Luca M Damiani
Author-Artist : Kiss&Arrow : "A Kiss to the Way We Are - An Arrow for Direction" - Poetry

The Israeli-Arab Gardener

'The Israeli-Arab Gardener' Luca M Damiani - Kiss and Arrow 2023 -
'The Israeli-Arab Gardener' Luca M Damiani - Kiss&Arrow 2023 -

This piece was written as a response to the terrorist attack in the kibbutz of Be’eri in southern Israel on 7th October 2023. In this attack, our family and friends have been impacted, with losses and destruction inflicted by the terrorist organisation of Hamas. Hamas does not stand for Palestine. With their attack on 7th October 2023, they have proved their barbaric nature to the whole world, and they are now again hiding in Gaza using Palestinian civilians as human shields. This poem is a fighting response with words and story-telling, with love against hate. We want and need to bring hope for a State of Israel and a State of Palestine to live next to each other, to exist, peacefully. It is possible. This poem is dedicate to Yoni.

You killed me 

in my kibbutz

of Be’eri.


You came at sunrise

shoot­ing hate

in your cow­ard­ly way.


You killed me,

but not my children.

They are alive.


You killed me.

But not my love,

nor my soul.


I am here stand­ing in front of you,

and I still have com­pas­sion for you,

for your brain­washed misery.


I am here,

Untouch­able to your bullets,

your mis­siles pass­ing through me,

your rock­ets can­not both­er me

any longer.


I am coming,

you can be certain.


I can move fast.

You can­not see me.

I can get you.


I will not take you down with hate.

I will not take you down with weapons.

I will not take you down with anger.


But I will take you down with love.

With kind­ness.

And with life.


I will seed your strip.

I will make it a huge forest.

I will bring life to what you kill.


You claimed to fight for Palestine,

but you fight only for your evil aim,

and you must be stopped

once and for all.


I will seed all the tun­nels you have built,

so that trees will grow in them,

break­ing all the walls of hate

you have constructed.


The roots will grab your weapons

and will crack them down

break­ing them in small pieces,

like your spines of vile actions

full of dirty propaganda.


The tree trunks will push you out

and all your hid­den quarters

will be broken.


The fruits will smash

onto your heads,

mak­ing your brain

and your heart

(yes, you still have one deep inside)

to re-con­nect.


You are not sure

what is happening,

but this is different

and you know it.


The grass will take over

all the crum­bles you have created,

blam­ing others

as you always do.


The steady bouganvillea

will hug all the souls

of the human shields

you have cow­ard­ly used.


The sea will rise

and will take you from the side,

bring­ing a new beginning

with waves of re-construction.


You can­not see me,

but I am here.


All the Gods are by my side,

you need to bend down now

and become soil.


A soil that will need to bring green life

to more plants and flowers

that are need­ed everywhere.


The strip will be trans­formed into a green forest,

a wood­land in the sur­round­ing desert,

an oasis of life

and death no more.


All the civil­ians of the strip,

are now free to move to

the State of Palestine.


The State of Israel is next to it,

and we are all

throw­ing flow­ers to one another.


There will be

no more space for hate,

no more space for wars,

no more space for pain.


The strip will become a won­der­ful oasis,

as a new Jerusalem.


Peo­ple from everywhere

will gath­er there

to pray and love.


We will all walk

and pray

and plant

some more.


The strip will be for everyone,

in remem­brance

of all the lives that were lost,

and in awe

of what love can do

and trans­form.


Palm trees,






and water.


The strip will have it all,


and ever

in peace.

“Yoni was awarded the Presidents Prize for being an outstanding soldier, and came out of his army service a very different person. He suffered PTSD and was a complete pacifist; in his many travels to India he managed to find some inward peace and that manifested in his love for gardening and especially trees and succulents. His children were his world and he was so proud of them. We miss him so much.” – Nolly xx

This piece was originally published by Jewish Book Council, a nonprofit organization dedicated to Jewish literature and authors. The essay is part of an ongoing series featuring Israeli authors and authors based in Israel sharing reflections and accounts from the war.

About the Author
Luca M Dami­ani is an Artist, Author and Uni­ver­si­ty Fel­low, focus­ing his ongo­ing cre­ative prac­tice and research on diversity, dis­abil­i­ty, neu­roscience, men­tal health and nature. His work also crosses over with human rights and social design. Luca has a neu­ro­log­i­cal dis­abil­i­ty (52% impair­ment of cen­tral ner­vous sys­tem func­tion) and has had var­i­ous visu­al art books and aca­d­e­m­ic arti­cles pub­lished, as well as being exhib­it­ed inter­na­tion­al­ly. Luca has worked and col­lab­o­rat­ed with insti­tu­tions such as BMJ Med­ical Human­i­ties, Mozil­la, Amnesty Inter­na­tion­al, BBC, Sci­ence Gallery, Com­put­er Arts Soci­ety, Dis­ney, Uni­ver­si­ty of the Arts Lon­don, Yale Uni­ver­si­ty, Jewish Book Council, TATE, V&A and more.
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