Liam from Adelaide is serving with EAPPI in the village of Yanoun from January til March 2015. You can find his stories at poetry on his blog.
Below is a little sample:
Cumulus clouds expand and contract in the sky’s loom.
She stares them down. She stares them down and the mountains
They swoon before her innocence,
before her dark eyes that pierce and gleam like sun off a fetid pool.
She sits upon her throne, a school
now merely twisted lumps of metal and concrete,
a wound from the earth, a place to plant her feet
and watch valley walls rise to a sapphire roof.
What is this thing in the grown, that must own or despise the innocence of youth?
Destroy passion and compromise hope. These pour off kids like grace, like joy off of starlings
weaving between golden shafts of light. This dark, grown-up thing covers her sight,
covers here future in apathy and disillusion.
This fierce Bedouin, barefoot upon her school in ruin. In her valley
which has swallowed a thousand graves in its rich soil
who’s tents have seen a thousand births and caves that hold a thousand stories.
Her father tries to tell her some, but she has now only worries of what her life
And her children’s lives will become.
But late at night, as she lies curled on her mat, between mother and sisters
The wind whispers through the tent flaps, the smell of ocean on its tail
She dreams of climbing these valley walls, like her father and uncle used to.
She dreams white sails of distant ships skimming upon the sea she has never seen
She hears the foam capped waves whip the rocky shoreline
as gulls wheel and spin and dive dissolute into the murky brine.
This chaos makes sense.
This uncontrollable thing, so deep and dense,
Smothers many lives under its surface, but nurtures many more.
It cannot be tamed, not even by the shore that holds it.
The ideologies of the grown own, occupy and oppress. They devour the girl’s youth.
They bind her to these valley walls. But truth, like the ocean cannot be bound,
only found in chaos and ever-shifting waters.
And justice, like water, always flows downwards.
Finding the lowest places to lay – and oh, this valley lays low.
Sitting in the unjust low, the still-point of the broken world, she waits
with the patience of the oppressed. The chaos of wild things
churning in her chest, burning in her fierce eyes
This girl, who has never seen the ocean.