Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Lost In The Distance!

I wish I had told him,
the old Farsi teacher who was asking me how he can apply for Canad immigration and if they need Farsi teachers?

I wish I had told him then,
before the painful forms, before the long corridors, before the exhaustion of experience,
and before the cost of memory!

I wish I had told him,
Farsi is a lost cause here.

I wish I had told him,
my mother tongue is buried deep under, and I cannot even hold my breath long enough to swim over and fetch it, not even in my dreams.

I wish I had told him,
my dreams are closer to the language of Foucault these days,
and Hafez has shrunk to a book on the extended bookshelf.

And believe it or not Foucault is a nightmare when dreamed!

I wish I had told him,
about the bitter taste of lost scents;
the smells that never leave and are lost in lust,
the smells of places and people,
and the smell of the ruins of one’s childhood!

I wish I had told him,
apples are tasteless here,
and there are no chubby Lebanese sweet lemons in reach!

I wish I had told him,
His students will always have bad handwriting and
They always expect the highest grade.

I wish I had told him,
at the end he will be a distant father of a happily married Canadian son,
With lifelong bills to pay,
And a thick Middle Eastern accent,
Which from time to time will remind him that he does not belong!

I wish I had told him all these in Farsi,
Before he gets lost in this distance like me.

I gave him the names of the two immigration attorneys, translated his CV and paid his application fee with my American-Express!

The Distant Kitchen,
Chickpea Chateau, August 2010

*I wrote this piece originally for the Shape of Change, this is an online archival project , which I am collaborating with. Find the blog of the project here.


Till said...

Thank you for the beautiful poem. It made me think of "Lost in the Stars" by Kurt Weill. Here in its original version with Todd Duncan:

I hope you like it as much as I liked your poem.

Tameshk said...

Thanks for your comment,