Three poems


The Shadows 

Nasty maulvi’s of terror,
child dancers at Masjids
and caked flags of genocide


like thick smoke from London bars
infiltrating the wide-woven streets of Kabul
with death-masks on

splintering bodies with sharp swords
leaving the debris of slain children,
brutalised mothers

in silence
yet fully ablaze.

Thick ash scatters like grey fog,
and thins in the un-hearing air.


A Gaze Older Than Islam

Illegal armed pigs with white agendas,
a whole market of selective demons,
extract words from Quran
to symbolize a whitewashed past

erected from mass graves of women.

Animals from a lustful kingdom
raising a flag symbolizing white God
to propagate Satan’s verses
mis/interpret you in alleyways
and indulge you in blood.

You, like a flower bud in a disastrous event
turn into ash of massacre,
suffocated by venomous fever
in a society dimmed by trotting wolves
with drama of ghost-tangled beards
that astonish the breaking dawn.

At the distanced lands of incarceration,
echoes of your quiet dreams
break every beat of my gaze,
breach every inch of my chest-
I, a torn-out hymn,
a sad laughter upon wounded lips.

Afghan woman,
honour of Afghan land,
you are more than their ill articulation,
way beyond their Hadis-e-Moft.

Your well-versed interpretation of Quran–
a gaze older than Islam,

the mesmerizing fragrance of Subhi Khurasan,
the gifter of eminent light, Maulana Rumi,
whose words are Taweez to every door.

Let them not make your fate flee from your glory,
gamble, shut you down, gift you to a bald destiny.

Let them not create misery upon a generation
whose clatter of feet the moon once lulled to sleep.


Dukhti Afghan

Eyes of lapis lazuli,
lips like purple-iris’ glare,
voice as soft as Quranic counsel,
more impulsive than the recited rhymes of Rubab —
at whose mercy life is permitted to exist —

hair wild as shuffling olive leaves
veiled in the headgear of scarf-crowns,
beauties long unnoticed,
half kept unseen,
either secretly or unwisely forgotten!

Gemstones now in exile,
captive of Pharaohs,
underestimated by uncivilized human-lords
unaware of the nature of turquoise —
the longer it ages, the brighter it shines —

rise up,

gentle as spring breeze,
stronger and wiser than one-sided brain holders

who trade human skins
behind blue banners,
white banners,
green banners,

rise up to break the dragons’ bones!

This No Compass edition is supported by Multicultural Arts Victoria, as a part of the 2022 Ahead of the Curve Commissions.

Abdul Samad Haidari

Author: Abdul Samad Haidari

Abdul Samad Haidari is an Afghan-Hazara Independent Freelance Journalist and a current poet. He formerly wrote for the Daily Outlook Afghanistan Group of Newspapers and the Daily Afghanistan Express until he was forced to seek asylum elsewhere as a result of reprisals for his truth-telling journalism. Prior to escaping he also worked with Norwegian Refugee Council as an English Language Trainer and Child Sponsorship Communication Officer in ActionAid Afghanistan. Exiled to Indonesia since 2013 Haidari has been caught in the border wars that continue to hold thousands of refugee’s hostage, Haidari continues to use his writing as a tool of resistance against the long and ongoing genocide of his Hazara people and culture and the torturous treatment and slow deaths experienced by his fellow refugees caught in Indonesia. He writes stark truths and reflections in order to open space for re-membering and reconstructing the strengths, riches and beauty of his Hazaragi history, land, community, family and life. Haidari is the author of The Red Ribbon, a collection of poetry published in 2019 which was a top seller in Indonesia in 2020. He was featured at the Buda Writers Festival in 2019, delivered a TED talk in 2020 and his work has been published in Indonesian newspapers and online, in international journals and broadcast on radio in Australia. He is a lead member of Writing Through Fences and is currently finishing his second volume of poetry while searching for a country where he can work and live safely.

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