We live in a world where poets
are still executed for their words.
There is not much to be found
in the way of details —
we do not know
if the sun was shining and kissed
his face before he died,
or if it was done indoors
where he could see no light,
or if he was defiant to the end,
reciting verse with his last breath,
or if he cried and begged for mercy,
we do not know if there was a sympathetic witness,
or only stoic (or perhaps mocking) guards and executioner —
no, all we know for sure was that he was hanged.
If this was expertly done he would have fallen
a sufficient distance to cause the cervical vertebrae to fracture,
somewhat lessening the discomfort of the experience.
A less proficient, or perhaps sadistic, hangman could have
created a situation where he strangled to death,
dangling, aware, for twenty seconds to a minute,
waiting for the blood flow from his carotid arteries
to his brain to be cut off and consciousness to cease…
Twenty seconds does not seem so very long.
Have you ever held you breath for 20 seconds, or more?
We do know, with a degree of certainty, that his death
was ordered by an Iranian Mullah, found guilty
of waging war on God, spreading corruption on earth,
and questioning the principle of walayat al-faqih.
He is not the first Iranian poet to die at the hands
of his government and the mullahs, not by far…some were shot,
others hanged, one had his veins cut and was left
to bleed in his cell. More than eighty, intellectuals and poets,
were executed from 1997 – 2005.
But, we are not to speak of this, not to judge
those who ordered these acts of justice.
This is their way, and we are to be tolerant of that which
we do not understand.
The mantra of the politically correct.
Do we speak out? Do we march? Do we write ’till our fingers bleed
with the passion of our convictions and the right of any human being
to raise his voice in verse and protest?
Or do we hang our heads and shake them sadly,
mourning the loss of another voice
while being thankful it could never happen to us.
Such an atrocity would never be allowed in the land of the free…
Then one day…an all Muslim city council is elected,
and Sharia law comes to your neighborhood.
But we are not to speak of that, it would be insensitive,
and intolerant, and ridiculously conspiratorial.