A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
Oh high moon! What are you waiting for?
Follow your path quickly
And carry my message to Isfahan
From the window of my bedroom.
My mother is still awake
And will see you from her window.
Since you don’t know her
I will tell you her signs:
She is a cluster of seedless grapes,
Red seeds of a pomegranate,
Opened black figs,
A sliced lime next to basil,
Oregano in yogurt,
And mint in yogurt drink,
Cantaloupes in summer,
Dates in winter,
And smiling pistachios in all seasons.
She has an open face
With kind eyes.
Her white hair
Reaches her shoulders.
She is not bent, but
like aged Rudabeh*
She still stands upright.
Her other signs?
She loves books.
Her ancestor had a library
Loaded on seven camels.
My mother read Sa’di’s “Golestan”*
At her father’s bed aloud
So he could correct her mistakes
As he was going to sleep!
She still recites the songs
That were sung at the wedding of her brother.
Her other signs?
She enjoys life.
If there is moonlight
She spreads a light carpet in the patio
Next to night-blooming tuberoses,
And lets Taj sing
And Kasaie’s flute and Shahnaz’s lute talk.*
Oh, high moon! Carry my message quickly
And tell her to sing the same song that she sang
Years ago in our balcony:
– If you are the high moon in the sky
I will become a star turning around you.
– If you become a star turning around me
I will become clouds covering your face.
– If you become clouds covering my face
I will become rain pouring and pouring.
– If you become rain pouring and pouring
I will become grass shooting up.
– If you become grass shooting up
I will become a rose sitting next to you.
*- The romance between Rudabeh and Zal is part of the epic of “Shahnameh” written by Ferdowsi in the 10th and 11th centuries.
*- “Golestan” is a book of rhymed prose written by Sadi in the 13th century.
*- Taj, Kasaie and Shahnaz are three stars of Persian classical music from the city of Isfahan.
Copyright 2014 Majid Naficy
Majid Naficy is the author of many books in Persian and in English, including Father & Son published by Red Hen.