For Leonie, Spiro, George, and Najla

Included in Poetic Injustice: Writings on Resistance and Palestine are forty-eight three-line poems for Palestine. The number forty-eight denotes Al Nakba, or “The Catastrophe” of 1948, when two-thirds of the Palestinian people were dispossessed from their homeland by Zionist militias.

The poems are divided into four sections, each of which represents one of Remi’s displaced grandparents: Leonie, Spiro, George, and Najla. Below are a short selection from the collection.


An IDF officer told me my pen was as dangerous as a rocket attack. Protesting

the Wall was akin to strapping a bomb across my chest. But to his vision

of a state, my presence is more dangerous than any explosive device



The soldier stroked his gun as he looked at the young girl. Raped her

with his eyes, occupied every part of her being. She said nothing. Stared

at the ground and kept walking. One more checkpoint until she’s home



In Gaza, an Israeli soldier remains in prison. The world knows his name and

the conditions to set him free. 7,700 Palestinians wallow in Israeli dungeons

The world cannot mention their names because it never bothered to learn them



After four years, he emerged from his prison cell. Put behind Israeli

bars for one rock thrown. Hit nothing, bruised no one

a casualty, like every heartbeat under occupation



He measures time by cars. The checkpoint is 58 cars away, two minutes for each car, two

hours to kill. The counting is a game, helps pass the time. Sometimes he measures cars

by length to estimate the distance. Too much time to pass, not enough time to live



She closes her eyes. Smells the sea salt, caresses the soft sand, takes in a deep

breath and feels the wind hug her arms as her father once did. For a split second

she imagines they have returned, where she was born, where she belongs

Remi Kanazi

Remi Kanazi is a poet, writer, and activist based in New York City. He is the author of Poetic Injustice: Writings on Resistance and Palestine and the editor of Poets For Palestine. For more of his work, visit Follow him on Twitter here


  1. […] 48 3-line poems dedicated to my displaced grandparents in ’48. First time featured online on @BCompromise: […]

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