Seven Pillars House of Wisdom > Poetry > The Death of Neda

The Death of Neda

William Irwin Thompson

The whites of her eyes rolled up like a saint Neda
in a filmed drama of staged yogic bliss,
then her head turned and showed it was not paint
that guttered out. The sniper did not miss,
in spite of Neda's black Persian Hijab,
the perfect placing of his pervert's kiss,
but he was just doing his Basij job;
the street was not the place for their complaint.
Religion is the robed disguise of thugs,
whether snipers on the roofs shooting girls,
Taliban buying guns by selling drugs,
West Bank settlers with their Uzis and curls
stealing wells with walls and Adonai's will,
who gave them the land and license to kill.

Comments (3)
  • Thank you for this sonnet of tribute to Neda and all the other innocents damaged/destroyed by “disguised thugs.”

    — Lisa on June 25, 2009

  • I like the sentence fragment nine lines down “Religion is the robed disguise . . .”  It is too often true that the journey toward the great mystery is hindered by religions which create the great spirits in the image of man.

    — John Womack on May 13, 2010

  • The abrupt ending of this piece is beautiful, and poignantly final.

    It feels cut off, prematurely. For obvious reasons.

    I like it. Thank you.

    — Morgan Daly on January 24, 2011

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24 June 2009

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