Monday, 5 January 2009

In Ramallah for funeral of poet August 08

I thought this poem from Frederica Venn was very poignant given the developments in Gaza at present. She is a community artist and spent some time in Gaza in August of last year, There is an article on her on the CMS website 'From Banksy to Bethlehem'

Avoid reading this if poetry leaves you cold! A wonderful Palestinian poet has died in America, called Mahmoud Darwish. Beautiful words from a real Master. So since he is being buried here in Ramallah I travelled here. I strongly advise reading him. Try his websites. He was born 1942.
Have a look at these 2 poems for starters: 

JOURNEY TO RAMALLAH ( for the funeral of Mahmoud Darwish, Poet)

I do not smell the sea
in Palestine,
that is off limits now,
I am far from the Gaza strip.
But I taste the stones.
Rocks of the ages.
Veined with malable history,
worn by pressure
sweet as a sacred memory,
that burst fresh with colour
reverend to touch
creamy as primrose
golden as dawn
run though with chaos
rust-like to blood.
And just when you start to hunger,
soft pink seeps romance.

I travelled to Ramallah
To honour Mahmoud Darwish.
Snaking along pure greyness
observing the Wall.
mounted by silver thorns
crazed as a maze
crowning another heartbreak.
Where once there were trees,
and birds flew to visit.

My senses are reeling.
My smell is for music
an odour of angels
carrying sweet burden
that my blind eyes can not see

And what of my feelings?
Cocooned in that shell
that floats safe in water,
in harbours called home?
I am here because
I am trying to listen
I am learning to hear.
So I close with the words
the Poet,
For whence did I come,
and share.

My wings are Time.
Love is the fire of love. So catch fire
and free yourself
from the body of place

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