A.K. Scipioni: Two Poems

Two poems by A.K. Scipioni on peace and war in the Middle East.

olive-groves-iznik-turkey“When We Decided to Build the Wall”

I want an olive tree.
I take yours and I smash it.
I move your home sixty
percent to the left, and I take
the lakes. All the fish
are mine. I send the men
to kill your mothers for
the olive trees and your fish,
now my fish. Your men
send their children into
the stems, the ovules
and filaments, the stamens,
pistils, and trees, back
to the source to consume
my children. I scatter
them wildly. In some ways,
one wall can make a factory,
and when the village
works in your factory,
having a god or not having
When We Decided to
Build the Wall
a god is a matter of profit.
This has a major impact
on how I see flowers and trees.

by A.K. Scipioni (The Literary Review)

Picnic Ramallah

Married, the schoolboys make the shells
at night, parting their nails and triggers,
branding an emptied plain, and the pocks
of the empty plain, with powder and wax,
and the smell of clementines. The rolling

hills of Hezbollah, one dead boy and
a tangerine. Customarily the schoolboys
fill the caves with scraps and rinds. In
the center of Hebron, a nest of chewed-
up pips. The women flower the threads

of the piths, but little things want the least
of widows. In the hymns of the turrets,
an order of turtle doves, Streptopelia turtur.
Make one dead motion for your father
to the sky and he will forget you.

by A.K. Scipioni (Poets Against War – Canada)

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