Wise Words with Bruce Wise


 

Protesters Down
by Delir Ecwabeus
for the memory of Nedā Āghā-Soltān

They first began on Thurday in Tehran and Kermanshah,
Sharoud, Yazd, Kashmar, Neyshabour, as well as in Mashhad.
Across Iran, the protests spawned against the government,
state-sponsored rallies marking the suppression of dissent.
They burst against now rising prices, unemployment too,
corruption rampant, and dictatorship that’s gone askew.
They tore some billboards down of Ayatollah Khamenei;
and so supporters of the tyrant came out Saturday.

Perhaps it is the people Iran’s “leaders fear the most,”
a woman waving her white-shawled “hijab” upon a post.
This New Year’s Eve protesters came despite the threatened mood.
What were the names of those protesters murdered in Dorud?
And who were gunned down in the western town of Teyserkan?
Who were the people who were killed in central Shahin Shahr?
Who died in the southwestern town of Izeh in the east?
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed. What is this rough and slouching beast?

As hundreds were arrested for protesting Khamenei,
he said, for that, they could be facing death, on New Year’s Day,
like the half dozen slaughtered in Qahdarijan’s harsh air,
and the eleven-year-old boy shot in Khomeini Shahr,
or, too, the twenty-year-old man there dying on the ground;
one turns to right, to left, no signs of justice can be found.
A man does evil, and the government bestows its praise,
another doing good dies wretched in the brumous haze.

The World was watching as Jafari gave his bulletin:
sedition in the country had been vanquished all at once.
The Revolutionary Guard head spoke of the defeats;
ten thousand people for the government were in the streets.
The “1396 Sedition” has been de-maul-ished,
defeated by security and people’s vigilance.
It wasn’t eighty cities, it was only three, he said.
Does one forget the bird’s flight even after it is dead?

Delir Ecwabeus is a poet of Persia and Iran, who was impressed at the bravery of Nedā Āghā-Soltān (1983-2009), a philosophy student murdered in Iran. The last three lines in stanza three are a paraphrase from Abolqasem Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh. The following poem is a poem written in 2009, on the death of Nedā Āghā-Soltān(1983-2009), a philosophy student murdered in Iran during the Green Revolution.

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In 2009 the Blood Ran in Tehran
by Delir Ecwabeus
for Abdul Serecewi

Upon her shoulder was a dove
that drank blood from her mouth—Neda.
It was a murdering of love—
a Basij soldier! so I ran.

Her voice in Farsi, her last words
were, “I’m burning. I’m burning.” Sup
with the martyrs for freedom, bird
of golden song, fold your wings up.

 

Message From Xi’an
by Lu “Reed ABCs” Wei

Located at the southern limit of the Loess plateau,
Xi’an was once the capital of China long ago,
the Silk Road’s eastern terminus that went far past Iran,
and Belted now, perhaps One Road will go to Rotterdam.
A city of 3,000,000 plus, the population climbs,
as recently a spike of iodine-129.
At first, reports suggested North Korea sent it up;
and now some others blame the Europeans for the jump;
but Xi’an has a nuclear-grade weapons program there.
Perhaps the Chinese should look inward for their tainted air.

Lu “Reed ABCs” is a poet of China.

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Albuquerque
by Al Bucwer Edise
for Joseph Mackenzie

No white oaks stand amidst the cottonwoods and junipers,
and cactus, yucca, marigolds,verbena, lavender;
but one can smell green chili peppers in the urban sprawl
around the many restaurants and markets overall.
It sits upon the Rio Grande’s meandering along,
the cross of car and truck-strewn highways, buildings brown and bronze,
beneath high rocky mounts there at the base of Sandia,
the heart of great New Mexico, the city in the sun,
oasis in high desert, Albuquerque in the air,
the air force base, hot air balloons, and vusions nuclear.

Al Bucwer Edise is a poet of New Mexico.

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Sierra Leone
by Cur A. Wildebees

“He only dreamed of lions now and…lions on the beach…”
though they were far away from him and ever out of reach.
“He saw the first of lions come down…in the early dark…”
but life was very difficult, and life was very stark.
“The ship lay anchored with the evening off-shore breeze…and he
was happy.” High up in the mountains, there you feel free.
“No longer…” did he dream “of storms…nor great occurrences,
nor of great fish, nor fights, nor contests…” nor assurances.
And “up the road” and “in his shack, the old man…sleeping” there,
was dreaming still about the lions in the tropic air.

Cur A. Wildebees is a poet of Africa, particularly of its wildlife.

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The Nouri Mosque Destruction
by Cid Wa’eeb El Sur

By June of 2017, the Battle of Mosul
progressed to where the ISIL forces were about to lose…
their grip upon the caliphate. Defiant of their loss,
they then decided to destroy the noted Nouri Mosque.
Iraqi’s al-Abadi said th’ al-Hadba minaret’s
destruction was a final “declaration of defeat.”
The leaning hunchback crumbled underneath the ISIL bombs,
Iraqi forces only fifty meters from the mosque.
Within nine days Iraqi troops had taken Mosul back,
and ISIL bowed to pressure from the army of Iraq.

Cid Wa’eeb El Sur is a poet of Iraq.

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The Small Oak Tree
Sebar Edićeluw
for the memory of Dobriŝa Cesarić

The small oak tree, upon the lawn, stands in the cordial rain.
The drops of water on its limbs swing out into the wind.
Its branches, like a fingered hand, reach upward to the sky
to pluck some magic luxury of sparkling in the lie.
But when the light is hidden underneath a darkened day,
the tiny trunk and limbs display a plain, lacklustre gray;
and once again, as was before, it is a small poor tree;
without bright, dazzling riches, it regains its poverty.
Here is no ode or breeze, no caesar rich with jeweled crown;
instead a lone Croatian notes a lone tree in the ground.

Sebar Edićeluw is a poet of Croatia.

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Blue Chrysanthemums
by E “Blue Screw” Dai
“We drank sweet tea as his tale was told,
In a garden of blue chrysanthemums…”
—Alfred Noyes, “The Flower of Old Japan”

They had been working many years for handsome blossom bombs;
researchers from Japan developed blue chrysanthemums.
Researcher Naonobu Noda with the NARO group,
in Ibaraki Prefecture, Tsukuba’s institute,
who, obviously beaming, showing flowers to the press,
said “unforseeable luck” was the reason for success.
His team tried genes from many flowers, though always in vain,
until they tried the Canterbury bell, a purple st(r)ain;
and then they added butterfly pea colour to the mix;
and blue chrysanthemums appeared, delphinidin affixed.

E “Blue Screw” Dai is a surrealist poet fond of Japan. His name draws from the German Romantic poet
Novalis (1772-1801) who wrote of die blaue Blume, the blue flower, which absorbs the attention of
Heinrich von Offerdingen, perhaps standing for desire for the infinite and unreachable, hope and the
beauty of things. E Dai, fond of Modernist European and Japanese surrealists, posits a New Millennial
take with a mechanistic twist.

 

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