A Poem Dedicated to Bakhtash Abtin
by Mammad AidaniThis poem is dedicated to Bakhtash Abtin, a political prisoner, poet, documentary and filmmaker who died in custody on the 8th of January 2022. Abtin was a board member of the Iranian Writers’ Association. A group of political prisoners in Iran and the Iranian Writers Association said: “the death of Abtin is part of the Iranian regime’s systematic killing of imprisoned dissidents”.From this window,I seeA treeThe empty streetThe closed doorsThe walls.Thinking of my desolated city,destroyed in a futile warYears of exileTragedy after tragedyThinkingThinkingOf my homelanddevastated by dictatorsRememberingThingsGazing at the horizon in the skyI go far awaySo far away.I fix my thoughtson a place called Evin prisonA slaughterhouse built to torture and executeEvin, your name haunts us every day.I see the poet in chainsthinking of him and thousands of prisonerstortured,executed,I see the poet with his notebook in handthinking of him and his inmates uttering liberating wordsAzadi! Azadi!Freedom! Freedom!fighting oppressioncensorship.I know their voicesUnited together,they sing the song of freedom in captivitywith conviction saying NO to their oppressors.And the evil willed torturers are watching him sufferingwishing him and his friends to vanish and diewishing to eliminate their names from the memories of peopleThe poet in chains, in the torture chamberwill never die.The noble mindswill always be aliveTheir good thoughts,Acts,Deeds,will keep flourishing and live with their peopleFrom this windowI thinkI rememberI rememberYour namesFrom this window,I look into the far distance.From this window,I cry for my sad, desolated homeland.From this window,I think of the poet in chainCryingAdalat va Azadi!Justice and freedom.
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People say that (writers) are pretty powerless: we don’t have an army, we don’t have a bureaucracy. But if that were true, then why would writers be arrested?... Because the spoken word is powerful.