Chen-ou Liu's Translation Project: First English-Chinese Haiku and Tanka Blog

Monday, May 17, 2021

Falling Lights Tanka

written in response to "Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City leaving at least 42 dead, buildings flattened" (Global News, May 16) and "No sign of Israel-Gaza conflict ending" (The New York Times, May 16

in the night sky
clusters of falling light ...
from Gaza rooftops 
Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar!
amid the cacophony of cries

FYI: Allahu Akbar is Arabic for God is great


one ball
of smoke and fire 
after another
the piercing midnight cries
Ahmed, Ahmed... cut off


the skeleton
of a bombed-out Gaza home
blood-stained prayer rugs


gathering dark
at the end of a tunnel
under Gaza
all that remains
of the militants' dreams


shouting and clapping
as a Gaza boy is pulled 
from the rubble ...
the only one left
from a family of ten