M.G. STEPHENS


GAZA GHAZAL

This is a ghazal for Gaza
My love for the ghazi

And infidels the Gazans
And Intifada a ghazal for Gaza

For the sick and the suffering
My love this is a ghazal for Gaza

In this ghazal we tear down
Walls it is a wallless ghazal for Gaza

My love we tear open the heart
Enough blood spilt this is a ghazal for Gaza

Without its bleeding and its wounds
Food and medical supplies come for Gaza

In this ghazal by the Mediterranean Sea
No blockades are in this ghazal for Gaza

People roam as freely as they wish
My love in this sunlit ghazal for Gaza

The sun and the moon shine freely
In the medina of this ghazal for Gaza

This is a ghazal for my love for you my love
Your dark eyes and rich red lips for Gaza

In the fertile crescent of a better world
Hear the singing of ghazals for Gaza

See how peace abounds children safe no bombs
Overhead crashing into the ghazal for Gaza

Children play in the light the nurturing light
And in the nurturing shadows of this ghazal for Gaza

There are no air strikes no buildings in shambles
No bodies lying on the street with flies everywhere in Gaza

There are no mortar rounds no tracer bullets in the air
Like shooting stars in this ghazal for Gaza

No tunnels for the ghazi no ambushes for fighters
Only love my love in this ghazal for Gaza

Men and women discuss the great questions let
The answers come when they will in this ghazal for Gaza

Here is couscous and falafel lettuce and tomatoes
Cannellini beans and parsley in this ghazal for Gaza

Here is green tea in a clear glass a pot for stew a poet
To sing to you my love in this ghazal for Gaza

Here is a lamb to slaughter an oasis of sky and sand
Water and stars my love in this ghazal for Gaza

Buildings unharmed people unharmed walking freely about
The moon over the desert in this ghazal for Gaza

The moon and the sun over the desert in Gaza full of
Peace and garlic and mint in this ghazal for Gaza

Linen and wool here put away your dagger and Kalashnikovs
My name is Michael son of an angel named Rose I am here for Gaza

 

M. G. Stephens is the author of nineteen books, including the recently
published short poems in Occam's Razor (2015), as well as the
critically-acclaimed novel The Brooklyn Book of the Dead; the
award-winning essay collection Green Dreams; and the memoir Lost in
Seoul (Random House, 1990). Recent work has appeared in Missouri
Review, Ploughshares, Hollins Critic, Rain Taxi, Notre Dame Review, PN
Review (UK), and Brooklyn Rail, which monthly serialized his boxing
novel Kid Coole from May 2015 to June 2016.