I hold the hands of the wind and try to read its destiny, the lines
deep like the frown of dry river beds, the faint fragrance of
jasmine heating my senses. It could have been from a bride’s
nuptial bed or a funeral cortege, here the language for welcome
and departure is the same, the earth gives and takes back with moon
petals shimmering in its guts. The wind has a love line so long, it
ties every moment gone by to that evening in the coffee shop, when
you read ghazals aloud in the afternoon haze and a life line that
knew the mountains before they scattered into desert sand, the rain
when it was ripe in the throat of the fish, poems before there were
words to name flowers and silence simply went from weddings to
shallow graves smelling of nameless need. The wind shows me its circular
fate line, karma tied in a knot, what does it matter where it comes from,
if that is beginning or end. I hold the hands of the wind and we sing in
metered couplets, the words for love and life and fate are the same
and Hafez is only a fleeting swallow with a jasmine seed in his breast.
This poem was published in the Calamus Journal in December 2017. The Calamus Journal, though, shut shop in February 2018 and the original links to its website no longer work. I’m sure they had good reasons, a journal is a huge amount of work – but when I discovered that this poem was essentially homeless, I decided to bring it in from the cold.
I haven’t sent in any poems in several months and I’m wondering – do you submit poems for online publication? Why not? What has been your experience? Do share your submission stories here!