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.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Romantic Sensibility & Existentialist Mind

How I find my self trapped in my ever-reducing sensations, which are damaged by the conditions of my existence, I do not know. And why is it that way, does not matter anymore.It should have never mattered.  Perhaps one day I will figure the ways in which the daily matters of existence operate. And I fear that day, for my days will be the most tedious after the figuration happens; when there are no more questions left, there will be no motivations to continue one's existence. I will consider myself 'learned' if one day I find the kind of conviction that Rilke displayed in his letters to "the young poet," the dear Mr. Kappus, for he despite his dilemmatic struggles writes: 

"But every thing that may someday be possible for many people, the solitary man can now,already, prepare and build with his own hands, which make fewer mistakes.Therefore, dear Sir, love your solitude and try to sing out with the pain it causes you. For those who are near you are far away, you write, and this shows that the space around you is beginning to grow vast. And if what is near you is far away, then your vastness is already among the stars and is very great; be happy about your growth, in which of course you can't take anyone with you, and be gentle with those who stay behind; be confident and calm in front of them and don't torment them with your doubts and don't frighten them with your faith or joy, which they wouldn't be able to comprehend. Seek out some simple and true feeling of what you have in common with them, which doesn't necessarily have to alter when you yourself change again and again; when you see them, love life in a form that is not your own and be indulgent toward those who are growing old, who are afraid of the aloneness that you trust. Avoid providing material for the drama, that is always stretched tight between parent and children; it uses up much of the children's strength and wastes the love of the elders, which acts and warms even if it doesn't comprehend Don't ask for any advice from them and don't expect any understanding; but believe in a love that is being stored up for you like an inheritance, and have faith that in this love there is a strength and a blessing so large that you can travel as far as you wish without having to step outside it." [ Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet, Worpswede, near Bremen, July 16, 1903.]

Maybe one day I will find such conviction, but for now, it is time for me to do the"heart-work!"*

*"The work of the eyes is done. Go now and do the heart-work on the images imprisoned within you." [Rilke, Wendung (Turning Point)]