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On the Fault Lines, On War Lines

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Getty Images / Aleppo, Syria

KAZU's Lisa Ledin has been friends with the Esbers for the past six years. The Esbers are from Syria, and have been living in constant trauma since the Syrian-Turkish earthquake on February 6th, 2023.

Lisa asked the Esbers to talk about their lives. Osama Esber --- a journalist and father came to KAZU's studios to read his poem "On the Fault Lines, On War Lines." It's republished with his permission.

On the Fault Lines, On War Lines

When we came to life

we were born on the fault lines

and grew up on war lines.

Since our birth

the land under our feet was unstable.

The buildings we live in sway

as if built in the void.

Light rises, trickling upon us

and darkness like the river Acheron.

Walking a tightrope,

we wonder how we balance

over the abyss, while it mocks us, saying,

“Wherever you run, I am under you”.

When the earth cracked with anger

and swallowed everything,

when history showed its claws

and tore off parts of our map,

when power showed its fangs

and chewed off heads and the iron of buildings,

the play took its dimensions

in consecutive explosions

in crazy pressing and releasing

in a blind sliding of rocks

in a cleft that looked like the jawline of hell

in a recklessness inside the earth

matched by what occurs inside some human heads.

Bodies broke

over the plates of tyranny

like the blind tremor broke the walls of earth.

Oh nine large tectonic plates,

twelve small tectonic plates,

which hug all of us with two rocky hands,

and move slowly on the earth’s mantle,

stones that crush heads,

rubble that buries bodies,

bullets and explosions that do the same,

warmongers and poverty makers,

we are here,

on the crest of our planet

running away between tremors

through slits in holy books

through cracks in doctrines

through holes in flags,

the earth boils under our feet,

behind us the tidal wave is running

and below the rocks roll

in the forty-second dance of the fall.

Lisa Ledin joined KAZU in 2009, bringing with her a treasure trove of knowledge and expertise in local arts and culture. She is a voice of KAZU's underwriting announcements and also hosts Morning Edition every Friday, and Weekend Edition Saturdays.