Friday, May 30, 2014

Secrets of Granite & Rain


Walking in the rain through the silence of the cemetery, 
she secretly hoped for it to rain once in a while after she is gone,
so her headstone, which she also secretly hoped to be of black granite, 
could shine with the rain. 
She could never afford to have granite countertops in her kitchen, 
but she secretly decided to save enough to get herself a black granite headstone or maybe gray!
She continued her walk. 
And the trees kept the secrets of granite and rain through the silence of the cemetery.




Friday, March 07, 2014

A Window Next To Her Weaving Loom!

Splash water on a red mud brick wall.
Press your face on the wall and take a deep, deep, breath!
Next to the scent of fried garlic and raspberry jam, 
rows of red mud bricks forming a wall in my lungs.  

There was a window next to her weaving loom.
Her bed was hidden behind the loom.
Her tender figure walked religiously around the tiny apartment,
telling stories of a house woven out of her tireless fingers;
A three-story house my grandfather built and her woven carpets paid for, brick by brick.

I remember that house with its red mud brick walls, two Iwans, six rooms, and a tiled blue pool that chilled our watermelons in the summers of Tehran.
I remember that garden.
On Fridays, my uncle with the garden hose sketched our silhouettes on the brick wall; our boney silhouettes evaporating, leaving an earthy trace in our lungs. 

She walked around her tiny apartment telling stories of witty princesses, fairies and genies, lions and mice, and in between the charm of her stories and our afternoon tea, she tied the knots of her memories into her latest carpet.

I did not see her last walk around her tiny apartment;
I was not there when her last carpet was cut off the loom;
I did not hear her last story.

In my lungs, a wall is being made of red mud bricks,
She is still walking
Walls are always mightier than windows, 
Walls surround; windows release.
There, between the scent of a wet mud brick wall and the magic of her stories, is a window with tulips on its frame.
Her weaving loom is resting in the light.


*In the memory of my grandmother, our Aziz. Happy International Women’s Day! Happy March 8th!

Monday, February 03, 2014

The Memory of Our Massacrous Hands!

The massacre occurred quietly on a Saturday afternoon.
Sunshine deceived us into the yard.
There, they were, with their tender existence; unnoticed! 

Fixing after a long forgotten storm did not take long; 
a couple of beers went quickly in between a nail-and-hammer argument. 
And all through, there they were, in the corners of a modest rectangular garden.

The massacre occurred quietly on a Saturday afternoon.
The soil remained under my finger nails through Sunday; a stain of a massacre in the name of order. 

Myosotis were gone, along with the other unwanted plants; weeds!  

Later that afternoon I remembered; Myosotis are also called forget-me-nots!
A tragic irony; forget-me-not!
How a tender existence is lost to the memory of our massacrous hands.

Monday, January 06, 2014

Foreigners In A Living Room



Its presence was felt,
not for its height, or its mighty radius branching out in my living room,

Its presence was felt,
not for the traces it left behind;
pieces of him that reminded me of Hansel’s trail of breadcrumbs,
pieces that made me fear for the day it would find its way back home,
and back home would not be with me in my living room,
very much so, that my living room did not belong to me,
or me to it! 

Its presence was felt,
not for the chain of the blue lights that I forced on it,
which shined through the night, proudly, like a train of a peacock on display,   

Its presence was felt,
not for its foreign aroma, belonging to a long-forgotten forest,
or for the happiness it brought to the eyes of a child once passed by my window,

Its presence was felt,
for the aura it left in me, that forced me to think of it as a He!

His presence,  
with a foreign aroma that chained me in an illuminated blue dream,
was felt!
His presence was felt, for it touched mine; 
we were two foreigners in a living room!


* For the mightiness the first christmas tree in my living room brought to my days. 

Monday, September 02, 2013

Remembering Heaney on His Funeral

Today the funeral ceremony of Seamus Heaney was held in his native Bellaghy. Heaney's poetry walks that rough path on the edge of quotidian events and mystical recognitions.  One of my favorite passages in literature comes from his poem Lovers on Aran.
"Did sea define the land or land the sea? 
Each drew new meaning from the waves' collision.
Sea broke on land to full identity."*

And of course my personal favorite for his forwardness and wit is this short piece which was written as an objection to being included in an anthology of British poetry in 1982. He recognized himself as Irish. 

"Be advised my passport's green.
No glass of ours was ever raised
to toast the Queen.

Seamus Heaney was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1995 "for works of lyrical beauty and ethical depth, which exalt everyday miracles and the living past".


* Lovers on Aran

The timeless waves, bright, sifting, broken glass,
Came dazzling around, into the rocks,
Came glinting, sifting from the Americas

To posess Aran. Or did Aran rush
to throw wide arms of rock around a tide
That yielded with an ebb, with a soft crash?

Did sea define the land or land the sea?
Each drew new meaning from the waves' collision.
Sea broke on land to full identity.