Sherko Bekes: Three Poems

Stormtide

The tide said to the fisherman:

There are many reasons

why my waves are in a rage.

The most important is

that I am for the freedom of the fish

and against

the net

Statue

The day will come

When all the lamps in this world

will rebel

and refuse to light up anymore,

because ever since they have existed

their eyes have been shining

above the heads of thousands of statues

in this world,

but not a single statue

has been erected

for Edison.

Seeds

We were millions

we were old trees

newly growing plants

and seeds.

From the helmet of Ankara

they came at dawn

they uprooted us

they took us away

far away.

On the way the heads of

many old trees drooped

many new plants died in the cold

many seeds were trampled under foot

lost and forgotten

We grew thin like the summer river

we diminished like flocks of birds

towards the time of autumn

we diminished to mere thousands

We had seeds

carried back by the wind

they reached the thirsty mountains again

they hid inside rock clefts

the first rain

the second rain

the third rain

they grew again

Now again we are a forest

we are millions

we are seeds

plants

and old trees

the old helmet died!

And now you the new helmet

why have you put the head of the spear

under your chin?

Can you finish us off?

But I know

and you know

as long as there is a seed

for the rain and the wind

this forest will never end?

Sherko Bekes, son of Faiq Bekes, is one of the most famous Kurdish poets. Sherko was born in 1940 in Sulaymania in Southern Kurdistan. He was educated in Sulaymania and Bagdad and published his first collection of poems there in 1968.

His poems reflect his close association with the Kurdish liberation movement, which he joined in 1965, working in the movement’s radio station – the Voice of Kurdistan. During the period 1984 – 1987, he lived with the Kurdish peshmergas.

Sherko Bekes left his homeland because of political pressure from the Iraqi regime in 1986. From 1987 to 1992, he lived in exile in Sweden. In 1992, he returns to Iraqi Kurdistan.

RAHA – September 2003

World Independent Writers’ Home: As the mind has no boundaries, the RAHA concept does not have frontiers and is opposed to information and cultural control by global communication entities whether media conglomerates, states or local governments, or religions.

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