Iranian Edition (Vol II) | Poetry by Rosa Jamali | Issue 40 (2021)

By Rosa Jamali

I’ve turned to an annual plant, shielded and armed, from the genus of hollyhocks
and broad leaves
Whole five-thousand-year history is turning over my head
It was the moment that you were buried with no shroud
And I’m the weeds and icicles of this land, 
Had been climbing over the flames, it was a black ladder, burning my sole feet
It was the moment that I had chopped my heart, you had sucked my blood in
that woundless bowl
Had been growing like a wildflower, had been living for millions of years
In Syriac over my body:
Nail-shaped herbs had written some letters.
I’m the genius of thorns with wounded heels of thousands of miles travelling in
the oasis
My blistered feet, weary and my parched lips
Shattered by the mountain ranges I had been fighting with my claws
My roots are extended with the fluent liquid in the vessels
Lilacs had grown over my arms and now I’ve turned to the ivy as if burning in the
I left my name on the land I stepped, …
And who’s this weeping human child, lamenting two thousand years in my arms?
Still weeping?! Always weeping?!

I’ve been raising this child for six thousand years
I’ve grown this Persian hero to send him to the battlefield
Breastfed him
And he has grown out of my eyes
This extreme light which has blinded me…

Cyber War
By Rosa Jamali

All Diplomatic ties are frozen
Though we have always welcomed all sides
This Persian Jaguar is going extinct
And we need a cyber co-existence
The Laleh Park is our Public Zoo
We have been pre-occupied by cats
Good news,
The population is rising!
Let’s go on a pilgrimage!
First you knock at the door
Then you vote
The officials are dinning
knock, knock
Time for chocolate cake!
The Unofficials are protesting all over the world
Making too much fuss!
Oh, my Dearest Cyber Army
Dearest Soldiers of my Land
The Republic has turned to a cyber space!
There is no oil
No oil
And we should rely on Solar Energy
Oh our human resources!
Heavenly Cosmic Energy
Nuclear Energy
There is no barrel of oil,
And oil is over!
Neither global warming
Nor a geopolitical force
It’s money laundering
And land grab
And Vegan Life
Green Life
The sea has leveled
Oooo we are getting close
And closer
To the cosmic forces!
You are direction-wise
Welcome to The Republic
No Solution is a Time Zone.

Chess-like City, Tehran
By Rosa Jamali

You see the city in my veins fast asleep
Like the obscure web over my brain
As if destroyed by the fragments of my memory.
In the morning things were perfect
Just a watchdog, which is penetrating incessantly into the eyelids
Things for sure were perfect in the morning.
Signals, signals, and parasites bombarded the satellite TV!
Like a white sheet, stagnant on the washing hanging
Still, things are perfect,
Waves moving around me;
This wretched scorching hot sultry weather
I’m the only driver turning into the highways
Railings like parallel lines keeping us all together
Is the turning forever?
Lack of iron and minerals,
Mercury as fast as death is shadowing the table frame now
Temperature’s just dropped!
Tehran is the city in my veins fast asleep!
Railings are putting us into sleep
The ruins of the city have been left over the frame.
Done with your breakfast?
Shall we exit from the right?
The prism, turning and turning into the wind
As if our torn-up parched lips and the garments in the whirlwind
By watching I feel pins and needles in my arms
The chessboard you made
With all its dead bodies,
Surfing over the waters and waters of the metropolis!

Rosa Jamali (b. 1977) is an Iranian poet based out of Tehran. She’s got an MA degree from Tehran University in English Literature, and is the author of six collections of poetry in Persian, a play, various scholarly articles and is the translator of an anthology of English Poetry in Persian.

Her first book, titled This Dead Body Is Not an Apple, It Is Either a Cucumber or a Pear, was published in 1997. Critics credit this collection with opening new landscapes and possibilities for contemporary Persian poetry.

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