Maybe we will wake up….

I am angry today.
I want to strike out, my eyes are narrowed and I am looking for a fight.
My body is bruised from tripping and falling, and it is perfect. I am standing tall, back straight and legs for miles.

I am dangerous and smooth.
I want to dance, a serious tango. None of this half-hearted stuff.
My mind is writing everything off, and I am confused in the maze of all of these pieces of thoughts.

I am willing to talk back.
I want to say the exact right thing that will make everyone stare and gasp.
My words are spitting and spilling and they are so quick that each moment contains a thousand.

But only today.

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Performed this at the open mic on August 3rd…

I used to write love songs. I would run the tips of my fingers over dry earth, my eyes over the trees passing by. Pulling out every word, using the mortality in my thoughts, idealized in eternity.

I used large words to say everything, and no one heard because nowadays people don’t hear large words. Everything is cut into little pieces, the latest sound-bite of the newest fad, now on news stands!  (I haven’t looked at a supermarket checkout line in years).

Five hundred thousand points for using the word “dextrosinistral” in a sentence!  That is, by the way, a left handed person who is trained to use their right hand.  And your prize is…a dictionary?

Admit it…at least once, you have opened the dictionary or encyclopedia intending to read all the way through.  Come on, admit it!  (looks around)  I guess that was just me

I always wondered why the popsicles I made in the summer never turned out like the ones from the grocery store.  I was convinced that I could find the perfect recipe, and I wouldn’t have to chew my way through a solid block of ice.

Paper airplanes are the perfect pathways for love notes, if only they would fly in the right direction. 

I wish you would stop and ask for directions.

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Mother, I am you today.
I stretched my hands out in the sun,
there were greetings in silent smiles, and I found a new song.
Remember that there 3 dozen ways to read words,
and I dropped the pieces of our hearts.I am a mirror image today, mother.
There are the same curls in my hair, in the same places, I swear!
The veins in my hands stand out the same way as I wash dishes,
and maybe even my eyes smile like yours.
Although mine are more veiled
(oh the hazards of now…)

Time does kind things to us,
to recreate in exactly the same and different ways.

Mother, I wish I could sing the way you do,
there is a certainty in it.
Maybe my children will hear in the words I whisper to them
The echoes of you.

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I am surprised at the way eyes slide away when we know too much
there are a few things I wish I could list in an endless way…
maybe I am missing the pictures that go along with the captions
charcoal drawings are the only thing that I can see clearly sometimes
the smudges of gray on white paper catch my eye.

I never learned how to draw.
I never learned how to say anything in a straight line.

I say it all in words that accelerate and spill into open air
a never-ending fall.

My eyes are clouded over in six layers of the past, the one year of the future, the unknown, and every time I said something too soon.

When I prayed for the edges to be taken off the isolation
I became submerged, walking below the snowed-over pieces of the glass I fell through.
There is clarity in the forced silence, but my speech takes over in a avalanche of tumbling words.

I am still learning how to speak.

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My feet had lost the feeling of ground underneath them, the constant digging in of sharp rocks and hidden stones
I forget what people are like, their little frailties and habits, the beautiful and ugly things they do.

I am hidden here, there is a plate glass window and my breath is fogging it beyond repair.

Final steps have no place here, and I find myself wondering why final moments keep coming in front of my eyes…the unwished-for images that are some kind of violation to admit.

I wonder when my capacity for chocolate chip cookies turned into sunlit afternoons, fire-warmed snowed-in evenings, and serving Persian tea on a Persian carpet in a home in any continent in the world (you pick). When did home become such a lost word?

Today I finally remembered a piece of home (did you know that I’d forgotten?). It is freshly cut grass with trees overhead and the faint hum of suburban life.

Or the sounds of ambulances for 4 hospitals mingled with music from everywhere, and the possibility of eating food from 15 different countries any time I want.

Or limestone buildings with grandmothers on balconies, young men in jeans and American t-shirts and the sea behind it all.

I can’t decide anymore.

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There was a moment’s pause
an eternity packaged neatly
movement outside comprehension
surrounded by dark and the evening lights
falling down through the darkness in eyes…
we waited in pristine silence
and it became new to me again…

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Glass houses

They are standing in glass houses
With squares and tree-shaped reflections shadowing their faces
And they are throwing glass rocks
At the glass hearts suspended in human bodies
And the shattering silence is suspended in formless sound
Hope that every moment will add color, life
To this cold shining moment

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There has been silence in moments we stand,
here my eyes watch with laughter behind
and incoherent words trip through my lips
to fall flat on the floor.
My identity is submerged,
my thoughts are secret and strange. I promise that you’ve never seen me before.

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The child

I am seeing the same things, so why would my words be different?

Today the air was dust and rain at the same time,
my bare feet on marble,
my soul bared to Heaven,
My eyes searching for change.

I’ll walk in squares, in one direction, and end up at the corner again.

Each moment I wrap in brightly colored paper,
gently placed in the box under my bed in my heart.
One day there will be a child with my smile, words will be spoken,
a picture drawn, a lifetime in days and months simplified.

I will look into innocence.

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Potato Soup

so there are helicopters fluttering in my soul
unimpressed with this current state of mind.
retreat, retreat!
the horns blow,
and I know that the spaces after words are
settled in their designated places.


I invested in a slow cooker in order to be more efficient in my cooking endeavors (as well as a kitchen timer to avoid burning food, especially when I bake). The other day I adapted a potato soup recipe that I found online, and it turned out very well. I thought I would share it here. It is very rich, so if you want to substitute things, feel free to play around with it.

3 medium baking potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 can of white beans, drained
2 bunches of spring onions, diced
1 pint heavy whipping cream
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour (I used bean flour to make it gluten-free)
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Put all ingredients in the slow cooker at once, adding about 1-2 cups of water, and stir. You can use whatever setting you want, I used the slower setting and let it cook all night (about 12 hours). Check on it occasionally at the beginning you will want to check on it, stirring it to make sure the ingredients mix together.

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Look up

when I tasted the rain
there was salt on my tongue,
and I knew the sea was in the sky today.

there is dust on my hands
and I wait.

Tomorrow is the first day of Ridvan, one of the “Most Great Festivals” in the Baha’i Faith, and which lasts for 12 days. At the Baha’i World Centre, we will celebrate this day at Bahji, where Baha’u’llah was laid to rest. I hope everyone has a wonderful Ridvan.

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today I was alone in the Shrine for 30 minutes
and I let the rare tears fall
today I realized that the jasmine flowers are opening up
and I chased the faint scent around the gardens
today I thanked God for allowing me to be here
and asked for the strength to be of service
today I felt the sun on my face
and realized how alone I have been.

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Around a corner

there are patterns in hallucination

there are a dozen ways to look down upon a place you once knew

I know those summer afternoons in a city,

watch as the flowered sun dresses of the elite clatter by

the shiny shoes of the well to do reflect sunlight

more painfully than metal.

I love the patterns of leaves in golden sunlight

as cars rush by, not understanding my pace.

there are things I remember, just around the corner.

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Naw Ruz

I decided that for a new year, a new design was needed. I spent hours staring at CSS code, ensuring that I will need a new prescription for my glasses in the next 6 months. Explore the site, there are more pages and information. Thanks must go out to Jordan for designing such a beautiful banner…with no input from me! And to my webmaster and friend Paul for helping with the switch.

Tomorrow is the Baha’i New Year, which is one of my favorites. Holy Days in Haifa are beyond description.

I wonder if maybe you would know me better if you read my words,
or if I tell you all of my stories (in chronological order),
or if I sat quietly with you in the silence of a sunny day in the car.
I think that it has probably been years since I last ate cottage cheese
or peanut butter straight off the spoon.
I think it has been years since time moved so slowly.

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Extension of thought

I am buried and surrounded by
the silence and truth.I am struggling to comprehend
the idea of worlds without end,
of the conciousness of planets,
the crystal light of suns.

I am watching the beauty of
smiles between friends,
the smile on a child’s porcelain-doll face.

I am wondering at the thousand ways
the wind can change my heart,
the way my heart can change my mind
and the way my soul sinks into the earth.


I caught the faint ends of the
knowledge of the Divine,
the last tendrils of the
smouldering fire of the heavens.
And if you saw a glimpse only to reject it,
my heart weeps for you.

There are tasks I’ve yet to start,
dreams that I am painting in order to
start dreaming them.

You have so many choices
and one or two or three paths to take.
Only four or five or six exponential
leaps of logic
before your intuition takes over.

Through the sea of faces
the singular virtue in each glows dully
veiled in the layers of dust and time,
of the grime of the hours of life.

I am waiting for the silence between stars
to narrow and divide.
We can travel there
to the edges of the unraveling universe.

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Secret Door

there are secrets in the way
eyelashes touch skin
in the way we sidestep battlefields
burying our smiles in murmurs
we are perfect strangers.

This weekend, the first two days of the Fast (our weekend is Friday & Saturday, remember!)…was exactly what I needed. A delightful breakfast with my flatmates the first morning, shopping in the sunlight (I’ve invested in a DVD player & perused an art store), movies, breakfast on the Saturday morning with most of the people in my apartment building, Saturday afternoon at Bahji, and finally dinner at my apartment to break the Fast with friends.

It makes up for an Ayyam-i-Ha that was a bit less than stellar. 🙂

I finished reading Muhammad and the Course of Islam, am almost done with The World Order of Baha’u’llah, and read Tuesdays with Morrie, which I highly recommend. This weekend I started Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, but I am also looking for some lighter reading to supplement.

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Maybe the windows need cleaning.

It is easier to write with teardrops/raindrops on the window
and running in rivers down the street.
It is easier to speak in the dark when no one can see my eyes.
I am running out of words and desperately digging through paragraphs
to see what I used before.
(papers are falling to the floor all around me)
It is hopeless to use words and pictures and sounds separately.
It is impossible for me to put everything together coherently.

I am racing against myself, against my thoughts to catch up to the dreams I’ve been having for so many years. Three to four dreams a night and it is certainly starting to add up…I guess my soul is taking trips around the world and keeping busy.

Put it down on paper quick!

Find new words for every image because although I wish so hard I could paint these things…someone else has taken that picture already, has used the canvas to show it and I can only throw it down on screens and paper.

(This morning, from an office window)

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the tips of my toes are balanced on marble steps
through the soles of my shoes
and in the air is that particular perfume
of Persian roses and cloudy skies.
Today, outside my apartment.

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I think I’m writing again.

I think I’m writing again but not speaking in every sense of the term. Speaking in the words that make sense to me and you if you could hear what I was saying to you. Every time I stare at the ceiling I see spiderwebs in the corners of my eyes and the movement in still air is mesmerizing.

Why are spiderwebs so good for evocative imagery of stickiness? Is it because they are a common experience to us, we can all relate to webs and spiders and strands and the cliche of “connectedness”?

Now I’m tired of spiderwebs and I’m looking for something else to take on.

There were words in my dreams, and I could read them so clearly that I felt them burned into my eyes…but now they fade and I am left with tattered scratches. Unmarking the places where the pieces and halves were dropped, I feel my spirit sinking and floating.

I drank in the sun and the sound of the rocks under my boots and the faint laughter drifting between cyprus trees, and let the smile on my face loose for the first time in a while. The walls are starting to crumble in this space.

This is joy.

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Fascination with darkness

The fascination with darkness is nothing new.
There are no stories or poems left
In the spaces between lights flickering madly.
This is a promise, in a way.
The only darkness that was left was between stars,
And that was too far to know.
The beauty in darkness is its contrast with light,
The way prayers are chanted under a dome,
The way anything is allowed under the guise of mistakes,
Under the comforting blanket of a certainty that darkness
Is now the realm of the beloved.
Bahji garden, Saturday January 13th, 2007

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I wrote this poem at the last open mic I attended in Chicago. I wanted to perform but I had nothing with me, so I wrote it at the last minute.


There are things surrounding me
Pizza boxes and old records
movie ticket stubs and museum passes.
There are so many things,
so many past lives, or maybe
just my past life,
the people I tried to leave behind.
My feet are buried in the trash can contents
and I’m trying desperately hard to be content.

I’ve got dusty books and candy bars in wrappers,
scratched cds and sorry-looking teddy bears.
I never thought to wade into the past,
into my soul.
My sole purpose was shocking myself into action,
to push myself into submission.

This path used to be silent,
these ways used to be mine alone and I struggled
to get home.
I am up to my knees in my past life,
of our lives built together,
each and every one fills a trash can.

I told the universe I could,
that I would and was willing.
I told the world my soul was strong
but that my heart was not ready.
I told this city I was ready to leave and
thank God that I finally listened to me.
I told you everything, I told her the stories in my life,
and he listened with everything in his being.

What will always be you to me, you:
this street, this place on the corner,
the convenience store that sells Indian food
in Little Italy.
The pieces of places and the peace I found
when I finally moved home.

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The pathways

like the stories I used to tell to myself
there are messages hidden for them to find
hiding under tables and the ways I look out the window
on long car rides.

secrets are tied up in my lips
in the words I speak, the way I write
the things I see.

see you in the mirror next to me
the duplication of all the ways we may never be,
aftertime maybe we’ll allow the weakness to show.


Gardens at Bahji, January 6th, 2007

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tipping over in streams flying down a million stairs
I want to create the illusion of vastness
in the little sideways pieces of buildings.
I want to see the little ways that your words
will take hold and stay in the places between
the rose-colored gradients in a night sky.
In the ways that the close proximity of absolutely nothing
can make me understand things never said.
cracks in sidewalks can do wonderful things for perspective.
Maybe the coffee had too much sugar,
or maybe I am just in a place I’ve been many times before
it takes so much more than it used to.
I realized when I looked up that the eyes watched me,
and I had my answer all along.
The moment I stepped on the rocky shore
all of those prayers for detachment came true
veering across this delicate dance
there are secrets hidden under the roads
I knew before this place.
Maybe someday I will tell you
what I thought last night.

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i am drowning in the past
all because i am leaving
i am holding on
dusty boxes and photos
i leave fingerprints
on these white walls.

write down everything
write every word and thought
i don’t want to have to guess
or overthink my analysis
i used to sing to them
in the soft sounds of me
my little voice against waves
of unease.

i can’t let go
i have these dusty fingertips
and haunting poems
and prayers that won’t come out
these flashes of inspiration
these depths of desertion
i have it all
i am holding it all in my heart
this safe little box with a key
i broke it.

i’m sorry.

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Too late.

you drove the sleep from my eyes
tireless I’ll roam now
with the squeaking hinges of discomfort
rattling in my brain.

I am watching waiting
in the way only a very late night
or early morning can bring on,
delirious half-dream that
takes on a life of its own.

I was looking at the distance between places
and realized that the spaces
are only here because we chose them
I wish I could choose otherwise sometimes.

Keep thinking these are thorns
or pins set to trip you up
set in place to pierce your voodoo doll
the one you gave me
the one that has pieces of your heart
tangled up in mine.

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stutter and gasp as I speak
these words
these words will not come out
shine shine on
and my heart rests on fragile strings
negate my devotion

lines running back through time
there are parts of me that never left
hold on
did you think I never wanted forever.

The words said
the accusation
have broken me into pieces.

I never left. I promise you.

I never left.

But these are my words now
and this is judgement.

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The comfort of the storm

I ran through the thick droplets
the thunder in my bones
the lightning in my eyes and my hair
I would scream out at the sky
but under city lights it is futile
a waste of breath in the clattering crowds
this is joy!
life breathed in the storm
coalesced in flashes
moving against each individual form
we’ll listen to music
in the silence between.

Write madly in the flickering candle nights
there are secrets here
whispered against our obscure smiles
sweet in the way you say it
tragic in the way I know life will be
from now.

We’re keeping the darkness at bay
with lights lit in the secret corners
of our hearts
with sighs and prayer
and maybe even the smallest amount
of song.

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Stepping through the haunting past

let the past haunt in its way
pale eyes shining
we’ll run and I’ll taste the reasons we died
little pieces of plastic and glass
I let them wedge into my heart
pry out the molecules left
dispensing in the soup kitchen lines of fervor
these streets are mine!
these shadowed trees and dreams
tiptoe across bare asphalt, melting in the heat
so we fade with time
promises of secrets kept, whispered through tears
so maybe my trust was misplaced.


I guess there is a lot that is new, a lot of things changing in my life, but this blog has never really been a place for that. The lists I make to help “organize” my life always get longer, but now I’m excited about these lists. I’m working toward something, toward my goals in life, and I feel like I’m finally making the drastic changes I knew I needed (and some completely unexpected ones).

So summer ends and I smell leaves and everyone is shifting. I’m waiting, but the wait is not long anymore.

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Down this road again…

try to warn away the looks
dissuade the conversation
i’ve never been good at this
maybe because i’m so good at this
don’t know how not to
continue to fall from grace
every time i’m in this place
every road i choose
i know the crossing signs
before i arrive

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