By Tarek Abuata
Growing up Queer and Palestinian, I was a happy child, full of life. With negative and later positive judgments cast upon my identities, the years churned my insides into a struggle of polarities. At first, I was put down. A fighter, I confronted and pierced relentlessly. And after 15 years, they lifted me up to the pedestal. Upon the pedestal of recognition, I continued the fight, this time along many friends. But even during this fighting, I unknowingly force fed yet another polarity to my soul. At the end, all laid me bare to rediscover home.
My poem describes my journey from love and self-acceptance, to fighting for recognition, to malnourishing my soul on the pedestal, to eventual acceptance and self-love anew in the same home. It’s a journey to home and God rediscovered.
Home, who are you?
When I was just a Queer Palestinian child, I didn’t know any better;
God was multicolor.
Feeling Their facets and hugging their multitudes of love,
All was just being, nothing made of.
Palestinian and Queer was a Tibetan Bowl’s ring,
That I heard sung in the womb of Rumi’s wing.
See it, right there on the rainbow above the field beyond “wrong and right doing”.
Feel it, right there in the warmness “where the two worlds touch,” nothing accruing.
To such as I did the kindom belong,
And I in love joyfully played along.
I was loved, this I knew,
No one had to tell me so.
Blossomed, envied were my petals, and beneath the foot of the pedestal they buried my heart,
See it, right there along the heap of wrongs they hid away dart after dart.
Feel it, right there in the coldness of ‘sinful’ doing.
Sitting, standing, a wingless dove I secreted all my cooing.
Innocence lost, I tossed and turned.
In glory filled pain I churned…and the years murmured:
“Oh what a hollow shell of a man have you become,
Remember my child the dog eating from the master’s table all the crumb”…
Blessed was he, for he knew where he came from.
Get up and fight your great cause.
Live up to that internal might.
Courageous, I spoke, I knocked until knuckles bled, and I ‘snailed’ to be arrayed.
They clapped and blessed the displayed.
Pedestaled became my serenade,
And in it I yelled, muddled, and turned it all into a grand charade!
Twice I died to myself and went to sleep,
Not heeding the poet, I heard him shriek.
“Beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right doing” we were meant to bare,
But you created a “right-filled” parade.
I slept and wept until the angel helped me understand
That polarities is not where opposites band.
It’s in the umbilical that the band plays,
It’s in being that you joyfully gray.
But awakened, my eyes were too old to just see rainbows.
My heart too broken to not know polarities’ shows.
And the Potter with my broken pieces made restoration,
A Kintsugi home, multicolored brokenness, golden jointing, filled with memories’ decoration.
Its facets and multitudes of love felt me,
And my soul understood ‘to such as these’ still within, where nothing is made of.
“Home”…the little one whispered is beyond struggles and accolades, just simple and deep,
I awakened, every moment serene,
I heard Home’s humming for those 20 years,
“I am who I am, and in Me you always were”.
I smiled sadly and joyfully.