Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Majid Naficy: Seven Poems During Trump

One: Truth and Falsehood
I read in Egyption papyruses
That Truth and Falsehood were brothers.
One day Truth borrowed Falsehood’s dagger
But lost it by misfortune.
Falsehood took the case to court,
Claimed the dagger was irreplaceable
And asked the judge in return
To blind Truth and order him 
To become the doorkeeper of Falsehood’s house.

Today, too, a false little man 
Has blinded Truth
By his repetitious denial of facts
And made him the doorkeeper of his house
And stopped journalists and scientists
Who are the gatekeepers of the house of Truth
From questioning and researching.

If you believe in Truth
Cleanse the house from Falsehood
And, as the child of Truth in the Egyption legend,
Rise to seek justice for Truth
Until his eyes shine again.

        January 31, 2017  


Two: Let America Become America Again
The America that I knew
Opened her arms to me
And placed me next to her children.

I had fled my homeland
Where my wife was executed.
A peshmerga took me to Turkey
A lawyer to France
And a sponsor to America.
Thus I became a citizen of this country.

But today,  Those who separated
Infants from their mothers
At the Mexican border
Want to remove my citizenship.

No! This is not the America that I knew
The America where French Protestants
And English Catholics migrated,
The America where German Jews
Soviet defectors
And non-European refugees took refuge.

Let America become America again*
Return infants to asylum seekers
And embrace all of her children equally.

        July 11, 2018

* “Let America be America again” Langston Hughes


 
Three: The Night Michelle Danced with Barack
Do you remember that night,
The night Michelle danced with Barack?
All people danced with them,
I, too, with my ex-wife
In front of a giant TV
In a nightclub on the corner.

Do you remember that night,
The night Michelle danced with Barack?
I let go of cynicism
Became an active citizen
And shouted with the others:
“Yes! We can.”

Do you remember that night,
The night Michelle danced with Barack?
No one knew that soon
Slaveholders would rise from graves
And spread fear and despair
With their guns and God.

Do you remember that night,
The night Michelle danced with Barack?
That night will return again
Malia will dance with Sasha
And my son Azad with his ex-girlfriend
And America will find another Lincoln.

        July 26, 2018

 
Four: This House Stinks
This house is not yours. 
Go back to your concrete tower
With its golden toilet!

The one who will replace you
Must be the leading light of this nation
Not like you, the head of criminals.

It is not long
Until the Mississippi River
Joins the Colorado
And washes off your four-year filth
Thoroughly from this house.*

Rise, oh American Hercules
Who live in the hearts of
Every informed woman and man.
Rise! Rise!
This house stinks! 

        May 22, 2020

* An allusion to Hercules’ washing-off the Augean stables.

 
Five: Worm
You are that apple worm which overnight
Grew into a bloodthirsty dragon
Like Haftvad’s worm in the “Ardashir Chronicles”.*
It nested in the minds of people
Drawing them to its cult.

No sorrow if in our time
Another Ardashir does not rise
To pour molten lead in your mouth
And call the people to open your castle
By setting a smoking fire on the roof.

No! This time, Instead of a hero,
The people themselves one by one
Will mail their ballots
To bring you down from your seat
And return you to your swamp.

        October 15, 2020 

* Ardashir I founded the Sasanian Dynasty in Iran in 224 A. D. He slew Haftvad’s worm before crowning himself king of kings >>>


 
Six: Tonight I Think of Trump
Tonight I think of Trump
Who sits in the White House alone
Thinking of his defeat.

He is not the Shah
Who fled the Revolution
And never returned home.

He is not the Fuhrer
Who, in his bunker in Berlin,
Put a bullet in his head.

He is an outgoing president
Who must pick up the phone
And congratulate his rival.

May the Goddess of Liberty
Give him courage to do this 
So that tolerance
Replaces hatred
And America becomes America again.

        November 6, 2020 

       
 
Seven: Endpoint
I am that bullet
Which Hitler put in his head
At his hideout.

I am that blood clot
Which took Stalin into a coma
In his bedroom.

I am that termite
Which gnawed away Solomon’s cane
Until his standing corpse fell*.

I am that endpoint
No matter if the tyrants
Call themselves eternal.

        January 2, 2021

* The Quran 34:14. The Bible does not have this narrative.    

Majid Naficy’s is the author of many books in Persian and in English, including Father & Son (Red Hen Press, 2003)

Copyright 2021 Majid Naficy

Insurrectionists in the Capitol, January 6, 2021

2 comments on “Majid Naficy: Seven Poems During Trump

  1. Barbara Huntington
    January 20, 2021

    One of my favorite poets!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. russell buker
    January 20, 2021

    thank you for these

    Liked by 3 people

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This entry was posted on January 20, 2021 by in Poetry, Social Justice, War and Peace and tagged , , , .

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