Poem in November. In memory of Tahir Elçi & Sergio Finardi

Poem in November. In memory of  Tahir Elçi &  Sergio Finardi


In memory of  Tahir Elçi

(assassinated November 28, 2015 in Diyarbakir,  on the banks of the Tigris River, southeastern Turkey)


Sergio Finardi

(died, 03 December, 2015, Chicago, USA.)

 human rights defenders –  insan hakları savunucular – difensori dei diritti umani


 Tahir Elçi









Tahir Elçi (1966 – 28 November, 2015), Kurdish Lawyer and Human Rights defender was shot dead at the Sheikh Matar Mosque in Diyarbakir, Northern Kurdistan, whilst calling for an end to violence in south-east Turkey. “The situation is very bad, but I’m afraid that it will be worse,” Elçi said in one of his last interviews.  He was appealing for a return to peace talks between the Turkish Government in Ankara and the militant Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). Tahir Elçi had been detained several times and received death threats after saying the banned PKK should not be regarded as a terrorist organization. Likewise he was critical of some of the actions of the PKK which he felt guaranteed that the conflict could only continue to escalate. While no one has been charged with his murder, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) called the shooting a “planned assassination,” and  his brother, Ahmet Elçi was quoted as saying that his brother was “murdered by the state.” Selahattin Demirtaş, the HDP leader also claimed in his interview that according to their investigators, the bullet which killed Tahir Elçi was fired by a Turkish police officer.  By the day of his funeral, “a police officer had already tweeted “You are next” to Tahir’s wife, Türkan Elçi…” Amnesty International reported on the 30 November, 2015. Tajir Elci, Human Rights defender, was assassinated in Diyarabakir this week in 2015.


Sergio Finardi












Sergio Finardi (1950 – 2015), died on the 2nd of December, 2015 in Chicago – where he had lived for many years – the investigative journalist and researcher passed away following a short illness.


Sergio was the founder of TransArms, author of numerous articles and essays with specific focus on the concern of the arms trade, of which he had become one of the world’s leading experts. Born in Cremona, northern Italy, in 1950, he grew up at the height of the student protests. He graduated in Milan with a thesis on Northern European social democracy. Thanks to a scholarship from Stockholm University he studied the historical-political experience of Swedish socialism which he then described in the book ‘The Swedish New Deal’ (1982). Close to the working class and the labour movement, he joined the PCI (Partito Comunista Italiano) and collaborated with CESPI, the Centre for State Reform of Rome, collaborating with the magazines “Rinascita” and “Laboratorio Politico”.


He moved to the United Starss in 1994, where he became a founder and tireless advocate of TransArms, an independent research center into the arms trade and defense logistics, as well as a consultant for the United Nations and Amnesty International, contributing important research to a series of AI’s reports, from 2005 to his death.


Conflicts he investigated extended from eastern Congo and Rwanda (2005), Darfur (2007), Israel and the Gaza Strip (2009), Yemen and Somalia (2010), Iraq, Libya and Syria, as well as the network cover that upheld the “secret flights” in “extraordinary renditions” (2006); this same research was often used to write leading articles published in the left-wing Italian newspaper ‘il manifesto’.


Poem in November


i would go away:

i would go away from the hurt of her

i would go away from the loss

i would go away from the dreams

spent like smoke

i would go away,

i would go away from this war

where nobody wins

i would get away from this peace

filled with corpses

i would go away,

i would go away on my own

i would go away singly and bury my dreams

like dead children in a field

i would go away in our multitudes

grieving this lonely man i know

with his life in bandages,

i would go away,

i would go away with a song and a prayer

for a life not worth living,

a death unredeemed

and these bones trapped in between.

i would go away from this city

and these towns and their streets

and these grim faced pedestrians

with neither sorrow nor joy.

i would leave all ghosts and all gods

with their shrines and altars

with their priests  and their doctors

and their maps that lead nowhere,

i would go away and rest in a house

where the heart stops aching

and the wound heals,

where each small sparrow is fed

and hunger is a myth

and the nightmare has awoken

and the rain falls only in surprise.

i would go away

i would be gone.

i would go away

and stay away, far away, as if

i had never been here

never been born, never grown, never grown old

never got sick and never weary,

i would go away

i would get the fuck out of here,

i would leave it all behind

all the pain of it, the simple suffering of it,

felt and unfelt,

the darkness at daybreak

the hospitals and endless funerals

the doorways with their drunken departures

their coming and going with no return,

the shopkeepers and tinkers with their stories

the girls in their lust and their longing

the boys with their secret pain

the windows opening wide with false promises

i would go away,

away from it all

once and for ever.

i would slip out the door unnoticed

i would go out the back when the room

is filled with talk and cigarette smoke

i would leave before dawn with

the household still asleep

i would escape like a prisoner

through tunnels carved in a mind

used like a punch-bag for too long,

i would go underground

like a town under siege

or a country road filled with refugees

i would leave,

and glad so and glad to be gone

with or without this song

or a prayer

or anyone to miss me

or anyone to grieve me,

i would go away

i would leave,

i would slip past the sentries

beneath the barbed wire

beyond books and wars

and our lost revolution,

just past this catastrophe now turning the corner

i would go away

i would leave

i would be gone,

like a sister buried at sea

(like all of the desaparecidos)

like a brother beaten in a cell

like a widow or her dead husband

like a comrade shot in a Bolivian hut

or a heretic burned at the stake

like a stone-dead pop-star falling from the sky

i’d be gone

for once and for all.

i’d leave wistfully or sadly

or in anger

banging the door

or swearing at the postman or the neighbours

or these prison warders who guard my cell day and night,

i’d go

simply and without remorse

i’d leave

do you hear me?

i would go

i would steal away

i’d be gone,

as if a bible rested beneath my head

and with your picture on my breast,

i would go, i would disappear,

now and forever,

one more voice mutilated,

another one unrepentant,

a third, tender in their unnamed skeleton

like all bodies left on the battlefield,

like this then, i’d go,

i’d hit the road

once, now, in an instant and for all time

even if time turned backwards

and all the dead came out of the ground

i’d stay gone

for i would have left

once and for all

left all the hurt and the heartbreak

the aching and the longing

the sorrow and the ecstasy, i’d be gone

never to return

never to darken your door again

never to hear your whisper

tearing my soul from its sleep

tearing the heart from its chest

tearing this body in shreds

i would go away

i would disappear

if only for the simple sake of it

if only for the hell of it

if only to drink this cup to its dregs

if only to bring freedom to the house of a slave

if only to heal all the grief in the world

if only to bury all gods in their woeful complexity

if only to free the politician from their lies

the banker from his profit

the righteous from their sorrow

all lovers, from their loss

i would flee this house

i would go

i would go away

i would leave

i would never be seen again

never heard from, never loved, never cared for

never held, never touched, never beaten,

mocked, shamed, humiliated

never broken,

i would go away

i would escape

i would cease to exist, endure, suffer,

all the angels in heaven would know i’m gone

the small dog would cease missing me

in the morning

the small birds would fly away


i would have gone

i would have left,

i would abandon this dead-end called desolation

this country without a flag, this calamity,

its government and hangmen, these casualties,

our proletariat,  all this destitution

gone, all gone,

then i would go away again

i would leave

just to be certain, just to be without doubt,

only now to be neither master nor slave

In this hell, in our unwritten history, here, at this conjuncture,

this contradiction among the workers,

on this street of the sniper, in this hospital

for the sick,

in this place where we are all dying

and that then

would be the first day and the first evening

the light separated from darkness,

like day from night

and i would look over all the loss

and the love and the hardship of it all,

the friends dying on the floor

these comrades shot on the street

the ones dying of despair

the others of desperation,

the helplessness of children

the cruelty of these young men marching to war

this silence like our hope on a gallows

all the longing, dreaming, aching and undoing

i would look at it all

and know

because of our dream,

because of my dream, and your dream,

because of our clandestine, collective and democratic dream,

I would know

in my heart and in my soul,

and with this fire of our bellies

and bigger than our broken minds

and more deadly than disease or death or famine

or these lies we tell each other

daily by the hour and by the century

as of history had no destination

and our pain no end:

I would know

it was




And write

you both


in your hour of

dark despair.


séamas carraher



Tahir Elçi, the former President of the Diyarbakir Bar Association, 19 October, 2015

By Mahmut Bozarslan (VOA) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Journalist Sergio Finardi


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