Raif

 

‘I want to break the walls of ignorance’,

Raif Badawi posted in his blog –

they threw him in a cell to teach him sense.

 

How simple Raif’s requests: freedom of speech,

the rights of women and minorities –

what platitudes to have to preach.

 

Raif’s wretched, filthy, lice-infested jail

with its stinking toilets and obscene graffiti,

has, he discovers on a sticky wall,

 

words that re-charge his resolution.

He reads with great astonishment

that ‘Secularism is the solution!’ –

 

exactly what he’d written in his blog –

and Raif Badawi’s fetid Saudi prison

fills for a moment with pure oxygen.

 

 

Mark Haworth-Booth

http://www.primanews.org/2015/06/11/saudi-blogger-raif-badawi-may-receive-second-set-of-lashes-on-friday/


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4 Responses to Raif

  1. Frances Corkey Thompson says:

    Ah, the IT. So pleased to know it still exists. Good poem, Mark. Harrowing.
    Frances

  2. Liz Willis says:

    So glad to see this powerful poem getting greater circulation. We need more like this to keep us all awake, however painful that wakefulness.

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