19 • 10 • 2023 by Salimah Valiani

Salimah Valiani | November 3rd, 2023 | poetry | No Comments

Poet Bio

Histories that we know as history and those
we have yet to know are all fair target
in The Age of Everything We saw this with
Congo Afghanistan Iraq Libya Tigray I am writing this left
to right, back to front The modern Saint Porphyrios
said, Even a simple glance or sigh influences.
Even the slightest anger or indignation will harm
A friend who never spoke to me again
told me at her wedding to go see Damascus
before they destroy it That was 2010 A decade
earlier, she said the belief in Palestine is
that Israel will never back down Just before dying the other
day in Gaza a man said, We will not forgive the world
The marches flags maps commemorations posts
and reposts are excellen flashingly beautiful
And late Behind Never to catch up
A placard someplace: When You need To Have
Hundreds of Protests Just to Tell the World that
Bombing children is NOT OK that is when you know
HUMANITY has failed
at the Inaugural Shireen Abu Akleh
Lecture May 2023 at the University of
Johannesburg and Birzeit University a
Palestinian-American advocate member of
Al Awda I couldn’t find on Google spoke of land
Refugees returning to Palestine on foot three weeks
before She said this is about much more than
Apartheid I am writing left to right back to
front Re-occupying the land Not claiming
ownership via ancestors In Johannesburg Jews held
prayers for peace What of the land under the homes
they returned to What of the water filling
pools in a waterless city a water-scarce country
Increasingly water-scarce world Wars
to come for things we never needed to own
A poet writes of shedding onions Slicing
tears for all she’s lost and never cried for
Things stolen she never really needed The flea
markets of freedom. I write left to right, back to front
The human fleas preying/seizing goods/
seizing dreams/selling what was seized. Back.
The domestic worker dodging border police
on the way back to her shack is unfazed by Israel’s
latest The Ha Noi street child kept racing spiders
at World War II’s debut I write back to front left to write
The poet is referring to USAmerica I am thinking
something bigger A culture A world World Culture
Moral high ground while refusing to start
taking less Voicing without loading our acts
with love Showing Telling Devoid of the bareness
that will change the world

Poet Bio

Salimah Valiani is a poet, activist and researcher. Her latest works are Love Pandemic (Daraja Press, in audio and print); The Africa Care Economy Index (UNDP and FEMNET); 29 leads to love (Inanna Publications).

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