In Defense of Ashraf Fayadh

The dream was marvellous but the nightmare is real.

The founders of the Wolf’s Caliphate,

Entranced by the power which they had attained,

Descend like hounds of sweet violence

Upon the poet who wields the gilded sword of verse.

Poets etch their names on the walls of Mankind

Where the most winged and hallowed of men

Had long since imprinted their immortality.

But to the poet living with a noose around his neck

There is no rhetoric that can raise him like a phoenix avenged:

Death is death and the threshold of annihilation.

When any river rises and floods no dam can withhold it.

But what if a river wills itself to flood –

Would you not drown it in mud and damn it to the annals of history?

For this poet and many others the winds announce his sentence

And his days are numbered:

What mortal man will deny him his grave and promise him

Immortality among those that walk fleshed out above the earth?

Oppression is a kiss that swoons us all into blindness

And we beyond are all lovers enamoured by the myth of terror

Thus the myth is flowered by the dewdrops of obliviousness.

Shrieking farewells ring-a-rose amidst dying flowers

But who is there to see – all – who is there to wage war

– Not us not I –

And though the poet’s name be turned to clay

We all assign him to an eternity where he shall not rise.

Thieves enamoured by might shall steal his flesh

For having shunned the Death that reigns bedrooms

And courtrooms alike: what is a man

If he is not free to be what he sees to be true?

What your eyes cannot see may your mouth protect.

Make no mistake: his sentence shall be

No glorious and beautiful release.

If the river remains flooding and drowning all

We may care and cherish very soon

There will be nothing.



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