Thank you Lina


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When I visited my friend, we sat to watch the news together with her little girl Lina, who surprised us with her wisdom and compassion.

Six-year-old Lina
Sitting with her mum
In her world of dreams
Watching news

Gazing away
Abruptly she says
“Mama
You know
Those Jews
Who took our land
If suddenly
They changed their mind
Decided
To give it all back
Even our trees
And our food
Then they’d become poor
They wouldn’t have to worry
We will give them
Some of our food
Share with them
Every thing we have
Mama
We won’t be bad”

This little Lina
Only months ago
Had a soldier’s gun
Pointing against her head

This little Lina
Only weeks ago
Had her uncle’s home
By their bulldozers
Razed to the ground

This little Lina
Didn’t know that
Only today
Some settlers
Protected by guns
And soldiers,
Invaded her village
Silwan
Near Jerusalem
Forced the inhabitants out
Of their homes
And occupied them

This little Lina
Proved very wrong
All that they say
“The abused …
Will become the abuser”

This little Lina
Never lost her soul
This little Lina
No doubt
Is our hope
And our ultimate victory

February/2004

People with Green Hearts


Arabic poem,

Author شهرزاد الخليج

Translated and illustrated by Nahida Exiled Palestinian

 

People with green hearts

The colour of trees is the colour of their hearts 
Their dreams… water pure
 Their imagination… sky wide
 They are capable of infinite forgiveness 
Have the ability to bathe in optimism
 And to wash themselves in dreams to the very last drop

 People with green hearts
 Don’t ever expect to be stabbed from the back 
By a hand that once shook theirs
 Their days and seasons are works of art painted with hope
 They don’t learn easily from their mistakes
 Instead, they keep repeating them like a child’s bad habits

 They offer hearts around them infinite trust 
They’re incapable of seeing the colour black in existence

 People with green hearts 
Come intimately near to those who pass them by in life, 
So much so that they are glued to them 
They cling to the minute details 
Ever trusting of those around
 Creative in finding excuses to the faults of others 

 People with green hearts 
Cling onto beginnings like mad 
Reject endings fiercely 
They can’t comprehend separation

They trick reality with a dream 
The dream with an illusion 
On the map of hope, they occupy vast areas

People with green hearts
 Don’t recognise mistrust or deception 
Nor do they cause others to taste portrayal 

They start with purity
 And end up with faithfulness
 Longing steals much of their time
 They keep loyal to their tales until death 
Yesterday has immense reverence in their lives

 People with green hearts
 Play the role of peace doves
 Spreading love on earth 
Help in building abodes of joy 

They hasten to mend the broken hearts
 And talk with the voice of affection
About love and dreams

They make you feel that it’s them 
Who invented the colour “white” in this universe

 People with green hearts 
Hold fast to childhood, despite the passing of years 
Their hearts forever young 
Their souls never grow old, nor become polluted 

Their faces reflects babyhood innocence 

Their eyes mirror truthfully their essence
They’re not good at hiding, or deceiving 
And fail miserably in wearing masks

 People with green hearts
 Never fail you when you need them
 They are the first to cover your needs

 When feeling overwhelmed;
They are the first thing that you lay your eyes upon 
The first who come to your rescue when drowned in sorrow 

When you are suffocated they’d give you their breath 
They’d make their lives a life ring thrown to you

 People with green hearts
 When they love, they love passionately 

When they are faithful, they are faithful passionately
 When they get a shock, the get a shock passionately

 And when they are broken, they are broken passionately
 When they give, they give passionately 
And when they cry, they cry passionately
 If you find yourself embraced
 By one of those with green hearts 
Cling onto them… passionately

 As they are a rare treasure
 In times of colour-shifting hearts
 

Only in Palestine


In Palestine, good and evil assemble

In stark contrast

An epitome of creation

In Palestine, heroism meets malice head on
No concealment, no pretence

In Palestine, kindness confronts bitterness

 Mercy grows defiant

 “Never forget and never forgive” mantra is brought to shame

In Palestine, walls all around
Yet, sitting on the fence is no longer an option
One must choose a camp

In Palestine, from prophetic schools saints and angels graduate
Yet, out of sorcery spells fiends and devils are frothed into being

In Palestine, hatred is a chain, millennia old
Pulling to Hell of depravity
Beasts who promote

In Palestine, endurance is a meadow, blossoming through parched soil

Painting the horizon

 Tears of elation and whispers of devotion

In Palestine, tenderness is a melody, sung by Gaza shores

Growing in abundance, filling hearts and minds

Dancing at twilight, healing girls and boys

In Palestine, love is a rainbow, shimmering above
Lifting to Heavenly splendour
Sublime nostalgic souls

In Palestine, faith is ocean deep

Patience knows no boundaries

Sincerity soft tactile and hope… sky-wide

In Palestine, sinners are repentant

The pious clothed in modesty and lovers intertwined

In Palestine, sisters made queens, brothers are protectors

Children are adored, fathers held up high

but under mothers’ feet Paradise is laid down

In Palestine, the hungry is fed, the lonely is embraced

The lost will be guided and the searching will find

Vinoth Ramachandra

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