(All poetry by Bruce Dale Wise)

The Filtering of English in Iran

by Delir Ecwabeus

“…nor did anything terrify the people so much as those encomiums on his Majesty’s mercy…” -Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels

“To teach the English language is against the government,”
said Medhi Navid-Adham, head of state enlightenment.
The Ayatollah Ali Khamenei voiced rage as well,
“It is a cultural invasion,” coming straight from Hell.

The Revolutionary Guard must be ubiquitous,
surveilling, filtering, and halting the iniquitous.
Supreme Great Leader of Iran knows what is for the best:
We must protect this nation from the power of the West.

Fazli, the Minister of the Interior, has said,
“Improper use of social media was causing dread.”
Though Internetting traffic plunged close to 50%,
the use of TOR proliferated during the protest.

So twenty-one who died last week, it seems we still must damn,
especi’lly if they were in English on app Telegram.


Poet’s Note: “The filtering of English” is a phrase used by the protestors, comparing blocking English to the blocking of Telegram, a popular app used by some 40,000,000 Iranians. Persian, that is, endonym Farsi, the main language of Iran, is an Indo-European language; hence it is actually historically related to English, along with other Iranic languages, like Ossetian and Kurdish.

Delir Ecwabeus is a poet of Persia and Iran, who was impressed at the bravery of Nedā Āghā-Soltān. The following poem is a poem written in 2009, on the death of Nedā Āghā-Soltān (1983-2009), a philosophy student murdered in Iran during the Green Revolution.


In 2009 the Blood Ran in Tehran

by Delir Ecwabeus

for Abdul Serecewi

Upon her shoulder was a dove
that drank blood from her mouth—Neda.
It was a murdering of love—
a Basij soldier! so I ran.

Her voice in Farsi, her last words
were, “I’m burning. I’m burning.” Sup
with the martyrs for freedom, bird
of golden song, fold your wings up.



The Chinese Co-Prosperity Sphere

by Lu “Reed ABCs” Wei

Hans-Georg Maassen of the BfV has recently
reported that the Chinese have been hacking Germany.
More than ten thousand Germans have been targeted, it seems,
by Chinese trolls on LinkedIn with their fake consultant schemes.
A myriad researchers using social networks try
to infiltrate and launch attacks they damage and deny,
It seems the Chinese miracle is based on fraud and lies,
and Chinese great philanthropy is really based on spies.
The World they envision in their grand reality
is Chinese domination forged by guile and cruelty.

Lu “Reed ABCs” Wei is a poet of China.


Along Route 66

by Cal Wes Ubideer

for Lorna Davis

Along Route 66, in southern California, in
Mohave Desert National Preserve, the rocks and wind
are nearly all that’s left of all those towns I-40 passed:
like Amboy, Bristol, Cadiz, Danby, Essex, Fenner, Goffs…
Off of I-40 one discovers ghost-town sites galore;
between Barstow and Needles places sit that are no more.
So many names, so many stops, that time has swept away…
it’s hard…to think…it happens now…within the passing day.
And yet, this is the fate of even Earth’s most modern sights,
no matter what the moment shows us at our present heights.

Cal Wes Ubideer is a poet of California.


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4 Responses

  1. James A. Tweedie

    It’s good to see the subject of Iran being addressed. Your poems provide much food for thought. Your citation of Nedā Āghā-Soltān’s final words are particularly poignant. On a lighter note, have you ever considered writing children’s poetry under the name “A. Wild Berceuse?”

  2. Delir Ecwabeus

    Iran and Iranian literature have been a peripheral interest of mine for some time, as can been seen in works, like “In 2009 the Blood Ran in Tehran.” The poem itself draws from Iranian literature. What struck me about this poem, from nearly a decade ago, was how I could get no one to publish it, or even talk about it. The first person who offered to publish it was the poet Esther Cameron at The Deronda Review; but she was sidetracked and preparing to move to Israel; so it wasn’t until just recently that it has seen the light of day, since I have appended it to recently published poems on Iran, as for example, the following published on another site:

    Protesters Down
    by Delir Ecwabeus
    for the memory of Nedā Āghā-Soltān

    They first began on Thurday in Tehran and Kermanshah,
    Sharoud, Yazd, Kashmar, Neyshabour, as well as in Mashhad.
    Across Iran, the protests spawned against the government,
    state-sponsored rallies marking the suppression of dissent.
    They burst against now rising prices, unemployment too,
    corruption rampant, and dictatorship that’s gone askew.
    They tore some billboards down of Ayatollah Khamenei;
    and so supporters of the tyrant came out Saturday.

    Perhaps it is the people Iran’s “leaders fear the most,”
    a woman waving her white-shawled “hijab” upon a post.
    This New Year’s Eve protesters came despite the threatened mood.
    What were the names of those protesters murdered in Dorud?
    And who were gunned down in the western town of Teyserkan?
    Who were the people who were killed in central Shahin Shahr?
    Who died in the southwestern town of Izeh in the east?
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed. What is this rough and slouching beast?

    As hundreds were arrested for protesting Khamenei,
    he said, for that, they could be facing death, on New Year’s Day,
    like the half dozen slaughtered in Qahdarijan’s harsh air,
    and the eleven-year-old boy shot in Khomeini Shahr,
    or, too, the twenty-year-old man there dying on the ground;
    one turns to right, to left, no signs of justice can be found.
    A man does evil, and the government bestows its praise,
    another doing good dies wretched in the brumous haze.

    The World was watching as Jafari gave his bulletin:
    sedition in the country had been vanquished all at once.
    The Revolutionary Guard head spoke of the defeats;
    ten thousand people for the government were in the streets.
    The “1396 Sedition” has been de-MAUL-ished,
    defeated by security and people’s vigilance.
    It wasn’t eighty cities, it was only three, he said.
    Does one forget the bird’s flight even after it is dead?

    Delir Ecwabeus is a poet of Persia and Iran, who was impressed at the bravery of Nedā Āghā-Soltān (1983-2009), a philosophy student murdered in Iran. The last three lines in stanza three are a paraphrase from Abolqasem Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh.

    This week I will also be sending out to various editors another poem on the death of one of those protesters who died in the notorious Evin Prison in Tehran:

    The Death of Sina Ghanbari
    by Delir Ecwabeus

    According to authorities at Evin in Tehran,
    Sina Ghanbari died for his protesting in Iran.
    The story of the state-run media is that his death
    was due to hanging by himself; that’s the official thread.

    But messages on social media cast doubt on this,
    suggesting torture, even murdering for such remiss.
    “There will be consequences,” the authories have said;
    so do not be surprised if some come out of prison dead.

    The son of Ali Akbar had been placed in quarantine.
    If true, what did they do to him, to cause this horrid scene.
    “The news was like a stabbing knife,” Aghazedah explained;
    his son was also taken to the Evin Port of Pain.

    He hoped this would not turn into a second Karizak;
    for if it did, he thought aloud, it would be very bad.

    As to your question, your name is an excellent suggestion, Mr. Tweedie; although, since my Texan charichord is “Wild” E. Bucaree, and I try not to use the same word twice, I will probably revise it to Waldi Berceuse to be my quiet, thoughtful Eastern European musical critic poet (after Chopin, Liszt, Balakirev, et. al.). You are the second person, after Mr. Mantyk, to suggest a charichord (an anagrammatic heteronym); he suggested Brice U. Lawseed, now my poet of law and the Washington DC environs. Although I do not purposefully write for children, I suppose my delight in anagrammatic names is a bit “shildish” [a quote from Alfred Hitchcock’s “Topaz”].

    Ah, yes, Mr. Yankevich, the mindless critiques…

    • Wic E. Ruse Blade

      I would be remiss if I had not also mentioned G. M. H. Thompson, who, in his well-reasoned literary streams, has likewise suggested various charichords.


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