at the call of the first name.
The names always began
being called at noon
when the air was dank
with hundreds of women
breathing each other’s breath
longing for the darkness
for no one was ever called
for execution at night.
Million Moving Pieces
Whenever I board a train
I remember Yavar
he worked in a factory in Arak
making parts for trains.
He used to point with pride and say:
‘You see that train!
I made it.’
He heard the sound of trains
in his sleep
yet when he went anywhere
he went by coach
as he never earned enough money
to take a train to go somewhere,
He left some of himself
in all these million moving pieces.
Twilight, walking down Camden high street
past the bright open shops
and the full up pubs
I see him through a forest of legs
sitting by a lamp post
his hands on his young ears
in the midst of the high noise.
His back hunched
his legs drawn up
making space for the passers-by.
Men and women are all around him
talking and laughing
as if he is not there.
When she heard she had given birth to a boy
all the pain lifted from her body
God had listened to her prayers
and was sending her a copy of himself
hopefully he would look like her husband.
Nasrin Parvaz became a civil rights activist when the Islamic regime took power in 1979. She was arrested in 1982, tortured and spent eight years in prison. In 1993, she fled to England. Her prison memoir is being crowdfunded by Unbound publisher. Nasrin’s stories, poems, articles and translations appeared in Exiled Writers Ink; Modern Poetry in Translation series; Write to be Counted, Resistance Anthology 2017; Words And Women 2017; 100 poems for human rights 2009; Hafiz, Goethe and the Gingko 2015; Over Land, Over Sea, Poems for those seeking refuge 2015; A novel, Temptation, based on the true stories of some male prisoners who survived the 1988 massacre of Iranian prisoners was published in Farsi in 2008.
Have you ever seen
how their red juice
stains the earth where they fell?
Nothing is as painful as falling.
I’ve seen so many workers
fall from buildings
and become mulberries. Continue reading Mulberries
Nasrin Parvaz became a civil rights activist when the Islamic regime took power in 1979. She was arrested in 1982, tortured and spent eight years in prison. After her release in 1990, Nasrin resumed her activities and once again she found herself being followed by Islamic guards. She realized she could no longer stay in Iran and she fled here to England, where she claimed asylum in 1993. Nasrin’s prison memoir was published in Farsi in 2002. A summary of her memoir was published in Feminist Review (number 73) in 2003; and it was published in Italian in 2006 by Effedue Edizioni. Nasrin’s stories appeared in Exiled Writers Ink, and two of her poems were published in Over Land, Over Sea, Poems for those seeking refuge, published by Five Leaves, in 2015. Continue reading Immigrants Poems