Monthly Archives: February 2012

Salt-water songs


Ever been surprised by tears making an appearance at the behest of a beautiful song?

Salt-water songs
Dubai, 3/2/2012

Lyrics swim in the forefront of your brow.
You concoct theories, radical,
you insist your heart is proof.
You lay claim to facts, such as,
salt dries faster as I bury more moons.
As if the body, shaking, holds on to its water.
As if drought makes eyes solid.
Teeth may chip but the gaze dams the pump,
builds borders against all that love left behind.
The sun shrivels what once evaporated slowly.
As if the body understands minerals are precious.
As if the soul knows weeping’s worth.
As if those who died in our arms were practice,
the hardening of impulsions, the
quietude of ache.
How noble, composure.
That grace under whirlpools.
That elegance in the undertow.
Pressure that doesn’t mount, a new world entire.
But, no.
Fiction slaps you, hard.
No one ages beyond the need for tears.
One nighttime song you may have forgotten,
slinks in, wrapped in sex and
smacks coercion from faces adamant, hell bent on survival,
once a buried coral-hard reef,
now a lone rip current, free.


Farah- Joy, Palestine and our youngest Poetician


Farah Chamma is one of the best kept secrets of our Poetician life. She is the youngest of the Dubai poeticians and is a remarkable young woman. We all almost envy that she gets up and performs and rocks the mic at such a young age…
She joins the Poeticians only at events that are not held in bars, etc. But when she does, the audience is very impressed, hoots and hollers support and her smile lights up the room.
Strong, independent, full of faith, affection, love for poetry and one hell of an internal lyrical world, I am sure that Farah will be gracing the Palestinian literary heritage for many years. How that makes us happy. How that makes us proud.
She is regularly joined at our readings by an entire clan of family and friends who send positive smiles and support for her across the room, and seeing her beaming as she finishes each poem, memorized, reminds me every time why Poeticians exists in the first place. You go, girl.

I Am No Palestinian

Farah Chamma

I am no courageous,
Fearless, valorous, gallant,
Proud, adventurous,
Selfless patriot
I am a soul in exile
Expressing my thoughts in
All languages but mine
” Hi…I am Palestinian”
” Salut…Je suis palestinienne”
I cut my mother tongue
In half
نصبت المبتدأ و لعنت أبو الخبر
كسرت الضمة التي ضمت ما بيننا
Palestinian poet
Rafeef Ziadeh was right when
She said
”Allow me to speak my Arab tongue
Before they occupy my language as well”
Well… to that I must add
Allow me to be the Arab
That I am
Allow me my right
To learn, to travel, to pray
Allow me to walk through any
Foreign street without having
To feel this shame
Without having to think twice
About my clothes, my face, my name
Or the visa I had to work
Day and night for the claim
Because at the end of the day
I am not the one to blame
For Bin Laden, 9/11, and all your
Other schemes and games
I am but a soul in exile
I am in no hall of fame
I have to opt to be
Someone I am not
Just to fit in your fame
Despite the agony I went through
Despite the struggles I overcame
Despite the diplomas, the degrees,
The awards I acclaim
I am still no Palestinian

No matter how many
” I love Palestine” stickers
I stick on my car
No matter how many times
I cry over Gaza
And argue over the Israeli settlements
No matter how many times
I curse the Zionists, blame the media,
And swear at the Arab leaders
I am still no Palestinian
Even if I memorize the
Names of all the Palestinian cities
Even if I recite Mahmood Darwiche’s
Poetry and draw Handala on my walls

Even as I stand here tonight
In front of you all
I am no Palestinian
أنا مش فلسطينية
And I might never ever be
And that’s exactly what
Makes the Palestinian
In me…