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"Nothing" and "Sitting Buddha" "Nothing" and "Sitting Buddha"
by Sheema Kalbasi
2006-11-26 10:32:44
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An important and honest voice from the Middle East, Sheema Kalbasi is a human right activist, an award winning poet, and literary translator. She is the director of Dialogue of Nations through Poetry in Translation, director of Poetry of Iranian Women Project, the poetry editor of Muse Apprentice Guild and the co-director of the Other Voices International project.

She has authored two collections of poems to date. One is titled Echoes in Exile in English, and the second is called Sangsar (stoning) in Persian. Kalbasi's work has appeared in numerous magazines, literary reviews, anthologies, and has been translated into several languages. She is one of the few literary figures to promote poets of Iranian heritage as well as international poets into an English speaking audience. Furthermore she has created the horizontal and vertical, a new style in poetry. A frequent, and outspoken person, Kalbasi's work is distinguished by her passionate defense of the ethnic and religious minorities' rights.

She has worked for the United Nations and the Center for non Afghan Refugees in Pakistan, and in Denmark. Today she lives with her husband and daughter in the United States."


Nothing is all I am,
Nothing overloading nothing,
Closing the doors,
Opening an extra into an empty space,
Nothing ensues but a further war.

The bombs, lights that blind and Damascus,
Burning after Tehran. Sisters calling in despair,
Brothers ambivalent to the arms of infidels. Nothing happens,
But children die, and journalists are filming for a deadline.

Nothing comes after nothing but I,
Kneel, cry for nothing,
and still the shepherd birds do not burn in flight.

Nothing happens. I walk by the Central Park,
Next to nothing, and the no-fly zone is
Just nothing yet throat slides over throat,
Bullets shoot and blood drops. Here nothing happens
But I write to keep nothing from overloading nothing.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Sitting Buddha

Sitting Buddha
When life turns to soil,
And the soil turns to stone
And trees become the logs,
And the curse of winter converts to broken doorknobs.

Sitting Buddha,
You know at the core,
The earth is made of gold
And why the fires luster through
Bronzes and barrel seats,
And, yes, Jesus walks on the sea of thoughts.
Mohammad, Prophets, Feminism,
And Moses speaks to the Burning Bush,
But you want to remain unteachable
And nourish on dreams,
Creaming your bread,
Drinking the wine
Out of a weighty crystal glass
As your bones beat the wooden floors
Flip flop. Craving to rest, to find the edge of the world.

Shadows cover your palms,
Shadows cover your eyes,
Plants grow, and trees leaf on fresh,
You jungle the path in green
To bread the next... navel...

You are not unreachable.

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Get it off your chest
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Keith2006-11-26 21:37:00
We reach the earth and touch
Crystal display of bronzed memories
The doorknob was not broke
The lock was changed
An Nyssia takes An Nur to
Spill the water on my head
Black crow on winter's pass
The insignia of karma
A warm glow of blue moon

claire Read2006-11-27 02:49:44
my gut responds my head doesn't know why. . .strong stuff.

Ergotelina2006-11-27 10:37:12
Bravo Ovi team!


Alan2006-11-27 20:25:20
Her poetry is really strong full of messages

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