The following is a collaborative poem I wrote last fall with my good friend nooshin. It's cross-posted over at Flashing By.
by nooshin azadi (odd stanzas) and Francis Scudellari (even stanzas)
she opened the everyday window
a cypress tree was descending
the mist-covered hills of faraway
He strode through the humdrum flat where grays played
above and below. One watchful bulb pushed amber
smiles between patchy leaves and shamed an absent sun.
a black bird detached itself from the cypress tree
deliberately dissolving in the never-dissipating mist above
she turned back facing the rampant rug down below
The troglodyte cherub long dwelling in his dull
damp sensations, stirs to feel the creep-down warmth
of these lesser beams brimming a lost possibility.
the wavering rays of a meager lamp were lost in the silent symphony
of the colorful knots as she faced the opened window another time
the mist was not a blanket anymore but a web with a billion eyes
A fledgling finding its wings, he sought succor inside
basket-woven branches where the leaves now thickened red.
Their thousand tongues each wagged one warning: Your journey’s
just begun; beware the powerful snare of these mirages.
the black bird reappeared out of the blue
it kept appearing and disappearing again and again
as if stitching two worlds together
“Aren’t you just a figment too?” He asked, feeling devilish.
“I’d rather fly forever satisfied with airy lies
than be grounded by rocky, hard-to-discern truths.”
she knew both worlds were lecherous lies
always taking something away from her
she lived in the giving truth
a membrane between the two
All their disquieting peace had already been spoken,
and from an empty rustling one seed twirled, twilit
to sow dissonant hues between what he see-saw felt.
With eyes eased shut and breast bumped ajar, he left.
all day long she could hear some footsteps permeating through the membrane
they came dizzily and left hurriedly never lingering more than a smile
and when they were gone, a new eye in the mist would open
Afoot in a distant squint he spotted the humped backs
of hillocks, whose gently sloping slides he might climb
to change his stride and find more knowing whisperers.
the eyes were all as silent as a seed
either flickering agitatedly with a story
or simmering down in a dream
she sat all day long looking into them
running the golden thread of the stories through the pearly drops of dreams
The picked road chose to imperceptibly dip
before it would ever-so-gently rise. In its subtle
sagging sat a toad of uncompromised bulk,
and he crouched to hear the wisdom of warted sighs.
there was no end to the stories nor to the dreams
thus no end to the threads running through the pearls
she hung them in her window where they swayed in the breeze
and the passers-by could hear their songs - if they listened
From the throbbing pouch of its throat came a rumbling
mishmash of a song. “Not all sounds sing, at first hearing.
Nothing grasped can be held long. The prettiest
stones are also the most slippery. We’ll all dive in.”
she was watching the pearl hangings in the breezeless window when she heard
a distant song with a bumpy rhythm and a pebble-in-the-pond ending
she knew the song and the singer but not the silent listener
another eye in the web, she smiled wryly, or a web in the eye?
Then the toad’s muted brown shape fizzled to drown
in the ripple-blown glass where, once again becalmed,
small milky spheres appeared to hang and point his gaze
back toward the hills, their magically hidden denizens.
there was a long silence then
brimming with pulsating little waves
torpidly traveling through her
just to die in the now singing pearl hangings
The steep he climbed with slow but steady steps
as the sun slid behind far-off twin bulges.
Hushed by crimson shadow, they hinted at lively
cheeks, a blushing face to tease his picked-up pace.
the mundane membrane
new foreign footsteps
her gaze followed the hills stretching over the usual misty horizon
the descending cypress tree was now so far away from them
for the first time her mind couldn't only watch
she wished the footsteps would never arrive
or if they did, they would never leave
Clumps of weeds and grasses ate away at the road.
Trunks, both straight-backed and curved, joined
bushy greens to gobble down the once-thick air
and prop up a big-top canopy, where
a kaleidoscopic chorus
so he wished this walk would never end
or if it did, he would never leave.
september 19-28, 2010