All your armies, all your fighters,
All your tanks, and all your soldiers,
Against a boy holding a stone.
Standing there all alone,
In his eyes I see the sun.
In his smile I see the moon.
And I wonder, I only wonder.
Who is weak, and who is strong?
Who is right, and who is wrong?
And I wish, I only wish,
That the truth has a tongue!
downtown eastside poem of resistance
by Bud Osborn
??the myth of the frontier is an invention that rationalizes the violence of gentrification and displacement?
neil smith 1996
?these pioneers in the gradual gentrification of the downtown eastside say their hopes for a middle-class lifestyle are undermined by the tenderloin scene down the street?
doug ward 1997
?prominent amid the aspects of this story which have caught the imagination are the massacres of innocent peoples, the atrocities committed against them and, among other horrific excesses, the ways in which towns, provinces, and whole kingdoms have been entirely cleared of their native inhabitants?
bartolome de la casas 1542
there is a planetary resistance
against consequences of globalization
against poor people being driven from land they have occupied
and in community
for many years
JULY 19, 2014 NICHOLAS ROBSON
A Facebook friend shared the following remarkable poem by Lena Khalaf Tuffaha, who is a co-founder of the Institute for Middle East Understanding based in Seattle. It catches the nightmarish absurdity of the latest invasion of Gaza.
They call us now.
Before they drop the bombs.
The phone rings
and someone who knows my first name
calls and says in perfect Arabic
?This is David.?
And in my stupor of sonic booms and glass shattering symphonies
still smashing around in my head
I think ?Do I know any Davids in Gaza??
They call us now to say
You have 58 seconds from the end of this message.
Your house is next.
They think of it as some kind of
war time courtesy.
It doesn?t matter that
there is nowhere to run to.
It means nothing that the borders are closed
and your papers are worthless
and mark you only for a life sentence
in this prison by the sea
and the alleyways are narrow
and there are more human lives
packed one against the other
more than any other place on earth
We aren?t trying to kill you.
It doesn?t matter that
you can?t call us back to tell us
the people we claim to want aren?t in your house
that there?s no one here
except you and your children
who were cheering for Argentina
sharing the last loaf of bread for this week
counting candles left in case the power goes out.
It doesn?t matter that you have children.
You live in the wrong place
and now is your chance to run
It doesn?t matter
that 58 seconds isn?t long enough
to find your wedding album
or your son?s favorite blanket
or your daughter?s almost completed college application
or your shoes
or to gather everyone in the house.
It doesn?t matter what you had planned.
It doesn?t matter who you are
Prove you?re human.
Prove you stand on two legs.
forwarded to me this morning by Joan Heather
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don?t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don?t give way to hating,
And yet don?t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream?and not make dreams your master;
If you can think?and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you?ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ?em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ?Hold on!?
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings?nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds? worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that?s in it,
And?which is more?you?ll be a Man, my son!
In this lovely interview, Salima Hashmi, who has played such a vital role in promoting Pakistani art, talks about her father Faiz Ahmad Faiz. About writing poetry under military rule, about his meeting with Pablo Neruda and his feelings about the birth of Bangladesh.
Recorded at the Bellagio Centre in Italy in 2013.
Whatever be your credo or belief,
At times, you’ll need some solace, some relief,
For that, on which you based your hopes and dreams,
Might be, in time, your aspiration?s thief.
For who can live for long without a loss,
Or never, racked and torn, tormented, toss?
Whenever we may think we?ve mastered life,
It turns and swiftly shows us who?s the boss. Continue reading “What Still Remains?”
POETIC VOICES of the MUSLIM WORLD
I am a Muslim:
The rose is my qibla.
The stream my prayer-rug,
the sunlight my clay tablet.
My mosque the meadow.
I rinse my arms for prayers
along with the thrum and
pulse of windows.
Through my prayers streams
the moon, the refracted
light of the sun.
SOHRAB SEPEHRI (1928-1980, IRAN), FROM WATER?S FOOTFALLTRANSLATED FROM THE FARSI BY KAZIM ALI WITH MOHAMMED JAFAR MAHALLATI