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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Two Poems for the People of Syria

Oh, Mohja
how much water can run from rivers to sea
how much blood can soak the earth
the guns of tyrants know no end
a people awakened are bigger than bullets
there is no sleep in their eyes
no more stunted backs and fear of broken limbs
even men, women and children are humble with sacrifice
the old the young play their roles
with smiles they endure torture chambers
with laughs they submit to rape and mutilations
there is no victory for oppressors
whose days are numbered
as the clock ticks as the sun rises
let the people continue til victory
surely they smell it on their hands
taste it on lips
believe it in their hearts
know it in their minds
no more backwardness no fear
let there be resistance til victory.
--Marvin X/El Muhajir




Syrian poet/professor Dr. Mohja Kahf


Oh Marvin, how much blood can soak the earth?

The angels asked, “will you create a species who will shed blood

and overrun the earth with evil?” 

And it turns out “rivers of blood” is no metaphor: 


see the stones of narrow alleys in Duma

shiny with blood hissing from humans? Dark

and dazzling, it keeps pouring and pumping

from the inexhaustible soft flesh of Syrians,

and neither regime cluster bombs from the air,

nor rebel car bombs on the ground,

ask them their names before they die. 

They are mowed down like wheat harvested by machine,

and every stalk has seven ears, and every ear a hundred grains.

They bleed like irrigation canals into the earth.

Even one little girl in Idlib with a carotid artery cut

becomes a river of blood. Who knew she could be a river 

running all the way over the ocean, to you,

draining me of my heart? And God said to the angels, 

“I know what you know not.” But right now,

the angels seem right. Cut the coyness, God;

learn the names of all the Syrians.

See what your species has done.

--Mohja Kahf



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