Monday, May 17, 2021

A Room of My Own: Falling Lights Tanka

written in response to "Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City leaving at least 42 dead, buildings flattened" (Global News, May 16) and "No sign of Israel-Gaza conflict ending" (The New York Times, May 16

in the night sky
clusters of falling light ...
from Gaza rooftops 
Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar!
amid the cacophony of cries

FYI: Allahu Akbar is Arabic for God is great


one ball
of smoke and fire 
after another
the piercing midnight cries
Ahmed, Ahmed... cut off


the skeleton
of a bombed-out Gaza home
blood-stained prayer rugs


gathering dark
at the end of a tunnel
under Gaza
all that remains
of the militants' dreams


shouting and clapping
as a Gaza boy is pulled 
from the rubble ...
the only one left
from a family of ten


  1. As air raids launched by the Israeli Army continue over Palestine’s Gaza Strip, Aljazeera on Monday, 17 May, reported that at least 192 Palestinians, including 58 children and 34 women, were killed in Gaza since bloodshed began in Palestine and its occupied territories a week ago...

    -- "Kaafi Real: Palestinian Lives vs Israel’s ‘Right to Self-Defence’," The Quint, May 18, accessed at

    You know, when I see the images and videos of destruction and death in Falastin, all I hear are the children screaming from pure fear and terror. I want to read something a mother named Eman in Gaza wrote two days ago. She said, quote, “Tonight, I put the kids to sleep in our bedroom. So that when we die, we die together and no one would live to mourn the loss of [one another].” The statement broke me a little more because of my country’s policies and funding will deny this mother’s right to see children live — her own children live without fear and to grow old without painful trauma and violence.
    We must condition aid to Israel on compliance with international human rights and end the apartheid. We must, with no hesitation, demand that our country recognize the unconditional support of Israel has enabled the erasure of Palestinian life and the denial of the rights of millions of refugees and emboldens the apartheid policies that Human Rights Watch has detailed thoroughly in their recent report.

    -- excerpted from "Rep. Rashida Tlaib Blast U.S. Aid for Israel & Attack on Gaza in Dramatic House Floor Speech, Democracy Now, May 14, accessed at

    1. "Netanyahu confronted by CBS anchor John Dickerson on Sunday live on air for attacking Gaza ‘to stay in power’," Gino Spocchia The Independent May 20,

      "You are under investigation for bribery, fraud, breach of trust... You've also had some difficultly — four failed attempts to put together a government in the last 23 months. This leads to the criticism that your current actions are basically an effort to stay in power..., accessed at