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Shiraz poems

December 8, 2006

On a beautiful valley
Surrounded by steep
Limestone Mountains
There I find you

On a fertile plain
Dotted over with green
Smiling gardens
There you sit

How I love and cherish
Your long cypress-avenues
Quiet shady gardens
Rose and jasmine bushes

How I long to taste
Your delicious and dry climate
Pure and exhilarating air

How I miss and crave
Your unique pomegranates
Delicate grapes and oranges

Oh, what will become of us?
Will we ever be reunited?

The warm rays of the sun
With arms outstretched
Come upon my earth
Illuminate everything
Gently tickling my skin
And waking me up

Running through the orchards
I play hide and seek
With my cousins

I climb the pomegranate trees
With fruits that are bursting
Sticky burgundy stains
On our hands, face, and shirts

Boys playing soccer
In the alleys
With deflated plastic balls
Displaying amazing footwork

Girls playing hopscotch
Some jumping ropes
They laugh and leap
With excitement

In the afternoons
We wander leisurely
Through the shady and twisting
Neighborhood streets

People are nice and warm
They are easy going and cheerful
The gentle and fresh air
The scent of flowers and fruit trees
Omnipresent in the city
Makes them this way

As the evening approaches
Shopkeepers return from their siestas
Open their shops
Selling clothes, household appliances
Dried fruits and sweets
And the young men once again begin
The constant serving of tea

The wide tree-line boulevards
Are swamped with the night crowds
The smell of lamb kebabs
Spreads throughout the streets
The cafes and ice-cream parlors
Are filled with patrons

Anywhere there is a patch of green
Families put down a blanket
Put on the samovar
And sprawl out
Into the late hours of the night

As the night moves in
The cool and smooth air
Descends on the city

From the mountains

I make my bed on the roof
And fall sleep
Watching the stars in the night-sky
And wondering about
What does it all mean?

The music of songbirds
Wakes me up in the morning

-Rotterdam, Netherlands

These poems were first published in Payam-e-Ashena, a Southern California Iranian-American community journal.

For letters section
To Sasan Seifikar

Sasan Seifikar


Book of the day

The Pursuit of Pleasure
Drugs and Stimulants in Iranian History, 1500-1900
by Rudi Matthee


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