4 Poems , by Forough 

A poem for you
to my son Kamyar, with hope for future days
Translated by: Shirin Tabibzadeh & Melinda Barnhardt

I recite this poem for you
on a thirsty summer evening
in the middle of this road of ominous beginning
in the ragged grave of this infinite pain

This is the last lullaby
beside your cradle
let the wild resonance of this cry out
echo in the sky of your youth

Let the shadow of me, a wanderer,
stay apart from yours
let us have our reunion on a day
when there shall be none except God between us

I have leaned my hurting forehead
against a gloomy door
I still rub my cold, bony fingers
on this door with hope

It was I, who, branded with disgrace,
laughed at absurd sarcasm
I wished to be the echo of my own existence
but alas, and pain, I was a "woman"

When your innocent eyes glide 
over this disordered book without beginning
you will see the deep-rooted rebellion of ages
blooming in the heart of every song

Here the stars have no shine
here the angels are all in tears
here the blossoms of Maryam's white flower
are worth less than desert thorns

Here sits on every road
the demon of lies, disgrace, and hypocrisy
I don't see in the gloomy sky
the light of a bright morning of awakening

Let them be filled again, my eyes,
with beads of dew
I am going to pull the curtain
from the face of holy Marys

I have broken away from the shore of good name
the star of storm is in my breast
the flight arena of the flame of my rage,
alas, is the gloomy realm of a jail

I have leaned my hurting forehead
against a gloomy door
I still rub my cold, bony fingers
on this door with hope

I know it isn't easy
to fight this pious, pretentious group
for a long time now, my town and yours, my sweet little child
has been the nest of Satan

There'll come a day when your eyes
glide over this painful song with yearning
you will seek me between my words
saying to yourself, she was my mother

Those days   
Translated by: Shirin Tabibzadeh & Melinda Barnhardt

Those days are gone
those good days
those healthy, wholesome days
those skies full of sequins
those branches heavy with cherries
those houses leaning on each other
protected by the green ivy
those roofs of playful kites
those alleys giddy with the smell of acacia.

Those days are gone
those days
when songs effervesced like air bubbles
from the slit of my eyes
when my eyes drank like fresh milk
whatever they lighted upon.
As if in my pupils
lived a restless, joyful rabbit
who went to unknown plains of discovery
every morning with the old sun,
and sank into jungles of darkness at night.

Those days are gone
those snowy, quiet days
when, through the windowpane, in the warm room,
I stared outside every now and then
my pure snow, like soft fluff
fell gently
on the old wooden ladder
on the limp laundry rope
on the whiskers of old pine trees
and I thought of tomorrow, ah,
slippery, white mass.

It would begin with the rustle of grandmother's veil
and with her shadow flickering on the door frame
which suddenly released itself to the cold sensation of light
and the wandering pattern of doveflight
on the tinted windowpane

The heat of the stove was soporific
I erased the checkmarks from my old homework
recklessly and fast
away from mother's sight
when the snow stopped 
I would roam in the garden, depressed
and would burry my dead sparrows
next to the pots of dried jasmine.

Those days are gone
those days of fascination and wonder
those days of wakefulness and dream
in those days, every shadow held a secret
every closed box hid a treasure
every corner of the storeroom, in the silence of noon,
seemed as if it were a world
anyone daring the dark
was a hero in my eyes.

Those days are gone
those New Year's days
that longing for the sun and flower
that wafting of fragrance
in the shy gathering of wild narcissus
visiting the town 
in the last winter morning
and the peddler's call in the long green-dotted street.

The bazaar was floating in drifting aromas
in the pungent aroma of coffee and fish
underfoot, the bazaar stretched, flexed, mingled with all the moments along the way
and turning again and again, in the orbs of doll's eyes
the bazaar was Mother, moving quickly to the colored, fluid masses
and returning
with boxes of gifts, loaded baskets
the bazaar was rain, pouring, pouring, and pouring

Those days are gone
those days of wonder at the body's secrets
those days of cautious acquaintance with the beauty of blue veins
a hand holding flower, calling another hand,
from behind the wall
and the small ink spots on this anxious, trembling, frightened hand,
and love,
repeating itself in a shy hello...

In the muggy, hot noon
we sang our love in the dust of the alley
we knew the simple language of messenger flowers
we took our hearts to the garden of innocent kindnesses
and lent them to the trees
and the ball changed hands, carrying messages of kisses
and love was that confused feeling that suddenly surrounded us
in the darkness of the passageway
overtaking us, in a numerous burning breaths and heartbeats and surreptitious smiles

Those days are gone
those days like plants rotting under the sun
decayed under the sun
and those alleys giddy from the smell of acacia, are lost
and the girl who colored her cheeks
with geranium petals, ah
is now a lonely woman
a lonely woman

copyright@Shirin Tabibzadeh & Melinda Barnhardt


Translated By Karim Emami

My nights are painted bright with your dream, sweet love
and heavy with your fragrance is my breast.
you fill my eyes with your presence, sweet love.
giving me more happiness than grief.
like rain washing through the soil
you have washed my life clean.
you are the heartbeat of my burning body;
a fire blazing in the shade of my eyelashes.
you are more bountiful than the wheat fields,
more fruit-laden than the golden boughs. 
against the onslaught of darkening doubts
you are a door thrown open to the suns.
when I am with you, I fear no pain
for my only pain is a pain of happiness. 
this sad heart of mine and so much light?
sounds of life from the bottom of a grave? 

Your eyes are my pastures, sweet love
the stamp of your gaze burning deep into my eyes.
if I had you within me before, sweet love
I would not take anybody else for you.
oh it's a dark pain, this urge of wanting;
setting out, belittling oneself fruitlessly;
laying one's head on chests hiding a black heart;
soiling one's breast with ancient hatred;
finding a snake in a caressing hand;
discovering venom behind friendly smiles; 
putting coins into deceitful hands;
getting lost in the midst of bazaars.

You are my breath of life, sweet love,
you have brought me back to life from the grave.
you have come down from the distant sky,
like a star on two golden wings
silencing my loneliness, sweet love, 
Imbuing my body with odors of your embrace. 
you are water to the dry streams of my breasts, 
you are a torrent to the dry bed of my veins. 
in a world so cold and as bleak,
in step with your steps, I proceed.

You are hidden under my skin
flowing through my every cell,
singeing my hair with your caressing hand,
leaving my cheeks sunburned with desire.
you are, sweet love, a stranger to my dress
but so familiar with the fields of my nakedness.
o bright and eternal sunrise,
the strong sunshine of southern climes, 
you are fresher than early dawn,
fresher and better-watered than spring-tide.
this is no longer love, it is dazzlement,
a chandelier blazing amidst silence and darkness.
ever since love was awakened in my heart,
I have become total devotion with desire.
this is no longer me, no longer me,
oh wasted are the years I lived with "me."
my lips are the altar of your kisses, sweet love
my eyes watching out for the arrival of your kiss.

You are the convulsions of ecstasy in my body,
like a garment, the lines of your figure covering me.
oh I am going to burst open like a bud,
my joy becoming tarnished for a moment with sorrow.
oh I wish to jump to my feet
and pour down tears like a cloud

This sad heart of mine and burning incense?
music of harp and lyre in a prayer-hall?
this empty space and such flights?
this silent night and so much song?
your gaze is like a magic lullaby, sweet love, 
a cradle for restless babies.
your breathing is a breeze half-asleep
washing down all my tremors of anguish;
it is hidden in the smiles of my tomorrows,
it has sunken deep into the depths of my worlds.

You have touched me with the frenzy of poetry; 
pouring fire into my songs, 
kindling my heart with the fever of love, 
thus setting all my poems ablaze, sweet love.

Le vent nous emportera ! 

Dans ma nuit, si brve, hŽlas
Le vent a rendez-vous avec les feuilles.
Ma nuit si brve est remplie de l'angoisse dŽvastatrice
Ecoute ! Entends-tu le souffle des tŽnbres ?
De ce bonheur, je me sens Žtranger.
Au dŽsespoir je suis accoutumŽe.
Ecoute ! Entends-tu le souffle des tŽnbres ?
Lˆ, dans la nuit, quelque chose se passe
La lune est rouge et angoissŽe.
Et accrochŽe ˆ ce toit
Qui risque de s'effondrer ˆ tout moment,
Les nuages, comme une foule de pleureuses,
Attendent l'accouchement de la pluie,
Un instant, et puis rien.
Derrire cette fentre,
C'est la nuit qui tremble
Et c'est la terre qui s'arrte de tourner.
Derrire cette fentre, un inconnu s'inquite pour moi et toi.
Toi, toute verdoyante,
Pose tes mains - ces souvenirs ardents -
Sur mes mains amoureuses
Et confie tes lvres, repues de la chaleur de la vie,
Aux caresses de mes lvres amoureuses
Le vent nous emportera !
Le vent nous emportera !