Abdulhadi Alkhawaja is a human rights activist, currently on his 55th day of hunger strike. His daughter, Zainab, is also an activist. During her most recent arrest, she wrote this poem about her father.
I watch in horror as, the sultan digs my father’s grave.
He digs it deep and makes it narrow,
smiling that one day he shall live in a towering castle
surrounded by the deafening silence of miserable obedient slaves.
I watch in horror, and I call to him:
“Gravedigger, dig! But make the grave a little bigger.
Dig for two and not for one.
Make it so it fits us both,
for I could never step on the ground,
if my father is buried under.“
I hear the sultan cursing,
his face all red with fury.
He has found another seed he knows my father planted.
He crushes the life right out of it,
and into the grave he throws it.
Yet as he digs a home for death,
he’s blind to the seeds of life growing all around him.
As tears of anger burn my cheeks,
I feel a hand around my shoulder.
I look into my father’s sad eyes.
I see him smile, a sunrise.
"Don’t despair,” my father whispers.
“You witness victory. Celebrate.”
As the sultan sits in the dirt,
tired of all the digging,
he sees around him bones and bones,
of sultans, emperors, kings and queens.
He sees with fear skulls and skulls,
but no more crowns.
A question arises:
how to crawl out of a hole
that he had dug and dug and dug so deep?
From in his grave he looks up high and in the sky.
The sultan sees a vision.
With giant wings rising to the heavens,
a man who is only skin and bones
and big dark eyes and a tranquil smile.
SOURCE: Democracy Now!