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Gaza Poems by Yahia Lababidi

Gaza Poems by Yahia Lababidi



Renounce all violence

of heart, word and deed—

only the blameless shall lead


Visionaries of this age,

like prophets of ages past,

are the moral reformers.









I sent my poem sailing in the sky

and it did not make me rich,

but it landed on a far shore

and taught children to make a wish


I sent more poems out to sea

and they did not bring me a wife—

yet guided fishermen home in a storm

and by helping others, they saved my life.









In the midst of darkness 

and ugliness,

I hungered

for light and beauty


I found it 

reading and writing—

poetry, mysticism,

then silence.










When did we learn

starvation is acceptable

as a form of punishment?


‘Go to your room,’

children are told

‘no dinner for you’


Today, we witness

Palestinians denied food,

dignity or even mercy


When can they leave

their prison cells,

occupied since birth?







Palestinian Music


For more than a hundred days,

in a daze, I read & wrote of Gaza

stunned, overwhelmed, indignant


Yet, all along, unable to cry

(I don’t know why)

until, today…


Listening to Palestinian music

I wept, helplessly, at the pity,

longing, waste of it all & weep still.