Poets Corer: Rooted

23rd Jun 2017

Rooted

 

Flood of crimson poppies

Soaking green fields

Sinking soil seeps

As Palestine weeps

Blood

 

Her olives, land, identity

Like the scarlet anemone

Stolen, colonised, appropriated-

Suddenly, laughably

‘Israeli’

 

A wild, ancient seed

Germinating in soil that buried

Tens of generations of Palestinians passed

Al-Shaqa’iq al-Nu’man now recast –

Israel’s national flower,

‘Kalandit’

 

Erasing, replacing, her twelve Arabic names

Long woven through Palestinian hair,

Literature, medicine, folk-tales

As old as the gnarled olive trees

Tended by calloused Arab hands

For centuries

 

And yet, in torturous spite,

Of land and people colonised,

The ancient hills of Galilee

Still bloom wildly,

Defiantly

 

Rooted in deep, burning pain,

A Palestine occupied, dehumanised, slain,

They deepen their scarlet flush,

Weeping tears of blood,

Solidarity

 

Resilient hills of green and crimson flame,

Calling to all beyond the Palestinian plain,

From our fire, distill

Unwavering love, collective will,

Sacrifice

 

Until our colours mark freedom’s flag

Not the scars of exiles,

Stateless, placeless, voiceless,

Rise

 

Until our tradition, history, identity

Reclaim their rightful integrity,

Break distorted, colonial narratives

And set the truth free,

Rise,

Rise,

Resist

Fatema Valji

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