I recently vacationed in Iran. Yes, that Iran. The one we are constantly being told is the evil empire run by madmen. I am happy to report that that is not the Iran that I experienced. As a native New Yorker, born and raised, even I had reservations visiting the country. But that’s the reason we travel. Isn’t it? To connect, learn, and empathize with all that the world has to offer. Because of this trip I have a deeper appreciation for the country and it’s people.
As we were flying across Iran from Shiraz to Tehran I was inspired by all that we experienced and wrote this poem. Each line echos actual witnessed events or is based on the art, architecture, and culture I experienced. From Zoroastrianism and the Achaemenid Empire to Persian Rugs, Islamic Calligraphy, or the sounds within its bazaars.
شعر برای رضا
Poem for Reza
by Alexander Westerman
Reza your poems linger
on my ears
like children’s laughter turns to tears.
Like Shiraz notes and legs dance on my tongue
with finches you recite in bazaar.
Persepolis conquered, but like you frozen in
tracing times arched portal with rose buds and saffron and kilims.
With you Persian prince
pulled from weft and knotted in our hearts till we too are laid out to sing
with one voice,
on wings from silent towers to the stars.