Roya Turkhel

Rolling Stones “Ruby Tuesday”

It isn’t often I click on a Rolling Stones track when I am cruising Spotify. They never rolling stonesappealed to me in the way that many other bands have but they are a party favourite and when I ran a disco you couldn’t have a night without them. You were always guaranteed to get everyone up on the dance floor if you played “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” or “Let’s spend the night together”. It’s remarkable that they are still touring and even more remarkable¬† that all of them (except Brian Jones) are still alive.

However the track was playing on the radio recently and I started to think about who Ruby Tuesday was and this week’s poem is her story (although a completely invented one) in her voice.¬†

Roya Turkhel

I am not Ruby Tuesday

I never was

My name is Roya Turkhel

But no one took the time

To learn how to pronounce my name

They gave me another instead


I am a descendant of Ahmad Shah Durrani

The founder of Afghanistan

I am Pashtun

I am a woman of no importance

To them

To them I am an insignificance

The cleaner of plates

The sweeper of floors


They robbed me of my name

Made it into a monument

To their hubris and importance

They never asked me

Where I came from

I am generations of yesterdays

Of Princes and Princesses

Lords of mountains

Keepers of history


To them I am a dark face

From a dark corner of the world

My name, like my country

Is an asset that enriches them

Yesterday does matter

I cling to yesterday

Because the mountains of the Kush weep bitter tears

That flow through the dusty streets of Kabul

Because in Kandahar the desert blown sand

Covers the tomb of Ahmad Shah Durrani

I am not Ruby Tuesday

I am Roya Turkhel

Great, Great, Great Granddaughter of a King


© Jeff Price May 2018