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

THE ANTHEM OF THE WORLD

“This is an ode to life.
The anthem of the world.
For as there are billions
of different stars that
make up the sky
so, too, are there billions
of different humans that
make up the Earth.
Some shine brighter
but all are made of
the same cosmic dust.
O the joy of being
in life with all these people!
I speak of differences
because they are there.
Like the different organs
that make up our bodies.
Earth, itself, is one large body.
Listen to how it howls
when one human is
in misery.
When one kills another, the
Earth feels the pang in its
chest. When one orgasms,
the Earth craves a cigarette.
Look carefully,
these animals are
beauty spots that make the
Earth’s face lovelier
and more loveable.
These oceans are the Earth’s
limpid eyes. These trees, its hair.
This is an ode to life.
The anthem of the world.
I will no longer speak of
differences, for the similarities
are even greater.
Look even closer. There may be
distances between our limbs but
there are no spaces between
our hearts. We long to be one.
We long to be in nature and
to run wild with its wildlife.
Let us celebrate life and living,
for it is sacrilegious
to be ungrateful.
Let us play and be playful,
for it is sacrilegious
to be serious.
Let us celebrate imperfections
and make existence
proud of us, for tomorrow is
death, and this is an ode to life.
The anthem of the world.”

Kamand Kojouri