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March 21: Celebrating Poetry Day & Fighting Racism Day

March 22, 2013

♥ Joy Harjo

Learn about this amazing Muskoke (Creek) American musician, writer and activist! ♥

Should I dream you afraid so that you are forced to save yourself? Or should you ride colored horses into the cutting edge of the sky to know that we’re alive we are alive.

Read/Listen to her poem Strange Fruit

mediterranean_mapHere is a poem I wrote in 2012 dedicated to the Palestinian people. I wrote it after watching a documentary about a Music School they were trying to create or hold together in the Gaza region (a densely populated area on the planet where you can get killed very easily, apart from having to endure war-like hardship). Olive trees are also connected to the origin of the worldwide movement called Women in Black. Israeli and Palestinian women did something which patriarchal politics abhors, which was plant olive tree together in a shared land. Olive trees are also about our connection as part of the Mediterranean cultures. I’ve translated it into English.

Los olivos (michelle renyé, 2012)

van_gogh_bosquedeolivos1889La piel oliva es dorada y verde.
Los ojos y el pelo negro noche lluvia
y profundos,
como el verano en los jazmines.
Las hojas son verde ceniza por abajo
y se vuelven al cielo abierto,
tantas veces
con tanto esfuerzo, con dolor,
y levemente brillantes
por encima, como un recuerdo
de aceites y manos, de cuando
podían plantar olivos, verlos crecer.

La música está prohibida.
(Es ley en la democracia del genocidio.)
Las personas jóvenes no temen más
que aman, por eso cantan
en un espacio de ruinas secreto.
Sus ojos contienen al fondo cascotes
caídos sobre los olivos bajo el sol
sobre la tierra amarilla gastada agotada,
llana, terrosa, dura, persistente; hecha mirra,
y aprenden a tocar en cajas con cuerdas
y se juegan la vida cuando bailan.

Es lo que nunca cuentan las crónicas que escriben
los padres de todas las guerras.

Translation:

Olive Trees (michelle renyé, 2012)

Olive skin is gold and green.
Eyes and hair black night rain
and deep,
like summer in jasmines.
The leaves are ash green underneath
and turn and twist towards the open sky,
once and again,
with such effort, such pain,
and slightly shiny
on top, like a memory
of oils and hands, of the time
when they could plant olive trees, see them grow.

Music is banned.
(It’s law in the democracy of genocide.)
People young do not fear more
than love, that’s why they are singing
in a secret space of ruins.
The background in their eyes contains
rocks of rubble fallen on the olive trees under the sun
on the yellow soil worn out exhausted
flat terrous hard persistent; made myrrh
while they learn to play boxes with strings
and risk their lives when they dance.

This is what’s never told in the chronicles written
by the patriarchs of all wars.

Web de Rumbo a Gaza

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