The HyperTexts

Pat Falk

Pat Falk is an award-winning poet and professor at SUNY’s Nassau Community College in Garden City, New York where she teaches writing and literature. She’s the author of five books of poetry and prose, including the forthcoming A Common Violence from Finishing Line Press. Her work has appeared in several literary journals including The New York Times Book Review and Creative Nonfiction. American Book Review has called her writing “visionary,” creating “a new language.” She lives in Amityville, New York and maintains a website at

A Common Violence

last night I slept in fits and bursts
                                 rankled by the industry of dreams

a common violence in my genes

the stars misaligned
the planet cracking with abuse

                       I longed
for places unremembered and unseen

grant us grace I said    to whom or what     if never
peace then grace

Previously published in WomenArts Quarterly Journal

Regarding the Pain of Others


they live in tents the thousands surviving the earthquake

a young girl pulled from the rubble hadn’t died from impact
just her nails were missing        she must have scratched them off
trying to get out


I wake this morning to a photo in The New York Times     a child in the street
his legs spread wide      a plaster cast on each 

officials wanted information from his mother on his father—
a guerilla in the mountains      

a man held the child's leg    two hands wound around
a tiny thigh and knee         snapped it like a chicken leg         then
the other    

the mother watched as flesh turned purple         blood rising to the surface

3.  Fahmi, Haditha

a roadside bomb then the carnage

hard to piece together what transpired
who killed whom and when—

Fahmi hid behind the curtain in his bedroom
heard the screams

his neighbor 
Younis Salim Khafif

for his life and for his daughters and his wife

and in the end
Fahmi told reporters

twenty four civilians

           women shielding daughters
           fourteen years of
           ten years of five and three of
           age and



how to process this pain

what can help me not to see into that deep and cold inhuman space
where nature breaks in two green three green

white and yellow blackened leaves pushing through    the    dis-  conne

Searchlight Over Gaza
by Pat Falk
translated into Arabic by Iqbal Tamimi

                                                 for Izzeldin Abuelaish

seeking a language of peace 

words conceived in darkness must be born in damp green moss
on beds of fern alone among acacia

alone among acacia under shade of eucalyptus and in leaves
the shape of hands unbending in the wind

words conceived in darkness must be born among the pine in the clearing
where a few deer linger       foxes poised at attention

maybe those are searchlights in the grass or are they tired remnants of the stars

underfoot the crush of leaf
fog in all places and lightning in our bones

Previously published in The Suffolk Review

كشّاف على غزة
مهداة لعز الدين أبو العيش

باحث عن لغة للسلام
الكلمات التي تم إبداعها في الظلام يجب أن تولد في الطحالب الخضراء الرطبة وعلى أسرّة من الخنشار وحيدة بين السنط

وحيدة تحت ظلال شجر الكينا وفي أوراق أشجار على هيئة الأيدي التي لا تنحني في الريح 

كلمات أُبدعت في الظلام ولدت بين أشجار الصنوبر وفي غرف التطهير
حيث تتجول الغزلان القلائل الباقية والثعالب تتحفّز

ربما الكشّافات في العشب هي بقايا النجوم المتعبة
مسحوقة تحت الأقدام
الضباب في جميع الأماكن والبرق في عظامنا.

شعر بات فولك
ترجمة إقبال التميمي

The HyperTexts