Tuesday, July 3, 2018

We the People

We invaded your land and staked a claim that
All men were created equal, and
Then stripped you of your manhood and
Raised the flag of freedom above your cage.

And then we took your children,
Sent them to school where we silenced them,
And like lines off a chalkboard
We erased their collective memories.

Like cattle we raised them and
Branded the Indian out of them, and
Quenching their spirits for God’s sake,
Our schoolhouses became slaughterhouses.

And then we herded you onto reservations,
Declared your minds lost when you resisted
And forced you into asylums,
Ignorant of our own imprisoned minds.

We gained new territory but
Lost a piece of ourselves, and
With every step forward in the Long Walk
We fell backward.

Blindly we shackled our souls in the name of freedom and 
Liberty for “all”, and
Buried our humanity in the mounds of those
We named savage.

And yet we persisted. We came with drills
And water cannons and blasted you
When you stood to protect the waters,
And soon we will have nothing to drink but your tears.

If only we could look into the waters and see
Beyond ourselves, see your reflection, that
I am you, you are me,
We are the people,

That a beating to your body severs my soul, and
When you are chained and bound, so is my spirit.
Your children forsaken are the children I have yet to birth,
And when you are kept in darkness, my future is bleak.

Each moment of pain inflicted
Sears its memory into my skin, never to be forgotten.
I cannot find my way back through the woods of despair –
Everyday, I am trespassing.

Only the beat of your drum will
Steady the rhythm of my heart,
And only when you dance finally free,
My spirit will rise,

For I am you, you are me, we are the people.
We call you “red”, but cut me open and
See the colour I bleed –
You simply wear your heart on your face.

Ode to a Narrow-Leafed Campion

The day grew long, but still,
I was constrained by the hours.
My heart danced, leaped, raced, 
Until it lost its way in the dusk and 
Sank beneath the stars.
The seasons embraced, but I was left in solitude
For Time was my only companion, and even she,
My fickle friend, was keen to depart.
As winter forced the heat to disperse,
I followed her scent to the meadow where,
Shepherd-less, I roamed,
Searching for the rarest rose.
Through the bramble I clawed,
And the thorns marked my heart red.
I could no longer see the rose I sought,
Plucked by the winds of passion –
The meadow now lay bare and desolate.
Everywhere I turned, I met an empty stare
As a tempest of loneliness set in,
So I closed my eyes and dared not open.

Inward I turned my gaze but
As the scars healed they led me to myself
And in myself I found strength.
Strength to search, to climb, to strive.
And as I traversed the peaks and valleys,
I came upon the arctic, where
With a staff of patience and resolve,
I made my way over the frost-bitten stones,
Feeling every sign beneath my soles
Incline me to bend to the snow-white gem
That lay hidden within my reach.
So gently in my palm I cradled the seed
That survived thirty-thousand years
Waiting for my heart to burgeon.
At last in the warmth of my hands
You flowered, soft and white
And in that moment I would forsake
All ease to shelter you from any plight.
A narrow-leafed campion,
Delicate and pure,
You took thousands of years to bloom
And now I know why.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Wilting Words

Every sentence haunts me like a faded rose on your lips 
That time forgot but memory refuses to forgive.
As every wilting word diffused the breath of deception 
Cloaked by the scent of calculated charm, 
I revelled in the beguiling perfume of your smile.

The shadow of your careless whispers sheltered me from the fire that bled 
In the decay of innocence, 
But when the bitter embers subdued and I sought a warmth
Constant from the sun, 
It rose and showered me in delusions. 

Paralyzed in the dampness of my own hopeless optimism 
I search for the path, 
Praying your springing steps will clear it, 
Afraid they will lead me astray.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Silence speaks loudest

Silence speaks loudest, boasting the story of independence,
Shrouding the heart in solitude.
A heart that does not open is secure, the frosted door will bite even the brave, the foolhardy who dares to enter;
A determined chisel will pierce the heart but break against its walls,
While the warm touch of patience may soften its hold but drown in sullied and melting ice.

Silence muffles the voice of a broken heart 
And bullies the downtrodden that, trying to rise from the ash of inauguration, 
Searching for redemption, 
Lays her head at the threshold and waits in solitary confinement.

Sunday, August 25, 2013


In memory of my grandfather, Nosrat Fanian aka "Daddy Nosrat" -- October 19, 1923 - August 11, 2013

The sun rose when your lips curled into a smile.
You stood proud, handsome, stylish, 
Cap on your head,
Ready for a walk,
Ready to take on the day.

You were invincible.

You were kind, patient, gentle and wise.
You had a contagious laugh,
And every now and again you would
Stick out your tongue and
Give the world a cheeky grin.

You were invincible.

You loved your grandchildren
Beyond compare.
You told me stories
About the young girl and the deer
And played Persian music
And when I was older, you
Talked to me about politics  
And imparted wise advice.

To me,
You were invincible.

You saw beauty everywhere – in life, in death,
Especially in the wife you chose,
The wife you lost, the wife you found again.
Her voice, the whisper of a nightingale,
Finally called you to your Beloved.

But all the while,
You were still invincible.

A captain with his cap,
You commanded your ship.
And when the sun set,
You set sail.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


I could feel the cold air
Crawling up my legs,
Seizing my hands,
And paralyzing the
Tear of solitude
That taunted my cheek.
My arctic heart began to slow,
As my eyes struggled to see the light
Through the darkening night.

Before I could surrender,
Before I could say goodbye,
Your smile fought its way across the raging sea
And landed in my desolate mind.
Hidden in the abyss,
Your smile grew brighter
As my soul clawed through
The weeds of isolation
And reached for the blossoming warmth.

I could see your smile now,
And I could hear your voice
Through your smiling lips,
Calling my name in their honeyed tones,
Words of encouragement
Breathing strength into my bones.
I could feel the palms of your hands,
One clasped around my own,
The other, pressed against my heart,
Pounding, beating,
Until I fell into the rhythm
And could dance in your arms once again.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Running of the Bull

You took away my reasons that reason never knew,
And left me a hollow heart suspended in time.
Stripped of all solace,
I stood soulless in an empty street,
Surrounded by the sound of doubt
That carried through the wind.
The hope that your sycophantic lips once lit
Was quickly quashed by their silence,
And absence fertilized the firewood
Left to fester in tomorrow’s dew.