October Air The October air is hot with blood: Today, they try to bury Gaza
The rivers are silent as the waters of heaven rage; and my city’s idle chatter is shattered at its seams
The youth have left the mosques and temples: They have come to make these savage streets holy
The blood of martyrs fills the air; and the air rushes like a flood into our lungs
You (for Refaat Alareer) You, who have outwitted the terror flames of a far dying sun
You, spinning songs louder than the bombs that come each night like a drunk, pounding violently at the door
You, for whom dust has become a second skin, and death a bird perched on the shoulder
You, who have lost years and gained eternity
You, martyr, fighter, witness, poet, doctor, student, father, friend, little one
You, in your millions, who shall inherit the earth
You, who are the light of the world and I, blinded by your beauty
Midnight in Gaza
Midnight in Gaza the clouds have parted and the air scraped raw to bone takes no more screams
The bombs and burning white gas have done their work for the day
Death is already hungry for tomorrow
And the people know it
Yet many have stayed
The children find a way to sleep tonight
God has not forsaken them
Freedom to the last is theirs
Time spills out fast and dark from each second like an open wound
The world holds still waiting watching
The Circle Unbroken (for Palestine) Your tears are endless; your blood is the sky; and the land which weeps from the ashes of flowers, from the ashes of limbs in winter will flood again come summer.
Your prayer is a tongue of flame; your lament is the ocean; and the nation which seethes, reaching for the heavy sword of freedom, for the heart of God will yet ascend the iron gate, will yet behead the serpent, will yet rain down like vengeance, like time while the palace guards are sleeping.
Your warriors are a covenant of angels; your mothers are aching tree roots too furious, too deep to kill; and the circle of clouds, the whispered promise which haunts the hours of your torturers, confessing how and why you still fight, you still love, you still believe, can never be broken.
Jeremiah Kim is a peace activist, poet and member of the Saturday Free School for Philosophy and Black Liberation.