The Usual?
For Mahmoud Darwish

الله يرحمك
(Allah yerhamak)
Palestine’s a dirty word.
It tastes of vengeance, genocide,
grim settlers, theft and suicide
and no good heard.

The IDF and Hamas spar,
while young men check out M16s,
semtex, tanks—become marines,
or case a bar.

In shopping malls and foetid slums,
in the smouldering hubris of machines
and piles of limbless dead preteens,
the mind succumbs.

The endless rounds and counterrounds
are counterstriked; the countermands
are counterfeit,  so the contraband
of hate abounds.

Palestine could be a word
for laban glass and latke plate,
to grieve the dead, abandon hate
so good is heard.

Nigel Holt

If you have any comments on this poem, Nigel Holt would be pleased to hear them.

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