Poems for Pussy Riot: Thirst by John Siddique

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On 13 September, English PEN launched ‘Poems for Pussy Riot‘ in support of three members of the Russian punk band –  Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich – who are currently serving a  two year prison sentence. We will be posting poems dedicated to Nadezdha, Maria and Yekaterina in the weeks leading up to their appeal hearing on 1 October.

Our next contribution comes from poet and author John Siddique.

 

Thirst

 

Imagine thirst without knowing water.

And you ask me what freedom means.

Imagine love without love.

 

Some things are unthinkable,

until one day the unthinkable is here.

Imagine thirst without knowing water.

 

Some things we assume just are as they are,

no action is taken to make or sustain them.

Imagine love without love.

 

It is fear that eats the heart: fear and

endless talk, and not risking a step.

Imagine thirst without knowing water.

 

Fold away your beautiful thoughts.

Talk away curiosity, chatter away truth.

Imagine love without love.

 

Imagine believing in the whispers,

the screams and the gossip. Dancing to a tune

with no song to sing inside you.

Imagine love without love.

 

 

Unwritten

 

Unwrite her name. Undo the letters of

her name. Take away all reference of her

from your bibles and scrolls, take God’s wife

from him and make him in your own image.

Make him lonely; make him what you need him

to be. Make her a deamon, a screech owl,

a succubus, an invader of your unspoken dreams.

 

From Full Blood (Salt Publishing, 2011)

 

Unwritten from John Siddique on Vimeo.

 

Poems for Pussy Riot posts

Poems for Pussy Riot – an introduction to the project

Soutien-Gorge: Ira Lightman

Vagina: Sophie Mayer

Song: Ali Smith

Abridged and Complete Biography of Olympe de Gouge: Claire Trévien

Women of the Year: Betty Doyle

Weapons of Minor Destruction: Sandra Alland

Our Glorious Leader Putin: Jack Underwood

Cat Power: Amy Key

Avoid using the word “pussy”: Charlotte Geater

Poem with Four Vaginal Walls: Mark Burnhope

Sheela na gig (deconstructed): Sarah Crewe

Dance of the Seven Veils: Alison Croggon

Skylined: Gareth Evans

Vox Populi (A poem for voices): Steve Heighton

The Eye of the Needle: Aoife Mannix

Ne (No): Wayne Burrows

Vaginaland: Jen Campbell

We Jew women: Translated by Marek Kazmierski

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