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The Taste of Return (18.10.11*)

October 25, 2011

Tonight you’ll taste Jenin again
fermented bitters pressed, still young,
salt blooming on your parching tongue.

Along my thirsting throat reclaim
our Nablus days, Baladi-glazed,
revive us in green-gold champagne.

An aquifer, dry years unsprung,
tonight you’ll taste Jenin again.


Linked to dVerse Poets Open Link Night – where poets go to read:

Baladi, also known as Nabali, is a cultivar of olive traditionally grown in Palestine. The olive harvest, peaking in October and November, is sometimes called ‘green-gold’ by Palestinian farmers for whom it has long been an economic and cultural pillar.

*the date on Which 477 Palestinians were released in a prisoner-swap for Israeli soldier Gilad Shilat.

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  1. smiles…nice…i like…the coming alive again from within into champagne days or nights for that matter…i like…and i like the use of taste to get there…

  2. Such a simple durable delightful soothing flavor to this, home cooking when the prodigal returns. – Brendan

  3. That’s much appreciated Brendan….

  4. Interesting bit of culture to this – a creative engagement, and a lesson in one. I was not familiar with baladi, but you used both it and the image of Jenin well here…

  5. Can I just get a room? Becky, I seriously love your writing, your style, but your subject holds me enthralled every time! There is such an appreciation to what you write. Another wonderful share!

  6. Your poem is another mountain of meaning behind a few well-chosen words. You are a queen of imbuing verse with life and flavor. I cannot imagine the joy felt returning from imprisonment but you get me so much closer with ‘An aquifer, dry years unsprung, tonight you’ll taste Jenin again’. You also give us room to come to our own moral conclusions (like the Cockles poem). I admire you for these things.

  7. Thanks Anna.. really apprecciate what you say. No, soap-boxing is not my style.. but showing different perspectives is important to me… So much of the ‘reality’ we are exposed to via TV footage is heavily filtered through specific perspectives.. it’s always more complex than we think..

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