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Category: Palestine

Journalists In Gaza


I worked as a reporter and editor and broadcaster for NPR and Bloomberg and Nikkei and Kyodo News World Service and a number of other outlets in both the US and Japan. I loved that work because it felt important. Even sacred. I know there are tons of problems with the way news is owned and reported, but back then I knew less about that, and in any case from the inside it felt different.

Nothing I was ever involved with can compare in any way with what we see journalists going through on the ground in Gaza. Elsewhere, too, of course, but my attention is focused on Gaza right now. I think about how much I felt connected to the mission of reporting, and I imagine how much more connected they must feel to be reporting about the attempted destruction of their own land and people.

I listen to Al Jazeera every day. Part of many of their broadcasts involves their journalists reporting on the deaths of their colleagues and their colleagues’ families, and even on the deaths of their own families. It’s more than anyone should have to endure. The fact that they keep doing it speaks to a strength I can barely comprehend.

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haiku: 21 December 2023

her back hurts
from lying on the ground
shred of clothing on the breeze

/ / /

21 December 2023
Charlottesville VA

For Bisan

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haiku: 19 December 2023

even if you squeeze
your eyes shut:
cries from the rubble

/ / /

19 December 2023
Charlottesville VA

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POEM: Meanwhile

Meanwhile

“our colleagues are being killed
at the bedside of our patients”

meanwhile:

a toddler cannot stop shaking
as an aid worker
or maybe just a random civilian
gently strokes the side of her face

meanwhile:

an IDF soldier holds a machine gun
above a line of naked men
their hands tied behind their backs
their clothes in a pile in the street

meanwhile:

his head drooping, beard filled with ash,
the man in the PRESS vest wonders
how much longer he can possibly continue

meanwhile:

a car pulls over to the side of the road
two women in hijab hand a tray of
blueberry muffins out the window
to a lone protester
they wave and drive on

/ / /

7 December 2023
Charlottesville VA

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POEM: Virginia/Gaza

Virginia/Gaza

We move boxes and couches, beds and lamps.

We pause to eat pizza and drink lemonade.

The kids help or play or get tired.

As we near the end there are gunshots
in the nearby woods. Hunters, or target practice.

The next-to-the-youngest one
asks if they’re fireworks.

We all say yes.

*

They move with nothing, to nowhere.

They keep their hands raised as they walk
but the soldiers shoot anyway.

There is gunfire everywhere.
There are explosions everywhere.

Flares set fire to the night
so the soldiers can keep shooting.

The next-to-the-youngest one
digs her baby brother out of the rubble.

/ / /

2 December 2023
Charlottesville VA

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POEM: Palestine Corner

Palestine Corner

One is a beekeeper.
One is barefoot.
One is from the Bay Area.
One is Kuwaiti.
One is a daycare worker.
One is from Iraq.
One is a boxer.
One is a nurse.
One is a newbie.
One is an old head.
One is a singer.
One is a guitarist.
One is trans.
One is bi.
One is a dad.
One is a mom.
One brings coffee.
One brings honey.
Cold mornings.
Rainy mornings.
They hold signs.
The cars pass.

/ / /

22 November 2023
Charlottesville VA

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POEM: Vigil

Vigil

We stand on the street corner
because we can’t turn our
bodies into shields.

We stand on the street corner
to force other people to look.

We stand on the street corner
clutching our paper signs
and our cardboard signs,

looking into the eyes
of the passing drivers,
hoping for recognition.

We stand on the street corner
with our fathers and our daughters,
with friends and strangers.

We stand on the street corner
for those whose streets run red
with blood and fire.

We stand on the street corner,
praying to awaken
from our collective nightmare,

to discover it was all a dream,
that we are safe in the arms of loved ones,
that all we hear are birds

and the laughter of children.

/ / /

7 November 2023
Charlottesville VA

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