Project Description

Mohammed Khaki

Mohammed Khaki is a Kurdish poet from Iran who writes in both Kurdish and Farsi and has written four volumes of poetry. When he was 16, he was imprisoned for three years for possessing an unauthorised poetry book, having originally been sentenced to twelve years. He left for the Kurdish area of Iraq where he worked for a broadcasting station for eight years and, in addition, edited a newspaper. In the UK, he works voluntarily for refugees as well as running his own business.

Butterfly Sleep
(for my daughter Alan)

Hey! Migrating birds
Returning from the East of homesickness,
Have you seen my little daughter?

Why are you silent?
have you seen the tresses of my sad, tiny bird?

Waves, be calm.
Reed-beds, be still
Wind, don’t disturb the forest.
Butterflies, flap your wings gently
Else you’ll startle the sleeping gazelles
From my daughter’s eyes.


If one day
Your jasmine sweet memory
came with he zephyrs of spring
ruffling the pages of my poetry
Which drop of rain –
would wash away my homesickness.

My Wish

In my dreams
I come to your tent
filling my shepherd’s basket with
the songs of mountain starlings.
I am making a bed of sweet violets
entwining my arms as honeysuckle
for you.