Poet Mohammad Bashir al-Aani murdered by ISIS

Poet Mohammad Bashir al-Aani murdered by ISIS

‘ISIS terrorist organization killed the poet Mohammad Bashir al-Aani and his son Eyass in Deir Ezzor city, local sources said on Thursday. ISIS terrorists kidnapped the poet and his son from their house two months ago and led them to an unidentified place. Al-Aani, who was born in 1960, is one of the prominent poets from the eastern Deir Ezzor province and a member of Arab Writers Union in Syria. He wrote three books of poetry.’ (Deir Ezzor, SANA – March 11.

We know poetry matters (we being you who are reading this), many don’t, many don’t care. Mohammad Bashir al-Aani was rounded up with a hundred others in their home town of Deir Ezzor. ISIS fighters may not have cared if he wrote poetry, whether or not he used his whole body/mind – reason and feeling and imagination. A poet has no more right to be mourned than any other law abiding citizen (hundreds are dying anonymous to us nearly every day), but he or she deserves remembrance and celebration, by lovers of poetry.  I could not find any of his poems to post.

I loved travelling through Syria and found Syrians very hospitable. See this earlier post. I cannot comprehend what has happened.

Here is an extract from my poem ‘Exposure’, forthcoming in Writing to the Wire anthology, Eds, Kit Kelen and Dan Disney, UWAP,

I’ve found a photograph. I’m on the walls of Aleppo’s great castle with two guys
who gave me a lift from the border and more. We are cool resurrections confident
the present will stay present. I wrote a thank you then immediately lost their names.
A recent photograph shows Aleppo’s Queiq captured in a concrete sluice.
There are plenty of bodies, some stand circulating blood on a green bank
gazing into the muddy damp bottom where those with no further use for blood
have fallen over – more than one hundred netted since the floodwaters receded.
History plays with lives as it buckles the massive walls of the medieval citadel.


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