These are Words Hung by the Neck

These are Words  Hung by the Neck


These are Words

hung by the Neck


The angelus of wars my chest evokes

(The Broken Tower Hart Crane)


Here are words

must have been


by the neck,


tarred and feathered


force-fed on hunger strike


the dumb motherfucking

stupidity of humans.


Such words wake

in the middle of the night


how come we have to live

in such a prison?

Why is it so dark?

Where has all the light gone?



why they are orphaned and so unloved


and how they are used as weapons

when in past lives

we were like flowers or birds

and flew free

over heads

whose tongues way below

were barely raised out of the mud?


Here there are words

must have been abandoned

in ghettos

lurking among the trash, homeless

and almost evicted from language itself,

words on TV when you can’t pull the plug

words that assaulted your sister, your mother,

your cousin


rich words dressed it smart suits

it never rains on

(in America:

“Let’s fucking kill him! Let’s go in. Let’s kill the fucking lot of them”

Donald Trump, April 2017, about Bashar al-Assad[1])


words instead of singing

went into politics and made money

words that hid in the dark

words that made it up the ladder

went down into the sewers

words that gave birth to secrets

better left unsaid

words like poison

like well-paid mercenaries

like refugees fleeing

across generations, religions, ideologies, passions.


Words, like Christians, but nailed to

someone else’s cross

in the wrong place and the wrong time

words trafficked, sold, prostituted,



These are words no one wants to hear

(in the Islamic Republic of Iran:

inciting corruption and prostitution”

“spreading propaganda against the system”

“gathering and colluding to commit crimes against national security” )


words everyone is afraid to laugh at

(in Turkey:

“open incitement to commit crimes”

“openly disparaging the state, the government, the judiciary, the military

and the security forces of the Republic of Turkey”

“disrupting the unity of the state and the integrity of the country”

“praising crimes and criminals”[2])


words of men (not really men)

(and women, likewise)

words with power

loaded like weapons

twisted like wire into whips

beaten brutally into flesh

burnt into brains


(in Turkey again:

 “…insult to Turkey[3], the Turkish nation[4], or Turkish government institutions”

“insulting the President” [5]

 “incitement to animosity”

“Insulting a public official for their duty”

“open incitement to defy the law”

“slander of a public official…)[6]


in so many places

(in China:

“Picking quarrels and provoking trouble” [7])

in the Philippines:

(“Hitler massacred three million Jews. Now there are three million drug addicts … I’d be happy to slaughter them.” Philippines president, Rodrigo Duterte[8])


everywhere, it seems

there are words

betrayed, brutalised, assaulted

left lying in the gutter with our dreams

left walking endlessly

the empty roads homeward

only to find

no one is there.


These are words

hung by the neck,

war-like words

armed to their teeth

then later

words crippled and maimed

without remorse

words it will take centuries

to drain the hate from

the greed from, the cruelty,

the twisted lust

that still tears tongues

from the mouths

of the unmentionable


words without brothers or sisters

words abandoned by the side of the road, among

ruins, beneath the wreckage, after the

soldiers have left, after the killing

has stopped.




These are words that tore the mask

from the face of monsters

words that wrote chapters in a history book

of horrors

words you could not believe


if you stood there

naked and shivering

wondering what planet you had

been born on

and where these cynical



sons of bitches

these liars, presidents, ‘politicians’,

these generals, thugs and hooligans

had come from


those with their fucking mouths on fire.

And their cold cruel hearts

buried in stone.


séamas carraher,

31 May 2019, Dublin –  9 September, Buttevant, Co. Cork


 Update, December, 2019 – Words hung by the neck?

Following Turkey’s 2018 cynical and murderous assault on language (to say nothing of the beings that speak it) Operation Olive Branch (Turkish: Zeytin Dalı Harekâtı)), on December 2, 2019 as part of (the equally murderous and cynical) Operation Peace Spring (Turkish: Barış Pınarı Harekâtı), Turkish artillery, shelling near a children’s school in Tal Rifaat, northern Aleppo, killed 8 children, all were under the age of 15 along with a number of adults and many injured… (‘Tal Rifaat Massacre’)


Our mission is to prevent the creation of a terror corridor across our southern border, and to bring peace to the area,” Turkish President and Chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (of “Democracy is like a tram; you get off when you have reached your destination.” fame) said, adding, “we will preserve Syria’s territorial integrity and liberate local communities from terrorists,”!


The Kurdish Red Crescent (Heyva Sor) released their report detailing the Turkish massacre of eight children alongside two adults in Til Rifat town of the Shehba Canton on December 2nd.


  1. Name: Abid Alfetah Aliko; Age: 3 years old
  2. Name: Aref Jafer Mohammad; Age: 6 years old
  3. Name: Mohammad Mohammad Omer; Age: 7 years old
  4. Name: Imad Ahmed Kefo; Age: 9 years old
  5. Name: Mustafa Mohammad Majeed; Age: 10 years old
  6. Name: Hemodeh Mohammmad Ali; Age: 11 years old

Two brothers

  1. Samir Abid Al Rehman Heso, 12 years old &
  2. Mohammad Abid Al Rehman Heso, 15 years old.
  3. Name: Ali Mehmoud Osman; Age: 54 years old
  4. Name: Husien Abid Allah Kul Dedeh; Age: 74 years old


R e f e r e n c e s


Cover Image (“fair use”)


The Broken Tower, by Hart Crane is from The Complete Poems of Hart Crane – The Centennial Edition, from Liveright Publishing, © 1932, pp. 160 and 161.



[1] …as quoted by “Bob Woodward, in The Washington Post

[2] 2 HDP MPs sentenced over terrorism charges

[3] Turkey Jails HDP MP Figen Yüksekdağ

[4] 2017, Another BEATING for Press Freedom in Turkey

[5] November, 2016

[6]  …as per Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code

[7] (It comes under article 293 of the 1997 revision of the People’s Republic of China’s Penal Code, and carries a maximum sentence of five years)

[8] Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte in his own words


Tags assigned to this article:
KurdistanOperation Olive BranchTopTurkey

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