Saturday, January 04, 2014

You Bring Out the Persian in Me

Poetry. That which I love, I love. That which changed me, my life, many full moons ago. Poetry. That which came alive and became the days of my life. Then. Now. 

And then I found this. 
Pritha Kejriwal, the wonderful poet, let me share her poem here. She is the editor in chief at Kindle magazine and also a poet I greatly admire. This poem was published here. Her ode to Pablo Neruda's fantastic Book of Questions (How old is November anyway? - that question!) was in the magazine's current Editor's Note here. She tells me there are more of these questions that she is working on. I can't wait to read that collection. 

I found this poem and I became the Persian too.


You bring out the Persian in me

Wrapped in a white toga
Walking in veiled languor
Through narrow dark lanes
Entering arched doorways
Touching pillars of blue mosaic
Running my fingers on ruby roses
Embedded in white marble

You bring out the Persian in me

That feeling of being ancient
Bombarded, contested
Wounded, smelling of
Zata’ar, dyed in henna

You bring out the cat in me
A wide-eyed curiosity
A majestic walk
A long, dense mane that loves the wind

The star-lit magic of the Arabian nights
Becomes me
The red wine pouring from
Becomes me
The magic carpet
Becomes me
The genie of the magic lamp
Becomes me

You bring out the Persian in me

Heavily embroidered
Dripping rose petals
Baked in a tagine
Preserved in lemon and oil
Brewed in sugar and mint leaves

Bathed in orange blossom water
I fly out of the window
Sitting on a verse by Hafiz
And come back in the night
On the wings of Rumi

I want to build my little Riyadh with you
Two tangerine trees in the courtyard
And an olive tree that stands at the door

You bring out the house in me
The history in me
The memory in me
The dreams in me
The love in me

- Pritha Kejriwal

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