The Pen

“Break the pens!”
The arch-Ayatollah said
And they did

Break the bones!

The man of God
is the man of death—

This is what has remained of
the mission of prophets—


The enemy of thought and breath ordered
lawless men of law to
kill the activist, writer, thinker!
And they did!

The land of God
is no land for us

Let us take back
the earth—

Let the pens
break the Gods

About the Poem

The poem responds to the ongoing protests in Iran. In a recent development, the regime is ramping up its secret kidnapping plots against dissidents.

About the Author

by Rehma Shere

Bänoo Zan is a poet, librettist, translator, teacher, editor, and poetry curator, with more than 250 published poems and poetry-related pieces as well as three books including Songs of Exile and Letters to My Father. She is the founder of Shab-e She’r (Poetry Night), Canada’s most diverse poetry reading and open mic series (inception: 2012), a brave space that bridges the gap between communities of poets from different ethnicities, nationalities, religions (or lack thereof), ages, genders, sexual orientations, disabilities, poetic styles, voices, and visions. Bänoo is the Writer-in-Residence at the University of Alberta, Canada, Sept 2022-May 2023.

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