One of the most blatant reminders that you are in the west bank is the massive, concrete wall that separates Israel proper from the Palestinian territories. Built along Israeli’s re-imagined version of the green line- readapted to claim new lands- this barrier slices through land disregarding tradition, ownership, families, and UN declaration. I saw the wall many times, and twice stopped and walked along it. Each time I was overcome with an emotion that never formulated itself into a coherent post, so one of the more glaring reminders of occupation has had little mention in the too many words I have posted over the last year. (I did post some pictures, which can be found here!)
Luckily, I have Ben , who has done a wonderful job at often providing words (and posts) when I fail to find my own. Besides being a firefighter, known for saving an entire orphanage (if you don’t know what I am referring to, read this!), a brilliant and compassionate human, and a damn good teacher, he is also an artist. Ben composes melodic and gorgeous poetry, which he will happily perform for a good cause, or the relentless pleadings of his “flat”mates in Palestine. Here I include the poem he composed following our trip to the Wall, as well as a video of another piece of his. If you find Ben as amazing as I do, I recommend you like him on facebook! Also, I must brag, that the friend he falsely refers to as much wiser than himself in the last line is me. Though, rather than proving my wisdom, this line simply juxtaposes his powerful articulation with my crude assertions.
Once in Berlin I saw it spelled out
In letters so high they seemed to shout
“The world” it said “Is too small for walls”
So I eagerly wait for this one to fall
An ugly grey line pushes over the hills
Destroying the beauty of the land that it fills
And standing in front of it, dwarfed like a child
By its imposing nature and its sheer massive size
I see intimidation and a needless divide
So I lean my head backwards and I look to the sky
And there, just for a moment, I find some peace
In the creatures that soar and that glide above me
The birds fly so freely over the top
Of this thing that’s constructed only to stop
People moving and living as they might like
But the birds see no walls in their free open skies.
The feeling here, though, is not just depression
This isn’t just a symbol of hateful oppression
For a construction founded on racism
That seeks to create a fake prison
Has been reclaimed and given a new heart
By the spraypainted collage of words and art
For if we’ve learned one thing from our history
It’s that one of the things that makes us unique
Is the way we create beauty where none should exist
And the way we find hope and a way to resist.
So as I witness this concrete, so long and so tall
I comfort myself with the knowledge that walls
Are never built to stick around
And that this one, too, will come crashing down.
So to quote a friend much wiser than me
On the nature of inevitable decay
“One day we’ll all be buying a piece
Of this stupid fucking thing on eBay”
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