Shiraz 2017 by Kenza Saadi ©

Like Farrokhzad

Like Farrokhzad

I ask you to bring a lamp and a window

when you come.


Please do not forget them.


I am here sitting in the dark

repeating the same thoughts in my head

over and over again.


My tasbeeh is broken

and I have no more string.


Taller than the elegant pines in Eram

and softer than their shade,

I know you will come

walking long strides across the garden.


One day, you will appear at the door

you will have travelled the world

and you will carry its scent.


Your knock will bring the echo of drums

and you will have multi-coloured dolls in your bags.


The dust on your shoulders will be golden like the deserts you have crossed,

the beads of sweat on your forehead like the rain upon the Ganga.


Your eyes will be bright from seeing the smiles of children

and your feet will be tired, tired from crossing the Hindu-Kush.


You will enter like the wind

like the harmatan, the chamalee and the khamseen all put together

and like a cool breeze on a spring’s night as well.


You will appear in silence

the one you picked up in Ryoan-ji.


And you will sweep away all my worries

and bring me the light,

not the light that hides in the mihrab

nor the one where the moth threw itself.


It will be the tender light of love

and you will be holding it in the palm of your hand

like those saints in Byzantine icons.


So please come,

and do not forget the lamp and the window

so that from my threadbare carpet

I may finally get up.


Dedicated to Forugh Farrokhzad (Iran, 1935-1967) a poet of extraordinary talents who challenged many stereotypes about women in Iran and beyond. Lyrical, honest and daring, her work is placed in par with the greatest poets of the Persian language. I read her work regularly and she is one of my inspirations – Kenza Saadi