Tag Archives: resistance

Poem 54 In Solidarity: Taksim

Helmuth A. Niederle


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 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

Poem 51 In Solidarity: Zones of Frequency

by Theodoros Chiotis

Zones of Frequency


“Let it be told
to the future world”:

We will still be able to breathe
kkkkkkwhen the air turns thicker.

We are learning from Doctor Moreau
kkkkkkthe codes needed to assemble new faces.


Summer soldiers
twilight zealots
homes turned into barracks.

All these are echoes of previous years:

“We did not make proper use of
last winter,
kkkkkkkkkkkkneither could we,
while we were in a dependent state”


Play Grand Theft Auto.
Lay on the ground.
Don’t cause trouble.

An invasion, described in a once familiar language:

“If you are not contributing to (the) movement
then why are you here?”


Give (your) body
to what does not resemble you.

You might think otherwise but
Psycho was never about hygiene.



Sit still.
Displace the mirth.
Break the meeting.
Occupy all four hemispheres.
Repeat something that did not exist until now.


A map for a new respiratory system.
Nitrous oxide replaced by tear gas.
Our head and face boundaries collapse.

kkkkkkkkkkkkNow: cut across the canvas.

Occupy Gezi – by Adbusters

Occupy Gezi – by Adbusters

Theodoros Chiotis has studied Classics and Modern Language at the universities of London and Oxford. His work has appeared in Adventures in Form (Penned in the Margins), Catechism: Poems for Pussy Riot (English Pen),Otoliths, Fit to Work: Poets Against ATOS, Tears in the Fence, Bad Robot Poetry, Ποιητική, Εντευκτήριο, Παγιδευμένοι στο διαδίκτυο (Patakis), aglimpseof[φρμκ] and Poeticanet. His work has been featured at the Book Festival of Croatia (2012), in the Invisible Architecture installation (2013) and in the Mercy/Liverpool Biennial podcast.

Poem 50 In Solidarity: तीन कविताहरु (Three Poems)

Durgalal Shrestha

तीन कविताहरु

तारमा अड्किएको चङ्गा झैँ
बेरिइरहनेछ मेरो आवाज
यो वायूमण्डलमा,
भोलि यो बाटो आउनेहरुलाई
सुनाइरहनेछ यसले मेरो कथा ।

कत्ति छैन चालचुल
न चलेकै छ पातपतिङ्गर,
मौन– सबका सब मौन Û
हैन, यो निदाएको हैन,
बरु हो– पर्खिँदापर्खिँदै
पर्खाइको पराकाष्ठामा पुगेको ।
घाम डुब्नै आँट्यो
मेरो जाने बेला भयो,
सम्झना Û
हिँड, सँगै जाउँ
फेरि यता
आइरहन नपरोस् मलाई ।

Three poems

Like a kite caught in wire
My voice will be enduring in space,
It will keep passing on my story
To the passersby for all time to come!

Everything is unmoving
Not even the crackle of leaves,
Silence… everything is quiet,
No, this is not a state of slumber,
Rather, it’s reaching the climax of wait
On the process of waiting.

The sun is about to set down
It’s time for me to go
My memory!
Come, let’s walk together
So that
I wouldn’t pass this way again.

Durgalal Shrestha

Durgalal Shrestha

Durgalal Shrestha has been writing since the early ‘50s and is a living legend of Nepali literature.

He has crafted a realm of poetry and fought on behalf of voiceless people. Durgalal’s works have been translated into many languages. He writes fluently in both his mother tongue Newar and Nepali language.He is also known as a songwriter.

Poem 45 In Solidarity: To Everyman

by Julian Tuwim, translated by Marek Kazmierski

To Everyman

Now once again each TV station
is pushing patriotic crap,
and “For the People!’, “For the Nation!”
is sold as truth to any sap.

Now every mighty corporation
is making killing selling arms
so we men of the lowest station
go rape and pillage our own farms.

Now Heads of State begin to pray
and through their lies the mob incite,
decree that “War’s the only way
to do what’s Good, to do what’s Right!”.

Brimstone and pride in their oration
but they demand our sacrifice,
and as we offer our ovation
they know we’ll have to pay their price!

Imams and rabbis, priests and nuns
sprinkle their blessing over guns
for God has told them that His will
is for your Country you should kill.

As gutter tabloids scream and rage,
their chests puffed out on every page,
mothers and sisters still rejoice,
bidding farewell to “Our brave boys!”

– Oh, my ill-educated Friend,
Brother from near or far-off land!
Just for a while your ear do lend
and cast some doubt on high command.

Know they are telling lies perverted,
setting their traps, spinning you lines,
that from some hell-hole oil has spurted,
covering maps with dollar signs.

That through their banks blood money flowing
keeps vamps and vipers in good health,
while you till death will keep on owing
as empires suck us of our wealth.

So drop your gun, turn up your voice
and howl with us this one refrain,
free of their matrix now rejoice,
“We’ll never bow our heads again!”

Julian Tuwim was a Polish poet born in 1894. He was the leader of the Skamander group of experimental poets, he was also a major figure in his nation’s literature. In his principal collection of poetry, Slowa we krwi [words bathed in blood] (1926), he wrote with fervor and violence of the emptiness of urban existence.
Marek Kazmierski

Marek Kazmierski

Marek Kazmierski escaped communist Poland and settled in the UK as a child political refugee. He decided to become a writer, then worked as a librarian, a stripper and a prison governor, among others, to have something to write about. Today, he is translating, publishing and running a series of insider art initiatives. Not Shut Up, OFF_PRESS and Intersection UK are his babies.

Poem 43 In Solidarity: Corps-Livre

Umar Timol


la volonté d’un corps
qui est de la matière des livres
corps qui fonde la résistance
corps composé de mots
corps composé de syllabes, de signes
corps composé d’encre et de papiers
corps composé de boutures de rêves
corps qui renferme l’esthétique des errances
corps devenu livre
corps qui fonde la résistance
corps qui résiste à la matière brute
d’autres corps
corps composé de crocs
corps composé d’incisives
corps composé de haches et de couteaux
corps abrutis
corps qui déchirent
corps-automates régis par la liturgie
de la pensée cadenassée
de la pensée figée
de la pensée qui tue
corps qui assermentent
les parjures de la violence
corps devenus flammes
corps qui brûlent d’autres corps
corps de papier
corps qui dissolvent le papier
corps qui disjoignent
les syllabes et les mots
corps qui assèchent l’encre
corps qui émacient les rêves
mais corps de papier
corps qui fonde la résistance
que nul corps
corps paré
de la tyrannie et de ses cadastres
ne peut annihiler
car corps-livre
car corps-résistance
corps de toutes
les peuplades de l’imaginaire

Poets Statement: I wrote this poem about the body becoming a book, a book that is resisting oppression. I was inspired by the photos of the Taksim Square Book Club.

Umar Timol  Photo: Frederic Melotte

Umar Timol
Photo: Frederic Melotte

Umar Timol is the author of three poetry books, La Parole Testament, Sang and Vagabondages, published at Editions l’Harmattan, Paris. He has also written the plot of a comic book, Les Yeux des Autres, which has been published in the Visions d’Afrique anthology. In 2005 he published in the mauritian cultural web site, Kiltir.com, Les Affreurismes a collection of aphorisms. In recent years Editions de l’Harmattan has published his first novel, Le Journal d’une vieille folle, in their collection Lettres de l’Ocean indien.. He was recently awarded a grant ( bourse de découverte ) from the Centre National du Livre for his new writing project, Le Monstre ( The Monster ).

Poem 40 In Solidarity: A Story (in English,Turkish,German,Italian,French)

Jeffrey Kahrs

A Story

I held my tongue till I couldn’t taste anything.
It wasn’t always like this.
I hoped for the rise of tolerant reason
from behind the shadows of guns.
But the government began erasing
any word that didn’t come from
their dictionary. I waited and fed
as they gave us token morsels.
Beside, who else was there to believe in?
Then their billy clubs bashed in heads
and pepper gas billowed like great sails.
It was brutal. But at least the wind began
in tears and my tongue regained its feeling.
I could taste the chanting voices.
Who expects miracles? I don’t,
but this was my chance to let go
of my tongue. I have done this.

Bir Oyku

Hic bir seyin tadini alamayana kadar dilimi tuttum
hep boyle degildi
hosgorulu bir anlayis yukselir diye umdum
silahlarin golgesinin arkasindan
sonra silmeye basladilar
kendi sozluklerinden gelmeyen
her sozu. bekledim ve yuttum
bize verdikleri kirintilari
baska ne vardi ki inanacak?
sonra joplari kafalarda patladi
biber gazlari dev yelkenler gibi kabardi
acimasizdi. ama en azindan ruzgar basladi
gozyaslarinda ve yeniden hissettim dilimi
tadabiliyordum kalabaliktan yukselen sesleri
kim mucize bekler ? ben degil.
bu benim dilimi cozme sansimdi. iste ben bunu yaptim.

Eine Geschichte

Ich hielt den Mund bis meine Zunge nichts mehr
schmeckte. Es war nicht immer so.
Ich dachte, aus dem Schatten der Kanonen
könnten Vernunft und Toleranz neu erstehen.
Dann begann die Regierung jedes Wort
auszuradieren, das in ihrem Lexikon
nicht vorkam. Ich war geduldig, verteilte Happen
von Freiheit die sie uns mit Nachdruck gaben.
War außer mir noch jemand so naiv?
Dann kamen sie mit Schlagstöcken, prügelten
auf Köpfe, der Qualm von Tränengas war überall.
Brutal. Doch schließlich begann die Zukunft
mit den Tränen, ich spürte meine Zunge wieder,
schmeckte den Gesang der Stimmen.
Erwartet jemand noch ein Wunder? Ich nicht,
aber ich habe die Gelegenheit, meiner Zunge
freien Lauf zu lassen. Ich habe es getan.

Tr: Hans Thill

Una storia

Ho trattenuto la mia lingua fino a non sentire piú i sapori.
Non é sempre stato cosí.
Ho sperato che la ragione tollerante fuoriuscisse
da dietro le ombre delle pistole.
Poi il governo ha cominciato a cancellare ogni parola
che non fosse nel suo vocabolario. Ho aspettato e ingoiato
mentre ci davano simbolici bocconi di libertá.
Chi altro ci crederá?
Poi i loro manganelli hanno spaccato teste
e il fumo del gas urticante al pepe sembrava dappertutto.
É stato brutale. Ma almeno il futuro é cominciato
in lacrime e la mia lingua ha riacquistato sensibilitá.
Potevo assaporare le voci e gli slogan.
Chi si aspetta il miracolo? Io no.
Ma questa é un’occasione per liberare la mia lingua e l’ho fatto.

Tr: Anna Valerio

J’ai tenu ma langue, jusqu’à ne plus pouvoir goûter quoi que ce soit.
Ce n’était pas toujours comme ça.
J’avais l’espoir que la tolérance raisonnée puisse grandir
derrière l’ombre des fusils.
Mais le gouvernement a commencé à effacer
tous les mots qui ne venaient pas
de son dictionnaire. J’ai attendu, et je me suis nourri
des miettes de liberté qu’ils nous donnaient.
Et d’ailleurs, en qui d’autre aurais-je pu croire ?
Et puis leurs matraques ont cognés nos têtes
et la fumée des gaz lacrymogènes semblait flotter partout.
C’était brutal. Mais au moins, l’avenir est né
dans les larmes et ma langue a retrouvé son sens du goût.
Je pouvais goûter les voix qui chantaient.
Qui s’attend à des miracles ? Pas moi,
mais c’est ma chance de donner sa liberté
à ma langue. Et ceci, je l’ai fait.

Tr: Dominique Blachon

Jefrrey Kahrs

Jefrrey Kahrs

Jeff Kahrs was born in the Hague, Netherlands, and was raised in California. He received a B.A. in Dramatic Literature from U.C. Santa Cruz and an M.A. from Boston University, where he studied with Derek Walcott and Leslie Epstein. He worked for many years as a commercial fisherman in Alaska.

From 1993 to 2011 he lived in Istanbul, where he worked primarily as a teacher. While living there he co-edited an issue of the Atlanta Review on poetry in Turkey, was published in Subtropics, mediterranean.nu. He also co-edited, with Başak Ergil, a section of the Turkish magazine Çevirmenin Nötu on English-language poets in Istanbul.

He recently finished writing a history of the Deep Sea Fishermen’s Union of the Pacific to celebrate their 100th anniversary, and the translations he did with Hatice Ören of Gülten Akın were published this year at the 5th Annual Nazim Hikmet Poetry Festival in Cary, North Carolina.

After living and working in Istanbul for almost 20 years, he is currently residing in Seattle,U.S.A.