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(DV) Corseri: I Am a Palestinian







I Am a Palestinian
by Gary Corseri
July 1, 2006

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Before Moses or the Romans,

Before Jesus and Muhammad,

Before the Turks and the English,

We dwelled in this land.


We built cities out of the dust,

Watered with our tears,

Mortared with our joys;

We fished the abundant seas,

Blessed our children’s marriages

In our cool olive groves.


We did not bother

To give ourselves a name.

We were “the People,”

The ones who had always been.


Intruders came

And marched across our land.

They brought Sky Gods with weapons

Of iron and steel. 

When we complained,

They butchered our babies.


The old men prayed,

And they were murdered where they prayed.

The women keened

And were murdered where they keened.


We wrote petitions to World Councils

And were laughed off the stage.

We appealed to the Great Powers

For mercy, understanding, justice.

Sometimes they listened politely.

(We were pawns in their games.)

Sometimes they yawned at our wounds.


We are a small people, and our skin is dark with the desert sun.

White men with pink skin arrive from America;

White women with pink babies come from England.

This is their land, they say.

And they call themselves Semites.

But their skin is not the skin of the Semites.

Their blond hair and blue eyes are not of the Semites.


While I am unfree, all men are unfree.

While my children are walled in, all children are walled-in.

Do you think we want less for our children than you want for yours?

Do our children deserve less than yours?

Is their innocence less precious?

Less precious their tears and their laughter?

Are they not, also, the children of this Earth?


Are our men less valiant, our women less defiant?

You kill us six to one, and still we come back at you.

We will never surrender.

We are the People, the People of this land,

And the People who live next door

And in your dreams, and in your nightmares.


And we ask you, Big Fish,

What kind of tapeworm tortures your insides?

Have you lost all self-control, all honor?

You talk of God, but bow before Moloch,

Sacrificing your own children

And the children of others.

Your God grows fat on the sacrifice of others.

Power and wealth consume you.

You bulldoze mountains, you bulldoze women.

You show us your names in your books

But fail to discern our names

Written in the roots of trees,

Scratched in the ancient stones.


I am a Palestinian,

And the roaring of a thousand tanks cannot still me.

Truth is dark, and I see with my dark eyes.

The Turks came, and before them, the others.

The English came, and after them, the others.

In the name of God, they murder our children.

In the name of God, they are murdering God.


I am a Palestinian,

And I will live and let live,

But not if you take the means of living from me,

Not if you belittle me or my wife or my children,

Not if you spit on the grave of my father,

And manhandle my mother, my brother and my sister.

Troy has been; the great gold eagles of Rome

Lie beneath the sands.

While I am unfree, all men are unfree.

While my children are walled-in, all children are walled-in.

Time sharpens the tools of my trade.

Suffering burnishes memory.

I see with my dark eyes.


Gary Corseri’s articles, fiction, poems and dramas have appeared at Dissident Voice, CounterPunch, CommonDreams, The New York Times, Village Voice, Uruknet, Redbook, City Lights Review, PBS-Atlanta, TeleSurtv.net, WorldProutAssembly and 200 other publications and websites. He has published two novels and two collections of poems, edited the Manifestations anthology, taught in public schools and prisons in the U.S., and in universities in the U.S. and Japan.  He can be reached at: corseri@verizon.net.

Other Articles and Poems by Gary Corseri

* Imagine the Magnificence!
* Mi Casa es Tu Casa: Welcoming “The United States of The Americas”

* Too Many Mexican Poets!
* Bin Laden’s Favorite American Author: An Interview with William Blum
* A Tale of Freedom
* 20 Questions for Judge Alito: The Hearing the People Didn’t Hear
* Here is the Head of Ahmed the Barber
* Torture, Executions and Domestic Spying: A Catechism
* Prez Says Constitution Ain't Worth a Damn
* Thanksgiving Day Fast for Peace
* Whose Freedom Do We Mean?
* Imploding the Empire: Metaphors for the Age
* Toys
* Waiting
* Anagrams for the Disemployed!
* Buffoon Harry and the Clash of Civilizations
* Rumsfeld's Defense
* Rice Espies Mushroom Cloud in Morning Coffee
* The Six Best Reasons Not To Vote
* The Three Best Reasons to Vote for Nader
* Gung-Ho Dung Beetles Spin the World
* Dick Tourette Cheney Renders Great Moments in American History
* The Judgment of Solomon
* Ronald Reagan Kicked Out of Hell!
* Out of Iraq and Plato's Cave
* Bush Admires Blair’s “Cajones” & “Only Seeing Tit in Iraq”
* Who’s on First? The Bush-Cheney 9/11 Dog & Pony Show
* “Out, Out Damned Spot!”