This is not a political blog: I confine it strictly to what goes on around me and concerns my life here. That doesn't mean that I am unaware of, or unaffected by, what goes on in the wider world. My thoughts have turned often in the last weeks to Gaza. I have no love for Fundamentalism in any form (neither do many Gazans) – and 'sadness' and 'anger' do not begin to describe what I feel when I think of what those people have endured, and are continuing to endure. The other day I read in the paper that a Palestinian woman had said “During the siege, we described our situation as catastrophic. Things are now so much worse that the dictionary has run out of words.”
Here is a blog that I have been following: http://a-mother-from-gaza.blogspot.com/
My past – before I settled down and became a respectable matron – included Palestinian and Israeli friends. I spent months in their lands, in their streets, in their homes, trying to understand both perspectives. I think that this current spasm of violence will solve nothing.
Ricochets and Shell Fragments
You remember a boot, level with your right eye.
Scuffed, brown; olive trousers bloused mid-shin.
It tilted slightly – a pebble caught under the heel –
then shifted as its wearer turned, and caught your little
The pain remained after the dust-puffs of retreating steps had settled and the
crunch of footsteps had died away.
I remember a sharp ache, behind my left ear.
The rifle's flash suppressor left a wicked imprint, its memory
forever linked with the close-up smell of rain-wet pavement, the taste of pennies,
the reflection of orange city street lights in puddles.
“I find killing a dog harder,” the soldier said. (His friend nodded) “I have fired into crowds
A smiling woman, a beckoning child, any man
might shield a killer.
I lost a mate that way, and learned I'd rather shoot the child first.
Just to be sure.”
In ripples-too-small-to-be-waves a broken periwinkle
– some creature's shattered once-home –
grinds to shingle with pebbles dragged in and out,
in and out.
Purple and white, iridescent, it flashes
in the late afternoon sun.