First Published in: Live Encounters Poetry March 2016
You were the finest man I’d ever known
but I was in love with someone else.
That day you told me you loved me
my heart sank
I stayed silent, I felt miserable.
How did I know
two days later you would be arrested
for organising workers?
And in a month the crack of gunfire
would stop your loving heart?
How could you know
thirty years on
in my mind’s eye
you’re still the same fine young man
being shot again and again?
I see you in that final moment endlessly.
Farewell in spring
They came to his wedding
to ask him to come with them to help with their enquiries.
He said farewell to each of his guests.
Kissing his bride
he said, ‘Be brave. Don’t cry.’
Then they took him away.
‘He’ll be back in two hours,’ they said.
The guests stayed with the bride
The sun set and night came
but he didn’t come back.
his name was on the list
of the executed in the daily information.
“A Little Knowledge is a Dangerous Thing”
You could say Chelsea Manning is lucky
to be in solitary confinement.
Asghar Pirzadeh solved the mystery
of why half the people in Ardabil
were getting cancer.
The local water
had been contaminated and was radioactive.
His mutilated body was found soon afterwards.
I called my mother
she was happy like a young girl
pleased about the treaty
believing America wouldn’t attack Iran
and people wouldn’t be maimed and killed
and the country wouldn’t be ruined like Iraq.
Even though she was very happy, she was also upset
about the husband of a poor cleaning woman she knew
her husband’s right hand
and left leg had been amputated
on the same day
the peace treaty
He had been caught
Nasrin Parvaz became a civil rights activist when the Islamic regime took power in 1979. She was arrested in 1982, tortured and spent eight years in prison.
After her release in 1990, Nasrin resumed her activities and once again she found herself being followed by Islamic guards. She realised she could no longer stay in Iran and she fled here to England, where she claimed asylum in 1993.
Nasrin’s prison memoir was published in Farsi in 2002. A summary of her memoir was published in Feminist Review (number 73) in 2003; and it was published in Italian in 2006 by Effedue Edizioni.
A novel, Temptation, based on the true stories of some male prisoners who survived the 1988 massacre of Iranian prisoners was published in Farsi in 2008.
One of Nasrin’s short stories, A war against womanhood, won the Women’s World Award in 2003; in 2010, another was longlisted for the Bristol Short Story Prize and a third shortlisted for the Asham Award. Since 2005, together with poet Hubert Moore, Nasrin has translated poems, prohibited in Iran, from Farsi into English. They appear in the Modern Poetry in Translation series, and one, ‘Dear Fahimeh’, was republished in Fire in the Soul: 100 poems for human rights (New Internationalist, 2009).
Nasrin’s stories appeared in Exiled Writers Ink, and two of her poems were published in Over Land, Over Sea, Poems for those seeking refuge, published by Five Leaves, in 2015.
ماهنامه رهایی زن سری سوم شماره چهل و ششم