This new section of the website provides SPACE for lengthy pieces. Initially they will report projects created by various Community groups in the Ascot area. Subsequently .... we cast the net wide for Readers contributions. 

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Take Two

Introduction to TAKE TWO

This one act play was performed in two Berkshire venues in the Autumn of 2015; All Saints Ascot Heath and St.Barts, Reading; newly offered to the local community at the time, as a performance space. The Production team were heartened by a total audience of 170 . The play was directed by Justin Butcher writer, producer, actor, musician , currently returning to Ascot for a second performance of THE DEVIL’S PASSION. ( Saturday April 8th. 2017 St.Michael’s. Sunninghill).

History behind the Commission

Following a play reading of my earlier anti-war work, Where Then Shall We Start?, I was commissioned by the ASCENT network to write a play on the injustices of Palestine. I was initially reluctant – such a volatile and volcanic subject. However, after spending a day with friends who have visited Palestine, comprehending something of the scale of inhumanity in the land, I wanted to bring witness and healing in whatever way I could.

There is a great deal of unease surrounding Palestine, a deep fear that criticism of Israeli Jews’ actions will be mistaken for anti-Semitism. In wishing to avoid this dreadful label, we accept the unacceptable human rights’ violations against Palestinian Arabs.

As a late amendment to the script I added the scene (so hauntingly played by Anne Latto in the live performances) of the persecuted, post-Holocaust Jew being rehomed in Palestine; as survivor she is an unpalatable presence for post-war Europeans; as a victim, she is an undesirable thorn in the flesh of those Israeli Jews seeking to build their supernation.

Sadness is the keynote of the work – the unbearable sadness of humanity when it divides and separates. The final vision offered up from the Old Testament is one of abundance and fruitfulness, occuring when separation is replaced by non-separation. In this possibility lies, too, our only hope for the regeneration of our Earth.

Jennifer Leach

Director, FESTIVAL OF THE DARK, Reading 2017

TAKE TWO !

‘That which is founded on a wrong, can never be right’

PROLOGUE

A dark, unlit, bare stage.

VOICE ONE: I met a woman once. Her name was Leah. Leah told us how her mother, and her mother’s mother, and her mother’s father, and her mother’s sisters, and her mother’s brothers, and her aunts, and her uncles and her cousins, and her teachers, and the butcher, and the baker, and her best friend Rachel, had all been suppressed, repressed, oppressed, the ultimate victims of violence, of dispossession. Dispossessed of home, and hearth, of landscape, of community and of life.

Leah’s mother was a survivor. Well, she survived. Bodily. She grew up, she married, she gave birth. To Leah and her sisters. But in reality she had lost her life.  She had lost her life. For the remainder of her days, she sat in her new house, crying for what she had lost. Crying for the victims. And the violence. And the violation.

And her daughter, Leah – whose name means I am tired, decided that she had endured enough tears, and she would not carry this torment with her into her own life. Leah decided that she would regain life. And so she healed. She healed with listening, and with laughter, and with love. She worked with women – all women – to bring about healing. She helped them remove the rubble from the walls and the wells of their lives, and as they did so, the blocked and stagnant waters began again to flow. And their land, the internal landscape of their lives, that had once been fruitful and had become barren, was given blessing to fruit again. And the wild flowers began again to bloom.

SCENE 1

[Dark, empty stage.]

[SFX: Massive explosion. Sounds of screaming. Of terror. Of uncontrollable crying. Of ambulances, of police radios. Scrambled sounds. Fading to the sound of the ocean, wave after wave rolling in. Followed by one single shot.]

[NARRATORS ONE and TWO run on stage. Raking light sweeps the stage]

NARRATOR ONE: [in seeming panic and confusion] What happened? [turning to audience]

NARRATOR TWO: What happened?

NARRATOR ONE: What do you think happened? [pause, in which NARRATOR ONE grins, stops to face the audience, takes a piece of chewing gum from his pocket, meticulously unwraps it and places it deliberately in his mouth. He begins chewing. With attitude.]

Actually, nothing at all happened.

NARRATOR TWO: [takes out a bottle of water, opens it slowly, slugs it down, twists the top back on, settles it down on the stage and turns to the audience.]

A construction of sound effects. In an English hall [church/theatre – substitute as appropriate].

NARRATOR ONE: [Ups the tempo. Hunches over and pokes a finger at the audience.] Do you know what that was?

NARRATOR TWO: [Mirroring actions.]That was the scent of fear.

NARRATOR ONE: Do you know what that was?

NARRATOR TWO: That was the dry mouth of horror.

NARRATOR ONE: What happened?

NARRATOR TWO: What do you think could happen?

NARRATOR ONE: Will it happen now?

NARRATOR TWO: Will it happen then?

NARRATOR ONE: When?

NARRATOR TWO: Will it be to me?

NARRATOR ONE: To you?

NARRATOR TWO: Who?

NARRATOR ONE: Will it happen here?

NARRATOR TWO: Will it happen there?

NARRATOR ONE: Where?

NARRATOR TWO: Can you feel it now?

NARRATOR ONE: Feel the fear!

NARRATOR TWO: Where?

NARRATOR ONE: It is above the wardrobe,

NARRATOR TWO: under the chair,

NARRATOR ONE: at the table,

NARRATOR TWO: through the window,

NARRATOR ONE: in the garden,

NARRATOR TWO: by the market,

NARRATOR ONE: under the olive tree,

NARRATOR TWO: down the well,

NARRATOR ONE: on the wall,

NARRATOR TWO: in the light,

NARRATOR ONE: in the night.

NARRATORS ONE & TWO: Sniff it!

NARRATOR TWO: The violent whiff of the What If?

NARRATOR ONE: The rupturing violation of the What if?

NARRATORS ONE & TWO: What if? What if?

NARRATOR TWO: Will it be now?

NARRATOR ONE: Will it be today?

NARRATOR TWO: Will it be him?

NARRATOR ONE: Look, she is smiling!

NARRATOR TWO: Why is she smiling?

NARRATOR ONE: Why does she smile at me?

NARRATOR TWO: Will it be her?

NARRATOR ONE: Fear worms the gut, blacks the breath, garrottes the throat.

NARRATOR TWO: The shifting gaze is backwards, over the shoulder, guarding the retreat.

NARRATOR ONE: One dare not look upward.

NARRATOR TWO: One dare not pause beneath the blue sky.

NARRATOR ONE: One must guard one’s back.

SCENE 2

[Footage of Israeli bulldozers demolishing a home. The footage continues to play throughout the following scene, over and over again.]

CHILD’S VOICE [offstage], CHEERILY: This is my house [looped].

[A trail of people walk on stage, arms high, making clearly defined, studied gestures of grief. A tableau. Their voices rise above and into one another, creating a tapestry of wailing sound. Interspersing it all is the looped monotone of the child’s voice, uttering the same sentence over and over.]

BIBLICAL VOICE [offstage]: And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.

PEOPLE: [indicating towards the bulldozed house. Lines may be assigned to individuals]: Let me fetch my books, and let me fetch my flowers!

BIBLICAL VOICE [offstage]:  And God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.

PEOPLE [repeating gesture]: Let me fetch my drum, and let me fetch my flute!

BIBLICAL VOICE [offstage]:  And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows.

PEOPLE [repeating gesture]: Then let me fetch my glasses! Let me fetch my tools!

BIBLICAL VOICE [offstage]:  And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites.

PEOPLE [repeating gesture]: At least one blanket? Allow me please, my shoes!

BIBLICAL VOICE [offstage]:  And I will give this people favour in the sight of the Egyptians: and it shall come to pass, that, when ye go, ye shall not go empty.

PEOPLE: This is the wreckage of our hearth! This is the rubble of our home!

BIBLICAL VOICE [offstage]:  And every woman shall borrow of her neighbour, and of her that sojourneth in her house, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: and ye shall put them upon your sons, and upon your daughters; and ye shall spoil the Egyptians.

PERSON ONE: Where is Amal?

PEOPLE [cry is taken up confusedly, rising from spoken word to crashing crescendo of panic.] Amal!/Amal?/Where is Amal?

[Freeze action, cut to absolute silence.]

YOUNG ARAB WOMAN [walking with arm outstretched toward the bulldozed house]: O from it I will fetch a stone! From it I will fetch a stone!

[Lights dim]

NARRATOR ONE: In the dusk, you cannot tell the dog from the wolf.

[Fade to black]

SCENE 3

[Landscape. YOUNG ARAB WOMAN is lying prostrate on the ground.]

YOUNG ARAB WOMAN: I am lying in the red soil, my white garments conjoining with the red soil. Cicadas are crawling from the soil and ringing in my blood. I am become the scent of oleander – it is fragrancing, fragrancing, fragrancing my mind. Here, by the clearwater spring, I am burning as rabid as the sun, I am one with the land. See, from my palms, fruiting dates unfold; cypresses from my fingers, reaching up their joyous tips to heaven. I am the leaven of the land. See, from my being, honied water flows, sugaring the air. In the orchards the lemon trees dip their juice upon my lips, in the gentle breeze, and the poppies sway, and I grind my fingers into the soil, haul its ancient grit between my lips, and I savour the dust between my teeth.

[Sitting suddenly upright and confronting audience.] Have you ever loved a place so much, that thought of it moils like a landscape in your womb? Land of sheep and shepherds, land of olive trees and wilderness, land of milk and honey, land where the cool dusk wind blows upon your face.

Being of my being, I take a stone. Hold it close within my hand. Rock solid memory of my people’s land.

SCENE 4

[OLD JEWISH WOMAN is sitting on the ground, centre stage. She is smearing herself with earth, rubbing it onto her forehead and into her hair. It is a methodical act, repeated over and over like a long-practised ritual. Finally with complete calm and pausing in her actions, she opens her eyes, looks straight ahead of her and begins to speak.]

OLD JEWISH WOMAN: Here is a land of hate. A motherland of hate, a brotherland of hate. See the fires at night? On the hillsides, in the valleys, within each dwelling? Hearths burning with hate. Hearts burning with hate, flares of hatred in the darkness.

We came here from lands of hate; in our old homelands they stamped us with the star of hate. They rounded us up in hate. Out of hatred they built walls and fences about us, to pen in the objects of their hate. Our massacre was fuelled with their hate.

And when it was over we stood shoeless amongst the dark smoking skies, dispossessed amongst the bones, and they told us they had for us a fresh home, a land to begin anew. They asked us to go; they did not want us to stay, we the uncomfortable stones about the neck. Stones about your neck. What to do with these stones about your neck? Hide them away. Hide them away. Give them a homeland. Hide them away. We were banished to the homeland. We did not wish to come.

And here? Here we found we were the most hated of all. We, the latecomers. Hated for our bespectacled weakness. Hated for our traumatised wretchedness. Hated for our undignified homelessness. Hated for allowing ourselves to be the quarry in the hunt.

Our stock is not wanted here. It was not wanted there.  Our fruit is not wanted in the orchards.

Ah, I dream back my roots; back in the old home; the sun is spilling still through the window, illuminating the full red carpet as it reaches for the piano, and motes of memory play in the sunlight – there is music, and a child laughs, and there are ribbons and flowers and the rich reminder of soup warms the air.

And then the thick curtains are closed. And the air turns cold and stale, and the mirror is draped in crepe. And there are no reflections. And I am out amidst the cold, cold bones. Out from the furnace now, under the flowers now; field upon field upon field upon field upon field upon field upon field of Stone Dead Daisy Bones. Cover them up. Shhhhhh! Pull Earth Blanket over them. Shhhhhh! Who knew? Shhhhhhh!  Did you know? Shhhhhh! Do not speak of it. Shhhhhh! And the ones with the Bones in their eyes? Send them away! Quick! Quick! Before they sing, send them away!

[She closes her eyes, bows her head and begins again her ritual. After some while she again ceases, opens her eyes, looks straight ahead and resumes speaking.]

So how shall we sing again, here, by the rivers of this foreign land? How begin again? How learn to live again? In our new ghetto we must build our walls of forgetting. Fresh fences. Keep at bay the savage past; stem the savage future.

O my ravaged ghosts, behind these mad walls, is it sanctuary that you seek? O my ravaged ghosts, climb over and kiss me once again, taste the dust between my teeth.

[She closes her eyes, bows her head and returns to her rituals. Fade to black.]

SCENE 5

[This scene is a dance of sorts, taking place within both the performance space, and the audience space. It is a repeated succession of direction-seeking moves, and blocking moves. Its protagonists are impassive throughout. There may be other hampered seekers, besides YOUNG ARAB WOMAN. YOUNG ARAB WOMAN enters. She begins to move. Casually, she finds herself approached on all sides by various men/women/soldiers. Wordless, they simply stand in front of her, blocking her path. She turns to seek a different route. For half a minute, this seems successful, but the same procedure takes place. Again, she is blocked. At each point, she is forced to look again and find a different route. This charade continues to a point where it is becoming uncomfortable. Finally, she gives up and takes a seat amongst the audience, mid-row. There is a momentary relief, before the same anonymous figures move to surround her. This time they are armed. They point their guns at her. Reluctantly she stands, moves past the seated members of the audience, and walks off-stage, with the guns pointing at her back.]

SCENE 6

[Footage/stills of the fences and the settlements.]

NARRATOR ONE: How then to live? Here is a barbarity beyond incarceration; in prison four walls frame a constant, a barred window lets in a given dose of light. Here, they mess with the mind. Tease with the unknown. That which is blocked today will be open tomorrow; that which is open today was blocked last night; the road they take to visit their neighbour will be blocked in half an hour; it will be blocked in half an hour but they do not know this and they set out to take her a loaf of bread and their children will be on this side of the blocked road and they block the road and no one knows how long it will remain closed and their children are on this side of the blocked road and it could be hours and it could be months and who knows a concrete wall might spring up here higher than the strength of their insatiable will to return to their children who are on this side of the blocked road, and they are consumed with the impotence of the not knowing. The messing with the mind. The teasing of the What If.

NARRATOR TWO: Here then is the error. They cannot stop a mind from walking through a concrete wall. Minds are free. Minds are untameable. They cannot stop the mind from sprinkling its age-old songs upon the ancient tillings and crops that grow now withered beyond the concrete wall. You cannot control the verdant growth of the olive tree within the mind.  The rich fruits of ancestral pride and identity swell upon its branches. You cannot forbid the pressing of those ripened fruits, nor halt the golden oil of resistance seeping through, and under, and over, and around, the barricade you have built to hold at bay the fear. It knows, and it flows, and it grows, and it floods, and it chokes.

NARRATOR ONE: See the woman. How she takes a handful of stones, threads them upon a binding rope, and hangs them about her neck.

NARRATORS ONE & TWO [singing, whilst enacting the threading of a necklace]: Biladi! Biladi! Biladi!

                             My Country! My Country! My Country!

SCENE 7

[Visuals of the wall’s route, as it winds its tortuous way about the map, bending, twisting, turning, enclosing, separating.]

BIBLICAL VOICE [offstage]: My sweetheart, my bride, is a secret garden, a spring shut up, a fountain sealed. Her plants are an orchard of pomegranates, bearing the finest fruits.

NARRATOR ONE: How is it to live in a walled garden? What is this wall about? What does it do? Does it bind in? Or does it hold out?

BIBLICAL VOICE [offstage]: Spikenard and saffron; calamus and cinnamon, and all trees of frankincense; myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices.

NARRATOR TWO: To hold a perfume in a walled garden, one must drive out all ill-smelling effluents. Where do they go?

SETTLER WOMAN: Our shit flows downhill, swamping their valley. Their fields are seething in our shit.

BIBLICAL VOICE [offstage]: A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, streams flowing down from Lebanon.

NARRATOR ONE: To hold water in a walled garden, one must divert it from elsewhere. Diverted from where? From whom?

SETTLER WOMAN: Their wadis, and their springs and their wells are all dry. We have made of them a parched people.

BIBLICAL VOICE [offstage]: Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out.

SETTLER WOMAN: And hide from my ears the eternal wailing of the dispossessed.

BIBLICAL VOICE [offstage]: Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits.

SETTLER WOMAN: Guilty fruits. How can I gorge on them, when you stare at me with your complex eyes? What must I do to rid myself of your staring eyes? What shall I tell my children of your staring eyes? Through the fence I see you, gripping the wire with your bare, angry hands. Baring your teeth with the grating rage of a caged beast. I watch you hoard your stones, judging the mass of their suffering, their despair. Turn away from me your staring eyes!

NARRATOR ONE: And so within the paradise twines the snake?

SETTLER WOMAN: The Settlers you call us. How, amidst the guns and the locked gates, and the barricades, and the soldiers and the bullets, and the bulldozers and the tanks? We are the great Unsettled. In our garden, it is the scent of myrrh that fills our lives. Myrrh – bitterness with piercing thorns. Wounded myrrh must be, ravaged over and over, to savage it of its rare perfume. You, woman, with the staring eyes, your dreams are my dreams too. We are both dreaming of an open land beneath a benevolent sky.

NARRATOR TWO: And so the walled garden becomes a prison? A landscape of enclosed hell?

SETTLER WOMAN: I stand here with my gun trained upon you. Such is my inviolable curse. I can see you, but you cannot see me. I wear my blackened glasses that block you out like a vehicle of state. Through the darkened windows, I am hidden. What you see is the gun, and the gum, and the full metal jacket, and the military tat. What you are blind to is that which seethes within. I am gripping the wire with my bare, angry hands. I am pushing my arms through these concrete walls to rock you in your pain. I see you! I see you! I SEE YOU! With the caged rage of a trapped beast I am screaming.

NARRATOR ONE: One cannot violate a people, and be free.

SCENE 8

[A reprise of SCENE 5. This time it is a man carrying a swaddled infant who is at the centre of the pursuit.]

SCENE 9

NARRATOR ONE: As a people, they never owned the land. Not one of them. They knew that the land cannot be owned. How can it be? Who can say, this is mine, and raise walls and fences as if they were God?  They borrowed fertility from the land. As much fertility as one ammal could plough within the wafer, single moon cycle between the wasem and the al-marba aniyya. Where the tilled earth turned to tangle, there the al qaq sprang up, bursting forth with the new rains, marking their boundaries.

NARRATOR TWO: Can you imagine? A boundary of flowers? Their land was ploughed by the fit, tended by the able, its bounty shared with the old, the young, the sick and the infirm. So much to learn.

BIBLICAL VOICE [offstage]: Hear now the words of our God. Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth.

NARRATOR ONE: And so it came to pass. The valleys were filled in, the mountains and hills made low, the crooked roads were made straight, the rough ways made smooth. And the land was possessed, and claimed for the new nation, and the boundaries of flowers were mown down in their flowering.

NARRATOR TWO: And where the flowers’ roots had grown, fear and division was sown. And the land was staked and claimed, partitioned, rent, possessed and bent, into contorted twists of wrung-out soil. Each to his own. And dust for the dispossessed.

SCENE 10

[YOUNG ARAB WOMAN and SETTLER WOMAN walk slowly on stage, each occupying their own space, oblivious to one another. YOUNG ARAB WOMAN is wrapped about with packs strapped to her body, the human bomb. SETTLER WOMAN is carrying a gun in her hand.]

YOUNG ARAB WOMAN: [growing increasingly impassioned and melodramatic] I shall fill my pockets with the stones of my land. I shall fill my pockets with the suffering of my people. I shall fill my pockets with the stones of our lost homes. I shall fill my pockets with our humiliation. I shall fill my pockets with our dead.

To my body, my unique possession, I shall strap these stones; to these hands, handmaidens now to the music of my people, I shall strap these stones, to these feet now forbidden the ancient paths, I shall strap these stones; to these eyes unsighted now by ugliness, I shall strap these stones.

And then, I shall erupt above the barricades, burst from this hell like a comet in the heavens, sublimate myself to sprinkling stars, that shall spray sanction upon my land and upon my people in starbursts of beauty, and of sanctuary, and of salvation. Fleeting, I shall illuminate the skies with an incandescent rupture of beauty, and I shall fragment amongst the cosmos with the living violence of a new planet, of a new life.  I shall free them from the anonymity of silent beast, from this belittling place of death and suffering and eternal wailing, I shall deliver them. Their unrelenting memories of never-ending dispossession, and the endless wretchedness of loss – these shall be redeemed. With my body, I shall pave for them a path of light.

[YOUNG ARAB WOMAN freezes.]

SETTLER WOMAN: [Low, understated, full of sadness] I shall fill my pockets with the stones of this land. I shall fill my pockets with the suffering of this people. I shall fill my pockets with the stones of their stolen homes. I shall fill my pockets with the barricaded dreams of our existence. I shall relinquish this hell, this place of torment.

To my craven body I shall strap these stones; to my violenced hands I shall strap these stones, to my dirty heart I shall strap these stones, to my ignorant, trespassing feet I shall strap these stones; to my shaded eyes, deflecting back my neighbour’s pain, I shall strap these stones.

And then I shall deliver myself from this hell as a stone, blotting out my incoherent shame. Into the dark salt waters of erased memory I shall drag and drown my violations; to the leaden ocean bed I shall pin them with my stones. Through the bitter blackness I shall plunge, cold hard rock that I have become. And oblivion shall close about me whole, and the fish will gorge upon my shipwrecked soul. Mute beast, I shall be spared this belittled place of death and suffering, of eternal wailing and never-ending dispossession, of the unrelenting wretchedness of loss. I shall plummet, like a stone, into the undemanding waters of the night.

[SETTLER WOMAN freezes, gun pointing to her head. Fade to black.]

SCENE 11

[Black, empty stage.]

[SFX: Massive explosion. Sounds of screaming. Of terror. Of uncontrollable crying. Of ambulances, of police radios. Scrambled sounds. Fading to the sound of the ocean, wave after wave rolling in. Followed by one single shot.]

[Dim fade up to reveal an empty stage. Slowly, NARRATORS ONE & TWO walk on. Turn, in line, to face the audience.]

NARRATOR ONE: Rahma has lost her daughter.

NARRATOR TWO: And Shira has lost her daughter.

And they sit in their houses, crying for what they have lost. Crying for their children. And for the victims. And for the violence. And for the violation. Crying for themselves.

NARRATOR ONE: And Rahma’s name means mercy, or compassion.

NARRATOR TWO: And Shira’s name means poetry or song.

[pause]

NARRATOR ONE: And Rahma and Shira, caught within the rubble of fallen walls and lost lives, somehow – across the fences and the walls, and the ditches and the roadblocks and the guns and the bullets and the bulldozers and the dust – are dimly aware that in their prostrate grief, they are both glimpsing the same small shred of sky.

[YOUNG ARAB WOMAN and SETTLER WOMAN move onstage in a slow, watery, dreamlike tableau. Enacting.]

YOUNG ARAB WOMAN [gently]: And the man brought them to the door of the house, and eastward they saw water trickling out from under the threshold, for the house faced towards the east. And the man, who had a line in his hand, walked eastward, and he measured a thousand cubits, and he led the two women through the waters; and the waters were to their ankles.

SETTLER WOMAN [gently]: Again he measured a thousand, and he brought them through the waters; and the waters were to their knees.

YOUNG ARAB WOMAN: And again he measured a thousand, and brought them through; and the waters were to their loins.

SETTLER WOMAN; And once more he measured a thousand; and it was a river that they could not pass over: for the waters were risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed.

YOUNG ARAB WOMAN: And he said to them, ‘Daughters, bear witness!’ SETTLER WOMAN: And taking each by the hand, he led them to the brink of the river. And on both banks were a plenitude of trees, rich in their variety.

YOUNG ARAB WOMAN: And the man said to them, ‘These waters issue east, down into the desert and out into the sea: and where they merge into the sea, there the salt waters heal and are made fresh. And it shall come to pass.

SETTLER WOMAN: ‘Wherever the river flows, there all will come alive, for the waters will heal. And fishermen shall stand upon the banks and spread forth their nets. And there shall be an abundance of fish, glorious in their variousness. And at the river’s edge shall grow trees whose leaves shall not fade, and whose fruits shall not diminish. Endlessly shall they fruit, for they shall be watered from the sanctuary. And their fruits shall nourish, and their leaves shall heal.

YOUNG ARAB WOMAN: And it shall come to pass.

SETTLER WOMAN: It shall come to pass.

YOUNG ARAB WOMAN & SETTLER WOMAN: Daughters, bear witness!’

[Freeze.]

NARRATOR ONE: Amidst the rubble and the death and the dust, amidst the coursing of tears, the mothers lie in their sadness, staring up at that small shred of sky.

NARRATOR TWO: And in that small scraping of the heavens, no cloud is to be seen.

[pause]

NARRATOR ONE [bowing a ‘namaste’ salute to the audience]:

As-salamu alaykum!

NARRATOR TWO [repeating the gesture]: Shalom!

NARRATORS ONE AND TWO: Peace!

THE END

 

© Jennifer Leach, Outrider Anthems 2015, all rights reserved

Photos and video by Bob Simpson, Maidenhead . Request for copies, via Anne on theimaginationacts@gmail.com