The Mansion of My Childhood

By MO H. SAIDI

For Tristan

I

My father was tall, plump, old and cruel.
            When he was late returning home, we’d
                        joke that he’d been taken to the morgue.

A story teller, he often would say, God
            Loves good tales with happy endings:
                        The Holy Book’s stories, Layla and Majnun.

II

My grandfather was a bearded man.
            He looked like the Sistine God
                        His face gleamed with candor.

An ayatollah, he believed Allah is afflicted
            With insomnia no angel can cure—He’s
                        a riddle, a challenge for mankind, God’s

grace can be purchased in every bazaar.
            He’d say, “Don’t pray for me, do it for Him.
                        When He’s jaded, He may stage a deluge.”

III

My father would visit my grandfather
            once a month—the city was an hour’s drive
                        away. Grandfather had strong arms

But his legs were paralyzed.
            He had fully memorized the Book of Kings
                        and the Koran. For a good tip, I’d listen

to him for hours and the follow the lines.
            Only rarely did he err. He let me correct
                        the slips because I was his favorite grandson.

IV

My childhood house was a mansion
            I was the shortest kid on the block. They
                        all knew my name; I only the teacher’s.

When grandfather would visit us, he’d
            bring us softballs, candies, silver coins.
                        Even before his stroke, he was always weak

in his legs, would limp along and tire quickly.
            On his last visit, he struggled and wrote
Icannotcontrolmyhand, and he dropped the pen.

V

I would look at my father in awe.
            He was tall, strong and voracious
                        too old to live to see my diploma.

Loud and uncouth, he was a lamb
            under Mother’s shadow. To leave more
                        time for prayer, they both had forbidden chess,

reading or writing poetry in our house.
            I always dreamed to be a writer. They
                        preached that I should become a mullah.

We made peace: they burned the chess board
            and the pieces; I buried the Holy Book. As I
                        prepared to leave town, a call shook the house.

VI

I heard the unbearable news—my hero
was dead—we rushed to his hometown.
                        The city was confused. A black holiday.

The waves of men in black marched
            in the streets. His house teemed with mourners
                        waiting for the feast. The servants served

Bread, rice, and cheese. High on the roof
            the muezzin was hard at work with booming
                        calls. In the chaos of the funeral procession,

I muttered his favorite line as I looked
            at his open casket. Life is a mansion
                        of ice, how could I avoid the sun?

Your daily dose of poetry. God bless you all my darling avidReaders 🙂

Freedom

NABANITA KANUNGO

It would try to lisp a dumbness sometimes—
the language of welts rising slowly on the panes,
a cracked blur of riot-torn air,
confused which year it was.

The last time it made a sound was when
it crinkled on its way into a bin,
a great plot of justice. I wasn’t born, then;
my father was.

It must have been whole once,
for you could still conceive it like a dream,
a gloriously illegitimate thing, though;
until a country was torn out of its heart one day
and you saw its impaled ghost in the moon.

My grandfather told me we had slept so long
with a flag over us, we couldn’t run when
machetes poked us awake amidst still-dreaming heads
rolling in the streets like marbles struck in game.

There was nowhere to go and we went nowhere,
with its face slumped on our backs
and history books that said what had happened is the past,

until sixty years later, a community’s threats betraying
her voice, a poor nun requested me
to leave my month-old job in a convent
where I’d studied since childhood.

I keep trying to find its shape in photographs, old letters,
the wind of stories trapped in some cancerous throat, dying …

a tattered roof in the stars, a tent flying off
with meanings barely gathered into a heap.

TUPAC SHAKUR “THE ROSE THAT GREW FROM CONCRETE”

Did you hear about the rose that grew
from a crack in the concrete?
Proving nature’s law is wrong it
learned to walk with out having feet.

Funny it seems, but by keeping it’s dreams,
it learned to breathe fresh air.

Long live the rose that grew from concrete
when no one else ever cared.

This poem really spoke to me today. Roses are beautiful and strong–strong enough to grow in the harshest of environments. This is a type of our lives. Whatever comes our way, we must never let the concrete in our lives stop the rose in us from blooming.

God bless you all, my darling avidReaders

OCTAVIO PAZ “THE STREET”

It’s a long and silent street.
I walk in the dark and trip and fall
and get up and step blindly
on the mute stones and dry leaves
and someone behind me is also walking:
if I stop, he stops;
if I run, he runs. I turn around: no one.
Everything is black, there is no exit,
and I turn and turn corners
that always lead to the street
where no one waits for me, no one follows,
where I follow a man who trips
and gets up and says when he sees me: no one.

Your poem of the day.

God bless you all, my darling avidReaders

Brier: Good Friday

by Emily Pauline Johnson

I’d been on duty from two till four.
I went and stared at the dug-out door.
Down in the frowst I heard them snore.
‘Stand to!’ Somebody grunted and swore.
Dawn was misty; the skies were still;
Larks were singing, discordant, shrill;
They seemed happy; but I felt ill.
Deep in water I splashed my way
Up the trench to our bogged front line.
Rain had fallen the whole damned night.
O Jesus, send me a wound to-day,
And I’ll believe in Your bread and wine,
And get my bloody old sins washed white!

Have a great Friday all and a wonderful weekend 🙂

Have A Great Day

by Ray Hansell

I hope you have a great day
I hope it’s warm and sunny
I’ll be thinking of you
Just like I always do honey


Thoughts of you fill my head
As they make me smile

As the day goes on
I think of you all the while

So I hope you have a great day
I hope it’s all you wanted it to be
Maybe you’d like to end your day
By spending time with me

If you don’t have the data or time for the video, just read the text. I felt like shaking things up a bit. I hope you enjoy this 🙂

God bless you all, my darling avidReaders

Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday’s Poems of the Day

She Walks in Beauty; Lord Byron.

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express,
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!

“Sonnet 18: Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” William Shakespeare

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date;
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st;
Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st:
   So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
   So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

Sonnet 116: Let me not to the marriage of true minds; William Shakespeare

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand’ring bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me prov’d,
I never writ, nor no man ever lov’d.

I’ve been a bit slow lately, but I hope this makes up for all the poetry I missed this week.

God bless, my darling avidReaders 🙂 Have a wonderful day ahead!

“On His Blindness” by John Milton (1608-1674)

When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodg’d with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide,
“Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?”
I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies: “God doth not need
Either man’s work or his own gifts: who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed
And post o’er land and ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait.”

Ozymandias

by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Posthumous Portrait of Shelley Writing Prometheus Unbound in Italy” by Joseph Severn

I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

Ozymandias is a great classic. It was another classic from my high school years and worth sharing.

Keep well and God bless you all my darling avidReaders 🙂

The Winds of Time

David Paul Behrens

The winds of time will cease to blow,
The shining moon will cease to glow,
As history comes to an end;
Eternity waits ’round the bend.

The books and minds of all mankind
Will over time, be left behind.
What we find important today
Will soon not matter anyway.

Here today and gone tomorrow,
There’s no time to dwell on sorrow.
Just look beyond the pain and fear;
The stormy skies will soon be clear.

The great beyond is looming near.
Eternity will shed no tear.
For when the nearest star burns out,
All earthly cares will end, no doubt.

So rise above your petty feuds!
Know that eternity includes
The here and now, all things before,
And everything forevermore.

Your daily dose of poetry. Courtesy of www.classicalpoetry.org. 🙂

Have a lovely day everyone 🙂