Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature: over 400,000 monthly users

Gregory Djanikian: What I Can Tell You

I found no trace of Armenians there.
All buildings in the Armenian quarter had been leveled.
—a survivor, returning to Kharpert after many years


I can tell you it was a village
fertile and full of grain,
that the moon grew full above it
before it darkened.

I can tell you that the figs
were abundant, their tiny seeds
were like small gems, hard
and round in the mouth.

I can tell you that the river in the evening
was like a dream of a woman
whose sleep lay undisturbed,
that the scents of mint and oleander
were the perfume of a hundred nights.

I can tell you that the women
halfway to the olive groves one morning
must have heard a chatter of birds
and the foot soldiers coming.

I can tell you that the men
deep in the fields of wheat
would lie down soon
and disappear into its many roots.

And I can tell you that the dream I have
is to walk back to this village
and stand in the square for a moment,
feeling the history of it on my skin,
a history of departures, vanishings.

And I can tell you I would like to hear
the wind moving again through the acacia leaves
and the plum trees in the courtyards,

And to hear a woman singing by an open window,
her voice like the sound of rain falling
and her hair as long and dark as the river.

From So I Will Till the Ground by Gregory Djanikian (Carnegie Mellon, 2007). Included in Vox Populi by permission of the author.

4 comments on “Gregory Djanikian: What I Can Tell You

  1. Rose Mary Boehm
    August 22, 2021

    Very moving. Thenk you for remembering and reminding.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vox Populi
      August 22, 2021

      Yes, Gregory has such elegant music in his poetry, and his subject, the annihilation of his people and the century-long cover-up, is heartbreaking.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Barbara Huntington
    August 22, 2021

    We are such a beautiful and suc a bad experiment

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to Vox Populi Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Information

This entry was posted on August 22, 2021 by in Opinion Leaders, Poetry, Social Justice, War and Peace and tagged , , .

Enter your email address to follow Vox Populi and receive new posts by email.

Join 12,145 other followers

Blog Stats

  • 4,316,334 hits

Archives

%d bloggers like this: