Can You Hear Their Laughter? | Shells Against Shells

Poems by renowned Black leader and activist Julia Wright

Can You Hear Their Laughter?

For Emmett Till, Wadea Al-Fayoume and Ruchell Cinque Magee

can you hear their laughter ?

Wadea and Emmett
have met
and they are as thick
as angels
and they are enjoying
an endless game of basket ball
and they are as inseparable
as their lynch scars
are indelible
and they are free

can you hear their laughter ?

Ruchell Cinque Magee
our oldest political prisoner,
arrested for the first time
a few days before
Emmett was lynched
on the same Apartheid charges,
just followed Wadea
in transition
after being granted
by the oh so compassionate State
a yard-time of freedom

Wadea and Emmett score
sits them down in eternity
and tells them
endless stories
of slave mutiny

Can you hear them cheering ?

(c) Julia Wright. October 18th 2023. All Rights Reserved To Ruchell Cinque Magee’s family for his funeral.



Shells Against Shells

by the seaside
of History
Gazan children
gather the shells
of their killed parents’ dreams
and holding them
to their shell-shocked ears
they hear the ancestors
words of righteous resistance
becoming the parents
of their lost parents
they will
defend the land
for their own children’s
right to
gather shells
by the seaside
of a freedom
no longer whispered

(c) Julia Wright. October 21, 2023. All Rights Reserved to the children of Gaza – 47% of the population.




for Susan Abulhawa with hope

something big
is happening

the streets of the world
are billowing
with Palestinian flags

our Global South
is ona move –
most of the planet’s population

our streets are wise
because they know
they too
are concrete cages
and poverty blockaded

our prisoners are wise
they know
they live in mini Gazas
the next to go

our youth are wise
because like the children of Gaza
when they are framed
they are told
they brought it upon themselves

we elders are wise
we stood up against the Vietnam war
recognize the time

locked our energy down –
the Palestinian people’s resistance
gave us all
the key to unlock inertia’s door
and link our uprisings

something big
is just
around the corner

(c) Julia Wright. October 22, 2023. All Rights Reserved to the children of Gaza – 47% of the population.

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