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

Thursday, April 4, 2024

New Life and Last Look Tanka

Against the Drowning Noise of Other Words, XLIV, "hospitals destroyed"
written in response to the destruction of Gaza's biggest hospital, Al Shifa

between blood of birth
and blood of death
a new life
on the hospital floor ...
a Gazan mother's last look

FYI: Israeli forces withdrew from Gaza’s largest hospital, Al-Shifa, today after a two-week raid that’s left most of the medical complex in ruins, with dead bodies on the ground and a wasteland of charred and destroyed buildings. The government media office in Gaza said over 400 Palestinians were killed and over 1,000 homes in the area of Al-Shifa destroyed. Army bulldozers also plowed over a makeshift cemetery in the hospital courtyard. The World Health Organization said at least 21 patients died since the raid began March 18th.

Built in 1946, Shifa was once the flagship medical facility in Gaza. Since October, Gaza’s health sector has been completely decimated. Only two hospitals are minimally functional and 10 partially functional, according to the United Nations. The rest have shut down completely after being shelled, besieged and raided by Israeli troops, or running out of fuel and medicine.

-- excerpted from Democracy Now, April 1: “Genocidal Machine”: Dr. Ghassan Abu-Sittah, who spent over a month treating patients at Al-Shifa and Al-Ahli Baptist hospitals, on Israel’s Destruction of Gaza’s Hospitals

And This tanka is a sequel to the following entry:
Against the Drowning Noise of Other Words, XIII: "Gaza's hospitals"

a cacophony
of sirens, shouting and screams ...
a girl curls up
next to the wheels of a stretcher
that holds her bloodied siblings

Added: Against the Drowning Noise of Other Words, XLV, "Joe Biden"

one-ton bombs to Israel
airdropped aid to Gaza
he shouts with his fist raised
Joe Biden kills us as swiftly
and yet slowly as possible

FYI: The Washington Post, April 4U.S. approved more bombs to Israel on day of World Central Kitchen strikes

The Biden administration signed off on thousands more bombs to Israel despite global condemnation of the IDF’s killing of seven World Central Kitchen employees

The transaction demonstrates the administration’s determination to continue its flow of lethal weaponry to Israel despite Monday’s high-profile killings and growing calls for the United States to condition such support on greater protection for civilians in the war zone. A U.S. citizen was among the dead.

The move also casts new light on the emotional statement by President Biden that he was “outraged and heartbroken” by the tragedy and was insistent that such events never happen again.

“They were providing food to hungry civilians in the middle of a war,” Biden said. “They were brave and selfless.”

And The New Yorker, April 6: Joe Biden and U.S. Policy Toward Israel

The matter of moral sympathy—who attracts it, who gives it, what action it inspires—can be cruelly fickle. 

it was Israel’s fatal attack on seven aid workers in Gaza, who were part of José Andrés’s World Central Kitchen—all but one of them non-Palestinians, including a dual U.S.-Canadian citizen—that compelled the Biden Administration to issue its strongest rebuke.

And Haaretz, April 7We Israelis Are All Complicit in the Starvation of Civilians in Gaza written by Yuli Tamir 

Creating mass starvation is morally prohibited, undermining the State of Israel's moral right to exist. Every just war has its limits, and the claim that the goal justifies the means is both malicious and erroneous.

Starvation also harms our hostages, who are suffering from hunger. And how can we complain that the hostages are hungry when we let hundreds of thousands of people suffer from malnutrition?


only the murmur
of the refrigerator
for company ...
this winter night and I
grow old and gray

AddedRe-Homing in the Maple Land, XXI

a midnight scream
breaks the snow's silence
park encampment


muffled thunder
in the bowels of the earth ...
my attic room
my beagle and I shake
like a swing, back and forth