by Michael H. Hanson
Left a Bus Station in Brussels
to travel to distant Iran
to finish unfinished business
In my once and future homeland.
Where I was trapped in detention
in a strange realm of solitude,
I abandoned flow’ry Paris
to find a horrid lack of truth.
Betrayed by those who I called friends,
those who ignored my suffering,
living through paintings and pictures,
wearing fate’s humble coloring.
Even a distant friend’s poems
are just an artificial breath
as love and hate both intertwine
around my sore, passionate heart
like seven mystical dragons
wanting to rend my soul apart.
Beloved Iran, Poison drink,
Government nightmare of white walls
where night loses its soft caress
and all of my sweet freedom palls.
Now I stand in the middle way
as Azhia in Istanbul
from the cobblestone road of life
that led me through reckless war zones,
sometimes smiling, sometimes crying
when fate’s hard, predatory hand
reached out and struck me in the breast
and whispered the sweetest of words
“slow it down just a little bit”
leaving my stories and sorrows
where all my pain and joy can split.
(Photograph: Open the gate exhibition, USPD galley, Istanbul 2023)
Maryam Mazrooei Sedan, Photographer and Writer