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For Women of Afghanistan

A Poem by:

Sheema Kalbasi

Colourful Bar


Copyright shall at all times remain vested in the Author. No part of the work shall be used, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the Author's express written consent.

As I walk in the streets of Kabul,

behind the painted windows,

there are broken hearts, broken women.

If they don't have any male family to accompany them,

they die of hunger while begging for bread,

the once teachers, doctors, professors

are today nothing but walking hungry houses.

Not even tasting the moon,

they carry their bodies around, in the covered coffin veils.

They are the stones in the back of the line ...

their voices not allowed to come out of their dried mouths.

Butterflies flying by, have no color in Afghani women's eyes

for they can't see nothing but blood shaded streets

from behind the colored windows,

and can't smell no bakery's bread

for their sons bodies exposing, cover any other smell,

and their ears can't hear nothing

for they hear only their hungry bellies

crying their owners unheard voices

with each sound of shooting and terror.

Remedy for the bitter silenced Amnesty,

the bloodshed of Afghani woman's life

on the-no-limitation-of-sentences-demanding help

as the voices break away not coming out but pressing hard

in the tragic endings of their lives.


"Woman, are you the brown March Violets?"


"I saw an angel in the Miramar

I carved and carved

until I freed her out".

         -Michele Angelo


My utopia brushed

an unusual current

turned into

autobiographical circulation of

devilish misplaced luck


as a woman today

I have

never had much fruit

much happiness


My parents' ambition

not to see me sealing my body

to the sad painted windows


Men with unknown identity

without faces

decide for my very existence


My voice

a recorded statement

I am a hopping sparrow

.......... Maybe tomorrow

         behind the veil

         the flesh

         dies away

         all the pain

                the sorrow

of being a woman

in Afghanistan

in the year zero, zero, zero


I tried

I tried

to pour burning oil on the crying cells

on my body


only inside

the burning oil

were the poisoned houses of wishes!


A mushroom in the city-world-of universe

From trying to pass the dying

the head first and then dripping bread




from one age to another

Lively playing with death


I die-to-die and live to live

If I could only live

a noble life.


Sheema Kalbasi
Copyright © 2000

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