A poet in good name, now, for several years—Farrah’s had her poetry published in the Litchfield Review, Cerebration, Avatar, Frigg, Ascent Aspirations, Poetic Injustice, Diagram, Arabesques and Columbia’s “Tablets Review” among others. A master’s alumni of Columbia University’s Global Literature program, Farrah’s Mediterranean- (Arabic) upbringing and various travels to France, Italy, Spain and the Middle East have … Continued
A poet in good name, now, for several years—Farrah’s had her poetry published in the Litchfield Review, Cerebration, Avatar, Frigg, Ascent Aspirations, Poetic Injustice, Diagram, Arabesques and Columbia’s “Tablets Review” among others. A master’s alumni of Columbia University’s Global Literature program, Farrah’s Mediterranean- (Arabic) upbringing and various travels to France, Italy, Spain and the Middle East have succumbed to poetic rendering, poems that fill manuscripts yet to be published. Farrah won second place in the Marjorie Rappaport poetry competition, a scholarship to the [SLS]- St. Petersburg summer writing conference, and 2nd place award and publication in the Chistell writing contest.
A Culturalist, at heart, Farrah speaks four of five languages and considers her race, ethnicity and heritage of utmost, strange importance. Being Palestinian-Iraqi, however, her identity’s been occupied, warred, and severed from its ancestral land. It is for this reason she learned French, traveled extensively to the surrounding regions, to Italy-Spain-Tibet- China- but never hits home. Poetry is the imaginative; the nearest she can get to acquaint herself with her origins.
Inner worlds lined brown like the earth, tinted gold like divine mirth, the occupied race of people plead for an outside light to dissolve their worry into the dead sea.
Dense bubbles, sugar grains condense like caramel apple heating under my hot tongue. I imagine soldiers’ threats induce a similar effect on their poor children who have long been constrained to sacrifice
their fame, knowledge and skill. Sweet fig flesh that grips wrinkled outer skin like old native man’s hands made hallow from fear, disdain, longing to cry peace by tears formed from the pain of clouds
waiting to be tasted and felt. Pains produced from sweet-thirsty twigs, resting on the earth, come together, tighten, roll, and shrink into small balls called seeds- reproduce from the hungers, contempt and needs of Palestinian
souls. They swim in the memories of their buried ancestors, whose lives, disintegrated, nourish fig tree soils, coalesce to become seeds that constitute fig fruit.
Hearts gold- earth speckled, firm flavor, a seeded promise that you will savor the Arabian air that you will inhale when you eat a fig from my ancestors.
Holding his tears back selfishly so he can taste the sweat of Palestinians sufferings, his selfishness shows his need to retain I d e n t i t y flows as blood through his veins.
Rivers of memory, lost hopes endless pains of the silenced, forgotten child refugees of which he day dreams attempting to suture blood- transferring gleams of truth, love and future.
“Father Iraq, Mother Palestine” express her worry about grandparents and great grandparents. How can she be free when every cell of her being shares their inheritance:
Mortar attacks a bus in Baghdad, 15 die Civil war strife mirrors the war America has waged on Iraqi life More than two years ago.
How can this happen How can this be That I will never see The land of my great grandfather?
I strive, I feel too much zeal to help heal the schisms
splitting this poor country and that of Palestine. * Hamas’ request that they vacate the west and return East Jerusalem on which they settled, built checkpoint and a wall In 1949
How can this happen How can this be That I will never see The Land of my dear grandmother?
I cry, I whine, abstaining From bodily pleasures emptying myself of the life deprived Iraq.
Your father, his inheritance shed of him like the skin of a snake. only he cried afterward.
Walking through barren olive fields he envisions their roots active with sprout, alive, as they once were, with the fruit of his ancestors.
The bitter black taste of Palestinian soil accompanied by the toasted pita-bread and melted white cheese,
he dreams of children’s olive-like eyeballs their sparkling gaze
like onyx, but the dream is shot with the poke of an empty hand a branch, fringed-ash and embroidered by greed
whose jugglers and smugglers in moan have thrown staunch families into pleas they sneeze to rid of the fumes clenching their inner lung constricted black and frightened tongue, ambitions sullied, by ancestor’s songs unsung
life squeezed out of my grandfather’s love he blows the ash from a branch wind carrying it from his eyes open eyes, lashes curled toward the heavens he inhales their deeply embedded fragrance buried beneath layers of activity and reactivity
from which this culture will continue to flourish.
Blood splats on his car front window, Mother screams An American spits onto a bud of flame that burst from the ground.
Soil dehydrated by flame (not by the desert) Iraqi ground bears the shame of Saddam Hussein.
1500 aircrafts and 50 troops American deployed into a swarm of queen bees whose honey-coated hives have been suffocated by Bush’s demonically dry breath, liquid sweetness dried into crusted fermentation in the mouth of a Conservative fly, I cry to help to re-moisten the soil, to nourish the boils one man’s angers transmits as fear and martyrdom to a population of the desperate.
In “Aesthetic, Ascetic, or Anorexic?” she questions the deception and death she sees in our shared world and clearly states her preferences. She’d rather suffer horribly, personally, than be a helpless onlooker:
I’d rather be hammered down by metal on the top of my head down and compacted square by the factory; I’d rather give my hand over to the spider-claw of the upper left pain and shrink to it — into it, like dough — like a grape in the sun’s reign. In pride I’d rather forbear the stain of self-starvation.
The final verse of “Blood, Sand, and Tears of a Young Boy” expresses clearly the poet’s conflicted life. She loves American freedoms but grieves for those less fortunate:
Desert souls, their tears are made of blood mixed with sand while I, American, laugh in pain at Charlie Chaplin going insane on the television screen. CNN bulletin interrupts my bliss with news of terrors about red and flaming wearers of suicide and contempt. My laughs push into cries and form a current for the Arabian Sea whose crystal salts perspire and become of me. Her waves undulate like snake-thin layers of blood thickened with sand and stone like a serpent’s plea to be set free and to roam the Garden of Eden. America.
The Voices Education Project offers tools, philosophies, and learning methods that will help young people understand the roots of conflict and the trauma of war, confront the pain and fear at the heart of conflict, and help to build healthy human communities in the wake of war. We use the arts and education to transform the consciousness of young people, give teachers and students a way to explore the most important and terrifying issues of our day, and create a dialogue in which all voices can be heard, and all points of view included, without engendering fear, hatred, or anger.