Can’t put the words in to sentences that make sense
lethargy consumes me…wait,
it consumes you, and I’m just here for the beautiful view.
There is a disconnect between our hearts and intellects
under-educated because self-education is just too hard.
I speak to you and you and you and you…
I love you but I’m frustrated.
No, that is not the right word.
I am baffled, disheartened, distressed, and vexed…
encouraged, heartened, triumphant, and uplifted.
A strange combination to have sitting inside my head.
Why are such things as this always written in the middle of the night?
Even I fall
when I hear words from
the other half of me.
This is true, I know
and yet somehow
you and me are not
you and me.
It is not for now,
it may never be.
The words have made tears
sorrow and joy combined,
in this, what I dare not see.
I rode the train today, red line to roosevelt bus.
I missed the Roosevelt stop, and ended up in Chinatown.
Too immersed in my book, I did not mind the delay.
I come home to discover a gift of chewy chocolate chip cookies
(which are horrible for me, but I eat one anyway, as a treat).
In my mind, it is summer already…
Say a prayer.
Step back, take a breath…
Say a prayer.
Aware of the combination of
pain and joy.
Suddenly, the time has come to register for my classes for the Fall. This is the last time that I will do this in my undergraduate career. I am actually looking forward to it, because as a senior, I can get into the classes that I want to get into. Well, hopefully. ðŸ™‚
This is for you,
running through this wild maze.
I’ve seen you struggle
to overcome these walls,
these endless green heights
surrounding our thoughts.
You’re beautiful, loves, every last one of you.
I don’t normally like to rhyme so much, but this poem just wanted to be written, I had no control over it. ðŸ˜‰
I see one taking up the burden
and this one holding down the fort
one reaching out to the stragglers
and this one reaching out for more.
I see one singing out prayers
and this one singing out dreams
one peeling off layers
and this one apart at the seams.
I see one learning about beauty
and this one learning about art
one learning about science
and this one is just trying to start
I see one being neglected
and this one showing them devotion
one feels rejected
and this one can’t show emotion.
I see one laughing with joy
and this one supremely content
one is going in circles
and this one is barely present.
I’m not describing specific people
or even a specific event.
I’m describing the matchless beauty
that these youth represent.
Never shall I abandon this intoxicating bliss
Since you conquered my heart before I ever existed.
The ink on this page bleeds through
spreads to make artistic patterns
on an otherwise pristine desk
I look in dismay at the sudden colors
that appear without permission
This is why I maintain that typing is better
than foisting my handwriting
onto the world.
I don’t like spaces.
Between sentences they’re ok.
But not between people.
Happy Ayyam-i-Ha, everyone…party tonight was off the hook. ðŸ™‚
i am not accustomed to making you miserable.
well, you and i do not yet know
how this will be resolved
since resolution requires communication
and this, while it constitutes
words and sounds,
is not speaking.
And as i walk into the sun…
and as i stare across this ocean…
and as i start a brand new day…
but i felt we’d be the same, again.
-Dirty Vegas, “Walk Into The Sun”
This is an interesting edge I’m trembling on.
There are corners to the universe here
that I never realized existed.
You (and I mean “You” in the multiple sense)
and I (and by “I” I mean me)
have an erratic way of articulating
the sentiments in our souls.
In the absence of true speech
we dance around the subjects
of our heavy hearts,
choosing instead to engross ourselves
in lighthearted deviations from the norm.
(A water main near my work exploded and coated trees and power lines in ice, creating a temporary ice world.)
This is where
those fragile moments
in a dazzled display
of laughter and inside jokes.
This is where
each of us
have been able to show ourselves
as who we truly are.
There is no need to
tear ourselves down
in order to build up.
I am faced with
the improbability of this…
the beauty and delicacy…
I am reminded, finally,
of why, and how,
and that despite what is said
we overcome our issues
with each other and the world.
Even if it means that somehow
(just a little bit)
we grow up.
I’ve started to forget the colors in a sunset.
Of course I see the stereotypical gradients in my mind,
likely placed there by television or National Geographic.
It isn’t quite real, though.
Here, the skies are cloudy or full of smog
shocking to the eyes, ruining the effect.
I am lucky if I find space between buildings
to catch a glimpse of the horizon.
The most indelible memory of dusk is from childhood.
My bedroom window, facing west, filled with an orange glow.
I would squint my eyes as I tried to fall asleep
in South Carolina summer evenings
with the sun staring me in the face.
And then the sinking down over the Illinois prairie,
with nothing but sky and grass and the occasional tree,
lonely without its usual entourage.
For some reason, the sunset seems longer on the prairie,
stretched across a wider frame.
I am starved for beauty of the natural sort, here.
Except for a large body of water
that I pass at high speeds,
barely glancing over.
the threat of separation
draws me in
to this nightmare realm
where I search
calling your name
there is an echo back…
this scenario has happened before
in a different situation
in my dreams.
I wait for you in the room
only to discover that someday
you will leave.
in my head these things reign
supreme over rational thought
I awake with pain and terror
spreading through my soul.
I reach out to find your presence
still lingering in my heart.
these dreams keep coming…
and I, a stranger to death
realize that this is my fear of
What happens when Sholeh is too busy to write blog entries? She blesses the world with poetry.
This is what she is cloaked in
Undermined by mystery
She’s got no poker face
No, openness is her fate
She is silent
Every minute, in every way
Something surrounds her
She is moving through the streets
With that haze in wisps around her
I lock these thoughts up
In the little iron box
That sits next to my heart
In quiet repose.
The chains surrounding it
In this condition.
Oh, speak with all of the words lingering in your heart,
The ones that refuse to come out unless prodded.
Speak and don’t be afraid of the emotions
The dreams, the pain that come with speech.
Just…speak, sing, shout out this strange poetry,
These strange songs and sentences.
Reach out with all of your senses
Stretched to the limits of thought
Surrounded by these beautiful, heartrending
In those days past
when summer was the overriding season
our smiles were open
the cynical twists of the mouth didn’t exist.
There was no pain behind those eyes.
It was the Sobes and the Guccis and the core Chicago youth.
It was frisbee and cooking together,
moving in and out of dorms
and driving Lake Shore Drive at 2 am.
It was trips from the suburbs to the city
with analyzing and thought.
It was singing and praying and fixing the Center
It was CCA and UIC, trips to Louhelen in February
(lets spend Valentines day talking about college).
It was sisters and brothers, blood-bound or not,
and finding the people you didn’t know existed.
It was outward-looking orientation, before we ever heard that word.
It was service without asking “What’s in it for me?”.
It was volunteering at the House of Worship.
It was the beginning of the Chicago Youth Desk and the interns.
It was beaches and Ruhi book 7.
It was when the word “relationship” didn’t matter
and “crushes” were silent, beautiful things,
when Shakespearean love brought nothing but smiles.
It was dancing and late night calls to say “I’m sorry, did I offend you?”
It was mutual support and realizing it was ok to say
“I love you” without it meaning anything more than that.
It was the “one girl with all the guys” or
the “one guy with all the girls” but no one noticed.
It was all of the Chicago youth BLAZONING the name of Baha’u’llah,
and singing to the National Spiritual Assembly.
It was nearly drowning in the river and 24 hour diners.
It was Persian Conference and Greenlake,
and ninja videos shot in a Japanese garden.
It was jam sessions and crazy guitar serenades.
It was the Taste of Chicago and Erykah Badu,
the 3rd of July with fireworks on the beach.
It was the UofC and The Pit,
and all night talks about deep subjects.
It was dinner and movies and an intense lack of sleep.
It was when goals and dreams seemed realistic.
It was true friendship with that honesty and laughter…real connections.
It was joy and discovery, freedom from judgement and drama.
It was 2003.
And it made us what we are today.
(Neda & Sholeh collaborated to write this memory collection)
If I was able to paint in dreams
I would put on a canvas every fascinating nonexistent color.
If I was a singer in dreams
I could put pure joy to music,
I could express impossible things with one note.
If I was a writer in dreams
I could think my thoughts onto the paper
And whole books would be written
In the blink of a mind’s eye.
But oh, if I was a dreamer in dreams…
I once saw the deconstruction of the spirits of some friends
Pieces pulled out one by one
Each contained in a teardrop
Absorbed by sweaters and t-shirts
And the occasional torn and rumpled tissue
I saw purple shoes walking down the street yesterday
they looked a little sad
plodding along, tongues hanging out wearily
In September 80 degree weather.
I don’t know what style they were
or if they are offended by being labeled in a category
just because they have a logo on their sides.
I couldn’t exactly stop to ask them…
I mean, wouldn’t you be a bit startled
if a stranger came up to you on the street
to ask about your brand loyalties?
And they wonder why there is a shortage of teachers in this country.
It has been
utterly gray outside
the kind that shifts my mood
from blue to almost purple
and back again to white
It has been filled with red
(I think that is the color of stress)
with a bit of green thrown in
for good measure.
I think brown poked his head in
for a moment there,
but scurried out when he saw
that yellow was nearby.
Orange seems to be non-existent
She took a sick day, perhaps.
was completely, utterly, gray.
I look around and realize
How little I know of the friends that I’ve spent hours and days with
The trials in their minds and souls
The fragility with which their thoughts are shaped.
Clumsy, I stomp through this web
Unknowingly cutting ties and lines and lives…
Stumbling through, tracking flour through the snow.
Now with gloved hands I pick up pieces
But the glue makes my fingers stick together
So I look around and realize
I’m slowly losing what I was asking for.
If I could sleep right now and dream
it would be…perfect.
If I could look at you and smile right now
I would be so happy.
But I’ve memorized that glance
with the slow grin
And I’ve imprinted every memory
in my mind and heart
And I sit here waiting
and the corner of my mouth lifts
in a measure of delight.
I dreamed and it came true.
It is a sign from the Divine, he said
A mysterious smile at the corner of his mouth
Something falling randomly
Taking hold and taking shape
Twisted gently and broken down
Something given from the hand of fate
Built up slowly from nothing
Or perhaps the first spark was there
When a smile was given and, unaware
Both souls knew, though far away
That this was something to pursue
So often we hide from truths we see
But here, the truth was in front of me
Not so close that I had to
Close my eyes to find it
Not so far to make me deny it
I am here now to stay
Simply because of that end-summer day
Twice or thrice had I loved thee,
Before I knew thy face or name;
So in a voice, so in a shapeless flame
Angels affect us oft, and worshipp’d be…
-John Donne, 1572-1631
Something about this selection just makes me…I don’t know. Peaceful? Yeah. You can read the whole thing here.
Check out the coolest website in the world. Ok maybe not, but certainly very well done, and definitely needed. The conference is what has been keeping me busy for the last few weeks, and therefore the lack of interesting blog posts. I promise this will change soon. Um…maybe after finals? haha.
as to the philosophy that drives
to this interesting, incompatible edge.
understandably, I’m not impressed
by this thought process.
twisting around turns
I’m getting polluted.
this constant scream and shout
I’m feeling drowned out
I can’t stand your doubt.
my dreams, illogical as they may seem
are not your enemy.
The white flag was never waved
my brain pathways: never paved.
Give up this useless fight,
deciding on your version
of wrong and right
never leaves me satisfied.
I’m just ready to drop.
find the beauty in life
cut out the fascination with strife
this useless argument
just needs to stop.
Mission (Feb 2004)
I lost sight of my mission somewhere along the way.
At my birth I was given an inescapable task.
“Go and teach, spread the Word, be worthy of your heritage.”
Such a noble legacy, stories of heroism, sacrifice, and love.
Somewhere, my ego got in the way.
In my zeal to serve I realized other things.
I became less naïve and more cynical.
My compassion never diminished, but my intentions changed.
When I protest, they say I’m just being humble.
Most of the time, it is true.
But somewhere inside me, my conscience is cringing.
I recognized the need to strive one day,
When I sat in a room full of people and didn’t want to connect with them.
Fellow human beings, and even my social abilities were strained.
(please understand, for me this is very strange!)
It is like a shock to the system.
Surrounded by the things I love most in the world
I wanted to be alone.
It has never occurred to me to be other that who I am
The combination of characteristics that makes me unique.
And my beliefs will never change.
But in myself, I was aware of a call for transformation.
God never leaves us without a solution.
To pray, to seek guidance, to simply serve with all of your heart and soul.
Struggling against the lower nature, the part of you that says:
“But I want to sleep in today.” Or “I want a reward for this job.”
In the process of separation from self,
I found myself, somewhere along the way.
I’m completely bundled up today
from the knee-high boots on my feet
to the coat I have named “Bear”
to the scarf that wraps twice around my neck
to the hood pulled up on my head.
Even though Bear nearly reaches the ground
the wind still manages to snuggle up next to me
sneaking into the openings I’ve carelessly left
like arm and neck holes, and by my feet.
Black leather gloves with a brown coat
The fashionistas would swoon in anguish
Such a ghastly combination of colors
But everything goes with white, I say.
When the fluffy stuff piles up
concealing all of winter’s gray
everything is muted: sound, light, touch
cotton candy marshmallows to the eye.
So I slog through the impertinent slush
my head down, it looks like cookie dough
look up, and I’ve got flurries in my face
I don’t recommend breathing them in
through your nose.
Some of the snowflakes were
as big as chocolate chips
I nearly choked on the water on the breeze
while my skin cracked in the dry air.
I love Chicago. I also love that I don’t have to drive.
in their beats there is somethin’ missing
you know I’m listening
a fragile kinship blossoming
I’m not saying I know it all
but this generation hit a wall
I’ll stumble but I’ll never fall
on my knees but I’ll never crawl…
It is the first day of a new semester, and the classrooms are full as they’ll ever be for the next 3 1/2 months. “Your syllabus can be found online” because of the cuts in the State education budget, our papers are too expensive to print. The professors don’t look frazzled yet, and everyone is wearing new clothes.
It is like I’m back in elementary school. Without the budget cuts and the latte-sipping, cigarette-smoking, cell-phone-carrying UIC students. ðŸ™‚ Ah, I love the smell of too much cologne in the morning…hahaha…
I got the feeling that we were
delicately dancing around a few subjects tonight
somehow the timing is never right
I’m not sure how to express
my thought process
it is like a test I’m going through
well, just between me and you
Can’t just settle on a decision
It isn’t like things can’t stay the same
that is the preferred mode
We wouldn’t know where to place the blame
if something went wrong
we couldn’t say that we didn’t know
What I’m trying to say is:
I’m avoiding my self-destructive behavior
trying to move myself forward
and not make you my savior
that is what happens, you see…
I turn you into my protector
to make my life easy
but that isn’t what its supposed to be about
I’m not about to put our connection through that
it would be like an emotional burnout
Therefore I am back where I started
trying to reason and rhyme
it’s like I’m trying to find
that understanding that calms me down
there is this image I can’t live up to
the one in their mind’s eye
there is this misunderstanding of regret
that clouds inner vision
and dampens the fire
Pride is one thing
I think I’ve got it right
I’m going backward
than I thought I would, somehow…