Im the worst blogger ever.

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Its been such a mad couple of weeks, poetry has been left to suffer. I apologize to the probably non-existant reader out there who may have suffered -aha- without poems for the past few days…hmmm, as always, I start these little silly blog notes without knowing what poem I shall offer up today, and it starts to dawn on me after a while…so far, nothing, maybe because my uncaffienated brain is focused on travel and packing and certain brown eyes and work and phone calls and whether living in dubai is something I can really do well, as opposed to passively experience.

I will stop, make some coffee and find you a good poem (or two) to apologize for this lame update.

Why We Sing
by Mario Benedetti

If every hour comes with its death
if time is a den of thieves
the wind is no longer a good
and life is nothing more than a moving target

you might ask, why do we sing?

if our bravos are left without support
our homeland dies from sorrow
and the heart of man is smashed to pieces
even before the shame explodes

you might ask, why do we sing?

if we’re as far away as the horizon
and if over there were left the trees and the sky
if every night is always some sort of absence
and if every waking is a missed encounter

you might ask, why do we sing?

We sing because the river is calling
and when the river calls, the river calls
we sing because cruelty has no name
and destiny does have a name

we sing because the child and because all
and because someday and because the people
we sing because the survivors
and our dead want us to sing

we sing because to shout is not enough
and the crying and the cursing is not enough
we sing because we believe in people
and because we will defeat failure

we sing because the sun recognizes us
and because the fields smell of spring
and because in this stalk in that fruit
every question has its answer

we sing because it rains over the furrows
and we are the militants of life
and because we neither want nor can
allow the song to be turned to ashes.

and one more of my favorites:

A poem by palestinian poet TAHA MOHAMED ALI. Sad, so sad.


REVENGE

At times …
I wish I could meet
in a duel
the man who
killed my father
and razed our home,
expelling me into
a narrow country.
And if he killed me,
I’d rest at last,
and if I were ready—
I would take my revenge!

*

But if it came to light,
when my rival appeared,
that he had a mother
waiting for him,
or a father who’d put his
right hand over
the heart’s place in his chest
whenever his son was late
even by just a quarter-hour
for a meeting they’d set—
then I would not kill him,
even if I could.

*

Likewise …
I would not murder him if
it were soon made clear
that he had a brother or sisters
who loved him and constantly longed to see him.
Or if he had a wife to greet him
and children who
couldn’t bear his absence
and whom his presents thrilled.
Or if he had
friends or companions,
neighbors he knew
or allies from prison
or a hospital room,
or classmates from his school …
asking about him
and sending him regards.

*

But if he turned
out to be on his own—
cut off like a branch from the tree—
without a mother or father,
with neither a brother nor sister,
wifeless, without a child,
and with no kin or friends or neighbors
and neither colleagues nor companions …
then I’d add not a thing to his pain
within that aloneness—
not the torment of death,
and not the sorrow of passing away.
Instead I’d be content
to ignore him when I passed him by
on the street—as I
convinced myself
that paying him no attention
in itself was a kind of revenge.

Nazareth, 2006

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