• A Ghazal for Gaza

    Maaz Bin Bilal

    December 2, 2016


    In response to a video of the celebratory chants in Hebrew by some Israelis following the bombings in Gaza, which translate as: “No children are left there, Olé, Olé”.


    Four young footballers were playing on the beach,
    When men went coursing, preying on the beach.

    They built castles high up into the skies,
    those children of Gaza, claying on the beach.

    In the grime of their game, in a grain of sand,
    all plagues of Egypt, slaying on the beach.

    Football cenotaphs in place of their bodies,
    Their fathers are now laying on the beach.

    Pulped skulls: rubble, debris, spatter, graffiti,
    Iron-Dome confetti spraying on the beach.

    Sunbathers on that sand? Swimmers in that sea?
    Love-making, dilly-dallying, delaying on the beach?

    That flotilla of aid, now long-sunk, bled
    for stops to bloodlettings, baying on the beach.

    We die-in on streets in your New Yorks, your
    Londons. Please, no more flaying on the beach.

    Poetry’s perverse, here’s Maaz’s meagre ghazal,
    “No children are left there!” weighing on the beach.




    Maaz Bin Bilal ([email protected]) is Assistant Professor at the Jindal School of Liberal Humanities, Jindal Global University, Sonepat. He earned his PhD for his dissertation on the politics of friendship in E. M. Forster’s work from Queen’s University Belfast in 2015.

    These poems are part of ICF's unfolding Citizens against War series of literature and art, initiated in the spirit of listening: to our poets, artists, fellow citizens, against war and warmongering.

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