Suheir Hammad – magnificent poetry

Sometimes I use this blog to remind myself later of people who add to the weft and weave to transform for a moment my wretched, mundane existence into a dance of possibilities and wishes. Suheir is possessed by the muse – when she performs it is the whole woman, the laughing medusa of Helene Cixous, the frightening yet irresistible gypsy who leads us to prophecy with a toss of the head – it is up to us if we wish to grasp the destiny she offers.

Hammad’s poem ‘The Refugees’ has poignancy at present in Australia, where the inglorious prime monstress Julie Gillard is esconsced to wage a battle royale in the August election. Gillard is dog-whistling – calling the noxious Australian xenophobes who need so little encouragement. Both parties are craven in this regard, yet there’s something particularly obscene about a party which is supposed to have at least some respect for human rights pandering to racist human refuse.


If zionism was a box, I would rip it into ten thousand pieces and scatter it in the forest

If zionism was a dress, I would send it to the second hand store

If zionism was a painting, I would hang it next to Goya’s Disasters of War

If zionism was a song, I would never play it.

Speaking Out

Delbard Matisse RoseSpeak Not Silently

I am the eyes who look upon you,
yet you cannot see my soul.
I am the memory which casts
it’s dark shadow, it’s veil across your face
yet you cannot remove it, no matter
how great the measure of your effort.
I am the face in the crowd, the one
which is unrecognizable to many
aside from the other who shares
a commonality in their journey.
A simple glance is all that is needed
to translate a thousand words,
foreign to those who cannot
comprehend my language.
I am silent in my suffering.
I am silent in my pain.
I speak only to those from whom
I have been given permission,
for it is in my lack of safety,
I remain silent.
I am hidden in the musty closet
of my mind’s eye, choking on
the twisted hangers of humankind’s
continued perpetration.
I am bleeding, and I am raw.
I am tired, and I am broken.
Speak not silently.
It is for one such as I
you choose to raise your voice.
One who cannot speak for herself.
One who has suffered such as you.
Stand upon the highest point
and hear it echo across the world.
Let not mankind ignore your message.
Speak not silently.
For in your truths, I shall be set free.
And I shall learn, through your courage,
how to whisper by way of a dry
cracked vocalization, initially incoherent.
But someday, perhaps, I shall join you
on that high, high peak, and our echoes
shall resound together.
For you chose to speak not silently.
Instead you screamed for me.

A.C. Fernandez