For Fallujah, by Veronica Golos

Sam Hamill, Writing for Peace AdviserCommemorating Ten Years of Poetic Resistance, PAW Post No. 8

During the month of February, Writing for Peace  commemorates the Tenth Anniversary of Poets Against the War with Daily PAW Posts from a host of contributors.

*Parental Guidance Warning –The poets featured during our February Daily PAW Posts write of war and its effect on the human heart. Writing for Peace has not censored these poems, and we encourage parents to review the content before sharing them with children.

To purchase a copy of POETS AGAINST THE WAR from Powell’s independent bookstore, click here.

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For Fallujah, Translated to Arabic by Nizar Sartawi

For Fallujah

by Veronica Golos

Because poems are, after all, dialogues between the song of man and the silences of God…
                                                                                                   — Jorie Graham, American Poet

At some point we may be the only ones left.  That’s ok with me.  We are America.
                                                                                                   — George W. Bush, President, United States

Words spool into concertina wire, punctuation wounds. Three
tiers deep, the wire awakens to pursue its hurt.  Each day
is a membrane to puncture and pass through.

I offer grief. I know its gravity.
At the graves, the names of the dead are scribbled into dumb air.
I thread letters into vowels, scratching at their script.

Five times the clarion call. Five times the delicate skin of sound is stretched,
and the cry, Allahu Akbar! trembles into ululation,
as the layered nameless resurrect into

song. O survivor: Your voice is disjointed; your tears are music too. I know
not what to do. I emerged from the sea
and pulled the trigger.

The finger points. No. Don’t show me the bruise—the brilliance
of bombs robs night of its color.  Touch and sight go numb. I turn away.

Sunset. A red
that kindles in the body. A lantern
beneath water,

something swallowed,
seen through, and there at molten

a word
that does not
hold. That will not

Our hands
can do—nothing.Veronica Golos - For Fallujah - Translated to Arabic by Nizar Sartawi


“For Fallujah”, was previously published in Vocabulary of Silence (Red Hen Press, 2011).

Veronica Golos, Writing for Peace Advisor

About Writing for Peace Adviser, Veronica Golos

Golos is the author of Vocabulary of Silence (Red Hen Press, 2011), winner of the 2011 New Mexico Book Award, as well as A Bell Buried Deep, co winner of the Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize (Story Line Press). She was Poet in Residence at Sacred Heart Academy in Greenwich, CT in 2005, at the Nassau Museum of Art, and Yaxche School in Taos,New Mexico. She has lectured on Teaching Poetry to Children at Columbia University’s Teacher’s College and Colorado State College. Golos’ work has been widely published and anthologized nationally and internationally, including Meridians, Drunken Boat, Orbus (London), and Liqueur44 (Paris). She has performed at the Nuyorican Café, LincolnCenter, and Cornelia Street Café in NYC, and many venues in the Southwest. A lifelong activist for social justice, humanitarian and peace causes, Golos uses her poetry not only to interpret and question but “to challenge and act.”

Learn more about Veronica Golos here.


Writing for Peace News:

All during the month of February, Writing for Peace is commemorating the Tenth Anniversary of Poets Against the War with a Daily PAW Post. If you are interested in arranging a reading this month in honor of Poets Against the War, please contact us with the details at, and we will be happy to share your information on our site.

2013 Young Writers Contest

The Writing for Peace Young Writers Contest is in full swing, with entries coming in from all over the globe.  The contest is open to writers of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, for ages 13 to 19. Contest deadline is March 1st, 2013. Spread the word to young writers everywhere! You’ll find contest guidelines here.

DoveTales,  An International Journal of the Arts

The first issue of DoveTales will be released this month, featuring poets, writers, artists and photographers from all over the world.  We are also looking forward to seeing the winners of our 2012 Young Writers Contest in print. Watch our posts for news of the journal’s release. The new submission guidelines will go up on March 1st. Thank you for your support!



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