A Poem on the Middle East “Peace Process”

A Poem on the Middle East
“Peace Process”
Etheridge Knight ~1972


Israel à la Begin, begins, “We
             /  love  /peace-and-uh
Yakady-yakady-yak-yak-yak.
That’s why we  /   drove  /
             the Palestinians off   /  their   /  land—
With the help of america and england’s evil hand.
And-ah-yakady-yakady-yak-yak-yak.”

In the Gaza strip an Arab boy sleeps,
              his knees /  are /  drawn  /  up to his chest.
His hands cup his crotch. He dreams of grenades,
And machine guns and prayers to Allah.

An Israeli boy sleeps in Tel Aviv. He dreams
Of the tales told to him by his  /  grand   /  father:
Nazi boots goosestepping on cobblestone, of lampshades
Made  /  from Jewish skin, of Jewish women—and men—
Naked and torn. He dreams too of blooming gardens
In the “promised land” and of killing Arabs
At his rabbi’s command.

And the “Peacemakers?” Ah, the peacemakers
Give guns to  /  one
And bombs to the  /  other
All contrary to the   /  cries  /  of the Mother.

Feeling Fucked Up

Feeling Fucked Up
Etheridge Knight

Lord she’s gone done left me done packed / up and split
and I with no way to make her
come back and everywhere the world is bare
bright bone white crystal sand glistens
dope death dead dying and jiving drove
her away made her take her laughter and her smiles
and her softness and her midnight sighs—

Fuck Coltrane and music and clouds drifting in the sky
fuck the sea and trees and the sky and birds
and alligators and all the animals that roam the earth
fuck marx and mao fuck fidel and nkrumah and
democracy and communism fuck smack and pot
and red ripe tomatoes fuck joseph fuck mary fuck
god jesus and all the disciples fuck fanon nixon
and malcolm fuck the revolution fuck freedom fuck
the whole muthafucking thing
all i want now is my woman back
so my soul can sing