where the writers are


Her blood still flows
Other hands dip in its river
Palms hold red goblets
Clinking glasses
Like gunshots
Transparent wounds
She cringes
Her pain
A cadaver
Breath falters
In her prison
She broke the bars
Spider webs entangle
Every twitch watched
Her body a museum
Of messages
She will heal
They continue
Dipping their hands
In blood congealed


Malala Yousafzai is a 14-year-old who was shot at in Swat, Pakistan, by the Taliban. No one seems to notice that despite her environment, she managed to learn, to seek peace, and to take on the militants.

She has become a symbol. Everyone wants a piece of her, her photographs on a stretcher. Malala is suddenly someone to remember, to use, to fight other battles.

- - -

Painting by Modigliani, 'Portrait of a young girl'

10 Comment count
Comment Bubble Tip

It's such a cliché to say

It's such a cliché to say that your poem is powerful – but it is.  It has so much honesty in it.  Malala is an extraordinary girl.

Comment Bubble Tip

Katherine: I decided then to


I decided then to write a poem, for it was a more honest response.  I was and am sickened by the way she is being used in the media. Nobody bothered about her work earlier. This is how 'news' degenerates. Thanks for reading. 


Comment Bubble Tip

Stronger spirit


I think in long term, Malala's death will raise the spirit of Pakistani girls. 

Comment Bubble Tip

She is still alive! She is

She is still alive! She is fighting for her life.  May she recover soon.

Comment Bubble Tip

Thank you, Katherine and

Thank you, Katherine and Mare.  I heard the news on the radio before reading Farzana's post, but I believe  the Japanese announcer only said her age.  So, I thought in the international news, I didn't think they would report about ordinary people unless they are dead.  But that reminded me that I was thinking why the news picked it up out of many in the world   I'm behind on the news.  Yes, she is an extraordinarily courageous person!

I just checked the internet and found a report that she was transferred to Germany.  Is that right?  I hope she can recover and continue what she believes.  

Thank you for posting this, Farzana.  I'd like to know more about her and the issue.  

Comment Bubble Tip

Keiko:You have


You have unintentionally revealed something important. Indeed, the international media usually gives space to people when they are dead, or there is something that they deem important. I am intrigued why one girl has been picked up; two of her friends were also wounded.

The issue is simple. The Taliban don't like progress. But there are still schools in the part of Pakistan where she lives. So, it is not education they were attacking. They have their own limited ideas. Since I have some acquiantance with the place, I can only say that the picture that emerges is one-dimensional. It is unfortunate that she was targeted, as much as it is when anyone is.

She is being treated in Pakistan and her surgery has been successful. I hope they leave her alone for a while now. Unlikely. Instead of the hyperventilating, I wish Pakistanis took action where it matters and stems the rot.

There is a whole lot of news on the web. Here's just one:



Comment Bubble Tip

Thank you, Farzana. 

Thank you, Farzana. 

Comment Bubble Tip

I heard about Malala on Irish

I heard about Malala on Irish radio tonight as I made dinner in my candle lit kitchen and immediately thought about your blog (as I had read it earlier in the day) ~f. Her name came up as it is the International Day of the Girl. I could not believe it when I heard that for every three seconds a girl is coerced into marriage. I think your poem portrays both the anquish and pain experienced by women and not just girls. I also bow to you for portraying the woman you did in the painting. It is both apt and incredibly honest. The spider web tangles will melt, won't they? m

Comment Bubble Tip

This incident, M, coincided

This incident, M, coincided with the International Day of the Girl Child. It is a problem the world over for girls/women to deal with patriarchal strictures; more so, in my part of the world. What is unfortunate is that Indians, who have a record of similar edicts and honour killings (a minister in the state government girls should be married by 16 to avoid rape), are speaking up for Malala. It has become a political issue, with agendas. Those too are the spider webs, and they need to melt fast.


PS: The painting is by Modigliani. I said so in the footnote.

Comment Bubble Tip

I got that about Modigliani,

I got that about Modigliani, ~f. My sentences can be badly constructed at times! m