Dad falling sleep watching TV

Dad falling sleep watching TV by doodle_juice
Dad falling sleep watching TV, a photo by doodle_juice on Flickr.

Falling sleep

Watches lions devour wilder-beast.
Puffy faced with hands on his round belly
sitting like a happy Buddha lit by TV
he falls sleep.

He gasps for air
his protruding lips whistle
to a chorus of snorting whales.
An eye opens but his sight fail him,
yet in those lost moments
he gazes at yonder
in a young cub’s dreams.

The Ghost lovers of Lalehzar (Tulip Street)

The Ghost lovers of Lalehzar (Tulip Street)

Let us take an exclusive mustard colour taxi
and roam streets of Tehran in an Austin Maxi
Like two crazed convicts on their last day
circle the king on horseback
and pass Rostam piercing a dragon with a whack
squeeze in those narrow brick-walls leading to streets
jump over mid-road ditches
and loose stones in paved stitches
find a house, a carpet, and pillows for our retreat.

Let us shake the gravel off stone baked bread
or have tea with thick cream instead
before we swim across ocean of living dead
before we get lost in windings ahead
before we become heavy and fully fed
explore smell of cheap kebabs, charcoaled liver or lose our thread
in bazaars with scent of turmeric, fatima hands with eyes we dread.

In coffee houses men with big moustaches serve tea.
In shops women with big thighs try skirts against their knee.

Let us find lost time again and again
And indeed there will be time, time like a month of Fridays
time like a seven thousand year afternoon sleep
sleeping with eyes wide open holding hands you and me
there will be time indeed
there will be time before a king abdicates a throne
time before a nation goes mad and has it all blown
and a maniac arrives on a plane and make us disown
time for you and time for me,
time to grow long hair, be young and free
time to pass music shops
buy records and see the needle play those pops
time for you to wear that short skirt and have props
then walk in a tantalising rhythm with those flops.

Should I then sing you an alleyway or Bazaar song?
Frown, twist my greased moustache with a gaze that’s prolonged?
Should I wear a white shirt, black jacket and a velvety hat?
Wipe my neck with a long hanky and press my chin back to make it fat?

Shall we shut our ears to the implicating sound of mosque
and haunt the street of Tehran till it has passed the dusk?
Soon the dusk will come and we’ll be in neon streets
the sun will lose fury, we’ll have cool breeze that greets
we’ll pass large orange tinted posters of cinemas in wide streets
Fardin, Foroozan and Beyk will be singing,
we’ll sink in cosy red velvety back-seats.

Or shall we follow the music across Lalehzar
find a Cabaret the way we pick food in a Bazaar?
Find one with round tables and flickering lights
See a belly dance, drink vodka and have our delights?

Shall we forget that we sleep in graves?
That your round thighs are bones, crushed and concaves?
That I have but a jawbone and not a chin
and that my face is frozen in an eternal grin?

Let us forget, who we are, what we are
Let us live while we can living or dead who cares where we are?

Let us take an exclusive mustard colour taxi
and roam streets of Tehran in an Austin Maxi.

Note: Before the Iranian revolution Lalehzar was the main Tehran attraction as it was the area with many theaters and Cabarets.

Erotic Art made from Hafiz poem

erotic2 by doodle_juice
erotic2, a photo by doodle_juice on Flickr.

حال دل با تو گفتنم هوس است

حال دل با تو گفتنم هوس است خبر دل شنفتنم هوس است
طمع خام بین که قصه فاش از رقیبان نهفتنم هوس است
شب قدری چنین عزیز و شریف با تو تا روز خفتنم هوس است
وه که دردانه‌ای چنین نازک در شب تار سفتنم هوس است
ای صبا امشبم مدد فرمای که سحرگه شکفتنم هوس است
از برای شرف به نوک مژه خاک راه تو رفتنم هوس است
همچو حافظ به رغم مدعیان شعر رندانه گفتنم هوس است


The Seafarer


May I for my own self song's truth reckon,
Journey's jargon, how I in harsh days
Hardship endured oft.
Bitter breast-cares have I abided,
Known on my keel many a care's hold,
And dire sea-surge, and there I oft spent
Narrow nightwatch nigh the ship's head
While she tossed close to cliffs. Coldly afflicted,
My feet were by frost benumbed.
Chill its chains are; chafing sighs
Hew my heart round and hunger begot
Mere-weary mood. Lest man know not
That he on dry land loveliest liveth,
List how I, care-wretched, on ice-cold sea,
Weathered the winter, wretched outcast
Deprived of my kinsmen;
Hung with hard ice-flakes, where hail-scur flew,
There I heard naught save the harsh sea
And ice-cold wave, at whiles the swan cries,
Did for my games the gannet's clamour,
Sea-fowls, loudness was for me laughter,
The mews' singing all my mead-drink.
Storms, on the stone-cliffs beaten, fell on the stern
In icy feathers; full oft the eagle screamed
With spray on his pinion.
                     Not any protector
May make merry man faring needy.
This he little believes, who aye in winsome life
Abides 'mid burghers some heavy business,
Wealthy and wine-flushed, how I weary oft
Must bide above brine.
Neareth nightshade, snoweth from north,
Frost froze the land, hail fell on earth then
Corn of the coldest. Nathless there knocketh now
The heart's thought that I on high streams
The salt-wavy tumult traverse alone.
Moaneth alway my mind's lust
That I fare forth, that I afar hence
Seek out a foreign fastness.
For this there's no mood-lofty man over earth's midst,
Not though he be given his good, but will have in his youth greed;
Nor his deed to the daring, nor his king to the faithful
But shall have his sorrow for sea-fare
Whatever his lord will.
He hath not heart for harping, nor in ring-having
Nor winsomeness to wife, nor world's delight
Nor any whit else save the wave's slash,
Yet longing comes upon him to fare forth on the water.
Bosque taketh blossom, cometh beauty of berries,
Fields to fairness, land fares brisker,
All this admonisheth man eager of mood,
The heart turns to travel so that he then thinks
On flood-ways to be far departing.
Cuckoo calleth with gloomy crying,
He singeth summerward, bodeth sorrow,
The bitter heart's blood. Burgher knows not —
He the prosperous man — what some perform
Where wandering them widest draweth.
So that but now my heart burst from my breast-lock,
My mood 'mid the mere-flood,
Over the whale's acre, would wander wide.
On earth's shelter cometh oft to me,
Eager and ready, the crying lone-flyer,
Whets for the whale-path the heart irresistibly,
O'er tracks of ocean; seeing that anyhow
My lord deems to me this dead life
On loan and on land, I believe not
That any earth-weal eternal standeth
Save there be somewhat calamitous
That, ere a man's tide go, turn it to twain.
Disease or oldness or sword-hate
Beats out the breath from doom-gripped body.
And for this, every earl whatever, for those speaking after —
Laud of the living, boasteth some last word,
That he will work ere he pass onward,
Frame on the fair earth 'gainst foes his malice,
Daring ado, ...
So that all men shall honour him after
And his laud beyond them remain 'mid the English,
Aye, for ever, a lasting life's-blast,
Delight mid the doughty.
                     Days little durable,
And all arrogance of earthen riches,
There come now no kings nor Cæsars
Nor gold-giving lords like those gone.
Howe'er in mirth most magnified,
Whoe'er lived in life most lordliest,
Drear all this excellence, delights undurable!
Waneth the watch, but the world holdeth.
Tomb hideth trouble. The blade is layed low.
Earthly glory ageth and seareth.
No man at all going the earth's gait,
But age fares against him, his face paleth,
Grey-haired he groaneth, knows gone companions,
Lordly men are to earth o'ergiven,
Nor may he then the flesh-cover, whose life ceaseth,
Nor eat the sweet nor feel the sorry,
Nor stir hand nor think in mid heart,
And though he strew the grave with gold,
His born brothers, their buried bodies
Be an unlikely treasure hoard.


John Keats. 1795–1821

Ode to a Nightingale

MY heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains
One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk:
‘Tis not through envy of thy happy lot, 5
But being too happy in thine happiness,
That thou, light-wingèd Dryad of the trees,
In some melodious plot
Of beechen green, and shadows numberless,
Singest of summer in full-throated ease. 10

O for a draught of vintage! that hath been
Cool’d a long age in the deep-delvèd earth,
Tasting of Flora and the country-green,
Dance, and Provençal song, and sunburnt mirth!
O for a beaker full of the warm South! 15
Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene,
With beaded bubbles winking at the brim,
And purple-stainèd mouth;
That I might drink, and leave the world unseen,
And with thee fade away into the forest dim: 20

Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget
What thou among the leaves hast never known,
The weariness, the fever, and the fret
Here, where men sit and hear each other groan;
Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last grey hairs, 25
Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies;
Where but to think is to be full of sorrow
And leaden-eyed despairs;
Where beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes,
Or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow. 30

Away! away! for I will fly to thee,
Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards,
But on the viewless wings of Poesy,
Though the dull brain perplexes and retards:
Already with thee! tender is the night, 35
And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne,
Cluster’d around by all her starry Fays
But here there is no light,
Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown
Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways. 40

I cannot see what flowers are at my feet,
Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs,
But, in embalmèd darkness, guess each sweet
Wherewith the seasonable month endows
The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree wild; 45
White hawthorn, and the pastoral eglantine;
Fast-fading violets cover’d up in leaves;
And mid-May’s eldest child,
The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine,
The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves. 50

Darkling I listen; and, for many a time
I have been half in love with easeful Death,
Call’d him soft names in many a musèd rhyme,
To take into the air my quiet breath;
Now more than ever seems it rich to die, 55
To cease upon the midnight with no pain,
While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad
In such an ecstasy!
Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain—
To thy high requiem become a sod. 60

Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!
No hungry generations tread thee down;
The voice I hear this passing night was heard
In ancient days by emperor and clown:
Perhaps the self-same song that found a path 65
Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home,
She stood in tears amid the alien corn;
The same that ofttimes hath
Charm’d magic casements, opening on the foam
Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn. 70

Forlorn! the very word is like a bell
To toll me back from thee to my sole self!
Adieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well
As she is famed to do, deceiving elf.
Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades 75
Past the near meadows, over the still stream,
Up the hill-side; and now ’tis buried deep
In the next valley-glades:
Was it a vision, or a waking dream?
Fled is that music:—do I wake or sleep? 80


Yours truly (poem)

gohar by doodle_juice
gohar, a photo by doodle_juice on Flickr.

Yours truly

You left with  tears staring through the window

came back and stole a glance through the bars and smiled

You watched me as I played,

the four-year old boy that I was but no longer yours.

Troubled and wary, you came for a visit

You dared yourself,  stole a touch that softly brushed my chin,

the ten-year old boy that I was but no longer yours.

You stayed with us for a week, familiar yet with a distant look

we said very little and moved as strangers through the corridors

but before you left you sang with a broken heart and I listened,

The twelve-year old boy that I was but no longer yours.

Discretely and away from the crowd, I saw you in a Margate restaurant

with a sigh you watched me before you left for London

as the eternal gypsy you’d left Toronto, you left for Tehran.

The fourteen-year old boy that I was but no longer yours.

They said you were lost for days in Hyde park

lost your handbag, lost your mind, lost your taste for this life.

They said you received my letter, the first and last before you died.

They sent me a picture of a stone, some carnations for good cheers but lost amongst other stones.

Now here I am, with half of my life gone,

and I see your lost look in my daughter’s eyes.

Strangely I still feel that brush against my chin.

Still you steal a glance through the lost forest of my thoughts.

Strangely I’m still truly yours.

I have become Friedrich Nietzsche – prose poem

With one foot in imagination and the big toe of the other reluctantly dipping the surface of reality, by narcissistic friends who are lost in pomposity or float endlessly in the walls of an abyss of self-delusion, with siblings who sometimes show fascist tendencies and a philosophy of life that is no good as philosophy but rhythmic and colourful as poetry and poetry that can be discarded as poetry I am afraid to say that in the quiet of my bedroom I have become Friedrich Nietzsche but only without the wisdom, the charisma, with fame and the glory!

Buoy – poem

When you are faltering in a stormy sea

and the torrent of waves

thrash you under their weight

I will not leave you whitewashed

I will always be your buoy.

Anchored to the depth of the unknown

my root goes below the dark blue sea

and I stay afloat and strong

I will always be your buoy.

Blasting of wind, tears of rain can crack my paint

the sun can scorch my skin,

seals can laugh and lean their heavy weight,

I’ll take kisses from the barnacles for comfort

light my beaker, and wait for you

I am no drifter of the sea and be here

I will always be your buoy.

I will be bouncy and colourful

even dazzle you with my dried crown of salt

if you think you could drown

you can reach out, I’ll reach down

then  lean and lift you up

I will always be your buoy.

For Parisa.

Anthem for Neda – My tribute poem


world_is_watching by doodle_juice
world_is_watching, a photo by doodle_juice on Flickr.
A frame from the video of Agha-Soltan's death ...

A frame from the video of Agha-Soltan’s death by gunfire (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Grave site of Neda Agha-Soltan, shot by Baseej...

Grave site of Neda Agha-Soltan, shot by Baseeji paramilitia in Tehran during the 2009 protests to the presidential election results. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Portrait of Wilfred Owen, found in a ...

English: Portrait of Wilfred Owen, found in a collection of his poems from 1920. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Death of Neda Agha-Soltan

Death of Neda Agha-Soltan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Back in June 2009 Neda Agha Sultan was shot by a Basij member. Basij is a so-called volunteer militia that operates in the Islamic Republic of Iran (whenever the authorities want to use violence against the public or need a rent a mob. In reality these people are not volunteers they are on the payroll). She was shot as part of the policy to spread fear amongst peaceful protesters who were upset by the rigged elections. In those days I was watching events live on the internet and broadcasting it wherever I could. I was so moved by watching this event that with the slightest mention of her name I had to force myself and hold back the tears.
Inspired by the poem “Anthem for Doomed youth” by Wilfred Owen on 23rd June 2009 I wrote this poem and created this image of a man with the face of the globe looking behind a distorted glass.

Anthem for Neda

What lamenting cry for you who fell like a leaf?

More howling guns or sound of protesting feet?

What drops should pour for this anguish?

Their tears of Gas? More weeping in blood vanquished?

No mockeries for you; no drink from their martyr’s well,

Nor sound and vision from a TV deaf and blind for those who fell,

No gleam of sorrow from these murderous beasts,

Only a frenzy as they persist their blood feast.

How many candles should we burn to keep your memory alive?

Burn the World with your light or go back to just survive?

You gave your youth, life and beauty,

Shame on us to live but not to do our duty.

Life is just a day, our lives race towards the dusk,

We shall walk your path in freeway, we must until we turn to dust.

Ramin Tork 23rd June 2009

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Opening of London Olympics – Prose poem

When her majesty becomes your virtual sweet grandmother. When she enters your surreal world and parachutes out to the crowd. When you grew up with Mr Bean and he makes you laugh the way he did the first time. When you know Brunel was not your Great Grandfather but you admire his spirit and feel like you are one of his sons. When you feel proud to see the march of suffragette and care when someone is wronged or if you see suffering. When your father did not come off the boat from Jamaica or India but like them you gave something back and you worked hard. When you know ceremonies was not there to make the world impressed, it just made everyone remember who we are and why we have a great nation or that we don’t want  a thousand choreographed dancers we just put Bowie and Jagger on and have dancing in the streets for every nation, and when the love you get is equal to the love you give and no matter what your colour or creed you always hum Jerusalem as you hear it just like you breathe, and you are not afraid knowing the isle is full of noises or congestion could make the London Olympics full of poses take your place amongst us, watch the telly or watch it for real. Row when they row, dive when they dive and run when they run, and then, only then you have earned your place in old Blighty my son.

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