Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Majid Naficy

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The Marchers Turn Green


by Majid Naficy



in memory of Neda and her friends (1)





Like the sprouts of wheat

Which must grow green,

The marchers turn green. (2)

They have green ballots in their hands

And red passion in their veins,

Oblivious to death

Who is wearing a dirty turban

And a long dark robe.

"This land belongs to us

Not to the men in turbans

Or any supreme leader,

And the proof is in our votes."



The marchers turn green

With a telling silence in their lips

And an echo of freedom in their ears.

They are fearless of death

Who is wearing a paper helmet

And a wooden dagger.

"This land belongs to us

Not to the men with daggers,

And the wound of a sword

Cannot sever our united hands

From the skirt of our motherland."



The marchers turn green

With the branches of cypress in their hands

And a glimmer of hope in their eyes.

The young Rakhsh horses neigh (3)

And immortal Symorgh flies (4)

From mount Alborz toward them.

"This land belongs to us

And we'll take it back

Not with bullets or grenades

But by counting our ballots."



June, 25, 2009



1. Neda Agha-Soltan was a student of philosophy killed by the government forces on a mass demonstration against the rigged presidential election in Tehran on June 20, 2009. Her first name means "call" or "echo" referred to in this poem as "an echo of freedom" in the second stanza.

2. Green is the color of the June uprising against the rigged election and represents the non-violent nature of this movement.

3. Rakhsh is the horse of the mythological Iranian, hero, Rostam.

4. Symorgh is the name of a mythological bird helping Rostam in some of his battles. She raises Rostam's father in Mt. Alborz.

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