The red-faced master of the ring
with eyes like marbles in their sockets
is standing on the edge of the world
calls out to spectators;
“Come people and witness the most
exciting fight of all times.”
Some may think
he is the master of winnings
some may think
he is the master of cock fighting.
are let into the cockpit
one black, one white
each majestic its own way
bellies are shaved to ease the tearing of
one’s flesh with speared nails
and sharpened beaks
each shriek a different pitch.
Savage shouts of praising tear the air;
“Come on, peck him to death.
kill him. Kill him.”
Blood stains black and white feathers
that fly widely in the air.
Spectators catch them for souvenirs.
Bets are won; silver coins travel from palm to palm.
One cock remains in the ring
with a pierced belly and an eye
still hanging out of its socket.
The other cock is jumping up and down
with his broken neck hanging down.
The master is clapping his hands
listening to the jingles of the silver coins.
poetryrepairs #238 v17.06:070
Someone dies, someone cries
the mourner is called in
he is paid well
to mourn and glorify the dead.
He comes, his head wrapped in a black turban,
his body under a camel brown Aba;
he smells of rosewater.
He sits and his eyes lure dark shadows
his fingers roam through dark green rosary.
He laments for the holy dead
from the desert times
he travels back into the past
through parables and fables
repeatedly retold and re-enforced.
His voice imitates tunes of sorrows,
His words are memorized, polished, didactic
He cries tearlessly and tediously:
“Sacrifice your dead and living
for the holy butchered Imams
and you will not walk
over the way of sorrows.”
“Your lost ones will sleep in the garden of stones
only to wake up among Houris and Peris.
Suffer and give up bodily pleasures
Remember, death walks along the meadows
and the bird dies in its flight.”
poetryrepairs #238 v17.06:070
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FERESHTEH SHOLEVAR was born and raised in Tehran where she studied foreign languages. She both taught and worked as a translator in Tehran.
FERESHTEH SHOLEVAR immigrated to Germany and then USA in 1978. She received a Master’s degree in Creative Writing at Rosemont College, Pa. She has written six books of poetry and a novel.