Sunday, March 19, 2017

For Rachel Corrie and Nan Freeman

Friends and comrades,

As I do every year on this date, I want to commemmorate the murder of Rachel Corrie at the hands of Zionist home-destroyers in Gaza in 2003 by sending out my 2012 poem, "The Brutal Planting of Souls" (Oyster Bay, NY: Feral Press, 2015):


THE BRUTAL PLANTING OF SOULS
For Rachel Corrie and Nan Freeman
“Quick eyes
Gone  under earth’s lid”
-Ezra Pound 1921
“La lucha continuara’/The struggle goes on and on”
-Rose-Redwoods 1972
Rachel, you had no way of knowing,
on that day, in 2003, US attacking Iraq, Israel
attacking Palestine, both
on a treadmill that goes
on and on and on, both
partway through an endless cycle of violence
You had no way of knowing, Rachel,
young girl with blonde hair
from Olympia Washington
your whiteness against the dark
of Palestine, no way of knowing,
back then,
that you too would be made
part of the treadmill, part of the cycle,
you too would be plowed
under the earth by war machines,
like the “quick eyes”
of the young men of WWI,
like the body of Nan Freeman,
another student, killed in Florida
by other robbers of the earth, by their
machines that crushed soul and body,
in 1972,
no way of knowing that  you
would become  part of the struggle
That goes on and on, la lucha, al intifada
Que continua y continuara’,
No way of knowing that you too
Would be spoken of as a martyr,
Shahida, like scores of other people,
Breaking themselves against the war machine,
lighting up the night
all over the world, from Germany
and Czechoslovakia  to America to Vietnam
to Palestine to Tunisia to Egypt to Syria
and back to Palestine
and back to your own
Disunited States of America
Year of Our Lord 2012,
9 years later, Rachel!
no way of knowing
when your name was given to you
In honor of the woman
of whom it is said
“Weeping is heard in Ramah, Rachel/Rahel
weeping for her children, and would not
be comforted,” and there is weeping heard, Rachel,
today in Ramallah and in Ramleh and in Jerusalem
and in Jenin and in Gaza and in Rafah
and in Damascus and in Halab and in Homs,
and in Cairo and in Tunis and in New York
and in Seattle and Portland and Oakland
Rachel weeping for her children
and cannot be comforted but you,
Rachel Corrie, you can be comforted!
You can be celebrated!   Mother of the revolution,
martyr to youth, wake up call
to us all, your body and soul
are planted seeds in the earth, seeds
of truth and light, which shall sprout
once more
into the Tree of Life, beacon for us,
inviting acts of light, acts
that keep the human race going forward.
Forward, people, together, Avanti popolo!
Let us harvest the seedlings of light!

Woodstock. January 23, 2012



Barry Fruchter, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
English, Jewish Studies, Latin American Studies
Nassau Community College

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