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the martyrs of august


Rabia al-Adawiya. Never forget.our hopes shining bright in the dawn’s misty light
let everyone see how we stood proud and free

the helmeted ones with their tear gas and guns
there’s fear in their breath but their leaders scream death

“we share the same plight, come and join in our fight”
a sharp burst of sound, we collapse to the ground

hope dims with the day, comrades clutch us and pray
flames rise to the skies, the light fades from our eyes

From → hurts, poetry

  1. VelaneDeBeaute permalink

    You’re such a player at words. Look at the last two lines. Strong; Impact-ful as anything. (Y)


    • Thank you very much.

      I told you I didn’t go for happy endings.

      I’m a little unsatisfied with the poem as the rhythm that arose as it was forming in my head doesn’t really come out on the page or when you read it aloud. In my mind the long lines were staccato bursts of gunfire or war drums with the single word short lines the sighs or cries of victims, much slower and with longer pauses. But when I actually started subvocalising the way they read it’s almost a dance rhythm, which definitely wasn’t what I was after.

      But I really needed to say something for the victims – I’m a compulsive eulogist – and I am pretty happy with the impact of the last stanza. And very happy it worked for you too.


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