februari 20, 2009

Listen, O Israel, for the dull, dim thud
of your hard’ning heart, drained of joy.

Amidst dying embers of compassion
for the orphans and the widows
whose protruding round eyes
stare from starved faces
at your abundant good fortune,
you offer the sulphurous fumes of arrogance
as a comfort.

Hear, O Israel, the stunned, dull tones of the father
wresting his dead baby from the cold arms
of his dead wife

Your soul, O Israel,
hard-immune to the suffering stranger,
chills my blooded veins, for you forget
“you were once a stranger in the land of Egypt”
was a reminder to take pity on the stranger.
Instead, you have become as Pharaoh and his hosts,
to escape the pain of the stranger that stares
accusingly at you.
Your young, full-bellied army tortures the stranger
even as you delight in the stranger’s humiliation
and witness your cruelty with banal calm eye, businesslike,
efficient, sophisticated, consummated.

My tears, O Israel,
flow hot and flow cold
as ice and fire dance, prance, tear through my mind
maddened, maddening to watch the soldiers of Pharaoh
emblazoned with Magen Dovid hardened like steel
against the vulnerable soft flesh of your victims,
all the while
oblivious to the lapping sound of the waters of the Red Sea.
I choke on the fear of what you have wrought
to open the flood of this sea
that will consume both you and me.

Hear, O Israel, All is Vanity and we are all one;
Humanity is all one.


copyright©2009 by Lawrence Boxall

Een gedicht van Lawrence Boxall. Begonnen toen Israel in de laatste dagen van de aanval op Libanon in 2006 het geweld nog eens extra opvoerde, nadat er al een staakt-het-vuren was overeengekomen. Eenzelfde cynisme zagen we tijdens de laatste dagen voor de terugtrekking van Israel op 18 januari jl.

Judith Weisman draagt dit gedicht emotioneel voor tijdens een bijeenkomst in Toronto:


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