A Yearning for Syria

A series of poems for Syria….

My Father Whispersdeiratiyah

My father lies in the earth of the only land I can call home, and yet I cannot return.

I cannot return to see if he still lies in peace in his final resting place gazing over the Qalamoon mountains.

Now no one can return

– our homes looted and destroyed pointlessly.

Instead of their walls being used as shelter and its furniture to comfort, instead of their gardens providing sustenance, from its abundance of fruit trees, grape vines and olive trees, from its emerging vegetables

– instead it was raped, burnt and abandoned.

The village that holds the memories of childhood, the memories of my father, once the safest place on earth for my cousins and me, now a district of horror, torment and destruction.

Now no one can return.

No one can visit my father.

I am glad of one thing for sure, his loss, NO, our loss, can only be his gain, he did not see, with his tender eyes his land burning, bleeding.

Instead I hope that he sees its future – as bright and fresh and free. This thought keeps me going – I hear him whisper, to keep me sane.

My familiarity of its earth, of its dry and dusty smell, of its sweetness in the night air, does not make it any easier to imagine the chaos that exists for far too many.

I am told not to return, its streets and alleys only serve as graveyards now.

They tell me our reunion can wait, they too appear to have hope

– does my father whisper to them too?



For the Ones who Attempted Something Different

The Syria I once knew no longer exists,

Instead it is a land that is drenched with blood –

Of the innocent, of the helpless, of the ones who attempted something different.

The Syria I once loved is unrecognisable,

Instead is it a land that has been stolen.

The years of Assad rule did its damage –

A search for something different has led to its punishment

How dare they desire bread, freedom and dignity?!

No! Now they must endure the madness of killers –

Killers of the innocent, of the helpless, of the ones who attempted something different.

The Syria I once knew has become a land which only serves the deranged –

livelihoods bludgeoned,

even Olive Trees, the epitome of peace, on the brink of harvest –

torn from their ground.

The humanity that existed there,

that travelled there in search of truth or in aid

has been ripped out –

severed of its very existence.

And yet, that Syria, the one I still love, the one I still yearn for –

Is still ours,tuberose20131016s-300x493

Its land remembers our love,

Our devotion,

It has not abandoned us,

And we must return it that favour –

We can choose to give up,

Or we can choose to keep searching –

In the name of the innocent, of the helpless, of the ones who attempted something different.





The Wisdom of Tragedy

For the one who can see things – where others can’t…

Illuminating for certain things –
especially for those
close to the heart.Freedom Graffiti Tammam Azzam
I do still try and stay hopeful –
when I manage the strength –
because there are so many
still there fighting so hard
for something different.
And here I mean
the existential fight –
for creativity and freedom.
If they don’t give up, I can’t.
Even though the darkness
right now is overwhelming
and an end (or a change)
can barely be imagined.

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