Tomorrow is the anniversary of the assassination of Naji al-Ali in 1987. In the early 1980's I had the good fortune to meet this talented Palestinian artist and journalist at a showing of his work at USC.
At the beginning of the first Intifada, I wrote this poem in his memory:
Remembering Naji Al-Ali
The return address on the envelope says "Handhalah..."
The envelope is empty.
The voice on the answering machine whispers "Handhalah..."
But there is no number to call.
The lettering on the back of the T-shirt
Of the boy running past reads "Handhalah..."
I walk faster.
And in my dream Handhalah approaches.
For the first time I can see his face,
He is smiling.
I awake and sit at my desk in the night,
And write a check.
At the bottom where is says "for:"
I write "Stones."
9 years ago