Dikra Ridha is an Iraqi-British poet who completed an MA at Bath Spa University, from which emerged this selection of poems. She lives in the south west of England where she works as a freelance translator.There are no Americans in Baghdad's Bird Market is Dikra's debut pamphlet. Exiled and driven by her perception of the distance from her relatives in Baghdad, Dikra writes between cultures and languages in an attempt to capture their voices and transform them into words. A number of these poems have appeared in publications across the UK and Australia.
It is her wealth of tragic imagination that enables Dikra to evoke the murderous war-zones of Iraq with such intensity. This is a brilliant debut. Among the multitudinous neophytes she is the one to watch.
There are no Americans in Baghdad's Bird Market
£5 inc p&p (UK)
ISBN 978 1 904551 80 5
When the war against us began
I was building a tower of cards
in the garden,
each card had drawings;
me on your land; us embracing.
Jiddu, the top card
was of my uncles, aunties and cousins,
sitting in a closed circle, which opened up
with laughter like petals. I turned
to catch the kiss you blew.
Did you know I would grow up to forget
your songs, beyond two oceans
where the sun is pale and the wind froze
when I spoke of you in Baghdad?
Clouds fell on the pictures I drew,
they ran in dirty water. Streaks
of yellows and greens took
a last glance at the sky.