Thursday, August 10, 2006

Peter Manuelian: New Year's Day, Azerbaijan


The tea house
across the bitter river
sits in its squat of snow
warm against the world.
The story-teller sucks his words
from an ancient waterpipe,
blowing out tales
to encircle the sun
at noon's repose.


At a country funeral
maps of snow
idly dissipate
under the warmth
of the afternoon sun,
while donkeys
patiently stand
in mourning,
hind legs
coyly bent together.


Beyond the barren flats
seven poplars lattice
the rising moon;
mute storks lift their way
to ascetic perches;
shifting on the scree
of life's banter,
wail of the coming spring.

This poem has appeared in "ARMENIAN-NORTH AMERICAN POETRY: AN ANTHOLOGY" (St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Manna Publishing, 1974). Lorne Shirinian, editor.

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