Poem – Jogging

We stood in columns

 like sheep before slaughter 

we ran, breathless 

We scrambled to kiss 

the shoes of the killers. . . . 

They stole Jesus the son of Mary 

while he was an infant still. 

They stole from us the memory of the orange trees 

and the apricots and the mint 

and the candles in the mosques. 

In our hands they left 

a sardine can called Gaza 

and a dry bone called Jericho. 

They left us a body with no bones 

A hand with no fingers. 

After this secret romance in Oslo 

we came out barren. 

They gave us a homeland 

smaller than a single grain of wheat 

a homeland to swallow without water 

like aspirin pills. 

Oh, we dreamed of a green peace 

and a white crescent 

and a blue sea. 

Now we find ourselves 

on a dung-heap. 

Poem – Jerusalem

I wept until my tears were dry

I prayed until the candles flickered

I knelt until the floor creaked

I asked about Mohammed and Christ

Oh Jerusalem, the fragrance of prophets

The shortest path between earth and sky

Oh Jerusalem, the citadel of laws

A beautiful child with fingers charred

and downcast eyes

You are the shady oasis passed by the Prophet

Your streets are melancholy

Your minarets are mourning

You, the young maiden dressed in black

Who rings the bells in the Nativity

On Saturday morning?

Who brings toys for the children

On Christmas eve?

Oh Jerusalem, the city of sorrow

A big tear wandering in the eye

Who will halt the aggression

On you, the pearl of religions?

Who will wash your bloody walls?

Who will safeguard the Bible?

Who will rescue the Quran?

Who will save Christ?

Who will save man?

Oh Jerusalem my town

Oh Jerusalem my love

Tomorrow the lemon trees will blossom

And the olive trees will rejoice

Your eyes will dance

The migrant pigeons will return

To your sacred roofs

And your children will play again

And fathers and sons will meet

On your rosy hills

My town

The town of peace and olives.