Irish language poet, reporter and editor Michael Davitt was born in Cork in 1950. He worked as a reporter and presenter at RTE in the 80s and in 1994, he won the Butler Prize for Literature. Some of his dual-language collections include Selected Poems / Rogha Dánta and The Oomph of Quicksilver. He died in Sligo in 2005. In light of current events in the middle-east I feel this poem is timely, highly emotive and unflinchingly honest. This is:
O My Two Palestinians
by Michael Davitt
(18/9/82, having watched a news report
on the massacre of Palestinians in Beirut )
I pushed open the door
enough to let light from the landing
blankets kicked off
they lay askew
as they had fallen:
her nightgown tossed above her buttocks
blood on her lace knickers,
from a gap in the back of her head
her chicken brain retched on the pillow,
intestines slithered from his belly
like seaweed off a rock.
one raised bloodsmeared hand.
O my two Palestinians rotting in the central heat.
Ó Mo Bheirt Phailistíneach
Bhrúigh mé an doras
oiread a ligfeadh solas cheann an staighre
na héadaí leapa caite díobh acu
iad ina luí sceabhach
mar a thiteadar:
a gúna oíche caite aníos thar a mása
fuil ar a brístín lása,
as scailp i gcúl a cinn
a hinchinn sicín ag aiseag ar an bpiliúr,
putóg ag úscadh as a bholgsan
mar fheamainn ar charraig,
ae ar bhraillín,
leathlámh fhuilthéachta in airde.
Ó mo bheirt Phailistíneach ag lobhadh sa teas lárnach.