“Today is a writing day.Kamand Kojouri
My head is spinning with rapture
as the words rise from my throat.
I am dizzy
from holding the world in my palm.
At dusk, my lantern and I go
in search of cries of the destitute,
I lend them my pen
and offer them my heart.
Today is a sacred day.
My skin is anointed with their blood,
and I am ready to battle the darkness.
With hope as my shield
and love as my sword,
I will not return until dawn.
Because no one must be forgotten.
Because victory is possible.
Because anything is possible,
for today is a writing day.”
“You, over there.Kamand Kojouri
You, who’s always looking
over his neighbour’s fence.
The beauty of this world is wasted on you.
I say, the beauty of this world
is wasted on you.
You use your eyes to cast disapproving looks.
You use your tongue to degrade and denigrate.
And worst of all, you use your dirty hands
to reach into pockets,
thinking happiness is found
But happiness is the bird
that will never fly near you,
because it knows your desire to cage it—
like you do with everything else.
You cage love so two men can’t share it.
You cage hope because you can’t stand faith.
And you cage God so people think darkness
is all there is.
But the only thing you’ve successfully caged
is your petty mind.
I need you to know one thing:
There will never be a cage to confine
We, here, we are free.
Free to dream.
Free to love.
And free to be
who we want to be.”
“A part of us remainsKamand Kojouri
when we leave somewhere.
It is a part we can never reclaim
even if we revisit the place,
for it was never ours to begin with.
There is so little of us
that belongs to ourselves.
This body is the earth’s.
This heart is yours,
and hers, and theirs.
The only thing that is our own
is our freedom of will—
the freedom to choose
our perceptions in life.
All else is borrowed.
All else is everyone else’s.”
“My world is full of beauty,Kamand Kojouri
but you avert your eyes.
My world is full of light,
but you only worship the dark.
My world is filled with song,
but you exalt silence.
My world is filled with delight,
but you cut throats that ring with laughter.
My world is adorned with exquisite art,
but you smash sculptures,
destroying ancient civilisations.
In my world,
people rejoice with one another
and share each other’s burdens,
but you only preach vanity and greed.
What do you know of courage?
What do you know of resilience?
My world is so vast,
it welcomes even you—
for your drop of hatred
will always be absolved
in our ocean of love.”
“Sitting in the courtyard,Kamand Kojouri
I watch the woman sweeping.
I luxuriate in the sound
of the bristles of her besom
against the ground. She sweeps
in an invisible pattern only she
understands. I study her hands.
They are blackened with chimney dust—
not unlike the soft dust she’s now sweeping.
It rises in a cloud above her, which makes me
wonder: Where does it come from?
The dust on our overworked hands and travelled
shoes. The dust we inhale and cough
into our handkerchiefs.
The house dust, the road dust, the concrete dust,
and cosmic dust. Where are they born?
Perhaps they come from our aged bodies.
We shed our skins like we shed our beauty—
not all at once.
And we walk freely on this blanket of dust
without paying any mind to our ancestors,
though we walk on them! Tread softly,
for you tread on Yeats’s wrists and Poe’s
elbows. You tread on van Gogh’s ears
and Keller’s eyes. You breathe
in your grandfather’s lover and the little girl
you were when you were four. You smell them
after the first rain in a long dry spell,
or when an old lamp smoulders the bulb quite well.
These all serve as reminders
of our dusty secret:
we are all dust
So next time it settles,
remember to ask the dust!”
“What a terrifyingly beautiful thought
that you are the beginning of forever.
I love you, and life for me
has just begun.”
“In life, there are brief and momentary opportunities that ask us to assert our existence. Although a creative impulse, they can be destructive, because they make us veer away from our normal patterns and habits. Life is compelling us to take these small acts of rebellion so we can go beyond the edges of ourselves, and by doing so, we end up rediscovering ourselves. These moments are a great reminder that, like all other animals, we are, and will always be, wild.”
Total number of trees planted to date: 1,920.
I wrote my first haiku in honour of #GeorgeFloyd. Inspired by the beautiful poems by Paul Laurence Dunbar & Dr Maya Angelou. Also, the iris plant is named after the goddess of rainbow, referring to the “wide variety of flower colours found among the species.”
“Spring irises bloom.
The caged bird no longer sings—
a knee on his throat.”
I had such a lovely time chatting with the award-winning journalist, Emily Buchanan, about my new poetry book, God, Does Humanity Exist?
I know I sound very serious and sombre, but her voice immediately put me at ease.