Each day was filled with gilded tales
Of Phoenician galleys and Nabatean merchants
Seleucid sailors landed here as did the avaricious Ptolemies
These very sands seem to be the guardians of time.
Amble along this coastline, pause and listen
Hark, hear distant history lapping Levantine shore
Soothed by the scent of thyme on the wind
As driftwood I’ve often lain here dreaming
Roman oil lamps once lit the way
Hellenistic whores beguiled and sang
I imagine Caesar’s legions took their ease
Caressed by zephyrs and thoughts of home.
Yet now they have defiled this place
Herodian infamies tear open our minds
And cram them with cordite anointed corpses
Of innocents massacred by the wrath of Judah
One day we will gather the other shells again
Pray for Huda Ghaliya and those yet to come
‘Tis time to hold out the olive branch
And for all to re-discover the Wisdom of Solomon.
Written to mark the occasion when Israeli Defence Force shells landed on a beach near the municipality of Beit Lahia in the Gaza Strip on 9th June 2006. Seven Palestinians were killed and over thirty people injured.