In the presence of the eloquence of blood, there is no time to expose the myth of the barbarians but in passing. Today in Gaza there is no time for mourning, no time for theorizing, no time for satire, and most certainly there is no time to mull over utterances and endlessly pondered questions. There is no time to weigh words when the open wound has become the size of a nation, and in the land where being a victim is the sole evidence of the oppressor’s existence, who fulfills his duty through the other’s annihilation. There is no time for love in the time of war. There is no time for war in the time of love except as a yearning for life. There is no time to review laws and principles, for the majority of judges in God’s own country are still on reserve in Samson’s army. In Palestine, these judges are on collective leave, paid for by the kin of the victims, so that they can join forces on the Gaza war front. There is no time to balance statements to secure a longer list of signatures from our friends in “the Israeli peace camp” (even peace is practiced in camps in Israel!) There is no time to negotiate even-handed statements of condemnation so as to not harm the “moral equivalency” between the victim and the oppressor without naming either. There is no time to do all of this to gain more support for a multi-lingual appeal that has been answered—even before it was issued—by the chief of staff of international principles in the new-Sodom in New York! There is no time in the dark of night and its rough passage but for one statement: STOP THE CRIMES IN GAZA.
Yet, is there a time for a poem—not written for an occasion—to respond the martyr’s cry? It is the same martyr that we buried in haste between yesterday and today fearing the “god of wars” would yet again bombard the morgue. Were we afraid that the martyr would not find someone to dignify him justly on the soil of Palestine?
He said to me: “why do the dead bury the dead as they are? They might return.
they might return, for they know the path to a blood they voluntarily left behind”
- You mean the martyr?
- He is in the afar
- And we are closer to life. Among the abundance of its songs, we only memorize the song of his last return, and the salute:
“The brother has returned, oh my eye… don’t cry!
the brother has returned on the shoulders of his comrades and admirers
the brother has returned, oh mom, ululate him
the martyr’s blood is a debt on us.”
Return to us, our martyr, here is your spring waiting for you.
the fire your hands have lit is in thirst for your cheerful breath,
and in thirst for your mother’s mourning songs that exhausted her tears.
Return with your guardian angel,
return with your praised and sweetened name by the lord of the universe
on earth and in heavens.
Return whenever you wish.
Return, oh the eagle of your own soul,
return where all the scripts are molded with your prophetic heart pasted with ‘Antara-The Martyr
return absolved of our shame:
“Have the martyrs left any (empty) graves?” we ask,
as to crown the gravestone with laurel, or with thorns so not to bring about the day of judgment!
Have the martyrs left their harbor, then?
Have they “untied their ships” in the dusk? Are they returning?
Have the martyrs changed their direction so that we guide them to the virgin eternity?
or has our garden narrowed down on them, and the path faded out of their absence?