Friday, April 13, 2018

New Poetry by Mohammad Ali Maleki

We Sing the Song of Terror

Hey, Freedom Law.
Don't talk about the springtime. 
We are in prison right now! 
Come and break our locks. 
Set us free from this prison —
We face no justice from you. 

Hey, Freedom Law.
How can you claim justice exists? 
No one here shows us mercy.
Come visit us in these conditions —
Like poisonous serpents
we sting ourselves all the time. 

Hey, Freedom Law.
In this murderous world
only cruel people govern. 
They trundle us through our own blood —
We are victims of their thoughts
and that makes racists happy.

Hey, Freedom Law.
Don’t break our locks after all! 
There is no one to put us right —
We sing the song of terror;
we no longer want to be freed. 
We are not afraid of these prison bars anymore. 

Hey, Freedom Law.
I no longer sorrow for freedom. 
I’m used to this dry and infertile land.
My days and nights, friend, 
have become a frightening nightmare. 
Look how these bad dreams are now a habit for me. 

Hey, Freedom Law. 
These prison bars
are a cancerous tumour; 
they stick to my body like meat on a bone. 
I know I will die here soon. 

Hey, Freedom Law.
If we meet someday
I’ll tie you onto the back of a wolf
and send you to the wolves’ city. 
Then there’ll be no sign of you on the ground
and the flowers won’t wither in your shade. 

Hey, Freedom Law.
I’m not afraid of death. 
But I'm afraid of freedom:
I'm scared of this two footed beast. 
Because I can't live 
outside these bars

- Mohammad Ali Maleki 2018

(Translated by Mansour Shoshtari. Edited by Rose Turtle Ertler & Michele Seminara)

Mohammad Ali Maleki is currently detained on Manus Island. He spends a lot of his time thinking about and writing poetry — a new craft he has been working on for the last two years. All his poetry is written in Farsi and translated into English by his dear friend Mansour Shoshtari, also detained on Manus Island. Mohammad has been writing to Australian musician/artist Rose Turtle Ertler for the last two years. Rose and Mohammad collaborated on a tiny zine called The Pond last year and Mohammad has just released The Strong Sunflower, an illustrated poem which Rose and Janet Galbraith produced and published through Writing Through Fences. Mohammad also has a chapbook of poetry, Truth in the Cage, forthcoming from Rochford Street Press. 

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