The inhabitants

I died today, among many others, my grandpa died too, and our neighbours,
my best friend, the one with braided hair yes, and our sweet sweet doctors,
our motherly nurses … We heard a blast, then a whoosh of some kind,
and all gone. Our hospital was wiped out just like that. I woke up this
morning, thinking, this is just one of those days you know, with bombings
and screams and things … things that terrify me secretively, that don’t show
up on TVs of this planet, or maybe I’m just too little to understand, you see,
I’m a teenager or a child without age or something like that. And maybe it is
OK to die like this, is it? And to live like how we lived, with clean hearts,
daily prayers, with a loaf of bread to share without complaining, with love,
however cliché it might sound, with love we were fed yes, and Alhamdulillah.
So maybe it is OK to leave this world with so many unanswered questions,
so many things that even adults don’t understand. But what is an intellect
when it does nothing other than making a person sit, nod, and push silly
buttons, and make them a servant of some power, or whatever else convenient.
And what about their big minds with PhDs, technological advancements,
anything, anything that makes us the inhabitants of the 21st and so-called
civilised beings that do nothing when it comes to stopping the killings of
thousands of us. And what is an inhabitant then? To be an inhabitant on this
earth, I mean, or on a piece of soil? Is it not to gently walk down the streets,
greet your fellow human with warmth and honour, no matter their race or
religion? This is what we were taught, but … but what is a soul, if it is
scrunched into a ball of no-sense so it can become part of a mass weapon,
a cluster of minds, some unspoken ignorance? What is a human when a heart
is blindfolded, negligent, dull, just like that? I don’t know. I really don’t know
any of these. Not anymore, at least, for I’m dead now! Oh, won’t a poet cry
for me and write a poem, so I can be blessed a bit and rest in some peace?


Note: This poem was written after the Gaza Hospital blast that took place on Tuesday, the 17th of October 2023.

Image: Flickr

Elif Sezen

Elif Sezen is an Australian/Turkish multidisciplinary artist, bilingual poet/writer and translator. She holds a PhD from Monash University. She lives and works in Melbourne. Elif's practice evolves through various fields: In her work she speculates upon reconceptualising memory traces emerging from familial/personal/collective trauma and loss. This explorative process leads her to a restorative and even a celebrative notion of self-construction, desire, longing and a sense of homecoming. Her poetry collections include A Little Book of Unspoken History (Puncher & Wattmann, 2018) and Universal Mother (Gloria SMH Press, 2016):

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