Saturday, January 17, 2009

Sound Bites

A poem by DC-based spoken word poet Safiyya Abdullah, friend of a friend (there seems to be a lot of those ...:)).

We are a people of reality TV

That is, we are a people of sound bites

We watch TV and think that someone's week. ~

that is 168 hours, which is 10,080 minutes,

weed that down to 36 minutes

(after time out for commercials)

is the whole story…

And we watch it fervently,




No, make that slave-ish-ly…

Because that is what we have become

Slaves to the sound bites of society…

Never taking the time

to train our minds

to find what is behind

these sound bites.

So let me give U some sound bites of my own:

Sound Bite:

Most populated real estate on the face of the earth: Gaza

Sound Bite:

50% of the population under 18

Sound bite:

52% of the population lives below poverty.

And that was 18 months ago,

before the economic embargo

Sound Bite:

This densely populated area is walled off on all sides,

preventing materials, food, supplies, and people from getting in or out.

Sound bite:

December 26th: Chanukah, Jewish Holiday,

the Sabath~can't work day

Sound bite:

Day who-knows-what of an 18 month old blockage denying food, medicine, supplies

Day who-knows-what of a 50+ year old internationally illegal, immoral, occupation


Sound Bite:

Lunchtime shopping

Kids coming home from school

Sister across the street had a miscarriage

Because there wasn't enough food to eat…

Funeral yesterday…cousin died of dysentery

No medicine shipments in a month of Sunday's

Bread lines 13 hours long,

Sound Bite:

Zainab, mother of 3, boiling water

To soak the peas, make the tea,

and soften the day old bread for her daughter

til her 10 year old son gets home with more bread…


Sound Bite:

Zainab flies across the room…

sits up in a daze

automatically makes her way

across the kitchen…

Got 2 turn off the gas…

What was it that caused that blast?

Another follows and wails begin

while mothers pour out in the streets and holler

their children's names

Searching streets for children who

were just playing games,

or coming from school,

or standing in line waiting for water or fuel


Sound Bite:

Here comes more missiles once again

Sirens blaring.. then silent

As missiles hit police stations,

fire houses

civilian populations

already under siege

now besieged by F15s

Paid for with US dollars…

Make that our dollars

taken from food stamp programs

And education scholar-


firing missiles from the Israeli navy

Hitting families

playing on beaches

just longing 4 a small distraction

from a long life of occupation…


Sound Bite:

Hospitals overflowing...

beds, floors with rivers of blood pouring

No way 2 triage the wounded

Lives, as always in God's hands

Doctors slipping on blood soaked

floors as they struggle

to treat bodies burned and mangled

Hospitals turning away injured

No room inside or out

As minute by minute the death count


as the bombing continues another day

Gaza is deafened by the world's silence

Sound Bite:

Bodies litter the streets

there a young girl's hand

still clenching her book

next to it an old boot

within it the foot

of an elderly man who once ran

trying 2 save her

as she stood frozen with fear


Sound Bite:

More of the same

Israel saying they're only playing a game

Started by Hamas


Did we forget

The cease fire was violated election day

Nov 4,

When the Israeli Army

invaded the Gaza Strip?

Or did we just miss that sound bit?

Sound Bite:

Israel saying they warn the civilians before

dropping bombs

Give them a call on their telephone:

Ring…Ring…Hello, U there under siege that have no where to go…

This is the Israeli Army just placing a courtesy call

telling U we are about to drop in your neighborhood

for a friendly visit

Or was that a bomb hit.

Doesn't matter…

ain't got no phone anyway…

all the lines & satellites have been hit by the second day


Sound Bite:

Worldwide demonstrations galore

As concerned citizens pour

Out into the streets

Begging someone to but an end to this

Genocide and massacre…

But once again just being ignored…

So ladies & gentlemen

of privileged conditions,

I apologize for ruining your peace & serenity

with my sound bites of another's reality

but maybe tonight

when U kiss your children or your lover


these sound bites

will replay in your sleep

and U will become outraged…

decide to become engaged…

decide find the courage

to enter the sound stage

and stop listening to sound bites.


Blogger Andreea Badran said...

Very nice ...

12:55 AM  
Blogger fathima said...

i would love watch this performed

1:48 AM  
Blogger Natho47 said...

Mi solidaridad con todos los que sufren esta guerra irracional.
Desde Chile ,un abrazo

2:39 AM  
Blogger Marcel Dubois said...

Here's a translation, for those who don't read Spanish:

"My sympathy to all those who suffer this irrational war.
From Chile, a hug"

9:06 PM  
Blogger Marcel Dubois said...

I think it's a very rational war, to the contrary. People assume that Zionists want peace and coexistence. False. They have an interest in war and conflict. War and conflict means more territory for Zionists; or as they call it, and as Richard Seymour pointed out on his blog, "security corridor."

And Zionists want the whole of Palestine.

9:07 PM  
Blogger Marcel Dubois said...

And here's the translation for José:

"Creo que es una guerra muy racional, de lo contrario. La gente asume que los sionistas quieren la paz y la coexistencia. Falso. Ellos tienen un interés en la guerra y los conflictos. La guerra y los conflictos significa más territorio para los sionistas, o como lo llaman, y como Richard Seymour señaló en su blog, "corredor de seguridad".

Y los sionistas quieren la totalidad de Palestina."

9:08 PM  
Blogger Alwyn said...

Bless you Laila, for publishing this, and bless the internet, otherwise we in the states would have NO way of knowing what was going on over there.
We've been doing the usual, over here. Writing, calling, blogging, I've lost several friendships over this, but it has got to stop. Thank God a ceasefire was called, Please God they keep it. Next step, the world must step in to clean up Gaza, and I'm talking mops and brooms and bread, not bombs; we must end the blockade. May God keep you.

11:36 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home