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Poem: Cloaked in Garments of a Palestinian Spring

Cloaked in Garments of a Palestinian Spring*


By Genevieve Cora Fraser

She hid her sorrow
Cloaked in the persona
Of Palestinian wildflowers
Burst forth in prisms
Of violet and yellow
Brilliant hues
Exposed to the weathered
Trauma of loved ones
Exiled to migratory
Wanderings she waited
As a stone waits
Unmoved to retreat
But filled her soul
With sunshine remedy
And the sweet aroma
Of rock rose blooming
And birds singing
In a Palestinian spring

Born of the ancient
Womb of the Bride
Of Palestine Jaffa
Sea port bathed in saline
Memories of orange
Blossomed citrus groves
She fled with her boy
Child and dear husband
Into the Mediterranean
Mist wafting past
Terraced gardens
Arabic dwellings
Ghostly elegies
Moaned low
Inhabitants lost
Driven into the pulsing
Sea alive with vessels
Bearing mourners
Into exile
Witnesses all
To Zionist cruelty
At hand

In a mountainous
Retreat they settled
In Ramallah as refugee
Encampments grew
In the West Bank
In Gaza and on foreign soil
Anemone spilled blood
Red petals then resurrected
Yellow Daisies still bloomed
In Galilee the world leader
In Messianic music
Zealous rapture
And trinket sales
An artist palette
She acquired inspired
By simple joys
Flower
Pickings children's
Laughter family outings
Echo
As paint dabbed
Skillfully on a canvas'
Poetic expanse

Ancient as Biblical Revelations
She gained insight
Floral secrets held in stalk life
Leaf and bud, stamen and bloom
Yarn spun was dyed to match
Hues artfully embroidered
But war exploded
In counterpoint
To her tapestries
Once again Israeli boots
Trampled
On the Rights the Lives
The Sacred Land
Palestine
Ravaged by armored
Tanks, fighter jets
Blocked out the sun
Bulldozers crushed Wheat
Flowers, Poppies and Wild Pea
Now in her nineties
Bomb blasts
Shatter glass
Against lace curtains
As she gathers
A violet dress
A yellow sash
To stave off
Death

*A tribute to Palestinian artist Marie Jabaji Tamari, world renowned for her floral tapestries, photographed and published by Turbo Design and the Institute for Jerusalem Studies in "Spring is Here, Embroidered Flowers of the Palestinian Spring," text by Tania Tamari Nasir.


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