Narges Elikayee

Research: Iran

Narges Elikayee

Literature: Poems
Patient Phenomenons, Collection of Poems (selection)

A bird dwells in myself
that laughs and weeps with me.
I don't know when and how
she has entered my heart.
For many years
I have wept and
laughed and 
loved her.
When she no more bears to stay entrapped
she enchants me 
to open the cage.
Her look is a smile brimful of love.
I tell her: 
"It is sinful for foul persons to look at you.
Hide your smile from them."
But she is as frivolous as myself.

A Woman as Big as Her Poems
They asked: How much?
I said: I have been sung as large as my poems
and have made me as threadbare as my words.
One day 
an ax will fall upon my name from all these words 
I'm absolutely sure of this crash.
I lie
if I say I'm not afraid,
because I'm not that brave
to confess that I'm a woman;
neither so bold
to say:
"Yes it is I,
a woman who is always in love."

Interpret my dream,
but no.
They say that a woman's dream is contrary.
Don't draw a contrary image out of me;
I too can dream such dreams
that might be true. 
Can't I?
Maybe you are right and
a woman's dream is contrary,
because I dreamed 
I was the happiest woman in history.

Little Bells
By whose legs I'm walking?
Who has hung these bells on my legs
to make my legs shout?
Give me a mirror;
I have heard that mirrors
reflect our true selves.
I want to know whether it is me
or you
that discover me in your thoughts.

Border of Repetition
I was crossing the border of repetition
when the shade of a smile
made me loose my of love of mirrors.
Relying on the shadow that fell on my head
I arrived at repetition.
I'm counting:
1, 2, 3....
Maybe the sun will rise from a corner.

After Birth (To Bahareh, my daughter)
They had entrusted myself to my own care;
I had to breast-feed myself,
sing lullaby for myself,
nurture myself to grow;
and every now and then I would ask myself:
How are you kid? 
And then pointing to my fingers and I said:
"I play with dolls."
I made myself so big
that I could weave my hair,
and dance a thousand times in front of the mirror.
By beckoning at my eye-brows
I could destroy the whole street
and my disheveled locks.
In my heart
I could laugh
at all who are unkind.
At nights when all my dreams
went asleep,
I could weep so much
until I would be born from my eyes.
In the morning, noontime and evening
I could munch
all my youthful dreams like morsels.
I made myself so big
that I could hope
to breast-feed all the children in the world,
and sing lullaby for them.
But still I'm searching for my childhood dolls
that are hidden in my fists.
I search all the corners in the house for my dolls.
I still watch the light poles in the streets
after my odd shoes that are weeping on the wires.
Still the delicious persimmons of the neighboring garden beckon at me,
and the plums make water flow from my mouth.
But still I don't know
what age of my childhood I must scan
when I had just learned to say:
"Water! water!
Daddy! daddy!
Because when all my dreams are asleep,
I can't see either water or daddy.
They had entrusted me to my own care
before cutting my navel string.

Birth (To Arzhang, my son)
Everyday I'm born for a business.
One day I compose my unsung poems,
another day I water the garden.
Remind me to make peace with you
one of these days.
To be repeatedly cross
makes me morose.
One day I attack my poems
with baskets of nothingness.
Today when I was born,
the mirror was in front of me,
and I could see restlessness in my unsung eyes
Disappointed with housecleaning
I swept the rooms 
and polished the windowpanes
and my glass.
I think I must change my glass,
I must leave my ill temper in the mirror
seek Arzhang
to play football with him.

Wrinkled Faces
Everything will change
when these days are past
and we will no more recognize these blooming trees
and well swept streets,
neither our wrinkled faces.
Then we will sit down
and flap through the creases in our face
to reach the dead end of our childhood
when we were born
to die.

Trees stared at their meanings 
and left fertility to crows.
They can't see silk shirts
even in their dream.

Bright Imagination (To my mother)
With my eyes
that can't see beyond the space of a finger
I can't find my star.
My mother says
"that star" belongs to me.
I think she means the sun,
I can't believe.
She stretches her soul to the four corners of the world
to set me on the brightest star in her imagination
and on an orbit where I shall never be lost.

Who Says?
Who says
we can become beautiful
when we are crying.
When you look at my weeping face
you tell me I'm ugly,
Believe me,
nobody will become beautiful
by weeping
they wouldn't hide their faces.
I can't laugh
if I don't cry,
but if you allow me to cry
I promise to forget
that you are unkind.

Another Self
We forget ourselves
in a new dress,
but disappointed
we build another self for ourselves
by coyness.
We paint our eyes with collyrium,
we redden our cheeks by rosewater,
then search all the mirror
to discover ourselves. 

Only One Step
How a woman 
could become happy 
if she would walk one step away from herself.
When she was a thousand miles away from her self,
she was clear.
When she was laughing,
washing the dishes,
combing her hair,
or loving,
she could drink several sentences of words
with several smiles and jokes.
At her leisure hours,
she was never half-complete.

In the Margin
We were enchanted with ourselves
but roamed
at the margin of our smiles
so that when violets grew cold
we could breath warmth over them
to melt their bones.

If we possess big feet
we can build a cradle 
by our odd shoes
large enough for a baby.
Then we can return to our childhood years
to the point
when the cradle can accommodate us.
Then we will sit down
and watch our shoes with utmost care
lest we are thrown away.

Early or Late
They say
that I have been born for happiness.
But I won't utter a jolly cry,
neither I would dance. 
They also tell me 
that I have been born either a bit early or late.
My husband says
I have been born early.
He wants me to be 14-years old.
My mother says
I could cuddle and play with my father 
if I had been born earlier.

Finger Beat
I was born after ecstasy,
I wept by a finger beat,
a smile was enough for me to laugh aloud.
I'm being born without ecstasy,
I weep without a finger beat,
I laugh boisterously without a smile.
You can bury me by a finger beat,
by a single finger beat.

Beyond Time
Distances beyond time
run after us
and a sort of feeling that passes through our privacy,
from beside tired weeping
and steps that fail to reach the peak
in the silence of shadows.
I'm happier than myself;
you are happier than yourself.
This is why we escape
from passages which we are banned to cross,
and I'm thinking 
about whispers that are repeated without speaking.
I think that which crossed through us
did not belong to us,
or we crossed when it was passing.

Without My Dreams
I sum up all my dreams in your embrace;
my share is that
which has enwrapped all your existence.
Say not you don't want it,
because I will turn a wandering homeless soul
whose dreams
are erased from your eyes.
What will you do with your open wounds
without me
and my dreams?
We have covered your wounds
to make you beautiful.

Changing Angles
It was the center of the world
when I was born,
they nurtured me at the four corners of the world,
At one side there was milk
at another side they laid me into a cradle.
I began crawling 
and stopped at the farthest edge of the world.
You ask me where I'm from?
Where is the best place?
Is it east or west,
north or south?
Doesn't the earth roll?
Aren't angles changing?
We must wander so long without a homeland
until the whole world shall belong to us.

War and Peace
I'm a simple poet,
They mark my boundary by chalk and charcoal;
I can't understand politics,
I don't know whether politics dance under the table.
I have not the wit to understand such things.
War began
when it started to shriek
or when they clicked the trigger.
I think peace is a blessing
that is shot by laughter,
and war is like mocking each other.
I'm a child in its real sense.

The Small Prince
He tore up the sky
and discovered the earth
and yelled his discovery.
"We have come earlier than you,"
I said to him.
"You don't mean from another star?" 
he said.
"I am also the child of rose,
that the prince tamed it.
After the rose I have inherited both you and the earth.
Don't you wish to tame me?"
What could I say?
For a long time I had desired somebody to discover me,
up to that day I had not tamed anybody.

He looked through the window.
I looked from the same window.
He took hold my hand and skirt.
He said, "Go!"
I went.
He said, "Sleep! wake! arise!."
I rose.
He said, "Weep!"
I laughed.
He said, "Laugh!"
But I wept.
This was my only disobedience
and question without response.
Who am I?

Let's Be a Mother to All the World
We want a volcanic heart.
Let's cut love
from stones,
let's cause love to blossom 
from fire.
Nobody can cross harmless
from this starting point ().
Let's be a mother to all the world.
Let's leave love
Let's make every wall meaningless.
Because a child is being born
from our hands
who understands love
in all languages.

Patient Phenomenon
When I woke up on that day
all clocks had been switched a century back.
I was walking ahead.
My mother was distributing cakes
and I was eating my share
from the mouth of my younger brother.
My hands were red
from all the homework that I hadn't written.
From behind the window
I still was drawing the image of a rider
with the soft cloud
who was carrying himself on his shoulders.
The sound of coins in my brother's saving box,
attracted my attention.
The voice of the muezzin in Ramazan
and the fruits of the neighboring orchard
summoned us to the mosque.
There was only one step 
between the walnut seeds thrown by storm 
under the tree
and my mother's incessant complaints
and my private weeping.
In front of me
unread books
and newspapers that had accumulated news
about outdated events
from hands in cross-roads, 
to polish their presence among patient phenomenons
that were hiding a precious trick in it.

It Turns the World Moving Like A Pendulum, Collection of Poems (selection)

Words are slaves
that are emancipated in the poem.

On the first day she grew angry with her.
On the second day she praised her.
On the third day she hanged herself.

Gods of love perch on high windows
to help love's body to grew taller.

Cursed be on gravitation.
Did the apple fall on the ground?!
I too shall hang myself.

I asked: "How did you become homeless?"
She said: "I was a citizen of your eyes
but you didn't open the door."

I asked: "With what language did your ancestors talk?"
She said: "They drank from the spring 
and they sowed by the sickle."

We are born from love and
are devoured by something called war.

I asked: "What is the meaning of poverty?"
He said: "It means that nothing in this world belongs to you
except that place which is given to you in trust."

Trees of Peace, Collection of Poems (selection)

Confession 2
I confess,
I don't know whether I must walk out of the door or the window?
But I know well
that one day I will fall from a window.
I wouldn't compose poem if I could speak.
"Then you are a poet?"
- "Not me
but of course she who covers herself with my stature."
"And who are you."
-"I am she who is afraid of the window."
"And who is she?"
"She is an extraordinary being,
and you are mounted on her shoulders."
"Not as simple as you say?
She stole my name and I stole her bread.
She composes poems.
I read and am praised;
Although this is not fair
but I have no other choice,
I submit."

In Poetry's Embrace
When I open up in poetry's embrace
I'm neither afraid of your chilly silence 
nor your warm larynx burns me.
I neither mount on a shoulder
nor drag somebody my shoulder.
I turn all around in the circle
until I dawn in another larynx.

Abandoned Games
I took my eyes in my hand
and wrote down everything in white.
This is the language of all human beings
who are charmed by abandoned games.
Read the end of this episode in another collection.
Tomorrow when I'm born,
I will sing with the language of objects.

She said: "Read in a language that I speak to you."
I laughed.
She said: "Write in a language that I speak to you."
I laughed aloud and
wrote a poem in my own language
and composed a smile in her language.

I Must Sit Down and...
One day they said
I must sit down and
memorize all words and
compose sentences with them.
I must learn
to multiply.
I counted until hundred;
It wasn't enough.
The numbers grew bigger day by day and 
my hand couldn't reach them.
I resorted to words and
composed poetry.
Now when words are lost
I refer to numbers.
When my hand doesn't reach my pocket
I resort to words.
If you watch my face carefully
you will see a crosswords puzzle
full of numbers and words that never end.

Love and Death
The sky opened its mouth and
I collapsed in my wounds.
Now your restive locks 
and restless embrace -
your soft claws and
and hands that point to thorns.
See how you have stolen your beauty
and my thought?
Ruin accompanied you to my house;
my children's notebooks became empty of words and
my house grew empty of my children.
You stole my tablecloth
that bestowed beauty to me and
a window frame through which I watched my childhood.
My tears have forgotten the taste of water and sea
and have cut a deep crevice on my face.
How can I think about water and sea 
and the fact that water is the essence of creation?

A Dust in the Wind
Yesterday they had kindled fire on his head.
Today she saw bedclothes in the mirror,
it may turn to a kitchen tomorrow
or mutilated pieces in the pot.
Who knows what will happen in future?
Maybe a flower will grow in your mirror
or a dust may dance in the wind.

The Skeleton of Happiness
She gave up her soul.
They helped her stand from every side.
One of them fixed her cap,
another bound her shoes,
a third person helped her hold her cane.
I who couldn't make her laugh
arranged her teeth.
Her cheeks bulged as if she was smiling.
Now she looks like a happy skeleton.
You may write a good biography for her,
a delicate poem.
You can say that she was born happy,
lived happy
and this is her skeleton of happiness.

Earth's Cells
Smile settled on earth's cells;
We multiplied
from water to mirror,
from mirror to water;
A million years passed 
until we turned into different shapes.
One of us turned to a frog,
another turned to bird.
I changed into fish,
and you joined your ancestor yesterday
and since then a million years has expired.
Now I'm I 
and you are you;
and they are they.
When we shut the ligaments of our eyes
the world will come to an end
and in no way it will be related to anyone's verdict
in any place in the world.
This custom will move from a dead orbit to oblivion,
stairs that slowly swim in our moments.

The Apple and Newton
I was the most perfect fruit
when Newton's eyes picked me from the tree.
This is my last saying:
"I fell from the tree
without caring whether Newton would become an inventor."

The War Ended
The war ended 
but our brothers who had gone to war front did not return,
neither the soldiers who're now fathers in picture frames,
nor disabled husbands whose carriages are wheelchairs.
Burnt trees do not blossom,
and orchards don't show any other color except gray,
arsenals are filled with weapons all over the world
and martial uniforms
and stars and medals that glorify the war.
Antennas are filled 
and children devoured by pictures
play war games with toy pistols and machine guns,
and we wake up with our wounds
and ask ourselves: Where did the war begin?
Invisible hands arrange the shoes in pairs
by pointing to signals that are on the way. 

Savage Omens
Where do these omens carry us?
I will miss myself.
These organs are stranger to me
and you too have grown too much big,
and I hate 
from the lines that humiliate my aesthetic standard.
You forget my hair
and the color of my skin
as well as my length and width.
Actually you forget that am a woman.
I have bestowed the barbarous tempers of myself and yourself to extinct generations,
and ancient traditions which are full of incentives for judgment.
I return to the incongruous parts of omens.
Incentives are different in my visual scope.
I want to know where the world of omens will carry me.

Lullaby for the Present Millennium (To the children all over the world)
I take to the street
to fly in the town's eyes.
I will whisper the street's name in your ear and
the plate number of the house
and will call the police officers as saviors.
But you continue to hang on my skirt
as if your eyes do not see the world to be kind,
and you believe
that these boats that you have tossed on the water
won't help you.
This is why you have drawn a paradise in your notebook
with many dolls
who have achieved happiness.
Remember the name of the street
and the house plate number 
and count these numbers carefully.
The world has grown too small;
Wherever you go
I will be present.

Simple Reasons
He didn't build an empire with his power,
he didn't want to enslave me;
he didn't' grudge my smiles.
For this simple reason 
he was beautiful. 

The Stone and the Glass
I beat hurled the stone at the windowpane;
the glass broke.
When the window can be opened so easily,
why should we knock at the door?

A Moon Crescent
I'm bewildered in words
that are hidden in the crescent of the moon.
If you scan these prominent persons 
in commendable reproaches
you will understand
that our share is beyond unfinished sentences.
That is why 
I'm not present in unfulfilled loves.
I stand in the chart of this crossword puzzle,
to search my flying organs.
This is an oppressed presence
against you
who are drawing the radius of these angles.


Translated to English by: M. Alexandrian


Research: Iranian Contemporary Poems
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