Shakila Naseer

Working Note

When I was 10 years old I started reading the work of great poems encouraged and helped by my mother. So I think the first base of understanding poetry techniques and formations was established at that time in my mind. Because many years later when I wanted to write poems the idea would come to my mind and I would write it on a piece of paper. Then I didn’t need to reconstruct the verses, add or delete any words. When I am not in the mood of writing a poem, I can’t do it. So it just naturally comes to my mind and I put it on paper. When I showed my first poem to a poet in my faculty, he was surprised and didn’t believe it.  He encouraged me to write whenever such ideas come to my mind.  I almost had a good collection of my poems while I was doing my degree at the university, but I gave it to one of my classmates to keep because I couldn’t take it home.  She went away and took my collection with her.  Since then I didn’t have any access to it.  I must say that because of being a woman I never felt myself so relaxed and free to put on paper whatever comes to my mind due to many restrictions. However, I have a few poems that step out of the framework of the areas I was allowed.



An Oath

I swear to the restless hearts
of wandering people,
To the sorrows and miseries of the homeless,
To the bitterness and pains of the poor,
To the desperate heart of a mournful mother,
I swear to the body of a brave soldier  falling for his homeland,
I swear to your green valleys
high mountains and ever-blue sky,
I swear to your brave sons and daughters
who stand for you,
I swear to the Holy books,
I swear to almighty God, the creator,
That I shall give
Not even a tiny peace of your soil,
Oh, my beloved homeland!
For the entire world.


I am a fallen fish
on a faraway, empty shore,
without hope, without wish.
If you don’t come to my salvation
Oh roaring wave!
I’ll die of the thirst.

Bio: Shakila Naseer was born in 1949 in Afghanistan. A mother of four sons, she graduated from the Faculty of Languages and Literature, Kabul University, in1981.  She worked as a lecturer in the same faculty until 1992.  In 1994, she migrated to Australia.  She finished a diploma of Social Science Community Justice in Eastern College of TAFE, Victoria, Australia in 1997. She has been working as an accredited interpreter in Victoria and other states of Australia since 1998.

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