For tens of times

Halabja graves

By Kazhal Ebrahim Khidre:

Translated and introduced by Yasin Aziz: “Two years ago, in March, I was in Halabja and I came across this poem in Klil Kurdish Magazine. I found it so powerful. It seems to tell the whole story of what happened to South Kurdistan in our recent history.

“I don’t know this poet, but I felt I shared what she says. When I read it the first time, it made me shiver …”

For tens of times

I went back to the season of loneliness.   I am the heart of a left out orchard full of tears,

a graveyard with no birds, no glowing moon.  I have met a girl with no name or address

Many times I have passed through the dark autumn of romance

So often they came across their own death in the mad ocean of waves.

I am not a trespasser into an orchard full of flowers of life

I have come from the spring of blood, I feel like I am in the left out boat

After calmed down waves of a raged sea, it is now serene…

The greyness of my hair is like glitters of the water stream,

My instinct is like a dropped leaf.  I have come holding no pass,

from a hell into the  flames of another.

From the edge of a plain that was ornamented with flowers

of wounds, mixed with dark shades of a broken-hearted butterfly.

I was born and came. I have not come just by chance, I came in

the freezing winter with torrential rain, From a collapsed town, derelict and abandoned,

that was where I was born.

In order to wear the mourning black dress as my father left.

A poem came in black like a dress to enclose me, I cried like a bird

A breeze of music, a foreigner narrated to me.

I have not come just by myself

to be in the world of broken-heartedness with pain,

The burnt out corpse of a woman from Halabja. That became like ash coal of anger that made me rewrite their inflictions.

I have not come to be a caught up prisoner, I heard cries of poor children of Kirkuk, that made me. get into the world of struggle like little beautiful girls of Qandil.

If one day I happened to disappear from my town

Ask the cherry trees of Seiwan Cemetery,

where the autumn leaves scattered and fallen,

I might be visiting a martyr’s grave, if you can’t find me, I might be in

The collapsed alleys of Qlladiza town, at the house of  Pakiza, who

was the victim of the Garmyian Anfal / Auschwitz campaign.

If you still couldn’t find me, I might have become a white pigeon

Or a bird to sing for the tall figure of this nation, or I might have become

A tender poem for a headstone of the graveyard,

like a dropped bud of a dear wrinkled flower…..

By Kazhal Ebrahim Khidre

Translated by Yasin Aziz

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