Saturday, September 16, 2006

Helene Pilibosian: Souvenir

Click to hear Souvenir read by Lola Koundakjian.

Did you bring me
a handful of soil from the homeland,
forgetting that it's earth
from the same planet as the American,
not Venus nor Mars
nor Saturn but only
dark soil with its own minerals--
the old kings and queens
still melting out memories
like party favors,
the sisters directing
the roundness of eternal bread,
the brothers coaxing the seeds
with unlearned plow and buffalo,
the merchants mingling
with magnificent ships?
Did you bring me
a hint of the breeze
that teased your hair
as no other breeze would dare
or the stares of the mountain paths
the Armenian aura
outlined with such clarity?
Did you bring me
that little bit of love
that boiled down from cooking
over the stove of history
in the clay pot of living?
Did you bring me the day
that sports debates of employment
and whistle-wails of work
or the night which highlights
an owl's or cat's eyes
prowling as animal rights,
their definition of the word
influenced by the heard,
the seen, the void, the tried?

The amber necklace you brought
reveals these passions congealed.

Copyright 2004 Helene Pilibosian

Helene Pilibosian is the author of two collections of poetry: Carvings
From an Heirloom and At Quarter Past Reality (a prizewinner) and has
many poems published in American literary journals such as the North
American Review, Willow Review and The Cape Rock. She is the owner of
Ohan Press whose bilingual website is at

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Beautiful, splendidly read!