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Home page > English > Poetry > Comparison

Comparison

Twelwe midnight exactly

two mated hands

presice

like Kurds and sorrow

Twelwe o’clock midnight

like my imagination

a clean bright dinner table

twenty cigarettes

and only one key word

after one o’clock

two separate hands of the clock

like me and the eye of my country

After two o’clock

like exiles and asylum seekers

pen, paper and items on the table

all disparate and confused

After three o’clock

ashtrays full of butts

and tobbaco ash

a room full of smoke

Beside it

a sleeping poet

a vigilant poem

I smell the colours

At nigh I pine for the return of a bird

To come back to my home

To re-enter my eyes

To re-enter my soul

and sing

I

Oh God

Where is my bird?

Oh God

Can I have an answer!

Counting

If you could count every single leaf

in this garden,

if you could count all the big and little fish

of this ocean,

if you could count all the birds

during their migration

from the north to the south

and

from the south to the north,

then I would also promise

to count every

single victim

of this beloved Kurdistan!

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 (freedom fighters). Since 1987, Sherko Bekes has lived in Sweden where continues to write. In 1987 he was awarded the Swedish PEN Club’s Tucholsky Prize. In the same year he was awarded the freedom of the city of Florence. (Summary from Index on Censorship, by H Sinjari, 1988)

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