Posted by: r.m. | November 18, 2008

poets for palestine (and lebanon)

yes, it seems this is ‘book day’. here’s another new book…
poets for palestine (with a few poems on the 2006 israeli war on lebanon too)




  1. here is one poem in the book, which is a great poem for thinking about boycott, but for those in lubnan for thinking about buying locally:

    Hayan Charra “The Price of Tomatoes”

    The cardboard sign reads
    “1.99 each.”

    Granted, they’re blood red,
    firm, smell like my mother’s garden.

    Yet I cannot figure out
    the price of these tomatoes.

    I hold one up
    under the long fluorescent bulbs

    and remember the afternoon
    when my mother, pruning

    vines while on her knees
    in the dirt, received news from Lebanon

    about her father’s shrinking stomach.
    Plucked, left in the sun,

    the fruits burst, their seeds
    festered on the cracked earth

    like tiny cancers.
    “Israeli tomatoes,”

    the grocer explains.
    I leave the bag on the counter.

    My grandfather, whose stomach
    shrank to almost nothing,

    smaller than a clenched fist,
    wanted only clean water,

    but the soldier,
    who spoke Hebrew and Arabic,

    refused. Instead,
    he washes his shoes,

    which were dirty, same as these
    bright, shiny tomatoes

    that cost so much. (50)

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