I came to the desert with a pocket full of seeds
To live in the house of my father's best dreams
Promised to me before I was born
Taken away because of my sins
I came with a map painted on ancient hide
To find the city of gold stripped of its wealth
Its life giving springs poisoned or dry
My father's house burned to the ground
The first night I awoke with a knife at my throat
My grandfather's bones held for ransom
The gravestones are scattered and used to pave roads
By an unlettered cousin thirsty for blood
He came in the night to kill me and steal my inheritance
A grave stands now where my brother lies buried
But my dog of a cousin ran licking his wounds
And now I must mourn as I sharpen my sword
And yet I stay
And plant my seeds
And live in my father's dream
Where my cousin knew only to take from the land
Until it had no more left to give
Making a desert that mirrored his soul
The desert now blooms, my father
The wheat is now ripe
But I may not harvest
My cousin has come
He lives in the house my grandfather built
The house where my father was born
He claims to be the owner
Yet my father's mark is still upon the door
My grandfather bought a house
Paying a ransom for a gift from his god
The house where you live
Counting my money
Wiping your sword
There you worship the man
Whose children you kill
Tell me, dear cousin
How many times may a house be bought?
How many deaths can be forgotten?
Tell me, my cousin
How came you upon your inheritance?
Whose blood lies spilled upon the floor?
Now strangers have come
Selling swords and crying for peace
I still remember how they burned my father
When he could not fight back
I came with my seeds to a desert
Fleeing the fire
And now I am labeled the oppressor
In a stranger's court ruled by gold
And the thief wears a suit and tie
A smell of oil follows him wherever he goes
You don't like my poem?
Tell me, judge
What rhymes with tie?
You don't like this.
Are my words too simple?
Have I made history into a nursery rhyme?
Is truth too complex to be understood
By a man of simple belief in good and evil
And justice based on proof
Or did you expect me to dig my own grave and lie down to die
Pardon me for being uncultured
And recalling past sins
The truth isn't simple
They tell me
Justice must be served
They say the time has come
Now is the time for their kind of justice
And I must stand silent in the place of the guilty
Accused of murder
But if they speak the truth
Why am I the one burying my dead?
My dead brother lies forgotten
My murdered father lies in an unmarked grave
The dead cannot ask for this new wave of justice
And the killer claims an inheritance in this new style of court
The land lay empty and neglected
Yet you stake your claim from the beginning of time
So tell me, my cousin
Where are your trees?
I made the desert bloom from the wells you poisoned
So tell me, my cousin
Why don't you go to feast in you brother's courtyard?
Is that fear I see in your eyes?
I cry for justice
As I bury my dead
You cry for peace
As you wipe my blood from your blade
And your words are accepted
In the courts ruled by gold
Peace sounds so much nicer than justice
So your words must be true