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Thought from Fr. Colm - 29th October

A number of you commented on Fr. John O’Brien’s encouraging words at my 40th Anniversary of Ordination celebration. John has agreed to follow up on that occasion by speaking to the Parish next Thursday, 2nd November at 7.00pm in the Jubilee Room. Do join us. We have our International Meal this coming Sunday after the 11.00am Mass. Well done to our Lunch Club Team, who have been nominated for a local Community Award. I am planning refresher sessions for Readers and Ministers of the Eucharist. Please do come when dates are sorted. Saturday mornings seem best. If you have better suggestions

for times, do let me know. Dates for the next Journey in Faith sessions will also be published soon, but in the meantime, should you wish to become a full member of the Faith, or wish to enrich it, you are very welcome.

Three Poems from Palestine by Najwan Darwish

Translated by Kareem James Abu-Zeid

I Write the Land

I want to write the land,

I want the words

to be the land itself.

But I’m just a statue the Romans carved

and the Arabs forgot.

Colonizers stole my severed hand

and stuck it in a museum.

No matter. I still want to write it –

the land.

My words are everywhere

and silence is my story.

The Shelling Ended

No one will know you tomorrow.

The shelling ended

only to start again within you.

The buildings fell, the horizon burned,

only for flames to rage inside you,

flames that will devour even stone.

The murdered are sunk in sleep,

but sleep will never find you –

awake forever,

awake until they crumble, these massive rocks

said to be the tears of retired gods.

Forgiveness has ended,

and mercy is bleeding outside of time.

No one knows you now,

and no one will know you tomorrow.

You, like the trees,

were planted in place while the shells were falling.

Barely Breathing

Sorrow pours from the rooms

while I, like a ghost, enter your abandoned homes,

holding my end in my hand,

sleeping and waking with my ruin.

It’s dispiriting to become acquainted

with my own desolation,

to keep step with it to this extent.

They weigh on me – these abandoned houses,

this desertion that fills your homes.

I enter their hollowed hearts, and can barely breathe . . .

Neither Arabs nor Persians nor Byzantines can feel me now.

Didn’t I ever have a history?

And how did I lose them along the way –

poems that were the world unfurling, in a moment?

And how were you lost, all of you?

You took my share of loss

and left abandonment behind,

a planet with no ribs –

you left it for me, you left it

to burden me.

If I said I was leaving

there would still be no one here

but abandonment,

with its hoarse voice that’s swallowing my own.

Translations from the Arabic.



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