Tag Archives: Farhad Bandesh

My Soul Notifies You

My soul once provided
Only tranquility
And it would not make my body impatient.
Now my soul’s tenderness for my body
Has been forgotten.
My body is in tatters.
My soul follows
To notify you:
“I am talking about Freedom!
You throw me into the corners of your dark
shadows.
You put me into the very depths of exile.
The delicacy of my soul and body is no more
In this endless shadow.
If this continues any longer
I will not see anymore light
And my soul will be forever
Black.”

– Farhad Bandesh,
Manus Island, 27 months

My Fear

Being without you is not my fear.
Nor is it from the grief of being alone in a prison’s embrace.
How long must I look at the calendar of life
Through the burning red of my eyes?
Where shall I sit in tis prison you made for me
Out of hard metal?
What price should be returned to me for the price of myself;
For the loss of my youth? For my banished life?
Oh Freedom! How I longed to sit in the corner of your heart!
How I laugh at you whilst you cry at my condition.
I am entirely spent yet have so much more to say.
Oh my god! How could life have become so sorrowful
That I almost drowned in the pool at the bottom of my endless tears?
Yet to sit now, in mourning, in my cage, is sweet
Yearning for that precious lost time.

My fear is not coming from my loss of you now
Nor from the grief of being all alone
Within the possibility of being destroyed.
Because breathing simply the scent of the freedom to weep is good.
It’s tick-rock is pleasing; gives colour to my life
Separating me from your yearning,
Suspended in the sky.
It is is restful on this full-bodied Freedom Mountain!

– Farhad Bandesh,
Manus Island, 27 months

These Long Days

Distressing, depressing moods move and
wash like waves
inside me now
though I go above
to survey the sea
to gaze at waves
in a wind that makes
tree limbs dance
and leaves to tremble.
How romantic this should be!
But never now for me.
Glaring at Mother Nature from my cursed grey cage
Speaking from my heart
in nothing but the language of complaint.
Then I’m in a jail of grief-dreams
when night surrounds me
with its own particular darkness.
Yet still I wait
even now
for the light
of Freedom.

– Farhad Bandash,
Manus Island, 27 months

A Mother

A mother calls from an extreme distance
And her shout shakes the earth
Even the sky becomes impatient and dark
While she cries “Why are you captive? Why?”
When your camp-worker son returns to you
You search for answers, saying,
“Why John , can’t you bring these seekers of asylum
Home to me where I can give them a life?
Next time. Promise me.
Next time you come!”
But when John says “I can’t do it.
They live in a cage.
Immigration forbids it.”
Tears will fall down your face
You will collapse with a lump in your throat
Unable to find words
Choking with tears.
Everyday with your heart filled with love
You pray for our freedom
And it is for you I write this poem
Our dear mother.
I write and I say
“Wait! Our day of freedom is near and
All of us love you,
Our Mother.”

– Farhad Bandesh,
Manus Island, 27 months

Silence of Nature

Listen to birds in evergreen trees
Where only good news is in their world
And where nature keeps perfectly quiet.
There arise now sighs and groans from throats
Of seekers of asylum who found no refuge here.
Yet a cry for freedom stays stifled behind their lips
In a silence louder than a scream
Which no one will hear.
The birds and creatures, even grass and trees
Stare innocently at faces made of woven oppression.
This land, understanding their pain,
Does not even murmur to the sunrise
And the wind arriving gustily from the beach
Can see that the trees will not dance with it.
So long it is that news has not come with the wind;
Does even the wind understand us?
It takes the waves of the sea to break the calm
Of this noiselessness.
And that silence is a scream,
A shout louder than nature’s quiet.
A roar from the bottom of those hearts of men,
Of utterly worn refugees.
And the silence breaks its silence
Setting free it’s songs from the depths
The shouts of sleepers
Releasing the voices of the voiceless
Screaming”Freedom! Freedom!”

– Farhad Bandesh,
Manus Island 27 months