Printer Friendly

The Sound of Peace in Two Voices (Two Women).

Part I

voice 1: Out of this haunted land words rise up

voice 2: maspik, enough, kefaya

v1: kefaya, enough, maspik

v2: In this land, the ground is haunted and each wind has a name

v1: shard, rih teqil, maltam (pause) shard

v2: shard: vent chaud charge de sable, a hot sand-filled wind

v1: rih teqil

v2: rih teqil: vent violent et dangereux, a violent and dangerous wind

v1: maspik, enough, kefaya

v2: this cannot be changed.

v1: Ley? Why? Lama?


v2: There is no peace without recognition

Between the earth mixed with bone and blood and the sea we share and fear, the winds shift and shift again there is no peace without memory

v1: without memory

v2: and these turbulent times offer no peace

v1: no peace

v2: without recognition

v1: without recognition

v1 & v2: I know you/v 1: 'airfaki

v1 & v2: I know you/v2: ani makira otakh

v1 & v2: This is the sound of peace

v1: kol ha shalom

v2: the sound of peace/sott el salaam

Part II

v2: Two women

v1: two women, between land and sea,

v2: In the middle of the night, Each hears a small voice calling her,

v1 & v2: "Mama" "Ima'"

v2: this small voice says


Some part of us has let them clown, some part of us is no longer


v1: "Ima'"

v2: to anyone.


v2: And a small voice from within us utters the word [the other voice enters faintly: mama, ima] because we need some comfort, some protection, no betrayal.

v1: No more betrayals


v2: Our children are missing

v1 : eifo, where, fayn?

v2: and each cries,

v1 & v2: "mama," "Ima"

v2: because we no longer understand the word for god well enough to utter it.

(beat of silence)

Part III

v1: This is the sound of peace/sott el salaam

v2: the sound of peace/ko/ha shalom and there is no peace without recognition

Inside each, the winds shift, but a deep hollow remains, this they each know.

Now each moment is measured by absence,

v1: absence

v2: long, unending.

v1: gun shots

v2: mortar,

v1: rocks

v2: small tires

v1: fear

v2: Barbed wire

v1: Humiliation

v2: Check points

v1: death

v2: rubble

v1 & v2 (1) "Mama" "Ima" (2) ley? Why? lama?

v2: we've come to stand beside each other,

v1: I know you.

v2: in black,

v1: And there is no peace without recognition

v2: each taking the other's hand,

v1: this is the only small comfort left.

v2: I stand with you

v1: And the ground continues to shift beneath our feet

v2: and still they stand together once a week

v1: between the living and the dead

v2: the bones, the skin, the fine hair, the contours of each other's palms, this we now know.

v1: this is the sound of peace/sott el salaam

v2: for mourning no sound is enough


v1: Kefaya, enough, maspik

v2: They trace the contours of the missing.

V1: maspik, enough, kefaya

Part IV

v2: They have nothing else, nothing else without the other

v1: this is the sound of peace/kol ha shalom

v2: the shifting winds, each with its own name: shard, rih teqil, (beat) maltam

v1: shard, rih teqil, (beat) ahh maltam

v2: together they conjure up another wind

v1 &v2: Maltam


v2: Maltam: bon vent sans direction determinee, a benevolent wind with no determinate direction.

v1: and so they recite to themselves, in their familiar and similar tongues, a litany, ah invocation, a re-membering. These winds they each conjure up to remember. Winds that come to them from the same sea.

v1 & v2: shard, rih teqil, maltam

v2: between their unending mourning and the respite they find in other's hands, once a week, each remembers, each bears witness to the other's sorrow.

v1: I know you, ani makira otakh, 'airfaki

v2: I know you, "airfaki, ani makira otakh

v1: And out this haunted land words rise up

v2: enough, kefaya, maspik

v1: Here, on this land, where the chill of disavowals unnerves them, each woman is the other's weather station. Silently, each invokes Maltam


v1: Maltam/their prayer

v2: Maltam: A benevolent wind, with no determinate direction, this is the one they are invoking these days, this benevolent wind, the kind of surprise the other can live with.

v1: Maham

v2: Maltam, the haunted ground echoes

v1: Maltam

v2: each holds the other's hand and bears witness


The winds shift this is the sound of peace/kol ha shalom/sott el salaam and there is no peace, no peace without recognition

v1: Salaam, peace, shalom

v2: Shalom, peace, salaam
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2004 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Habib, Nadia
Publication:Resources for Feminist Research
Article Type:Poem
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 22, 2004
Previous Article:Uncle Sam's Strike-Tease.
Next Article:All the Rage: The Story of Gay Visibility in America.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2022 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters |