Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A new poem in memory of Mona Mahmunizad, who was killed in Iran in the 1980s for teaching Baha'i children's classes. She was sixteen.


The fine bones of her neck snapped quickly
as osteoporosis of the age permitted,
no jeweled pendant for her slight brown clavicle,
no crescent moon in silent witness of this shedding jewel,
no ululation to break that weary night of courage and of pearl.

The hyoid bone, that fragile spot where pulses beat
remembered speech, and crushed. She sang her poet song
to ancestors: Tahirih looked upon her naked
throat and held her hands as moonrays from calibrated skies,
lent Beauty to her daughter's eyes immersed in waiting night.

She was the last, and so became the first,
her name calligraphied within a newer constellation,
a risen star still seen cross mighty nebulae of reasons,
each fingerling joint a quasar of eternity.
Mona, who otherwhere would have become a saint
instead became a houri leaping cross
the line-dance colours of the Persian desert

sky. There, striation carries angels scattering letters
at the sound of sand and feathers,
a white scarf floats down from the brightened heavens
and bones break into supernovae stars,
the suns of necklaces draped on tea-soft neck and scars.

The firmament is bruised, and with its tears,
tells woman stories of these yesteryears and gems,
these orbits, moons and stories made of light,
these pure ones' broken bones in history's night,
till bursting forth the weary ones will dance,
till whirling into space, these helix souls
move time, and rest.

copyright Heather Cardin 2008


At 10:42 AM, Blogger GreenishLady said...

I have come to your blog by a circuitous route. I am so glad I found it when this poem was the first post. (I have also really been struck by your student's found poem - a gem!)

Blessings to you.


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