I’m a destitute woman

Who lives on a checkpoint
Trivial things make me happy
Such as if my day passes without seeing a single bored soldier
I write my new novel there
About the butcher who wanted to become a violinist
Mad and evil
But his hand failed him
For a sharp, shiny knife
You know how bleak it is
To be alone and living on a checkpoint
Cheering for simple things
As if to transcend a chattering poet
And exhausted labourers carrying bags
Of bananas, guava and tnuva milk
I’m a solitary woman
Who’s lived in a grave for years
So far I haven’t seen any demons or angels
But I definitely see a lot of bored soldiers


Painful pictures

I will tell you about the painful pictures
In the cold


Twenty men
In old leather coats
Gamblers in cheap sportswear
Faces exude beards, pain and cold
Mouths wrapped in hands and plates and scarves
Snow falls on everything
The sentence below reads
’Syrians waiting in the cold and rain to buy bread‘
With an invitation to see more photos
I do not enter
I’m no saint
I’m just a bored person
Who browses painful images
To cry a little and thank God
For the blessing of a warm house
Then put more rags on the window
To stop the wind whistling


’For more painful images please click here‘



I am waiting for a brave martyr’s daughter
To stand up and scream
Take your homeland
And give me back my dad

The almond blossom knows its life is short
But the bud cracks and yawns
And only when it falls on the streets of the school
Does happiness bloom
All the minutes of silence
Cannot return one voice to life

I’ve lived a life filled with heroes
And complete bastards
Now I can no longer distinguish between them

I have seen children
Who gave their parents to the homeland
But I have never seen a homeland
That gave an orphan a father

I want everyone to live and no one to fall
Not even my demons
Not even your demons
Maybe if not one of us falls
We will all rise
Above this hell



Do you see the hole in my neck?
I no longer remember whether it was from a bullet or a word
But I am sure that two lips have passed through it
And left their whistle behind
That is why you hear this rattle
Whenever I turn to look back on the past
Or forward to the future


I cannot believe the common grief

Nor love in public
I cannot believe the endless talking about justice
Nor the talking about conviction
If you are not a bit wicked
I will know that you are very wicked
There are things
That can’t be true


Translated by Maya Abu Al-Hayyat and Naomi Foyle

Translations first published in A Blade of Grass: New Palestinian Poetryedited by Naomi Foyle (Smokestack Books, 2017).

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