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Monday, October 13, 2014


by Jude Cowan Montague

MURSITPINAR, TURKEY — Kurdish fighters have been able to halt the advance of the Islamic State extremist group in the Syrian border town of Kobani, where the U.S.-led coalition has been carrying out airstrikes for more than two weeks, activists said Sunday. In this Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014 file photo, a Turkish Kurd, standing in Mursitpinar, Turkey, on the Turkey-Syria border, watches smoke from fires caused by strikes during fighting between militants of the Islamic State group and Kurdish forces in Kobani, Syria. The predominantly Kurdish town of Kobani has been transformed from a dusty backwater into a symbol of resistance for Kurds around the world. The battle is now playing out in Kobani’s streets and alleyways - a fight being watched by scores of Syrian and Turkish Kurds, as well as dozens of journalists, through binoculars from hilltops and farms just across the border in Turkey. The international media spotlight, has helped turn the defense of Kobani into a very public test for the American-led international effort to roll back and ultimately destroy the Islamic State group. --Lefteris Pitarakis, AP, October 12, 2014

The tanks have left marks
where they crawled up the hill
to sit on the Kobani border.
No shadow.
Tank one wishes he was in the shade.
Tank two is trying to remember his name.
Tank three's mother is worried about him.
Tank four has lost his will to move.
They sit, smoke rising from the city in the valley.
Trees between the boxes are so tall and thin,
squeezing through, they point to the clouds.
White smoke like white hair
wafts up the concrete hillside.
What is happening in that house?
No one wants to go and see
this mysterious city.

Jude Cowan Montague is a writer, artist and composer who lives in London. She works as an archivist for Reuters Television. Her first collection of poetry, For the Messengers, was published by Donut Press in 2011. Her second, The Groodoyals of Terre Rouge, was published by Dark Windows Press in 2012. She makes musical improvisations on Reuters stories and these are available on the Parisian-based netlabel Three Legs Duck and other experimental works are available on the London-based netlabel Linear Obsessional.