Half-Life

“I urge you to listen.
I beg you to pay attention
for these are the most important words
I will ever pen:
Do not succumb to the half-life!
To the indifference and apathy of those cool
and aloof individuals. Nothing affects them,
their lover cries out desperately for affection
but they shrug their shoulders—for they are always shrugging—
and transcend the messy drama of the human situation.
O this transcendental invincibility—I tell you: the shit
of the bull! We are not gods. We are human.
Even Christ chose immanence
so He could feel as the people felt,
suffer as they did.
You must revel in your neuroses,
your sensitivities and sensibilities.
Burn your excitable character, do not extinguish
this fire. Stay within.
Taste the immediacy of living.
Be in life with others.
Do not yield to the hypocrisy
the world demands!
Do not succumb to the shadows,
to the half-light, to the half-life.
We are not gods.
Be human.”

Kamand Kojouri

I Am Not Separate From You

“I am not separate from you, my neighbour.
If you are my enemy then I am my own enemy.
If you are my friend then I am my own friend.
Today, I have stripped off my masks
and come to know myself.
I am Christian. I am Jew. I am Muslim and Hindu.
I am European and African. Asian and South American.
I am man. I am woman. I am intersexed.
I am homosexual. I am heterosexual and asexual.
I am abled. I am disabled.
I am all these things because you are,
and you are all these things because we are.
I exist in relation to each of you, this is what gives my being meaning.
Why must I label myself like a bottle of wine?
When I am the bottle, the wine, and the drunkenness.
Why must I label myself at all?
When I am the flesh, the light, and the shadow.
When I am the voice, the song, and the echo.
Tell me why I must label myself
when I am the lover, the beloved, and love.
I am not separate from you, my neighbour.
And you are not separate from humanity.
We are all mirrors, reflecting one another in perpetuity.”

Kamand Kojouri

 

God Is Not Dead

God is not dead—She has forsaken us.
We wipe our angry, hate-filled tears
after another shooting, as a man
polishes his gun outside a mosque.
All those stolen lives—we scream
for justice! But God has quietly left
our temples and churches.
She will not return, for what WE have done
is much worse. We have murdered
humanity.
God has deserted even the devout of us
who save our love and compassion
for those good and righteous, as we abandon the bigots
brimming with hate. Yes, those least deserving
of love, but the most in need of it.
God’s agony rings in our hearts. She wails for the future
shooters. Though we reject them,
God greets these cracked and confused creatures—
the least deserving of compassion but the most in need of it!
These suggestible souls who are susceptible to the systematic vitriol
spilling from cult leaders and politicians, brainwashing them.
We’ve read their spiteful tweets, but when we pass
them in classrooms, in trains and markets, we dismiss
those seemingly small opportunities for kindness.
We don’t know—and how ignorant we are—
that every time we ignore them,
we sharpen our daggers
and stab humanity in its pink raw flesh,
not in dark alleyways. No, we do this openly
in broad daylight, for hating them
shows how loving we are. For condemning
them proves how moral we are.
But every shooting illumines
the failure of our collective duty to love
as God loves, to be compassionate as God
is compassionate.
Your prayers heal, yes,
but for God’s sake, let God be.
I say: First,
resurrect your humanity!”

Kamand Kojouri

YOUR THISNESS

“Your whatness
is what we share with you,
our togetherness.
Your thisness
is your separate essence,
your distinctness.
I love you for your whatness,
for the me in you, and the you in us.
I love you for your thisness,
your eternal soul,
deathless and endless.”

Kamand Kojouri

WE ARE ALL LOST

“We are all lost,
so lost, vulnerable and insecure.
We are separated from love at birth,
we are separated from God,
from each other.
All we want,
all we yearn for
is to connect.”

Kamand Kojouri

LET MY SILENCE BE LOUD

“Let my silence grow with noise
as pregnant mothers grow with life.
Let my silence permeate these walls
as sunlight permeates a home.

Let the silence rise from unwatered graves
and craters left by bombs.
Let the silence rise from empty bellies
and surge from broken hearts.

The silence of the hidden and forgotten.
The silence of the abused and tortured.
The silence of the persecuted and imprisoned.
The silence of the hanged and massacred.

Loud as all the sounds can be,
let my silence be loud
so the hungry may eat my words
and the poor may wear my words.

Loud as all the sounds can be,
let my silence be loud
so I may resurrect the dead
and give voice to the oppressed.

My silence speaks.”

Kamand Kojouri

THEY WANT US TO BE AFRAID

They want us to be afraid.
They want us to be afraid of leaving our homes.
They want us to barricade our doors
and hide our children.
Their aim is to make us fear life itself!

They want us to hate.
They want us to hate the other.
They want us to practice aggression
and perfect antagonism.
Their aim is to divide us all!

They want us to be inhuman.
They want us to throw out our kindness.
They want us to burn our love
and bury our hope.
Their aim is to take all our light!

They think their bricked walls
will separate us.
They think their damned bombs
will defeat us.

They are so ignorant they don’t understand
that my soul and your soul are old friends.
They are so ignorant they don’t understand
that when they cut you I bleed.

They are so ignorant they don’t understand
that we will never be afraid,
we will never hate,
and we will never be silent.
Let life be ours!

 

—Kamand Kojouri

WHAT IS LIFE?

“What is life?
Life is living in this moment,
experiencing and experimenting
but experience isn’t life.
Life is reflecting and meditating
but reflection isn’t life.
Life is helping and guiding
but philanthropy isn’t life.
Life is eating and drinking
but food isn’t life.
Life is reading and dancing
but art isn’t life.
Life is kissing and pleasuring
but sex isn’t life.
Life is winning and losing
but competition isn’t life.
Life is loving and caring
but love isn’t life.
Life is birthing and nurturing
but children aren’t life.
Life is letting go and surrendering
but death isn’t life.
Life is all these things
but all these things aren’t life.
Life is
always more.”

Kamand Kojouri

GUILT

“The guilt you felt
when you were smiling
and others were suffering,
the guilt you felt
when you were petty with friends
and impatient with your parents,
when you were rude to your teachers
and didn’t stand up for strangers,
that guilt
is marvellous.
It proves that you are human,
that you want to be better.
Thank this guilt for teaching you,
for making you aware.
And now endeavour to better yourself.
It is a lifelong work to become
the person we want to be.”

Kamand Kojouri