Sherko Bekas renowned Kurdish Poet, Photo by Rawand

In Memory of Shirko Bikes

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By Dr. Kamal Solayemani

August 5th, 2013


Tonight in my journey

In my past,

In my memory,

In my words,

In every word, roars, in our collective cries,

I saw you

Alive, undying and eternal

As I was roaming

On the mountain top

Flying over Qandil, Pire Magroon, Sipan

I saw you,

I saw you

In Diarbakir, in Kirmashan,

In Sna, in Dersim, in Qamishlu

In every corner of my collective being,

In my collective memory,

I could only hear you

I could only hear your voice,

As you were creating,

You were in constant creation,

As you were constructing a word,

Single words, one by one,

Each word was to revive:

A beheaded innocent

A child buried alive,

A mother’s cry

Witnessing her children’s deaths



Dying under torture one by one,

They were tortured

To silence the likes of you

To stop you from creation

for voicing the cries of the muted

As you had become the voice of all

A collective voice heard as one

Yet, relates every single story,

Creating new words to articulate injustice

Deciphering what was condemned to “indecipherability”

To recount ineffable tales,

Just to empower Isaac,

To empower him speaking,

What can’t be uttered as one’s throat is cut

For the throat to resist the knife,

For the word to gush up in place of blood

Yes, you were and you are,

You were in frequent creation

The creation of words

With the slaughter of each word

You created another one,

Now I was told that you have departed

No you won’t, you can’t

You are the soul of every speech,

The embodiment of any utterance,

You’re the word,

The articulation itself,

So, you are here,

with us,


In our thought, our words and poetry

You are the rhyme,

You are here with us

As long as poetry exists.

You have physically departed,

Chosen an eternal sleep.

Yet, you are present,

As long as a word uttered,

Poetry recited.

As long as Qandil, Shaho, and Biston


Stay upright and stable.

You are the lasting mummer

On our kids’ lips.

You will stay with us

As long as we are,

As long as Kurdish is spoken