Poem: Oppressed Souls

Elizabeth Castillo

By Elizabeth Esguerra Castillo

I stand on Mount Nebo as clouds gather around above,
In front of me lies this majestic, panoramic view
Biblical places of Jericho and Jerusalem
And immersed myself in a contemplative mood.

This mystic revelry brought me back,
To the time Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River
This Land of the Prophets where pilgrims often travel
In search for their lost souls, blessed by the spirit of the gods.

The arid, dry land now cries in deep agony,
Women and children and the weak in a miserable state
Where even water was denied to them by evil occupants
Bringing violence to a once peaceful birth land.

These walls built, witness to a thousand screams of protest and suffering,
From the hands of strangers who stripped them of their dignity
Prisoners captive in their own land, oppressed and enslaved by hunger,
With even the dry river beds they expressed no mercy.

“Give back Palestine to its people”, I can hear their pleas,
The Holy Land where many men walked and communed
Let them marvel again at its holy mountains and miraculous valleys,
Until freedom breathes calmness to their restless spirits.

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