Slemani in the Snow

A special poem by one of Kurdistan’s greatest writers of all time- Tawfiq Mahmoud Hamza (1867–1950), better known as Pîremêrd titled “Slemani in the Snow” (translated).


Slemani in the Snow

In the morning I awoke to snow everywhere,

Slemani city was the bride with silver veils in her hair.

We had waited so long for the snow in the night,

I’ll snowball it all, even though my hairs gone white.

I remember the snow lions we rode with no reigns,

In shadows that froze until a ripe summer came.

How superb that white dress and Goizha’s heights!

Lovelier than the sky with its blue on this white.

The cloth of angels in the sky is as white as this snow,

Our angel was loveliest, but we are betrayed now.

With each snowflake of gods shade that falls,

These are angels amongst us until the chaos calls.

The sky’s simple sun poured over Gla Zarda Mountain,

Sun glistening snow created a god made fountain.

The white cheeks of our city glistens with jewels

Angels of Qaff Mountain couldn’t have such attire.

Melting milk icicles from the melting frost heaves

As the ice dances through trees and leaves.

Broken Roads

They embark this road, as only the ground welcomes their trail.

Crusts of earth swirl around damaged souls, sat in dated machines, avoiding barrels of kings.

Careless reflections and glances begin to toss and turn.

These roads, like waves, swallow them whole.

Solitude roads diverged into the yellow and green, proving magnificent and cunning in sight.

An unavoidable journey's end to a new journey that perhaps has just begun.

Damaged souls, survivors of bombs and chaos, not once spared by our broken roads


The allure of a spark can provoke a lonely, jaded, charcoaled mind.
Suffered woes and wails of a wispy heart, so lightly tossed and punched apart.

A torn home saw her body brushed outside, seeking warmth, on a warm summers night. Alone she sat, perched beside a rationed barrel. Desperate to drink it's loads in pitiful gallons. Counting down the moments till her moment came to shine.

Shine, shine, like a flare in the black night, glow and show them your feeble light! Strike the match and make them remember, leave a lasting memory that makes them repent forever...what if they forget? What if they don't cry? What if they never noticed my sunken, peaked eyes, overflowed with streams of painful goodbyes?

One final look back at the door of despair, she gulped her last breath of poisoned air.
As she crawled out of her lifeless grave, she fluttered and flickered, setting herself ablaze.

Another body of ember glowed in the black night, another beacon of prohibited, tribal, female rights.
Another life gave in to the warmth of fire - society, forcing it's daughters to climb and light their own pyres. 

Relentless Zephyr

Suffused in a crimson flood amidst pale, still faces,

I danced amongst a relentless zephyr.


A presto of odourless vapours in symphony with the wind,

Composed of silent roars began to settle me in.

Whispering hymns that left life lingering, I led my own requiem.


Softly inhaled cloud motifs, rhythmic in numbers,

Sheltered my lungs and swallowed me whole.

I waltzed in crystal clear flames before the final curtain call.


Lyrics that spun melodies of a trembling ballad,

Deafened cries of a village petrified,

As spring welcomed songs of genocide.

Translated by M. Bakr