Like An Arrow

Mahdi Hashemi

Ghazni, Afghanistan, raised in Iran


It took a month: the trip
That wasn’t a trip at all,
But rather a horror
Towards the land of hope.

Now I am waiting for a paper
That may contain bitterness and grief.
And I feel like an arrow.
Which should return
To its bow.

Brief portrait Mahdi Hashemi


Translation from German: Maxmarie Wilmoth

Only You

Mahdi Hashemi

Ghazni, Afghanistan, raised in Iran


We now see times
In which you are there,
And only you.
You love and you are not loved.
You feel intimacy and nobody is there
To lean on.
You have everything, and yet you have nothing.
The wound hidden
Behind the veil of tears,
The secret remains unread.


more: Mahdi Hashemi

Rules in the Institution

Mahdi Hashemi

Ghazni, Afghanistan


If you use the telephone,
I’ll take it away from you!

I want to go out!
You aren’t allowed out in the evening.

I want to watch a film!
Only until ten o’clock!

I don’t want to go to school tomorrow!
Then we’ll throw you out!

Can I sleep at a friend’s place tomorrow?
No, tomorrow you have to go to school!

Can I go back to Iran?
No, that’s not legal.

Can I die?
You’re crazy. No, you have no right to do that.

Can I live?
That’s a difficult question.


The Poetry Project | Foto © Rottkay

Mahdi Hashemi (*2000)

When he was an infant, his family fled from Afghanistan to Iran. There, he grew up as a refugee, close to the capital Tehran. Mahdi Hashemi writes about why Afghan refugees in Iran even apologise for breathing the air there. Photo © Rottkay