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Poetry, April 11, 2011


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Poems on Palestine, Dedicated to Juliano Khamis

By Mazin Qumsiyeh, Remi Kanazi, and Sam Hamod


I’d rather not talk about it

    (for Palestine…)

By Sam Hamod


we really didn’t want

to talk about Ali losing his leg

to an Israeli shell last week, or

samira still in the hospital

her body burned by napalm

from a fast moving jet, but

as I said,

we’d rather not talk about it,

but it seems

there is nothing else

we can talk about except, maybe

the zaitoun* trees, the tanks

and bulldozers made short work of them,

but their stumps remain, gravemarkers

some say, but they say,

they’d rather not talk about it

between muffled sobs their women

knot their hands, shake their heads, their

scarves wet from tears, but even they say,

they’d rather not talk about it,

and as for me, I’d feel the same, but

as a poet, I have to give them voice, even though

they say,

they’d rather not talk about it,

I want to, and I want u to know

more about Mahmoud who lost an eye to shrapnel,

to Miriam who lost her 7 year old son

because an Israeli sniper decided he was a threat

as he picked olives in his own orchard, and

I want to talk about George, who was on his way

to church on Sunday, but walked too close

to the Israeli wall, and lost his brains

as they scattered along the wall, red and white

as another sniper made sure no one came near

this land they stole from Palestine, and,

Hussein who lost his foot from a cluster bomblet

that had been left behind in Gaza, he was simply

on his way to the mosque to pray on Friday, the

Imam said it was “Allah’s will,,” but I doubt it,

when asked why it was Allah’s will, he said,

I’d rather not talk aboujt it, but we go on,

and, there is another story, behind another bed

in the emergency room, and another stretcher

bleached white with red stains all over,

and,  and,

and, and,     I could go on,

but as I said, I’d rather not talk about it,

as they all said, there is nothing to talk about,

nothing,  nothing, 

no,  nothing at all


*zaitoun:  olives in Arabic

Dr. Sam Hamod, editor,



From Dair Yassin to Gaza

a Poem By Mazin Qumsiyeh

I am back in Palestine after a long 40 day book tour in which I visited 3 countries, 16 US states, gave talks 67 times and interviewed on TV and Radio extensively. Over 3000 wonderful contacts were made and the publisher tells me that 1300 books were sold along the way ( ). I thank all who helped make this possible and all who attended my talks. My apologies for my poor name-face association with older age.  Yet, the sweet home coming occurred on 9 April, 2011 the anniversary of the massacre at Deir Yassin and, just in the past three days, 18 Palestinians were murdered in Gaza by the same occupation army; including a man and his grand-daughter. I penned a poem along the way:


April 9, 1948 to April 9, 2011: Deir Yassin to Gaza

(by Mazin Qumsiyeh, Written on the way back home, dedicated to Juliano Khamis*)


My kind old mother laments

Decades of memory that transcends

Fake Gods and fake peace offers

who bless nichsayon and slaughter

our eyes fail to see or just lament

blood of a child licked off a pavement

By stray thirsty cats

with more morals than army brats

Our ears fail to hear

voice of Dr. Izzeldinne echoes

“I shall not hate” his anguished cries

After three beautiful daughters

With a tank shell and in a niece in a slaughters

Our noses feail to smell

The whiff of death mixed with gun powder

Or the vomit of our tortured

Our hearts fail to feel

the punctured womb by the old home

the severed girl’s head by the mosque dome




Our fingers fail to touch

an anguished young mother

Looking for a child

Jews, Christian, Muslims wail

The lost humanity to no avail

the generals must have their joy

to test their newest toy

in Gaza white phosphorous back in use yesterday

impunity from war crimes thanks to the US of A

billionairs must make more dollars

zealots must sacrifice children at altars

Gabriel can stay a knife but not drones

And hate can murder a thousand Julianos

While the apathetic multitude watch TV

Obliviously focused on their shopping spree

Bypassing love and responsibility

Chasing gadgets, hate, and vanity

Next news bulletin.... get the experience

Next anniversary..awaken the conscience??

*The Jenin Freedom Theater and Juliano in his own words (excellent video by Jen Marlowe)

Associated Press biased reporting on Gaza

‘The Goldstone Report’ now belongs to the world by ADAM HOROWITZ, LIZZY RATNER, AND PHIL WEISS

And another opinion

The Goldstone Chronicles  By ROGER COHEN 

To “Goldstone”: (Colloq.) To sow confusion, hide a secret, create havoc.

Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD




In memory of Juliano Mer Khamis

A Poem by Remi Kanazi


our paths

never crossed






I’m sure









funny man

much more


5 bullets

casings on the floor

blood painting the pavement

masked gunman gone

people chattering

fingers pointing

Israeli media

and politicians

sharpening knives


won’t let him rest

five minutes

before digging in

for points

serving an agenda

he fought daily


won’t let his kids




break down

gasp for breath


don’t know

what runs through

someone’s veins

before that trigger

is pulled

what excuse

what idea


oxygen to enter

that motion


wanted to meet you

shake hands

share coffee


keep working

it is appreciated

it is loved

it is felt


rest in peace

rest assured

your memory will

be a theater

open nights

until justice is served

freedom is brought

and a stage is set

that pities this landscape


 This poem entitled "Remember" was written by Remi Kanazi in memory of Juliano Mer Khamis, the artistic director of the Freedom Theater in Jenin and the co-director of the award-winning film Arna's Children. Juliano was shot five times this week by unknown assailants as he left the Freedom Theater.

Remi Kanazi is a Palestinian-American poet, writer, and activist based in NYC. I'm the editor of Poets For Palestine and the author of Poetic Injustice: Writings on Resistance and Palestine.






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