To you

A poem reflecting on Beirut's latest tragedy, and the evergreen resilience of its people.

al-monitor A woman sits with a dog over the Mediterranean sea waterfront by a fishing boat in the area of Dbayeh, north of the capital Beirut (background skyline), on Dec. 5, 2019.  Photo by JOSEPH EID/AFP via Getty Images.

Aug 5, 2020

Beirut, your heavy burdens would bury most,

for in your dusk, the air is thick with history seething, groaning, thrashing.

The bell tolls, and many voices bellow –

your dreary, battered, and martyred,

they are badly aching.


But, with Grace, you breathe out young life at the break of each dawn,

you swallow blue broken crackling glass,

and the dull pain drowns in the white ashes of your waves –

where sins and injustices wash into the green sullied sea-foam.


Sweet Soteria, Beirut -

Storms, stones and thunderbolts do not bring you to your knees.

You are a kind and peculiar coastal sanctuary, of ochre light,

Of daily deliverance,

Your custodians, your refugees, your lovers – keep vigil over them.

Because Beirut, you are their beating, (bleeding), mighty heart.


And though they may blaze in the sun,

your cedars stand tall in the valley, and

your fishermen, still, stand tall on the rocks,

kissed by mornings dew and the sweet salt of salvation.

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