War and Peace A poem by Dilawer Qeredaghi

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In war, the light in my mother´s eyes disappears
The lamps in my homeland go blind
And the long beautiful hair
Of the Songs grows white
One hair after another
When war with its nasty noisy shrill
Knocks at the door from the outside
Inside, the spring flowers turn pale
The sparrows start to groan
And a shiver chillier than ice
Penetrates the soul of my pen
Nightmares and monsters enter
The sweet colourful dreams of my child

When War walks across our roads
With its heavy, filthy, threatening feet
The stars fall from their place
Spring waters are poisoned
The streets’ knees break
And the steps freeze

When War announces its victory
Then no guest will turn up to share
The late evening simple warm
Hospitality of poverty
No partner will whisper his secrets
To fireflies
And shake the head of satisfaction
After hearing a poem
No one will listen to songs.

In war at midnight
An ugly alien storm
Finds its way into my room
And burns all the words
Of Nali’s and Mawlewi’s poems one by one
Tears into shreds
The first primary school book of my child
Spreads poison over the garden
Of my Morning expectations
Strangles the sonnets of Beethoven
The First Dawn Mame Sewa
The flute of Dervish Abdulla
And the poems of Shamlo, Aragon
And Goran.

In War a goblin intrudes my home
At midday
Kidnaps my baby with his cot
Steals the cute schoolbag of my child
Chops off the hair of my sweetheart
Deforms the face of my mother
Bites deep into the black and white
Photos of my childhood

When War breaks out
There will be no one to say “Good Morning”,
“Good evening” and “Good night” to
You lose the hope of having a date
With a poem in a calm evening
Under a hairy willow tree.

When War starts, hands
Go numb
Pens break
Pianos go on strike
Flutes go dumb

Only in peace the dreams
Grow wings to fly
And turn up as guests in the warm
Nights of the homeland.

In peace, the poor in my homeland
Sit tight in the colourful cottage
Of future hopes
And the dreams of their children are
Overwhelmed with toys
Mirrors and doves.

Only in the presence of the deep
Melodies of the torrents of peace
The fish can understand each other
The sea can understand the sorrow
Of the coast
And whisper sleep in the warm lap
Of intimate thoughts

Only in peace, one can cross
The Breadth of the sky
Look at the future of the homeland
Hold arms with mountains
And listen to the simple concerns
Of a village

In peace, the roads are overwhelmed
With the sweet noise of childhood
And the Cries of babyhood walking up the
Simple stairs of early life

In peace, the electric posts
Restore Life
Breezes scratch themselves
Against the fresh, spirit apple trees

In peace, the midnight loves
Without any feeling of fear
Listens in the darkness of the other end
Of the street
To the pink intimacies
Of a stranger star

Only in peace can the homeland fly
To embrace the green forest of the future

War means to strangle in shade
To abort water
To demolish beauty and neighbourhoods

War is an exercise in losing
Losing everything
One’s self- esteem, dignity
And freedom of man
The laughter, the mumbling
And the first steps of children

War is the practice of death,
Destruction and murder
The murder of lamps, paintings
And colours
The murder of pains, wishes
And Desires

War means waiting in ambush
To hunt freedom
To hunt people
To hunt God

War means opening the door
To the flood of suspicion
Means giving permission to monsters
To devour everything: history
Language, culture and literature
Blood of martyrs
Anthems, uprisings
And maternal passion

War means letting everything go
With the wind
Going with the wind of words
Manners and sacrifices

War means a bitter practice of vanity
The vanity of politics, of mottos
And colourful slogans

To defend peace means to protect
That beautiful and kind, worry-less world
Which is lying in a corner of the eyes
Of the children of the homeland

To defend peace means not to disturb
The summer midday snooze
Of childhood under the dense shade
Of a mulberry tree
It means to seal the mouth
Of guns with songs

It means to humiliate and expose
Hatred and learn
“Dara du dari di” again.

Sources: KurdishMedia.com (Translated) – By Dr Kemal Mirawdeli | 12/10/2002

The Kurdish text of this poem was published in Hetaw, issues 7 & 8, October 1996.

Nali and Mawlewi are two great Kurdish classic poets.
The First Dawn is the name of a song – the melody by famous Kurdish folk singer Sewe.

Dervish Abdulla was a legendary Kurdish flutist eternalised in a beautiful poem by the Kurdish modernist poet Goran.

“Dara du dari di” meaning ‘Dara saw two trees’ is the first line in the first lesson in the first book used by primary school children