Pigeon Tower

Far from my homeland
I want a pigeon tower, here
In this very room
In Venice.

When I look out from my balcony
The white waves smile at me
And when I come back to my room
A thousand migrating doves peek out
From a thousand dark corners.

No, the pigeon tower of Isfahanak (1)
Does not please me any more:
The spring rains have washed away its auburn roof,
The farmers of hot summer afternoons
Have left the shelter of its cool shades
And my winter forbidden fliers
Have decayed in its hiding place.

And Yet, I still feel the weight of the feathers
Which I gathered from the pigeon tower
Hanging from my hair and belt.

Venice beach
September 25, 1989

Persian original

1. Isfahanak is a village in Kerarj district near Isfahan, Iran. The farmers of this district have built beautiful, muddy pigeon towers in their melon farms to make fertilizer from bird dropping. My gratitude to Ali Kiafar who originally rendered this poem into English.

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