Three Poems

    By Murray Alfredson

    1. Gaza

    ‘Suffer the children’
    I
    Those who have known
    holocaust children
    cannot forget them.
    Hunched as though
    a kick were coming,
    haunted of eye,
    head ever turning,
    their gait an almost shuffle
    and ever like a cat
    prepared to flee,
    a silent scream
    not to touch
    with hand or word.

    II

    Israel’s leaders,
    they of all folk
    prison-like
    have fenced in Gaza
    bid generals
    hurl their bombs,
    their shells and rockets
    from air and sea
    and rolling tanks,
    hurl clinging fire scarring children
    who survive,
    as those of over
    sixty years ago.

    2. Shields

    You say they hide
    themselves behind
    civilians as
    human shields.

    When you shell
    a hospital
    with phosphorous
    that burns the structure
    and the skin
    around the wounded,
    and when you shell
    a school where people
    flee for refuge
    where are the shields,
    and where the shielded?

    And when you fire
    your guided rockets
    at the homes
    of target persons,
    sometimes with luck
    you find them home
    but surely slay
    his wife and children.
    Does a man hide
    when he’s at home?

    No whitewash words
    paint thick enough
    to hide your evil.
    Murder is murder
    whatever the wrapping.

    3. Gazan Cull

    Through telescopic sights
    a sniper spots
    the girl kneeling to tend
    a prostrate man
    brings the cross-hairs
    to her temple
    allows for wind-drift
    mindful squeezes
    the trigger only.
    Sideways she slumps
    across her patient —
    One Arab womb the fewer.

    Murray Alfredson is a former librarian, lecturer in librarianship and Buddhist Associate in the Multi-Faith Chaplaincy at Flinders University. He has won a High Beam poetry award 2004, the Poetry Unhinged Multicultural Poetry Prize 2006, the Friendly Street Poets Political poetry prize 2009. He serves the editorial panel of different international journals and magazines. He is at Ashvamegh editorial panel. He describes himself as a poet, essayist and skeptic. He is the author of Gleaming Clouds (Interactive Publications). He lives in Australia.

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