Devil at Your Door

Gates to Syunik (Photo: Anna Astvatsaturian Turcotte)

When the Devil came to fight,
You did not listen to our cries,
Shrugged shoulders you lived on.
And here we are…

When our bodies were set ablaze,
Mutilated, raped, and torn apart.
You turned your eyes away, in boredom
You were so warm, well-fed, and safe.

You lived for now; you did not care.
Because our pain wasn’t yours to bear.
And our loss was ours alone.
Now … the Devil’s at your door.

It targets you for who you Are.
It hunts you down day and night.
Because your blood is what it seeks
Regardless of your place and rights.

Suspicious of your thoughts, it strikes
Because the gates were open wide.
And you have welcomed it with hopes,
Negotiating with an open mind.

But that is not how devils fight.

It will destroy you and your mind.
It will devour your spirits whole.
And still, I raise my head to fight,
And raise my hands in faith and hope.

Despite past sins, despite your pride
I am with you against its hate…
Because you Are, and so Am I…
Because we know how devils fight.

Anna Astvatsaturian Turcotte

Anna Astvatsaturian Turcotte

Anna Astvatsaturian Turcotte is an Armenian-American writer, lecturer, activist and politician. She is a refugee from Baku, Azerbaijan and authored "Nowhere, a Story of Exile"—a book based on the diaries she kept as a child escaping ethnic cleansing. Anna lectures extensively about the plight of Armenians in Azerbaijan in the context of human rights and international law, as well as the Nagorno-Karabagh Republic's (Artsakh/NKR) right to self-determination. In 2015, she was elected member of the Westbrook, Maine City Council.
Anna Astvatsaturian Turcotte

Latest posts by Anna Astvatsaturian Turcotte (see all)


  1. Thank you Harkeli Anna. Such a precise description, from somebody who has felt it on her skin and the bodies of her people.

  2. A beautiful poem. As it started I thought it was a reflection on Asvadz having abandoned us. The two martyred apostles help convert a pagan country to Christianity. I wonder what these Armenian people in Armenia and the diaspora did to alienate Asvadz. Have we found so many distractions that we have no time for church, no time to raise our children as anything but part-time Christians. Is that why Asvadz ignores our plight since 1897 Hamid times when 300,000 died then 1915 then Sumgait 1989 to 2020, 2021 and 2022. Are we getting punished as Asvadz did to the Israelis after he saved them from slavery.

  3. Psalm 37:4-5 – Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.

    Jeremiah 29:12-13;- “Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

    2 Chronicles 7:14 – If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

    Psalm 145:18 ESV – The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.

    Psalm 37:4 ESV – Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

    God promises eternal life for those who acknowledge that they have gone after their own wills and desires and who choose to follow him instead, trusting in his word and punishment he bore for all of our sins. We all deserve damnation because we have all rejected God as authority. But if we turn from wanting to go our own ways (repent) and trust in him and his payment for our sins, we will be forgiven and pass from death to life. He will be with us forever and change our hearts and minds from the inside to be a new creation that hates sin and loves God.

    God promises persecution and lots of evils while we are here in this world, because he said in John 15:20 Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.

    But God will be with us if we persevere and remember that this world is temporary and for those who have repented and put their trust in Jesus Christ and made him their Lord, their boss, their master and submit to Him, their home is forever in heaven and our citizenship is there.

    I pray for all those suffering immense evil that I can not even imagine and I pray for God’s grace and love to pour into their hearts as we can not do this in our own strengths, minds, or wills. We can only be victorious through these trials through the Spirit of God who forgave us as evil sinners as well. Lord help those who haven’t been passed from death to life yet to seek your face and strengthen all those who have. Have mercy on us all Lord and thank you for All that you are.

    • God does not punish! If I may bring a different perspective. The second commandment that I fear we Armenians fail again and again says: “Love your neighbour as yourself”. What does it really mean? Since my childhood I had pondered over this to how can I love the Turks who had done so much damage to my family and my entire people and historical mother land? The answer came to me through living my life and realising that the biggest sin that I had committed in my life was to hate myself! Of course I was not aware of this fact until I went through therapy and years of emotional suffering which later on developed into a debilitating physical ailment. If I hate the life given to me by the almighty source of life which is the biggest gift of all. Not only that but also hating the image I was born with. As God made man in his image he also became man. The breath he gave us is nothing but His gift going in and out of our system. How many of us acknowledges this and thanks Him for facilitating himself to sustain us from birth to the day we leave our bodies? So if he made us in his image that means we too are gods and therefore worthy of love. Most importantly our own love for the self. How can we love anything else outside of ourselves if we have not first mastered this one fundamental truth to love God by loving ourselves first as He resides in all of us and in everything else. As I see it throughout our history we failed again and again to be one as a nation. The enemy like a wolf licking its lips rejoicing when we fight each other when we should be one against the intruders. Self hate is our down fall and we can’t blame others for it! I am learning to love myself and be kind and gentle towards myself. I don’t blame my people for that or my parents or grand parents or their parents. They suffered and survived against all odds from them I inherited resilience and a survival mechanism. But also I saw how they did not know how to teach me to love myself. They were busy surviving! I am a child of 1915 genocide survivor, I have children and grand children and I can see how this shocking trauma is slithering its way down the generations. To stop this we need to do our homework and start now. Love yourselves, be kind to yourselves. God does not punish. He is waiting to see when it will sink in this love for self? Because if we did we would not put up with so much s**t!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.