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Poems by Mike Odetalla and Micki Longum

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What Benefit or Joy if ..........
By Mike Odetalla

What benefit or joy if,
I were to gain the world,
But lose the almond blossoms in my land?

Drink a cup of coffee, everyplace
But my mother's home
Journey to the moon,
But not to the graves of my ancestors
See the world's wonders,
But not the setting sun as it dips behind ancient olive groves
Tour the world over,
But lose the flowers on the hills of my native land
Nothing but lethal silence.

No need to gain the world
Just a cup of coffee
In a familiar place and
An end to the lethal silence

Within the hearts of the living.

Mike Odetalla, thinking of spring in Palestine! 3-27-2005

For Mike - after reading his poem
by Micki Longum

And I ask myself
or why
did I build this wall?

or why
did I uproot your almond trees
and demolish
one house
another house
and many many more?

I told them all
it was to defend myself.

But what is there to defend
if I can't drink a cup of coffee
in your mother's house
with you
and what is there to defend
if I can't gaze in peace
at your blossoming almond trees?

Yes, I told them all
it was just to defend myself,
but I know it was all to conquer you
and take your land.

So what else is left now
but share the depth
of the lethal silence
with you?



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