The Herald of Change

I felt the chill creeping around the corners yesterday
Finally the herald of change is here!
Wake up, it says
Feel the cold and smell of dead leaves
starting the race towards the poetry
of rebellion against stagnancy
my million-colored scarves lie in wait
summer is my love, but September is my season
a refinement of all rules of existence
No longer do we have the sanctuary of knowledge.

Wake up!
The time of harvest is sacred
every shift in my life has happened here
joy struggling to escape the binding of veils
I allow to wrap around spirit and self
(supposed to be a summer child)
but I waited for the faint whispers of fall
so that I could sleep through winter
wrapped in blankets and prayer-songs.

I think maybe I will always be trapped between seasons.

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Light is not enough.

constantly, consistently cold, the tips of my fingers shaking
I retreat to the sun outside for an hour, just to revive
quite sure that this is not the best way to work
under a flourescence that does nothing to warm
and struggles to provide light.
Within 10 minutes of sitting back down at my desk
I start aching again, hands/feet/back/legs…

I need to get out more, get sun into my skin
this is the first summer I have spent so much of the day
indoors, and my southern soul yearns to feel that touch.
I remember when summers lasted forever
(don’t we all?)
I would curl up on the brown carpet in a patch of sun
(like those lizards we used to catch) and fall asleep.
There are pictures of me dreaming in the long grass,
in the patch of sun between trees.

Speaking of sleep, do you remember when Leonor Dely sang to us
in Spanish the words of God,
and even in a language I can’t understand
I fell asleep on a couch by a fire
because prayers have that effect on me.
(only eight months have gone by?)

When I stepped outside today the wind blew against me
stopped me in my half-taken step against cracked pavement
because I was taken back to a thousand memories
summer in a million places and times
every window in the house open, with the sounds of
cicadas and trees and the cheerful hum of washing dishes.

That was then. ten, fifteen, twenty years ago. When green surrounded me in its safety (forests remind me of my father, my family, learning why trees do the things they do, feeling the life in the silence).

This is summer now:

I still love it.

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The Sea House

I dreamed about a house on a cliff last night
it went on forever on the coast
the waves crashed around and under the foundation
it was in the mountains, abandoned
there were stories draped around the house
the corridors went on forever
doors closed in front of me, cheaply made
but apparently there were rooms
with chandeliers and french couches
enough space for every orphan in the world
to make a home of their own
and the outer walls writhed in time with the wind
sea grass hugged the stones and sand
as we stood beside the house in the mountains
next to the sea.

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Sand memories

Feet sinking in the worn-down rocks
When was the last time
We felt sea foam around our ankles?
I still think that I can spend sand dollars
And get change.
Spiny horseshoe crabs
are banned from the car
(sensitive noses, you see).Why is it that
I used to feel so much closer to the ground?
If I kneel it isn’t the same
Buried in seagull wings and screams
Our ears assaulted
We’ll take refuge in the waves.

Can I promise
With a caveat of sometime when?
That tomorrow I’ll take your hand
To walk down past the grassy dunes
On the South Carolina shore?

Since I can’t share the past with you
I’ll recreate past lives
Of 20 years gone by
And we’ll wash out our mouths
With sweet salt air.

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9 Miles

At the Viceroy Hotel,
a car sits up on rocks
(not blocks)
Across the street from the shelter
are the condos, which are
across the street from the homeless
who are
sitting with signs by the highway entrance.
I am
skimming down Ogden Ave
doing my death dance with
cell-phone wielding socialites on wheels.
I’ll dare to race you
on two or four
you’ll never know what hit you
On my 9 mile ride
I defy the signs and lights
and in the darkness of the night
finish where I started.

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Different Paths

We will walk down that dusty path
with the sun setting in front of us
our walking sticks and cloaks on our backs
our soft murmur of conversation veiled
by the desert wind we travel in.

We can look into each other’s eyes now
this power unknown to us
of pictures taken after the fact
during pure moments in time
because we see the divinity inherent
behind the eyes, inside our spirits.

Walk with me, soul companion.

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Georgia mornings

I wanted to say
this morning felt like
a Georgia spring morning
when the heaviness in the air
is the heat trying to start the day.
I walked down Chicago city sidewalks
covered in the spring green of seeds flying down
from the trees finally blooming in glorious colors alive.
The strange silence hung over my pensive walk,
I don’t remember hearing the usual clamor
of the machinery around me humming.
Instead I thought of you in silence
and our strange story continued
in the cycle that we’ve now
come full circle in May.
We’ve never been
so poignant
as today.

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One Night

In the blanketing darkness around me
I sense the timeless souls
in harmony we sing
and our words flow from lips to praise
I let tears run down my face
and offer up to God my pain.

The joy in the prayers released
to diffuse in the world surrounding
if only they knew
the spirit of these days.

Patterns of light and shadow
played around the columns and windows
the soft footsteps matching the music
as we circled round this place.

My God, my Adored One
in every way we prayed
in silence offered up our devotion
with thundering voices cried out in adoration
and returned to life undismayed.

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Stuck freewrite

I want to write.

I want to write like I used to, with a sense of joy and strength underneath. Somehow I hold back, something is not right. I am dizzy from thoughts and sounds and the life that surrounds me.

I am swept up in a constant current of broken-down houses and rainwater gutters, stoplights and ambulances. There are no stars here, I wish I could wish but I’ll inhale the smog that passes for air in the passageways between streets.

Spinning wheels around the metal enclosing our eyes behind beige corridors, high above reality in the realistic sense. I hear pieces of music scattered around me, can’t create but I’ll watch and wait…


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The middle managers are all wearing blue shirts & khakis today,
walking to their meeting in single file.
The sales guys know my name, but to me they all look the same.

Office dinosaurs
wander around the jungle of cubicles
colorful skin of polo shirts and sweater-vests
walrus-mustaches and flannel
voices modulated from 30 years
of telephone-customer-service
their lumbering gait
halts near my desk
where the jar of pretzels lies in wait
and they methodically chew and philosophize,
gathering around the watering-hole (coffee pot)
to shake their ponderous heads.
We younger mammals (of a different era)
just try to stay out of the way.

————————————————– is hilarious. If you’re a cubicle monkey like me, the irreverant humor and uncanny truth may save your sanity (or offend you).

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Lost Cassete tapes

I heard the voice of myself
at age 4
I spoke with a Persian inflection
as I said prayers into the microphone
age 5
I read from a children’s book
not recognizing myself as I realized
the strength of my southern accent
(South Carolina public schools)
But when I spoke to my parents
I had no accent at all.

“Maman joon, Baba joon, Allah’u’abha.
This is Sholeh, and I am going to say
some prayers for you.”
The messages that we sent my grandparents
17 years ago
brought tears to my eyes,
the slight lisp of my 4 year old sister
as she said her ABCs
and talked about riding the elephant at the circus
and sang prayers and children’s songs.
“Maman joon, Baba joon, can you come visit us?
We will play with you, and we miss you.”

I heard the patient voice of my mother
“Ahfarin, Sholeh joon.” (Good job, Sholeh dear)
As my 3 year old self
pointed out objects: duck! moo! ob!

Why do we forget the things
that should never be left behind?
I cried today…
I wish I could go back sometimes
to that innocent child of my past
to let her know that I love her.

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Letters to myself

Once I tried to write a letter to you
you of my past
you haunt me still
in unknowing words
that I would do anything to be
the one you speak to
the only one you speak to
even when we’ve stepped
into other situations
I will never forget
I feel like I never learned
but you always said
this was forever
piece by piece I am taking out
my memories and knowing
that I am helpless against myself.

Trying to forget
orange streetlights against Chicago sky
my tears brought out in the rain
always tears, sometimes I ignore
the reality in those times
I will never forget
quilts sewn from the fabric
of our twilight dreams.

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There are
so many beautiful souls
that suddenly surround
my heart.
Last night I saw
that time and distance
make us all stronger
and the painful things
less large.
We will walk through these
life lessons with heads high.
I will
be there no matter what.
They will always be…


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because the lights were on in glowing red and I saw stars beneath our skies.


because I’m surrounded by more love that I could ever hope for.
because you(multiple) have had so much patience with my broken self.
because of music and dance and art, even though I struggle.


because the beauty of this(these) interaction(s) makes my heart ache in a very wonderful way.
because there are more things here to love than not.
because I see hope in my interactions and thought process.


because this will always be home for a million reasons.
because I finally begin to see in a darkness of my own creation.
because the lights were glowing in the skies!

This is what I can finally say
when you(multiple) never ask me how or why.

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Going to DC!


these sounds assault my ears
in joyful thumps and rings
I’ll tap my feet in time
I’ll take the rhythm
stash it away in my head
to walk along the corridors
snapping my fingers
and twitching my toes.

I’m leaving until Monday night to go to DC. I’ll see family, spend time with dear friends, and go to an amazing conference. I’m pretty excited. East Coast here I come!

I do believe it’s true
That there are roads left in both of our shoes
If the silence takes you
Then I hope it takes me too
So brown eyes I hold you near
Cause you’re the only song I want to hear
A melody softly soaring through my atmosphere

Death Cab For Cutie, Soul Meets Body

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Building up or tearing down?

(October 2005: Chicago, IL)

This is what they meant
when speaking in rhymes.
No fan of riddles, am I.
But in something they said
in the way it was read
spoke to me in symphony,
the harmony did not join,
I was left in misery
for a moment in time.

Why do these things always remind me
of things gone and lost and slipped away?
Rewinding back to where I first saw this
the beginning of my awakened state
desperately reaching for the one thing,
the only thing, I think
that will hold me up past the sunset…

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I’ll walk down to where I saw the beautiful things and lit up faces falling down in beautiful symmetry, pausing to reflect on exactly what brought this interaction here.
Writing is my escape to worlds no one can follow, except to trail behind in murmurings beyond my control.
Taking steps through places and around to parts of the pieces of my soul, beyond beyond and above.
I’ll take pictures to keep track of memories, pictures with my eyes to save in my mind, to save in my heart.
Detachment from one two three things, counting down as I check them off, and more come to the list but I welcome it.
Take me down, love, down to the places we used to play as children, wiping those tears and making dreams out of tree leaves and summer sun.
I’ll write on paper about all of the things I used to know and feel, and they’ll know the strength of my bravery in the face of what the world means.
Whisper to keep close the blessing of knowing what it is to live at this moment, to serve in this way, purity of thought and motive…we’re circling around one step after another after another.

I’ll see you at the end, and we’ll walk down to the paths we know well, at the edge of a new place, to face a new creation.

We’ll call it home.

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This is good!

Perhaps you don’t see the smile when I hear a song
or my laughter when I realize nothing’s wrong.
Maybe I read just a little bit much
or write things that make me seem sad and such,
I hold close the parts that make me real
that show you how I truly feel.
It is easy to think I am caught in a place, turning in circles because I can’t get out of being down. It is easy to get into that mode where nothing is right and while you acknowledge the good things around you, you chew on the wrong things to work them through.

Sometimes you’re the only sound I hear
this is a whisper in my heart
drawing me ever near
and I’m waiting to wake up
from this beautiful space
where my dreams and yours
are conversations in place.

(From apple-picking!)

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The truth is…

Am I true to myself
when I refuse to bare my soul to the world?
Maybe my way is more subtle
and leaves people guessing
at meanings and stories
behind the words I put on paper.
Sometimes I wish I could place
the burdens of my heart
out for the million’s vastness to see
to pick apart, analyze, judge, and
then leave behind.
It might make for some peace of mind.
You don’t know how serious I can be,
beyond the drama.
Oh yes, I used to be a dreamer,
these thoughts beyond quiet superstition
into realms of reality
far less keen.
I wanted to take pictures today of all of the different kinds of people I saw passing me on the street. Part of the beauty of living in a large city in America…every person you pass looks drastically different. Beautiful!! I feel spoiled that this is my vantage point every day.

There is construction behind and in front of my house right now. This morning I went to unlock my bike from the back patio and found it completely covered in construction dust. Also, they had to move a truck to let me out into the alley. ahh the power when tiny me has the ability to make trucks move out of my way! 😛

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An Ode to my computer

(Sufjan Stevens style)

Oh Computer, you served me well
3 dorms, 6 moves, one house
4 years
We all knew this would come someday

Your hard drive fails, your lights grow dim
the painful noise draws us in
The suffering, the suffering…

The memories of papers writ
the hallowed halls of poetry
the pictures taken in memory
Oh Computer,
what have I done?

An E-Machine,
a keyboard true,
a hard drive fails,
screen dark now
this, the sad tale.

Oh Computer, you rescued me
from lonely nights of misery
I tried my best
I tried all day
to keep you alive
to have you stay.

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Helium Dance (the entry that never ends)

I danced around helium balloons
laughing as they brushed around me
in circles, wind-carried.
I felt the rain
on a different day
it went to my head…
oh, last night
you should have seen me.
I need to get back
to the real me
the one who laughs without
inhibition or thought
how long has it been since
you really saw me?

I love Chicago, I really do. Thursday night:


What is in the news?
Baha’i events
school projects
occasional work
school-related events

Thoughts of autumn, Halloween, the job search, interpersonal interaction, scarves, chocolate, roomate switches, travel, and parties invade my mind. All of the people that I know and keep in contact with, and forget to be in contact with. Whenever people ask what is new, I don’t really know what to say. Things are always happening, I’m just not sure I want to explain it all, haha!

Went to the Sufjan Stevens concert, the first show I’ve been to in at least a year, if not more. I am not sure if I have digested it completely. I had such a sense of joy and calm afterwards…the music, Sufjan’s voice, the vibe of the show itself. yeah. I think that is as far as I can go with words.

I beseech Thee, O my Lord, by that Remembrance of Thee through which all things have been raised to life, and through which all faces have been made to shine, not to frustrate the hopes I have set on the things Thou dost possess. Cause me, then, by Thy mercy, to enter beneath Thy shadow that shadoweth all things.

Be Thou, O my Lord, my sole Desire, my Goal, mine only Hope, my constant Aim, my Habitation and my Sanctuary. Let the object of mine ardent quest be Thy most resplendent, Thine adorable, and ever-blessed Beauty. I implore Thee, O my Lord, by whatsoever is of Thee, to send, from the right hand of Thy might, that which will exalt Thy loved ones and abase Thine enemies.

No God is there beside Thee, Thou alone art my Beloved in this world and in the world which is to come. Thou alone art the Desire of all them that have recognized Thee.

Praised be God, the Lord of the worlds.


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This is such a beautiful mask
with smiles and laughter trimming the edges
Such a delicate creation, all wrapped in
words covering things unsaid.
Wanting something to hold on to,
but masks take me back.
I’m the last to admit
even to you…
and I’ll never say
all the things I wanted to.

Such a strange universe I find myself in, at the moment. The first hints of panic-inducing tests and learning about detachment in a very real way. Feeling as though the other things were just quizzes. Fascinating.

1:00 am is a lonely time in the world.

Maybe I need to curl up with a good book. hmm…

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Everything. Too. Much.

I want to write now
with words that escape my last breath
before I sleep
can I speak about the rain that came
to wash away these doubts
in rivers
and bridges
flooding over each place in the world.
In one place too much
in another not enough.

I will speak about those loved safe
just a dot on the map
in geologic time
but happy nonetheless.

my heart can’t take this in
reading and seeing
is too much to believe
I live in a place with sirens
as the wind in trees
what trees?
but this is not something I know.

I will be at work tomorrow.
wanting my someday-children
to have a world to explore
if we don’t destroy it now.

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Did I do that?

I am newly aware
of the strength contained
in my small frame.
There is something strange about knowing
exactly what to do
and that restraint
is good in its place.
Even odder is when I understand
that this was the only
thing I could do.
On a completely different note, congrats to any and all married/soon to be married couples (quite honestly, way too many to list here), etc etc. I’m dead tired.
I second-guess
and think
that this
is not going to be healed.
And it breaks my heart.
Why are things so strange here?

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sometimes I see
reflections behind me
out of the corner of my mind
I reach out to touch
with a fleeting glimpse
I know I’m alive
this is simple
to believe
I don’t have to try
since time
is beyond me

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Listen: A compilation of friends

I listened
as she told me the stories of her life
the struggle against demons that I could not imagine,
and the slow effort to rise up again.
I listened
as he unburdened his soul
explaining why he did what he did
his confusion in the midst of decision-making,
and the peace in his voice at the end.
I listened
as she talked about her love
laughing as she explained exactly what it was,
how it was that they arrived at this point.
I listened
as his voice changed when he talked about a girl
that he never met, but wanted to get to know,
and how she changed his life.
I listened
as her voice dropped when she explained
the circumstances that forced her to this place,
and tears filled her eyes.
I listened
as he told jokes to lighten my mood
even as he struggled with the anxiety of not knowing,
and the fear of change.

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this is not
this is not
this is …again, where we stand.
perfectly still…
again, my heart in my throat
my head in my hands.
This is a very large, very empty

(Click to enlarge)

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I apologize for the lack of entries this month…It has been a little busy. I attended a wedding in Minnesota this past weekend, and another set of friends is getting married this weekend. zooom!

Batman Begins was a great movie. I recognized so much of Chicago in the movie, it was hilarious.

This is such a perfect explanation for the way we move.
Each one of us, timed to collide
in uncomfortable and serious ways.
Apologies do no good here, and sometimes cause harm,
words spilled past lips, for want of a better term,
that used to be sealed.
And going around the room, we learn each other’s names,
one by one, around the clock, we play this crazy game.
We speak the truth to open eyes, and instead force them closed,
because when we see through the cheap disguise,
it is best that no one knows.

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