Poems About Iran by Douglas Gilbert , ” The Supreme Leader Is Still Kicking “

The Supreme Leader Is Still Kicking

Alive, he haunts the reins of power
like a donkey wildly kicking

Dead or alive, the Ayatollah holds the keys
to Persian limbo, his nod
the whip of an overseer

Like a fatwah, he haunts
the jailers’ psyche, and
lets the guards
perform their evil sodomy

Everyone has heard
the rumors of truth:
all the prison abuse

I thought I heard old Karoubi say
many patriots are still in jail. Their
guards are godless scum, the
rapist with portfolio, the
overseers given imprimatur to print lies

There’s a plan, but
for those defiled
compromise is too late
injuries too great

The ghost of complicity
will linger in publicity
for the dead and alive

—Douglas Gilbert

Books by Douglas Gilbert


Poetry from the reject pile, “Some Secret Sadness”

Some Secret Sadness

Oh sweet woman
what has startled you?
(you flew away)
(you flew away)

Can’t hear the melody we wrote
with feathers and guitar,
that quiver in your lips
was an arrow in my heart

Oh ardent love
has the fire gone out?
You’ve disappeared
like a starling whose gotten singed

I’ve got the tone to atone for things
and you’ve left your G string here alone

Oh sweet woman
what has startled you?
You left your Champagne unbubbled
in an effervescent huff

Can’t hear our true melody
if you won’t be a flock of two

—Douglas Gilbert

Books by Douglas Gilbert