You loved life, love, the sweet charm

Of things, the sky blue

landscape of January days.


And your blood was stirring

and you laughed through your eyes

that have known the shooting buds of tears.


And you resisted the pain

You knew the world is beautiful,

that poetry is like bread, everyone’s.


And that our veins don’t end in us

but join in one blood

with those who fight for life,


landscapes and bread,

liberty and freedom

Poetry that is everyone’s.


In the past 40 years Kurdish literature and poetry experienced a vital regeneration comparable to a renaissance. Undismayed my repression, and bloodshed the Kurdish people continue their struggle for the lawful recognition of their rights, the defence of their culture and their very existence. They defend their lives with powerful weapons: language and armed struggle. Poems, songs, a flood tide of new books on Kurdish life and history reach out across the generations and maintain the continuity of identity against all the odds, inspiring pride in the past and hope in the future. This cultural resurgence sustains the Kurdish momentum to resist the hidden war which rages in the villages and mountains of their country,

Öcalan’s words of “Truth is love and love is a free life” Mehmet wanted to embrace the undisclosed human stories in the midst of war and revolution. “In the midst of death, I am very close to life” he once said, and there would have been no other place that he would have liked to have been.

The suffering of Kurdish people gave birth to these poems. What they express however, in not only pain and sorrow but resistance – an absolute determination to survive appalling persecution. The suppression of the Kurds is a brutal and largely ignored outrage of shocking proportions, These poemsare naked, passionate, vivid and arresting. They spring from direct and immediate experience. Deeply moving.

Before he passed, he wrote a poem for those who yearn for him.


“Just look at the stars

You will see me there

At the bend of the Milky Way

Where galaxies meet each other.”


September 2018