(How can poets express Palestine’s struggle?)

Palestine Update 254
(How can poets express Palestine’s struggle?)

“When the words of politicians and pundits fail, what can a poet express about the plight of Palestinians? Palestinian poets have long used their creative skills to highlight experiences of dispossession, exile, living under occupation and the resilience of their people”. (http://stream.aljazeera.com/story/201805142109-0025639)

Just this powerful poem – an assertion and prayer (below)- for this issue of Palestine Updates!

Ranjan Solomon
————————————————————————————————–The Children’s Voices – A Poem
By Stephen Brackens Brinkley

The children’s voices, can’t you hear
some voices distant, some voices near
The children’s voices, can’t you hear
to save the children, to make them free
We ALL must act, oh can’t you see
after Israel tries to kill their soul
Can these children be made whole
guilty verdicts are a cinch
when they go before the bench
full of shame and full of rage
then they’re placed inside a cage
if you sign we’ll let you go
In a language they do not know,
hoping to avert some harm
with trembling hands they sign the form
the frightened children forced to confess
questioned mercilessly all under duress,
beaten, battered bright lights in face
taken to a scary place,
returned much later, God knows where they’ve been
snatching playmates, friends and kin
kids longing to learn, but they raid their schools
there’s no playtime, there’s only rules
last week your cousin, next could be you
in the daylight it happens too
results in terrorized children, all alone
the trumped up charge of throwing a stone
no loved one to comfort, no loved one to hold
where they’ll be taken is not told
the knotted feeling in their gut
their hands are tied their eyes forced shut
but they’re not children they’re just a number
violent hands break child slumber
humanity has left their sight
they enter homes but have no right
abduction of children is a sin
in the late hours the shouts begin
but there’s no laughter, only screams
Children sleeping having dreams
in their beds or on a cot
Some are calm, but most are not
some voices distant, some voices near
The children’s voices, can’t you hear

– Rev. Stephens Brackens Brinkley is a San Diego-based advocate and human rights activist for unarmed civilians living under armed conflict. He contributed this poem to PalestineChronicle.com.