Dhá dhán le Cathal Ó Searcaigh, trascruthaithe

Sunday in Mín a'Lea, Sunday in Gaza

A gentle Sunday
in Min ’a Leá
I’m unperturbed
in the garden
my counterpart in Gaza
running out of breath
to escape
the next missile attack
the fallout of explosions.

A soft slow sleepy Sunday
in Min ’a Leá
night will fall into silence
a moon will rise
relaxing in the air
but in Gaza
the sky will ignite
in burning flames
houses will crumble
bones shatter.

On this quiet Sunday
in Min ’a Leá
how easy it is
to mourn Gaza
as I sit in the garden
enjoying the scent
of newly cut grass                 
not a care in the world
but the making of a poem.

Not a care in the world
but the making of a poem?

[Traschruthaithe i mBéarla ag Gabriel Rosenstock]

To Mohammed Abu Khdeir

- A Palestinian boy burnt alive in the woods outside Jerusalem

Your little shapely-carved faced
bony as a bird’s;
a green linnet or dove.

Light-footed as a gust of breeze
and lithe, supple
as a sally rod.

That morning, like other days,
you delighted your father and mother
with your blossoming smile

Before setting off for the mosque
to perform your rituals,
the kneeling and bowing required by the Book.

But, dear one, they whisked you away
to the woods; bloodthirsty delinquents
reared on the testament of revenge

To pay for the youths of their own race
treacherously murdered, they sought what was theirs.
You were condemned, dear heart, on the altar of blood.

I see you with your youthful locks flowing,
flames engulfing your limbs,
your sixteen years of loveliness in torment.

Your innards explode
like acorns,  sinews
ripped apart as they burn you alive.

The Sacred Books are wilting,
bent low in shame,
the words of the prophets splattered and stained with your blood.

Today the world is blanched, morning
is a grey dove, I hear the savage moan
of your blood, in Palestine of many a weary heart.

Mohammed Abu Khdeir, every letter
of your name, sweet innocent child,
cries out forever in the congealed alphabet of pain.

[Traschruthaithe i mBéarla ag Gabriel Rosenstock]