Imagine Her

This past semester I wrote a poem for my Intermediate Arabic class. It was composed in Arabic, but my translation appears below. I  post it today in remembrance and in solidarity with all those girls whose dreams are marred by the reality of occupation. May you find peace.

 طفلة

هنالك طفلة صغيرة

فتخيلوها

خدينها زهرية

كالورد في حديقة جدتها

الشمس فوقها من ذهب

كمسجد قبة لصخرة

في مدينة عائلتها

هنالك طفلة صغيرة

فتخيلوها

في مستقبلها هي تصبح طويلة

كشجار فاقها

ليمون و تمر

هنالك طفلة صغيرة

فتخيلوها

الوان حياتها كالوان علمها

اسود كالحبر من هوياتها

اسود كاسلاك شائكة حول بيتها

اسود كالليل التي تنام

الوان حياتها كالوان علمها

هي صغيرة و قلبها ابيوض

تحلم املها في قلبها

و ليس في اقلها

الوان حياتها كالوان علمها

شفيتها حمراء وتفتحهما مع اغنية لحرية

كدمها حمراء

دم فلسطنية

الوان حياتها كالوان علمها

هنالك طفلة صغيرة

الوان حياتها كالوان علمها و

عندي امال اخضر لمستقبلها

كشجار الزيتون في عرض والدها

كزعتر فطورها

هنالك طفلة صغيرة

الوان حياتها كالوان علمها و

ليس لها دولة و لكن عندها هضارة و ثقافة غنية

و حتى حياتها ليس سلوية

و لكن دائما يبقى حلمها الاخضر

فتخيلوها

****
there is a young girl
imagine her
her cheeks are pink
as the rose in her grandmother’s garden
the sun above her is gold
as the Dome of the Rock
in her family’s city
there is a young girl
imagine her
one day she will become as tall
as her fruit trees
lemon and date
there is a young girl
imagine her
the colors of her life are as the colors of her flag
black as the ink on her identity card
black as the barbed wire that surrounds her house
black as the night in which she sleeps
the colors of her life are as the colors of her flag
she is young but her heart is white [pure]
she carries her hope in her heart
and not within her faculties of reason
the colors of her life are as the colors of her flag
her red lips open with a song of freedom
her blood is red
Palestinian blood
there is a young girl and
the colors of her life are as the colors of her flag
i have hope for her future
it is green
as the olive trees on her father’s land
as the za’atar she eats for breakfast
there is a young girl
and the colors of her life are as the colors of her flag
There is no state for her
but she has a civilization and a rich culture
and even when her life is not peaceful
always she continues to have green dreams
imagine her.

“Arbitrary Moments of Nearly Painful Happiness”

“There are random moments —tossing a salad, coming up the driveway to the house, ironing the seams flat on a quilt square, standing at the kitchen window and looking out at the delphiniums, hearing a burst of laughter from one of my children’s rooms— when I feel a wavelike rush of joy. This is my true religion: arbitrary moments of nearly painful happiness for a life I feel privileged to lead. Think of the way you sometimes see a tiny shaft of sunlight burst through a gap between rocks, the way it then expands to illuminate a much larger space —it’s like that. And it’s like quilting, a thread surfacing and then disappearing into the fabric of ordinary days. It’s not always visible, but it’s what holds everything together.”

“The Art of Mending” by Elizabeth Berg

For The Foxes

For The Foxes

By Charles Bukowski

don’t feel sorry for me.
I am a competent,
satisfied human being.

be sorry for the others
who
fidget
complain

who
constantly
rearrange their
lives
like
furniture.

juggling mates
and
attitudes

their
confusion is
constant

and it will
touch
whoever they
deal with.

beware of them:
one of their
key words is
“love.”

and beware those who
only take
instructions from their
God

for they have
failed completely to live their own
lives.

don’t feel sorry for me
because I am alone

for even
at the most terrible
moments
humor
is my
companion.

I am a dog walking
backwards

I am a broken
banjo

I am a telephone wire
strung up in
Toledo, Ohio

I am a man
eating a meal
this night
in the month of
September.

put your sympathy
aside.
they say
water held up
Christ:
to come
through
you better be
nearly as
lucky.