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Today the olive leaves fly at half-mast by HassL

HassL | Dec 28th, 2021 | poetry | 4 Comments

Poem

Today the olive leaves fly at half-mast

Today we bicycled to Cervantes park
Far away
but my head turns to Jozi,
where our cycle lanes were closed off after being built

We stopped
Cycles locked
I wander about amongst the fragrances of rosemary and roses
After a while I take some shade under a tree

Far away
but my heart turns to home
Bishop Tutu is no more
The news struck deep as we are fast running out of the wise ones

You have to be partisan to take shade under an olive tree
This one,
is part of a family of six
lined in graceful salute to the man who has just passed

Under the olive tree
I think of Tutu and
I think of Palestine

And of those men
who are trying to kill the olive trees in the holy land
As they do, those who give them love and water

Arch
You spoke for all who face the jackboots of tyranny
And you refused to be silenced

Today as the olive leaves fly in half-mast
your words turn into poetry
That we will sip on
“It’s God catching me by my neck.
I wish I could keep quiet about the plight of the Palestinians.
I can’t!

Poet Bio

Hassen Lorgat is a social justice activist and over the years worked in the trade unions, civic associations as well as NGOs for the past while. He is currently the manager of Policy and Advocacy for the Bench Marks Foundation. He has written poetry for years, most of them lay somewhere but mostly under his bed or pillow.

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4 thoughts on “Today the olive leaves fly at half-mast by HassL”

  1. Love it Hassie. The Arch embodied the highest integrity and the most pleasant humour! His oratory legendary and his convictions the deepest. Indeed we are running out of the wise ones.

  2. Great Poem Hassen

    Human Rights Activists under the shade of the Olive Tree take strength from the courage of Archbishop Tutu, to speak truth to power and more importantly challenge the seemingly most powerful who act with impunity and distort the truth and even expropriate culture.
    They are the Zionist, the racist that cry crocodile tears of false antisemitism whenever there racism, constructed, structural, immoral and indefensible is exposed.
    Snipers in Bethlehem, Bulldozers in Jerusalem, Bombs on Gaza, Apartheid in Israel is worse than in South Africa as witnessed by a true humanitarian Comrade Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

  3. Love it, beautiful tribute to a true Leader the Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Gratitude, respect and appreciation always. Palestine We wait for our tears to dry. Olive trees we wish to share your shade one day soon with the family of 2. And our people country South Africa I pray that infrastructure gets finalized and used for its true purpose, whereas day when cyclists will be respected on our beautiful roads. Beautiful Has

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