Palestinian youth tell the human stories behind the numbers in the news

Palestinian youth tell the human stories behind the numbers in the news

A walk in Jerusalem

Mohammed Moussa | 02-09-2017

 

Jeruslaem at night

I venture into Jerusalem filled with tears.
Fences imprison the old city,
Guards perform their prayers,
Young men with empty mornings
wander the streets all night.

On my way to Al-Aqsa,
A policeman stops me.
“Where are you going?”
To pray.
“It’s closed now.”
What for?
“Not your business.”
So you say,
but is it yours?

How beautiful the sunset.
I see cypress trees on the high mountains,
and pine, walnut, olive, pomegranate.

A cat tussles with another.
Old men drink coffee and smile.
Four girls throw kisses
and sing about freedom.
Vendors sell grapes after prayers.
A shopkeeper sells corn to children,
but his eyes stare beyond them,
as if into the past.

Jerusalemites wait for crepe candy.
Zionist tourists swarm the shrines.
The city spites them and says,
“You are not welcome here.”

Pigeons roost in the nutmeg trees.
Water from fountains and roofs
spills its drops for birds at the mosque.
Thousand-year oaks hold within them
the stories of old heroes.

The city has lost its ancient face.
Features of oppressors appear
on walls in every direction.
I hear the shouts of settlers
near the wall of Al-Buraq.

Women of Jerusalem
in bright hijabs and chadors
shine like small moons
in the streets and squares.
In Jerusalem, moons are many.
Moon-like domes greet the moon.

What is beautiful in this land?
Everything.
People, stones, trees, birds,
vendors, old men, women, kids.
They all share the same beauty,
bold as sunlit cornices.
Everything in Jerusalem
still speaks of Palestinian, Arab.

I walk again toward the gates of the city.
A policeman with strange features stops me.
“You are not from Jerusalem.”
Jerusalem lives in me.
“What does that mean?”
Jerusalem lives in me.
“What was your purpose for visiting?”
I’m in love from afar. It is longing.

 

 

Posted: September 2, 2017

Mentor: Kevin Hadduck


Get updates to your inbox. Sign up for our bi-weekly newsletter.