Yazidi weeping


Go son, go down to the water
And see the women weeping there
Then go up into the mountains
The men, they are weeping too


The desert wind is full of bones
and blackness paint the fragments
of the brittle cordite fragrance
from the horizon dust cloud,
Yazidi mothers hear the sound
of the approaching slaughter,
and all the fathers raise their guns
cause the men of dust are coming
prepared to steal the daughters
“Go son, go down to the water”

“Go and take you sister with you”
The village fills with blood
the peacock sun is glaring
not protecting from the blades
that flash with crimson menace.
So peasant hear when cotton tear
and see your wife, your daughter raped
Your mouth is filling up with sand
before you die you swear
And see the women weeping there

And by the river children hide
the boys, the girls who lost their home
assembling by the willow-tree.
The eldest girls have most to lose
they hide their breasts and tie their hair.
Through waterfalls and river fountains
by nightly roads the silent children
pass through empty hamlets
in ghastly whispered body-counting
Then go up into the mountains

By hidden paths, in secrecy
they came to Sinjar Mountain
They meet our eyes through lenses
in hovering rescue helicopters
Their eyes are wells, and waiting
they are dying asking you
why the world is silent, watching
as their freezing tears are falling
suffocating they are turning blue
The men, they are weeping too

Iraqi refugee children at Newroz camp where they are being helped by the International Rescue Committee

Iraqi refugee children at Newroz camp where they are being helped by the International Rescue Committee

A year ago the news was filled with the horrible images from Mount Sinjar and the stories that were told from what ISIS did with the Yezidi villages. Stories are coming out how many of the Yazidi women and girls have fared. This week I’m going to a concert with Nick Cave, and I think the weeping song is apt to use for this glosa.

25 responses to “Yazidi weeping

  1. Your poem brought it all back, Bjorn, in vivid detail. We need to remember what is much easier to forget. So many blood-filled villages. So many people weep. The world must not keep silent.

  2. so intense, so sad this is such a tear jerker; as if the poem wasnt enough you added the video, I plead for Gods mercy in those areas of suffering

    “Their eyes are wells, and waiting
    they are dying asking you
    why the world is silent, ”

    awesome write Bjorn

    much love…

  3. This was so intense & tragic..!

    And by the river children hide
    the boys, the girls who lost their home
    assembling by the willow-tree.

    So heart-felt.. well penned..!
    xoxo

  4. Hi Bjorn–you describe poignantly what is happening in too many places. It is a hard problem, as I am not sure military intervention works so well–all-out war–no one is so in favor of that either–what is the answer? It is so difficult . k.

  5. So easy for us to look away from this kind of suffering, yet it is tied to us both by our own humanity, and by our actions which have bred this scorpion called Isil. It is a heavy weight to bear–your echoing of the quoted lines makes this a weeping song beyond the casual shedding of easy tears.

  6. I think this is one of your masterpieces! A truly wonderful poem on this awful subject. (Only please change ‘hoovering’ to ‘hovering’, otherwise you are saying something you don’t at all mean!)

    • The peacock sun refers to the Yazidi god.. that many has wrongly been accused for being a representation of the devil. That’s one of the reasons that Yazidi has been persecuted. ISIS has been worse to these than to any other religion…

  7. Oh GAH Bjorn, this poem deserves a much wider audience! Whoosh.

    (I envy you getting to see Nick Cave and expect a full report. Hope to get to see him sometime soon, too.)

  8. This rips the heart out…it’s that moment in The Indiana Jones Movie – the Last Crusade when that tribal guy rips the heart out of a man while screaming kali mah and it’s in his hand beating still…such an important poem, Bjorn…I agree with Marian on this. Whoosh.

  9. There is so much sadness in this world (your poem could also be true of the villagers ravaged by Boko Haram in Nigeria). Yet your poem is so beautifully phrased, so compassionately written it creates a stark contrast to cruelty. This brought tears to my eyes.

  10. Your touching and erudite words remind us again and bring focus back to make our heart jump an cheeks wet. What is happening to us and where have the eyes of humanity wandered? it becomes tearfully almost surreal. is that why within these atrocities human beings are left to suffer at the hands of animals who wouldn’t recognise the spiritual value, meaning or beauty (or appreciate the symbolism of a dead fish) let alone a peacock because they are backward and psychotic animals, and sitting watching from our own small space, we are still asking why is it all still happening? Apologies but along with tears my blood boils.

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