This Sinister Noose!


This Sinister Noose!
by Azadeh Azad

(For Fatemeh Haghighat-Pajouh)













From the top of a yellow crane,

Behind the high walls of Evin

A knotted hanging rope dangles

Over my life it’s nigh to drain.


My name is Fatima Truth-Seeker

The speaker of a tale of finding me

Between a rock and a very hard place

Breeding a death sentence for either case

Whether to let a man rape my daughter

And see her sentenced to death for that

Or to kill the rapist and be killed myself

By a State that is the Grim Reaper’s brat


I release my mind for the flick of a second

And make friends with the blue of the sky

As the noose is thrown around my neck

On the orders of

men of cloak and wreck

Time-traveller tyrants from Old Arabia

To strangle me following their Sharia Law

For having defended my girl against a goon

For being chided by the kinfolk of the dead stud

For not affording the high price of his blood.


No wonder in this darkest field of steel weeds

And strangler vines, there are flowers and stars

Maryam / Elnaz / Jelveh / Nahind / Parvin turning

Darkness into light, stillness into dancing

Dreaming not of a Saviour, not of a One

Who is like no one, but of themselves alone

The way they ought to be

When they’re awake.


They go on the road, door to door,

Quarter to quarter, city to village

Voicing words, passing pamphlets,

Enacting ordeals, collecting signatures

In support of changes to tribal laws

Against women, i

n defiance of sordid men

With crystallised crevices in their brains.


They go through revolving doors

Of Evin hell, of the Dark Ages minds

In the language of quiet change, convicted

Of pregnancy of women’s parity.


They emerge from that hell with celebrations,

Gather in each other’s houses, refresh their vows

And keep at it hard and heavy till Enlightenment

Comes in and takes it on its shoulder

In the year of One.


But for now, the Cosmos calls, my cries and

My girl’s craving composition to Ayatollah

Were not heard. So I give voice to my blood

Ready to break loose out of this geography

Grasping the truth of my circumstance.


When Mullahs’ crane hoists me high up into the air

They’re not sending a woman to the moon

They’re not lifting the moral of a nation

They’re waving the banner of men’s right,

On International Day for Elimination

Of Violence against women, to rape women,

to degrade women, to batter them.


This is the meat of my truth I tear

From the bone of experience year after year.

What is your experience with a noose?


Where were you in November 2008?

Did you attend my upward dying?

Did you fly with me to the edge?

Would you pledge to hold me awhile

When death catches you in a

Noose of sorrow in exile?


©2009, Azadeh Azad


more from Azadeh Azad

Dear Azahdeh,

by Princess on

Just to let you know that I have heard your question and am still thinking. It's not easy... :)

Azadeh Azad

What is to be done?

by Azadeh Azad on

Thank you, everyone. 

The grass-root efforts of the "One Million Signatures Campaign" to change discriminatory laws against women are not working; nor are the Amnesty International’s efforts in protecting human rights and in opposing the death penalty. Shirin Ebadi's office is vandalised and locked down. Most importantly, there is no united opposition within and/or outside of Iran. So, What is to be done?


Darius Kadivar

Thank you Azadeh

by Darius Kadivar on

When will this vicious cycle of unjust violence come to an end in our country ? I wonder ...

Thank you for commemorating this with this powerful poem.



Dear Azadeh,

by Princess on

Thank you for commemorating Fatima Haghighat-Pajouh's tragic destiny with this moving poem.

Beautiful and every verse as painful as it should be...


What a shame

by go figure (not verified) on

What a shame! Death to unjust religious rule and its ruler!



by IRANdokht on

very touching poem.

I cried when I heard about her fate. As a woman and a mother it wasn't hard to understand the outrage she felt about what was happening to her daughter, knowing how the unjust system worked and having to deal with it on her own. 

Thank you for the reminder, she is one of the countless victims of IRI's injustice.