Category Archives: Poetry

Poem 60 In Solidarity: Get Lucky

by Harry Man

Get Lucky

Wash all contaminated clothes.
Carry plenty of water, protect your feet.
Nothing beats a gas mask,
practice before you protest
at getting it on quickly.

Bring tongue depressors
or hairbrush handles,
or anything that can be used
to splint a fracture.

Wear nothing that can be grabbed.
Document police brutality
using pen and paper and a wristwatch.
Find shatter-resistant eye protection
or use glue to seal up holes in your goggles.

Canisters are hot to the touch.
Painkillers are self-explanatory.
Dissolve antacids into spray bottles
to help cleaning your eyes.

Soak your bandannas
in lemon juice and charcoal.
Keep plenty of spares,
including a plastic bag of extra clothes.

Bring anti-histamines
and in case of arrest, prescriptions.
Use no Vaseline, or moisturisers.
Wear no contact lenses.

Bring canola oil and alcohol
this is for rinsing your skin.

Wear long sleeve clothing,
cinch at the feet and wrists.

Crack open a couple of onions
under your nose
to alleviate symptoms.

Stay upwind of the gas.

Join hands.

from Harry Man

from Harry Man

Harry Man was born in 1982, and is a poet from South London. His poetry has appeared in New Welsh Review, Popshot Magazine, Elbow Room and the Morning Star among other places. His first pamphlet Lift is forthcoming from Tall Lighthouse. You can find more of his work at www.manmadebooks.co.uk

Poem 58 In Solidarity: You Who Wronged

Czeslaw Milosz.Tr.Richard Lourie

As an act of solidarity with the spirit of the Turkish resistance, prominent fiction writer, Nadeem Aslam sends in Czeslaw Milosz’s poem on the Poetry Foundation website as translated by Richard Lourie. Thanks Nadeem!

You Who Wronged

You who wronged a simple man
Bursting into laughter at the crime,
And kept a pack of fools around you
To mix good and evil, to blur the line… MORE

From The Collected Poems: 1931-1987 (The Ecco Press, 1988). The complete poem can be found at the Poetry Foundation website

Nadeem Aslam

Nadeem Aslam

Nadeem Aslam is the author of three previous novels, Season of the Rainbirds (1993), Maps for Lost Lovers (2004) – longlisted for the Booker Prize, shortlisted for the IMPAC Prize, and awarded the Kiriyama Prize and the Encore Award – and The Wasted Vigil (2008), described by A. S. Byatt as ‘unforgettable … tragic and beautifully written’.

His latest novel is The Blind Man’s Garden (2013)- set in Pakistan and Afghanistan in the months following 9/11: a story of war, of one family’s losses, and of the simplest, most enduring human impulses.

Born in Gujranwala,Pakistan, he now lives in England.

Poem 56 in Solidarity: Rune of the Finland Woman

by Marilyn Hacker

For Sára Karig

“You are so wise,” the reindeer said, “you can bind the winds of the world in a single strand.”—H. C. Andersen, “The Snow Queen”

She could bind the world’s winds in a single strand.
She could find the world’s words in a singing wind.
She could lend a weird will to a mottled hand.
She could wind a willed word from a muddled mind.

She could wend the wild woods on a saddled hind.
She could sound a wellspring with a rowan wand.
She could bind the wolf’s wounds in a swaddling band.
She could bind a banned book in a silken skin.

She could spend a world war on invaded land.
She could pound the dry roots to a kind of bread.
She could feed a road gang on invented food.
She could find the spare parts of the severed dead.

She could find the stone limbs in a waste of sand.
She could stand the pit cold with a withered lung.
She could handle bad puns in the slang she learned.
She could dandle foundlings in their mother tongue.

She could plait a child’s hair with a fishbone comb.
She could tend a coal fire in the Arctic wind.
She could mend an engine with a sewing pin.
She could warm the dark feet of a dying man.

She could drink the stone soup from a doubtful well.
She could breathe the green stink of a trench latrine.
She could drink a queen’s share of important wine.
She could think a few things she would never tell.

She could learn the hand code of the deaf and blind.
She could earn the iron keys of the frozen queen.
She could wander uphill with a drunken friend.
She could bind the world’s winds in a single strand.

Marilyn Hacker

Marilyn Hacker

Marilyn Hacker is the author of twelve books of poems, including Names (Norton, 2010) and Essays on Departure (Carcanet, 2006) ,an essay collection, Unauthorized Voices (Michigan, 2010), and thirteen collections of translations from the French.  She lives in Paris.

Poem 55 in Solidarity: Here and There

by Karin Karakaşlı

Here and There

I’m taking the night ferry
a fat firefly
the coast a diamond necklace spread before me
sparkling here and there

In my dream
dressed in knives from head to toe
as I spun round
I cut whoever came near me
Each side was blood on steel
steel on blood
spurting here and there

I tried out all the words and then fell silent
I needed a new curse
words never spoken in vain
as old as the Stone Age
a cry
raging from here and there

This poem was translated by the Poetry Translation Centre translation workshop with a literal translation by Canan Marasligil. You can read the original,  the literal translation and more poems from this workshop on the Poetry Translation Centre’s website.

Karin Karakaşlı

Karin Karakaşlı

Karin Karakaşlı was born in Istanbul in 1972. She graduated in Translation and Interpreting Studies. From 1996 to 2006 she worked at the Turkish-Armenian weekly newspaper Agos as editor, head of the editorial department and columnist on both Turkish and Armenian pages. She has completed an M.A. in Comparative Literature, works as a translation instructor at the university and as a teacher of Armenian language and literature in an Armenian High School. She is currently a columnist at Agos and Radikal newspapers, and continues to write fiction and poetry.

Her books include a children’s novel called Ay Denizle Buluşunca (When the Moon Meets the Sea), short story collections Başka Dillerin Şarkısı (Song of Other Languages), and Can Kırıkları (Splinters of the Heart), works of poetry,Her Kimsen SANA (Whoever you are this is FOR YOU), a novel is Müsait Bir Yerde İnebilir Miyim? (Can I Get Out Somewhere You Don’t Mind?).

She is the co-writer of the research book Türkiye’de Ermeniler: Cemaat, Birey, Yurttaş (Armenians in Turkey: Community, Individual, Citizen).

Canan Marasligil

Canan Marasligil

Canan Marasligil is a freelance writer, literary translator, editor and screenwriter based in Amsterdam. Her focus is on contemporary Turkish literature and comics from countries like Turkey, Algeria and the UK. Canan was a translator in residence at the Free Word Centre in London in 2013 where she developed activities around translation, literature and freedom of expression. She is also co-curator of Istanbulles, the International Comics Festival of Istanbul, Web editor for the European Cultural Foundation’s Narratives for Europe project and author at Publie.Net (France). Detailed projects can be found on her website.

Poem 54 In Solidarity: Taksim

Helmuth A. Niederle

Taksim

Wenn so eine Zeit kommt
in der das Aussprechen des freien Wortes
gefährlich wird
Wenn die Zeit gekommen ist
für Wasserwerfer, Tränengas und Schlagstöcke
Wenn so eine Zeit kommt
die Menschen von öffentlichen Plätzen vertreibt
Wenn die Zeit gekommen ist
in der Polizisten ordentlich
Jagd auf Demonstranten machen

wird es für die Machthaber gefährlich:
Es ist die Zeit gekommen
in der das Träumen verboten ist
und die Menschen erst recht zu träumen wagen!

Helmuth A. Niederle was born in Vienna and is a fiction writer, editor and poet. He contributed to “Catechism. Poems for Pussy Riot”. His last publication was “Trakt geräumt. verba in angustiis. Lyrik”. Helmuth A. Niederle lives in Vienna.

Poem 53 In Solidarity: Gel Gör Beni Aşk Neyledi #direngezi

Andrea Brady

Gel Gör Beni Aşk Neyledi #direngezi

We walk burning, itching, streaming all over,
cascading Mungyeong yellow. Love or its sister/
forces has stained Cumhuriyet Caddesi
with blood but les pavés pressed
hand to hand dry flowers become barricades,
underneath, roots of the red apple.
We aren’t static, aren’t mad.
Come see what our revolution has done to us!

Some nights blow hot Jenix up to infant windows,
some days the roads smoke under our feet.
Sometimes we pop our faces against rubber insects,
return weeping milk against water cannon to fill
the sadırvan for our initiation to real life,
clear our eyes in Belgrade’s black forest waters,
infinite fireworks gathering burnt campers,
grey wolves and electors. Come see
what our revolution has done to us!

We march from Topkapı on the Golden Road
tweeting and drumming about our love.
Who cares about the blind face of TOMA
trudges the howling man, the standing man,
the gazi, revolutionary readers, keep watch over us.
Millions of eyes on the icon, Kemalist Pantocrator,
come see what our revolution has done to us!

Our faces blanched with lemon, our eyes are wet.
In the tents the akoimetai of İmrahor Camii play dominoes
and Muslims code with socialists and greens.
Our reality is no longer numb, our hearts shielded
by the watch in our pocket will be the trigger.
Chiapas, Sofia, Rio, Valparaíso, Cairo, you know our state,
Come see what our revolution has done to us!

We are the çapulcu, standing in revolution’s garden,
building its crèche and library. Our power endures
assault, puts its back into the scars of outstanding.
We hold back the generals at the Golden Gate.
Shout down white Russians in the çiçek pasaj.
We are the occupiers of Istiklal Avenue
and fill nights with the ammunition of our sounds.
Scratched from head to foot, hackers, blinded
and spinning drunk with love and athletic on the rebound:
Come see what our revolution has done to us!

ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff in solidarity hope and desire / and with apologies to Yūnus Emre

Artist:Taha Alkan.'History in the Making'

Artist:Taha Alkan.’History in the Making’

Andrea Brady was born in Philadelphia and lives in London. She is the author of five books of poems, including Wildfire: A Verse Essay on Obscurity and Illumination (2010), Mutability: Scripts for Infancy (2012) and Cut from the Rushes (2013).

Poem 52 in Solidarity: after the fiction

by Olumide Popoola

after the fiction

when the credits drop away below
horizon level just below where we can

read the urges that push, that initiate to
say that it will not always be like this

will not end here, not be one of those after
the happy ending, glaring like a creepy sunset

blinding so much, one cannot see
like the credits vanish from the screen

like news that disappears and finds itself
re shaped threats, irregular reporting wavering

banners of uncertain truths. reporting being in
the facts and in fact something is not right here

now long before or long after anything can
be declared ending, declaring always so telling

of who gets to speak what when where and how
much with which media, but when starting it is

rising it is, gaining momentum. so, long before
ends should be uttered, where words find new

connections and we can look comfortably at
the horizon or any screen without the sharp drop

of disappearance, of any alarming sort and no words
will need to fall off any screens to serve the illusion

long before or long after, whichever comes first
we taste this. the way it doesn’t silence but

promotes. the way reality drops close in the is here
is really here. in the way we shape our longings

our intimate encounters, imaginations of space,
shared, emanating voices rising, moments

un-drowned, un-dropped, un-blanked or hidden
but. available. now. rising. rising.

Olumide Popoola (c) Regine Romain

Olumide Popoola (c) Regine Romain

London-based Nigerian-German Olumide Popoola presents internationally as author, speaker and performer. Her publications include essays, poetry, short stories and the novella this is not about sadness, the play Also by Mail as well as recordings in collaboration with musicians. www.olumidepopoola.com