“. . . The war enters into farce: They bomb a butterfly! . . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

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Saber al-Ashqar, 29, with amputated legs, swinging a slingshot as part of the weekly “Great March of Return” protests (Prize-winning Photo: Mahmoud Hams, via Twitter; in Palestine Chronicle)

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POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

. . . The soul retains its passion
even on the cross,
the body has its dance,
even on the ropes.
The war enters into farce:
They bomb a butterfly!
It becomes even more farcical:
the butterfly has not died
but, with its fragility still intact,
has grown yet lovelier,
towering above the hubris of the general
and his science of war.
Here is half the triumph:
the butterfly,
armed with nothing but its beauty and the thrust of its wings,
enters the contest, sure of death.
It will die, it knows it will die,
–  from the qualities of the killer and from its own qualities.
from the window of a future despair,
it will return,
flapping its wings in the rooms of fancy.
The soul retains its passion even on the cross,
even on the ropes, the body has its dance. . .  (pages 47-48)

From: Barghouti, Mourid.  MIDNIGHT  AND  OTHER  POEMS.  Trans. By Radwa Ashour. Todmorden, Lancashire, UK: Arc Books, 2008. Available from B&N.

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