Kovan
Type
Poetry

In Memoriam Hashem Shaabani

(Ahwazi Arab poet executed by the Iranian regime, 27 January 2014)

We searched you in the hollows
And we searched you in the fen
We took you down for mercy
And we took you down again

We heard you’d gone a-roaming
And taken up your pen
We heard you used the Holy Name
And took that Name in vain

We saw you in the papers
And we heard you in the den
We knew you’d gone a-roaming
By the treason of your pen

We thought we’d show you mercy
And let you live again
We thought we’d offer clemency
If you’d just put down the pen

You raised it high against us
Stabbed us dead and dead again
With your prophecies of freedom
That take the Holy Name in vain.

We searched you in the hollows
And we searched you in the fen
We took you down for mercy
And we took you down again

We found you in the hollows
And we found you in the fen
And we took you down for mercy
So you’ll never rise again.

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Martin Kovan is a poet, writer and research scholar in ethics at the University of Melbourne. His short fiction, prose-poetry, poetry, journalism, essays and academic nonfiction have been published widely, including in Overland, Australian Poetry Journal, Cordite Poetry Review, Westerly, Mascara, Southerly, Island and Peril.

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