Once Upon a Palestine

“Once Upon a Palestine” began in the spring of 2011; a few lines and the title, swiftly followed by a cascade of verse, then put to one side for a previous work barging in out of nowhere, demanding to be written. Going through my own dark night of the soul at the time, “Once Upon a Palestine” continued to gather dust in a drawer until the summer of 2012, when the words came back to haunt me. So here it is. My humble contribution to the betrayed, abandoned, shunned, vilified, outstandingly brave Palestinians of Palestine. I don’t know about the ‘Lost Tribes of Israel.’ It’s about time the dispossessed, ethnically cleansed, indigenous Peoples of Palestine picked up their keys and came home. Where they belong. –Tamerishe


Once upon a distant time, there was a land called Palestine
Is it yours or is it mine, this land they once called Palestine
And who am I to stand and stare, in disbelief at land stripped bare
Banished people, stolen homes, broken dreams, crumbling stones
Of ancient graves and ghostly moans, silenced by Israeli drones

Who is this God that would erase, a people from their own birthplace
What kind of God would curse and smite, to please the cruel Israelite
Thugs! Thieves! Parasites! How dare they speak of wrong and right
Whilst dragging children thru’ the night, from their beds, pale with fright
Bound and shackled, in a cell, just a kid, alone in hell

No mother, father, man of law, allowed to enter thru’ that door
Till false confession fear has wrought, a boy alone must face the court
His crime? With stones he bravely fought, at those he knows his enemy
Till flows the river to the sea, young freedom fighter he will be
To set his land and people free

Who was it made the desert bloom, filled the air with sweet perfume
Jasmine, peaches, sage, and thyme, ‘Once Upon a Palestine’
Who was it made the desert bleed, raped and pillaged, sowed their seed
Of death, destruction, theft and greed, with every twisted word and deed

The Bedouin who stands alone, midst debris of his bulldozed home
Stares out upon once cherished earth, whose forbears, long before his birth
Toiled this land for all their worth

Oh ancient well of water sweet, that once did quench God’s thirsty sheep
Now doomed to choke in desert heat, with nought to drink but dry concrete
Courtesy of Israeli jeep
Manned by robots, following orders, “erase those Palestinian borders”!
Hide all trace of Arab culture, replace it with the Zionist vulture

Sly alibi’s and dirty lies, of traitor Brits, whose stitched up lips
Couldn’t wait, to seal the fate, of Arab Nation extermination
Condemned to brutal occupation; Well done! Balfour Declaration

For every drop of blood been spilt, every settlement ever built
Every teardrop ever shed, every bullet thru’ the head
Every precious child laid dead and every Zionist lie been said

“The old will die, the young forget”- Ben Gurion, do not hold your breath!
Your words of bile, we won’t forget; this battle is not over yet!
We’ll see you burn in hell, you bet!

The wise man teaches, so I’m told, revenge is a dish best served cold
For every Freedom Fighter bold, enshrine their name in letters gold
Let their stories brave be told, till time stands still and hell turns cold!

The fishermen who dare not fish, what kind of unjust law is this!
Lets mighty Israel take the piss, whilst sinking in its own abyss
Of cruel rule and iron fist; dares mock at International Law
Is this what brave souls gave life for?

Enough’s enough!We’ll have no more! of got at, shot at! Bashed up boats
Impounded! Hounded! Freedom floats, to plumb the depths of deep despair
In a world that’s neither sane nor fair-United Nations, are you there??
Shame on you! To stand and stare; Ban Ki Loon, how do you dare!
Gutless wimps of Zionist pimps! Tyrant’s answer to a prayer

Pollute the water! Cut the power!
Close the checkpoints! Wait for hours
No matter if you’re old or sick, held fast in vile Israeli grip
Watch the clock hand slowly tick, see the blood begin to drip
Newborns die, mothers cry, fathers sigh, world asks why
So do I

Cries of children; Run! Run! Staring down Israeli gun
Hey! It’s just a bit of fun! Watching school kids bleed and run

Remember Tom, noble, strong
In act so brave, his life he gave
“Spare the child, but mark your grave”
Heaven smiled, Tom’s choice was made

One life lost, another saved
Laid to rest, 21 of age
Angels sang and Gaza prayed
A light went out – true Martyr made

Zionists fiddle, whilst Israel burns
Same old same old, no lessons learned

March to the sound of the war drum you beat
Trample the truth as it clings to your feet
In the slime and the grime of your ‘Jews Only’ street
Shalom! Dogs and Irish, no Arab you’ll meet
On Streetwise Apartheid, Gods ‘Chosen Elite’

Shine up your trophies, just so you can brag
As you count every corpse on Obama’s false flag
Caught, bought and paid for, in each body bag
Three billion dollars! Guess who’s been had!

So innocent children can burn to a crisp
Xmas in Gaza snows white phosphorus!
‘The Most Moral Army’ that doesn’t exist
Who’s kidding who? But if you insist!
There in the glass is your real Terrorist!

Cowards and bullies, two of a kind
Sound in the body, but sick in the mind
Spawn of the Stern Gang and vile Haganah
Irgun’s Ms. Livni, her Ma and Papa

Who would you believe it? But hush now! Don’t tell!
Blew up us Brits in King David’s Hotel!
We know who our friends are, didn’t we do well!
Birds of a feather, we’ll meet them in hell!

But hey! What’s your problem? We’re all best mates now
Changing our laws to protect ‘Sacred Cows’
The woman who boasted, with no sense of shame
Operation Cast Lead, she’d do all again
Proud of her role in this orgy of pain

It’s all so confusing, speak up! Hague! Explain!
Shielding war criminals, since when was our game
There’s blood on your hands and it’s staining our name
The wrong side of history is where lies your fame
Next to your Masters of Zionist shame!

The pride and the glory and God save the Queen
Won’t save us now from an act so obscene
‘Great British Empire’? Shamed old has been!
Farewell Magna Carta; Impossible dream

You lie down with dogs and you get up with fleas
Dance with the Devil and crawl on your knees
At the skirts of Ms. Livni, to plead “pretty please”
Daughter of Zion, slaughters with ease
It’s only an Arab, shoot with the breeze

Streets hung with netting, no prizes for guessing
Stench is quite telling, you know what you’re getting
When Settler Scum’s yelling, with IDF’S blessing
Hatred is spreading, no forgive, no forgetting
Shit sticks where it hits, defiles sacred dwellings

Grapes of wrath, spoils of war
Sixty-five years, how many more
Ask yourselves, what was it for
Karma’s knocking upon your door
You stole another people’s land
What part of that, don’t you understand

Arabs made homeless, clutching a key
Forced from their homes, fled into the sea
Proud noble race to sad refugee
Shame of the Nakba! Catastrophe!!!

Show me the Fuhrer to lay all the blame
Where were the cries of “not in my name”
As you watched from the sidelines, ‘Gurion’s Game’
Immune to the suffering of grief, loss and pain

Dave to Goliath, roles now reversed
Victim to bully, chapter and verse
Goebbels to Gaza, shades of Mein Kampf
Checkpoints and cameras, ID cards to stamp

Hard to believe, in the land of one’s birth
1.7 million denied freedom, self worth
Whilst ‘W*nkers in Whitehall’
Free roam this earth

Friends in high places, puppets on strings
These are a few of my not favourite things
Dope smoking soldiers, not human kind
‘The Most Moral Army’ stoned out of its mind!

God’s chosen people?? God must be blind!!
But God’s seen the light and the sights blown his mind!
Hey! God’s new commandment! ”Occupy-Stop”!
God’s smelt the coffee and thrown in his lot!
With those pesky Arabs; deserve all they got?

God begs to differ; why would they not?
Fight for the right to a life without strife
Free from the Jackboot of Zionist might

Pilgrims and poets, music and song
Writers, the fighters, record right and wrong
Power of the people, united we’re strong!
Come join the dance! It’s where you belong!

Words are our weapon, who needs a gun
Armed with the truth, Justice will come!
Garden shed rockets and rocks in kids’ pockets!
No Army! No Navy! No train with the gravy!
Just a will and a way, no if’s buts or maybe!

No brute F16’s or killing machines
Just a girl’s silent screams, crushed with her dreams
Casually slaughtered, one brave precious daughter
When ‘Catakillerd’ its quarry
God blessed Rachel Corrie

Fate will take her pound of flesh, plucked within the gory mess
Of crimes against humanity, etched into eternity
Pray tell, ‘Isra-hel’, where will you be
In the Hague, for all to see
Down on your knees, begging Merci
Outcasts of society
Que Sera, what must be, will be

Time and Tide for no man waits
When stood before those pearly gates
Locked and barred, be in no doubt
The tide brings in what the world casts out

Written in the sands of time, sins of man
Yours and mine; but let the punishment fit the crime
Of persecution by design; what’s mine’s my own
What’s yours is mine; speaks the bully, none so blind

Once upon a distant time, I was yours and you were mine
Rise again! Sweet Palestine!
History’s page turns one last time
Desert breeze draws a line
Apocalypse now!!! Free Palestine!!
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“Et Tu Brute”

• Credit due to Israelis of Courage and Conscience with the guts to stand up and speak out for Palestine.

••  “If not us, then who? If not now, then when?” John Lewis.

Tamerishe is a pro-Palestinian female activist , writer/, and poet from the UK. Read other articles by Tamerishe.