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The sound of home
Three poems

By Reza Shirazi
July 2, 1999
The Iranian

From A World Between: Poems Stories and Essays by Iranian-Americans - a collection of writings by 30 authors and poets edited by Persis M. Karim and Mohammad Mehdi Khorrami (1999, George Braziller Inc., New York).

- The Sound of Home
- Learning Persian
- Eid Nowruz in Seattle

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The Sound of Home

I have been trying to remember
the sound of the waves near my home
All I hear are the gurgling creeks
winding through this rolling Hill Country
once submerged under an ocean
now thick with red cedar and live oak.
The waves invisible now,
I cup my hands over my ears
and try to listen to the echo of this ancient sea.
All I hear is the Arabian Sea sighing for my return.

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Learning Persian

A hibernating language
lying in the dark corners of my mind,
awakens slowly after a ten year sleep

bones creaking.
it crawls forward,
searching for the lost pieces of clothing
in forgotten nooks and crannies.

Ragged and unkempt,
it finally tries to rise.
It ventures out
on a wave of words.

The world lies before it
waiting to be sung.

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Eid Nowruz in Seattle

Set on the table,
seven Ss
to symbolize Eid Nowruz,
Persian New Year:
Sir, Sekkeh, Sumagh,
Sib, Shirini, Sabzi, Serkeh

garlic, gold coins, sumac,
apples, sweetmeats, sprouted wheat, vinegar.
My aunt completes the sofreh
with a silver-framed mirror, goldfish in a bowl,
hyacinths and an old Qu'ran.

The first day of spring,
the first day of the year.
I ran in the morning,
cedar trail fragrant with rain.
The sun peeped through the persistent clouds;
another day of hide-and-seek.

Red tulips I planted in winter
shoot up outside the window.
The yard is a colorful spring story
waiting to be told.

We sit at the table
after calling our family in Tehran,
voices echoing over the poor connection.

For lunch:
rice made with green herbs,
white fish seasoned with saffron,
and red tea in clear glasses.
My aunt, two cousins and me,
but for clinking forks
and Iranian pop music.

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