Poems: A Love Letter to our Watan

These poem were read by the hosts and invited guests at our event A Love Letter to our Watan presented online on Saturday September 4.



Welcome to Country by Aunty Rhonda Dixon-Grovenor

Read by Mahdi Mohhamadi

بني ادم اعضاي يكديگرند
كه در افرينش ز يك گوهرند
چو عضوي به درد اورد روزگار 
ديگر عضوها را نماند قرار
تو كه از محنت ديگران بي غمي
نشايد كه نامت نهند آدمي

All men and women are to each other
the limbs of a single body, each of us drawn
from life’s shimmering essence, God’s perfect pearl;
and when this life we share wounds one of us,
all share the hurt as if it were our own.
You, who will not feel another’s pain,
you forfeit the right to be called human.

— A poem by Saadi

Read and written by Razia Ali

Poem 1: Coffin of Our Hopes (read in Persian)


TRANSLATION:

Last night! coffin of our hopes 
Was hanging from shoulders of history
We collectively cried 
Collectively shattered 
We thought we would wake up to see our “hopes alive”
Woke up the next day 
World news headlines still was showing 
Coffin of our hopes on the dark shoulders of history

But we would raise 
To hope again

Poem 2: When you read history (read in English)

When you read history 
remember 
We shouted 
We climbed 
Without hope we hoped 
We fought empty hands 
Without ray of sun we dreamt of sunshine 
We panicked, clinged to airplane
Humanity cried for Mercy 
Cried for HELP
Mother cut their umbilical cord to save their babies from their womb 
Talib, was marching towards us
We marched towards world 
We were taken to our burning homes 
They are coming door to door 
To measure our eyes, our nose 
Our face and beliefs too 
Their troops are coming 
It’s The “*Night of Broken Glass” once again. 

Read by Inga Romantsova (In Russian and English)

I Refuse!
My eyes flooded with tears!
I cry out of anger and love!
Oh, weeping Czechoslovakia!
Oh, Spanish bloodshed!

A black mountain –
overshadows the world!
It’s time – time – time
to return this journey’s ticket
    to our Creator!

I refuse to exist!
I refuse to live
in this Bedlam of nonhumans.

With the wolves of the city squares 
I refuse to bay.
I refuse to swim
Over all the human bodies
with the sharks of dry valleys.

I don’t need sharp
ears or a poet’s prophetic eyes. I have only one response
to your mad world – reject it.

Image Credit: Film Still – Sean Bacon

Read by Bina Bhattacharya

Time has not the power to extinguish me,
Don’t think for a moment that I wait upon Time.
Let Time keep on playing his absurd battle
game, Every time he strips me, I rise clothed,
without shame; With the force of prayer, of
spells magic and divine, All that was untimely
will turn auspicious, sublime.

In a just war, the rebel stands forever unafraid
For her ally is Eternity, who, divinely arrayed, Guides
her chariot, destroying the enemy line.  Thus, a
divisive age will be defeated and spurned; Though
it brings on great wars, it will lose every time; From
all our scriptures, this is the truth I have learned.
Know that I am cherished by an undivided, infinite
age: Time will never have the power to scorch me
with its rage.

— “Right Now: Forever” by Nabaneeta Dev Sen- Bengali poet

Read and written by Warren Foster Jr aka Prodikal-1Power to the People

Now let’s take back to basics yes
I wake up another day been blessed
see the world is a crazy mess
endangered species see them take their last breath.
Are we up next?
Is it a curse, this level of consciousness?
No time to self reflect, but damn where do we begin?
There’s too many time humans sin
There’s ongoing conflicts in 
third world countries killing innocent men, women and children
Now we tortured thoughts
seek asylum from the onslaught
a baby on board 
a mother prays, screams and says ‘oh dear lord’
Please keep us safe, until we arrive in the place of mates
of great debates, where we can see the southern stars in this great big lake
Damn
and hope its okay we may just make it a little bit late
Please keep us safe

Oh, Please keep us safe, on this ocean we take 
The journey of a thousand steps 
starts here at this one place
and our old people hold, the culture that seeds our growth and this power grows
and it fuels my soul
with pride and power through every single hour I could weather every storm 
I remain on my proudest, yeah 
I will never fall until my day has come, thank you for my life and every single one in it, every single one in it

Yo
Power to the people bless
to all those trapped in their own heads
now is seems for reason for being’s bleeding is caused from traumatic events
Knock down all the walls and the fence
there is no need for borders at all
aren’t we all earthlings in the end?
Relook the cause of the war.
Now it’s awfully grim, appling things done all for the gain of some awful pig
damn
Now sanctions stun the growth, the economy of a country put under the scope
yo leave these countries alone, damn leave these countries alone
Power to the people, the people we pray for, and the voice of the voiceless who can’t say no more
Bless
Power to the people, the people we pray for, and the voice of the voiceless who can’t say no more

Image Credit: Film Still – Sean Bacon


Read and written by Bibi Goul Mossavi – A letter to Afghanistan

My watan, I am of you and I am you but I have never seen you.

My homeland, you bore my ancestors and nourished them with courage, resilience and strength. 

My motherland, I carry you in my veins and at night I hear your cries
Like a sailor at sea I wish to reach your shores
Your invasion haunts my nightmares

I long to drink from your streams, 
I long to taste your pomegranate and oranges,
I long to hike your mountains and reach the sky
I long to feel your breeze through my hair as the sun glows gently on my face
I long to stroll your alleyways and be greeted with peace

My Afghanistan, will I ever see you in this lifetime?

Read and written by Zahra QalandariMy Beloved Nation 

I am Afghan
I treasure my rich country
honourable and deserving of respect 
devotion to my country never fades 
remains in my heart eternally

Though my feet have not touched your soil
I dream of the day I breathe under your bright sky
along the map of my mind
I wander from Kandahar to Kunduz
I see your fertile landscape with closed eyes

I taste your crystal mountain water
as pure as heaven
your morning’s horizon gives life to fragrant flowers 
night witnesses the silence of sweeping valleys    
the world wonders at your colour and beauty 

My beloved homeland
gifted with white snowy mountains and golden valleys
you whisper your language in my heart
ancient customs and traditions are my way
each generation gladly follows
tied by a string that will never break

I cry out to the universe 
words of praise from my lips
for you are mine
standing by your side with a strong heart and spirit

My beloved home 
you are unique and brave 
like a warrior I protect you and keep you safe
you stay forever in our hearts

Precious Afghanistan 

Read by Mahdi (Persian) and Bibi (English)Your Fingertips

انگشتانت ادامه زنده گيست
و ادامه عشق
كه از دست هايت بيرون زده اند
در سينه ات قصه اسرار آميز كدام سرزمين را پنهان كرده اي ؟
دستم را در دستت بگذار 
سرم را در سينه ات بچسبان
تا تمام مرزهاي جهان را از بين ببرم 
و سرزمين تازه اي كشف كنم.

Your fingertips prolong this life
Prolong this love
Emanating from your hands
What untold stories from unknown lands lie hidden in your heart?
Place my hand in your hand
Clasp my head to your chest
Till every border of the world is destroyed
And a new homeland is discovered

— Poem by Jalal Nazari