My homeland
Written by Amir Hossein Nikzad

Winner of Jaleh Esfahani Foundation prize 2010
Translated from Persian into English:
Rouhi Shafii


Wish my homeland was a song
to be recited by heart.
Wish my homeland was a prayer
to be memorised and believed in.

They packed the donkeys
with the morning, the bread and water
and left.

The cattle lingering on the horizon
the sun rising from behind.
A girl in traditional dress,
not a legend woman
A lanky boy
not a brave hero.

The van filled with the sheep
children running in the wind

A man resting among the alfalfa fields
a woman’s hand, his bed.

My homeland is life with no interpretation.
Should her pains be forgotten,
new tales can be told.


A boy pulls the shutters down
the chanting of muezzin from the mosque.
A girl takes her cover off
and puts her scarf on.

The impatient sheep,
pushing their bottoms
against each other.
The patient, blue van
waiting with a puncture
behind the abattoir.

Wish my homeland was a song
to be recited by heart.
Wish my homeland was a prayer
to be memorised and believed in.

30 January 2011


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