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Two poems by Erkan Kadir

“There’s no land for us,” writes the poet Erkan Kadir in his poem “Poverty” about the tragic destiny of the Uyghur in China. In 2016 he left the Xinjiang Province in China for studies in Turkey, but he continues to write about, and to work for, the Uyghur struggle. His poetry, characterised by a melancholic nostalgia and a strong yearning for something that has gone lost, has become very popular in the Uyghur diaspora.

Credits Author: Erkan Kadir Translation from Uyghur: Sübhi May 08 2020

This Land is Mine

Hang me on poplar tree, upside down,
Exile me to Teklimakan,
This land is mine!

Let me melt for it,
Let me die for it,
It’s not just a story that I am telling,
I’s not a fable!
My homeland is the seal on my heart,
With my faith, it intertwined!

A flower blossoms under a light paddle,
A heart cries in debt of its homeland.
Seeking for your smell in the wind,
Your son is refugee in the foreign land.

Birds’ chirping sounds like “homeland”,
Eyes shatters with the mentioning of it!
My homeland is my yesterday’s face,
My homeland is my final self!
My bones are its trees,
And my skin paves its ways.

A strong man is crying,
In a windowless house with shut doors,
Unable to locate his country on the map!

His heart is incomplete, unable to see,
His eyes are growing dim, unable to feel,
His glorious history is not understood,
He has a great faith that couldn’t be found,
He has...

Hang me on poplar tree, upside down,
Bury me in Taklimakan,
With my longing for homeland,
In a bonfire, let me burn!
Make wine out of my ashes,
Drink it to your heart’s content.
Make a dap* out of my love,
And play it to your heart’s content.
Get delirious with my music,
Sing at the top of your lung,
This land is mine,
This land is mine!

*dap is a musical instrument of Uyghur.


I saw it looking in your eyes,
The wounds, the past
That enveloped us,
And burdened us ...
The love coming through the forest in you,
Spread out on your wings.

The loose bones of time on our hands,
And an old key to a house.
We know neither how to fix the time,
Nor how to open the door.

There’s no time for us,
And there’s no space!

Do you see what we’re in?
The same torture, the same wounds!
Our land is crying too!
Hard to revive our cause,
Hardly anyone to come to our aid.
The wounds are getting bigger,
While we are cleaning up the dynasties,
With our voice in our refugee life!

Looking into your eyes,
I saw it, the deep anguish,
Trying hard to break away,
From the suffering of the Mythical mountain,
Unable to leave on the wings of the tightup wind!

There are no wings for us,
And there’s no wind!

Looking at your face,
Words retreated back to lines!
Talking about us,
The future that was brought up!
Remembering us,
The past that was mentioned!
Questioning us,
It was answered with blood!
Are you seeing a land,
A land that lost its sky!
Are you seeing a sky,
A sky that parted away from its land!

There’s no land for us,
And there’s no sky!

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