2007 - 2022

The Kurdish Question – a poem for Rojava


Why do I ache for Kurdistan?

Say, why should this English Scot care?

Why stir my heart, my atheist soul?

It’s miles to here from out there

Why does my hard and rational mind

agree with my heart this is right?

Why can humanity seek and find

new hope through this brave Kurdish fight?


How is it Kurdishness is a ‘crime’?

And, must different cultures agree?

How have they struggled one hundred years

to salvage the right just to be?

How has this age that worships greed

now come to the edge of abyss?

How has the power of human mind

not tended us better than this?


Why must we go so far afield

seek Mesopotamia’s cue?

Why must we look midst clouds of war

to find where the sun’s shining through?

Why have a people who’ve lost so much

still yet got a mountain to give?

Why when their land and life’s at stake,

they show us a new way to live?


How will they face imperial powers:

the modern four horsemen of death?

How can we move this callous world,

whose ‘leaders’ fine words are bad breath?

How does each set-back just strengthen resolve?

Can ‘resistance as life’ set you free?

How dearest friends, can I hope to return,

One tenth of the strength you give me?


Comments (4)

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  1. John Bryden says:

    Me too! I am with the Kurdish people.

    1. Muiris says:

      Likewise. As an Irishman, I have often thought how easy we have had it, with only one (imperial) enemy. Living on a seperate island is also a help

  2. MBC says:

    Beautiful poem, thanks. I wish I knew the answer though. I have been thinking a lot these days about Anna Campbell, the beautiful English girl who died for Rohava and the Kurds.

  3. Alistair MacKichan says:

    Such good reading. Thank you for this poem. Every couplet strikes true, and the whole, a bundle of questions, sums up how many of us must feel. The present generation of Kurds have never had their own homeland, and as an Englishman with Scottish roots returned to Scotland for most of my adult life, I feel some affinity, because my roots were in soil I never felt was my own, and still, today, I am a little displaced. The Kurds are tragically beset – Erdogan and the Turks to the west are the second biggest military force of the EU, the bristling European bulwark against Russia, and are being valued and built up by Europe, even though their regime and leader are awful. The recent Turkish invasion of northern Syria, flattening Kurdish villages, had superpower collusion. The Iraquis and Syrians are to the south, and they are desperately troubled by a host of conflicting interests, war-torn lands, in which the Kurdish element in the north has been the best organised and most effective vanquisher of Islamic State. Divided into these three countries, the fabled land of Kurdistan is unable to consist or persist, their land is taken from them, only their culture and history and language can hold them together.

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