‘Acts of Survival’ – International Times

Illustration ©Claire Palmer, ‘International Times’

Before the execution date,
each night,
lands I have never seen come to visit
this self-contained universe.
The only place for waiting, for submitting,
the place where god decided
it was the moment to shoot itself.
This captivity has become an act of survival,
for an industrious nation of slaves.
Here, the immediate!
The fear behind the hate sounds louder and louder
in each city where cathedrals
are now for sale
on detergent coupons.

A man is lost at sea, I hear,
total strangers marching East
minutes before the water-ropes bring the closure.

Here and now, my enemy,
the blood inside all my cavities has become
the last supper
for I,
chiselled, strapped, nailed to my crimes,
had confessed: ECCE HOMO!

My nation, my never-never land!

If we have been at war for thousands of years,
still,
barehanded,
catching bullets today,
in these meat-eating times,
it is the pain which, finally, will set us free,
not words.
The silent joy of those who know
how very few will make it through the
death sentence.

The poem can be accessed at International Times

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Holy Bread

Montage: ©Claire Palmer, published in International Times, 26th July 2017

The hunger was the woman with a friendly, foreign name-tag.

That busy Saturday.

 

A miracle healer, as pale as milk, passed through the city –

a reminder that we all had our role to play in the war.

 

For a moment, his voice stopped the curious shoppingbagscrowd-

echo between tall cement buildings.

 

A sudden rain followed, baptised my sleeping bag,

in the queue at the Lower Street Food Bank.

 

The history sliced a nearby road in tiny squares of holy bread.

 

– published in International Times, available here