Category Archives: Voices from the Black Sites

A rainbow

I wake each night
more tired of this repetition.
I find myself in the loneliness of the wall’s shadow,
in the darkness of lonely nights.
Released from the joy of sexuality
I sleep with my shadow
embracing all I do not have.
I kiss those made of the same material as me –
they are a rainbow –
and immediately I turn into a flood in your arms.
I am full of the wounds that only your hands can cure.
I am set free each time I pat your hair.
You smell like all of my life.
My loneliness does not doom me to failure.
I am full of the joy of sexuality.
The darkness of these nights
will turn into a rainbow.

M. Manus Island

A Crow’s Scream

His heart feels sad and heavy.
He gazes far away.
Exhausted and lonely
he is sitting on a rock in the camp –
his feet sore and cut.
He was forced to flee his country.
Now he’s forced to stay in a camp –
same as a scarecrow
on an island very far away
that few have ever thought about.
He waits for a dandelion and a bird
from you to him.
His heart can make it happen
Ahhhh…
But the bird of politics
with its sharp beak
speaks for government and Morrison
and tears at his flesh, his mind and his heart,
steals his hope.
He never had a dream!
He’s not Damavand Young*
He is a scarecrow.
May be one day
a bird will take his spirt
and set it free.

– A. Nik, 2015

* Damavand Young is a big mountain in Iran; a mountain that is very strong, that nothing can shake.

Women of Kurdistan

I will talk to you of Kurdistan and mountains, of beautiful trees and rare flowers.  I will talk of wild rivers, tall waterfalls and amazing music.  I will talk of my father, the shepherd, who was inseparable from nature.  I will talk of my mother who worked too hard to find something for us to eat and, when there was none, lay our heads on her lap and sung us beautiful stories to make us sleep. I will talk to you of Kurdistan made a battle-field, of a childhood filled with war,  of 50,000 Kurds killed on one day by chemical weapons, of our soil soaked in blood.  I will talk to you of Kurdistan and the women I admire.  The women of Kurdistan who fight, sing and dance.  The women who fight, sing and dance.

-Behrouz Boochani – Manus 2015