Giulio Regeni Disappeared


On 25th January 2016 Giulio Regeni disappeared?

And nine days later as if by magic reappeared.


Words like disappeared seem so utterly stupid

as if the torturers and killers didn’t know then and now

who I was, where I was, and what they’d done to me

over those long hours, of those nine days and nights.


Now in the silence I will speak about me and them.

Three times you broke my bones, and tore the nails

from my feet, and my hands and please forgive me

I confess I fully lost count of the number of times

you burnt me with cigarettes. Did you forget?

And you punctured my body with stab wounds.

And how could I overlook the sparks and electrodes

on my genitals, after all I was a man among you men

and then you severed my spine with that final blow.


And so you took my life. Another of those stupid phrases

but the torturers and executioners have many lives.

So many lives. Far too many for me to describe.

Imagine them with their wives and their children

with all that blood and gore, my blood washed

and cleansed, as they handle their daughters, sons,

mothers too. The intimate way they touch their wives.

How are they clean and free from all that stains them?

How do they forget what it felt like holding me down?

Of the sound of my breathing, of the smell of my sweat

as they strapped me and held me down. Is it forgotten?


Let’s agree not to call them monsters and demons.

Shall we? They are brothers, fathers, uncles, sons.

if we make them different, we act and conspire

to make them special, different to the rest of us.

Making them different provides an excuse for us

to say too that we would not do what they did or do,

when in fact they are like us, all of us, me and you.

A sickness has been unleashed on this earth, this world.

Humans look at what you are, and all of what you do.


On 25th January 2016 Giulio Regeni disappeared.

The executioner’s reality was – he was in plain view!


Paola Deffendi is still waiting.


Paola Deffendi is waiting.

Giulio Regeni her son lies buried under a line of cypress trees.

Her son’s gravestone is just a plain marble slab.

Unadorned except for flowers, devotional candles and a small photograph

His face open and earnest.


Paola Deffendi is waiting.

‘It’s all over, the happiness of our family was so short.’’

She waits for justice to be done and for truth to be told.

Veritas for Giulio Regeni.

And love will triumph, love for a child will not be out done.

His face open and earnest.


Paola Deffendi is waiting.

Nagy said – ‘‘We will just have to wait. Inshallah, something will come of it.’’

And the secrecy of darkness enfolds always playing for time.

Hoping people will forget, and we and the world will stop watching.

And Giulio Regeni lies buried under a line of cypress trees

His gravestone a plain marble slab.


Paola Deffendi is waiting.

For the real truth and not the convenient truth to be revealed.

And those at the top who know – have secrets in the darkness of their hearts

Giulio Regini’s broken and violated body was left propped up

Waiting to be found. But they’d found it already

It was in plain view. And they knew, they knew.



Paola Deffendi is waiting.

A mother honours the child she brought into this world,

The son she loved and watched as any mother would.

A child who grew into manhood with brilliance and compassion

And the intense inquisitiveness that showed his humanity

And now Giulio Regeni lies buried under a line of cypress trees.


“But we will not stop until we find an answer. We owe it to his mother.”


A love song to Giulio Regini and the disappeared.


Your soul is a bright shining flame

A beacon shining through darkness

For those who stand in days brightness.

It will never light those hiding in shame


Your spirit is the brightest of stars

That sparkles glowing in the night sky

So bright it shines through the lie

Of those who took you in their cars.


Your name and life will be remembered

Poems will be written about you

Love songs will be sung to you

Your name and life will be honoured.


This is a love song to Giulio Regini

And to all those who disappeared

Whose lives and memories are dear

For all those taken from the warmth

Of their families and people they loved

This a love song to sing to the stars

This a love song to be sung loud and clear

This is a love song to Giulio Regini.




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