"We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started
and know the place for the first time." (T S Eliot)
"A dark and chanted verse is what I am." (
Forough Farrokhzad)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

PERSIAN PRINCESS

“Everybody knows that you and I, from that trembling branch picked the apple.”
Forough Farrokhzad, Conquest of the Garden (translation: Maryam Dilmaghani)


We were both so raw back then.
I still have our photos
And they look
Almost primeval.
You were sharply cut
And I was chiseled.
You were like a goddess
From a fifties movie.
I was more like the hero
Of a forties western –
Grim greys and watery whites -
Ashen against your deep shades
And your eyes’ glossy lights.
But we found something
There in each other;
And, with loving hands,
We sculpted two into one,
One day – one wonderful day -
In the ancient Near East
(As diplomats used to say).

Once you were so close
That I could smell your perfume.
Every now and then
A wisp of your hair
Tickled my cheek.
You seemed so gentle
And you looked at ease
Even though
You were so close to me.
I longed to kiss you
And pull you closer;
But I could not do it.
And yet you looked at me –
Your flashing eyes
Said you wanted me to react.
But I could not do it.

The next time we were so close,
I was just grateful
For a second chance.
So we kissed
And I held you so tight
You should have swooned
But we stayed upright.

And so it began – you and me.
Your body squeezed so hard against me
That we regretted only our clothes.

Monday, December 6, 2010

HALFWAY

There’s noise in naked night
That Shakespeare never heard;
Rumbling rubber on roads,
Whirling wheels on straight steels,
Shrieks from the late late show,
Buzzes, bells and muzhak,
Din from domestic discs,
Air conditioned exhaust.

Those among us who can soundly sleep
Never hear these constant crass squalls,
Ever drifting much more inwards,
Content in dozing detachment.
Others endure all the static,
Seeking to unravel meaning,
Before sliding to slack slumber
And dreams that end halfway to hope.