To brand me a terrorist plotting a crime
To justify themselves for fighting in self defense
Yet the orphans point my accusers to hypocrisy
And they carry photos and say: 
This is the Sabra of our time
Charging Qana as if Shatilla was no expense

And now I sit at this table to confess
While the weapons they hold point away from right
And instead at my heart, as truth keeps its steady beat
My accusers hear its rhythm and know that I am blessed
Sensing my will and my firm faith, their fright
Grows, for they realize I know not the meaning of defeat

I say: As long as this storm continues to pound
A people who only know toil will sweat
Beads for this nation’s glory, for it is faith that I know
And with my old rake and dried seeds, I take oath by these holy grounds
Generations to come and thrive after these times is my threat
To your plan to raise us in fear, these dried cedars will grow

Into tomorrow, so bring your artillery of fake treaties, I shall remain here
Standing under the shade of our struggle, under my mended tree
Watching my children climb its firm branches of hope to play
Breathing in a sky clean from polluted clouds of chemical fear
Or a storm that rains bombs and bullets thought to make us flee
I swear with my rake I will fight for this day 

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