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Majid Naficy: Visiting the Moon

Sometimes we visit the moon 

And then forget 

It’s sitting up there 

Watching us. 


I was fifteen years old 

When I found the moon in the Biabanak sand dunes. 

I was traveling from Nain to Jandaq 

Sitting at the back of a pickup with a worker 

And smoking my first cigarette. 

Every sand hill in the moonlight 

Looked like a sleeping ghoul.

The worker spoke of working in the Nakhlak Mine 

And I wanted to become a miner 

So as did Vincent Van Gogh 

I could take out my red gold 

From the heart of the earth. 


Years later I found the moon again. 

We were passing from behind the border patrol checkpoint 

Alongside Kurdish guides 

To reach the city of Van in Turkey 

When suddenly the big disk of the moon appeared. 

I shouted: “Oh, moon! 

You are the sign of my freedom” 

And sang the song of “High Moon”

Which my mother used to sing. 

We were leaving to remain free 

And find a new vision 

In the cities of Europe and America. 


Last night I saw the moon again. 

We were returning from Catalina Island. 

With my fifteen-year-old son Azad 

I went to the deck 

To watch whales 

But we saw nothing 

Except the reflection of the moon in the water. 

Suddenly I remembered my father 

Telling us that at age fourteen 

While returning from Takht Pulad Cemetery in Isfahan 

He had been taken by the magic of the moon 

And infinity had touched his soul. 


Then my son returned to the cabin 

Leaving me alone on the deck. 

The moon was the only link 

Bringing together 

The pieces of my life. 

Copyright 2019 Majid Naficy

Majid Naficy is the author of many books in Persian and in English including Father & Son published by Red Hen Press.

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