"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)

Friday, July 25, 2014

ROSTAM AT RAMSAR

From Tehran go west,
And turn north
By taking the Chalus Road.
Then climb from Karaj –
Arduous and steep:
The challenges
Of hairpin bends,
Thrilling views
Across the barren hills
Of “deer-skin” hues –
Blends of pale brown and dust.
But the pallet expands
With the lie of the lands
As the mountain road winds its way
Past deep valleys
Housing small villages
Surrounded by poplar trees.

The descent down
The other side is breathtaking -
Dominated by unbroken contours
Of lush scenery’s greenery.
On the downhill run
It is as if drivers traverse
Every fertile landscape on earth –
Shrubs stunted but nice
Amongst the snow and ice,
Then conifers reaching up,
Then tall bushes, elms and oaks,
And then swaying palm trees,
Citrus rising in rows,
And flamboyant flowers
Exploding in pixelated bowers.

The slopes level out
For the farms of the narrow plain.
Beyond them is the steely blue sea –
The Caspian coast and its gentle sun,
A sky of fiery sapphires
Set between cumulous clouds.

From Ramsar’s Grand Hotel
The coastline stares back at the traveller –
Its deep green foliage
Studded with palm trees’ fronds;
Friendly grey sands
Speckled with driftwood;
Its rippling waters,
Stained yellow with sunlight by day
And buffed silver by moonbeams at night.

The hotel’s gamboling gardens
Cascade over multi-tiered terraces.
Serene white walls and glossy windows
Contrast with velvety green hills.
Stone cherubs, mystery’s shapes,
Perch on the balustrades
Of the old casino’s verandahs,
Or frolic in the garden beds
And fizzing water fountains.
A shining statue of mighty Rostam
Stands like a legendary sentry
Sent by a mythical king –
Or, more likely, by Ferdowsi himself.
Magnificent Persian lions
Also keep the watch,
Lest the splendour around them
Spoil in the agenda of today.


No comments: