Friday, April 16, 2010

Keith Garebian: DIKRANAGERD

When he talked of Dikranagerd
my father’s eyes vanished
into a town sometimes Turkish,
sometimes Russian,
history as swift as a flood,
roots swept away
with crops and trees, fields
dissolving, everything muddied.
The only permanence—Ararat,
In white caps neither growing
nor breaking, awaiting
some angel to deliver
the landscape:
the stone-faced churches,
rocky fields,
oxen pressed each to each for heat
like dark ophans in pictures.
Perhaps I would have died with history,
grandparents and aunts, a whole tribe
uprooted from metallic ground,
hard as the heels of assassins,
or the bones left by ravenous dogs
too weak to chew them.
My father always sipped his tea noisily,
teeth braced the way he flinched
from memories, no sugar cube
to sweeten his loss,
slowly re-tasting his life
In slurps, a far-away look in his eyes
once gold in Dikranagerd
* Dikranagerd won first prize in a Canadian competition

1 comment:

Mark Gavoor said...


Very nice. There is no end to these kinds of poems. I am drawn to them. I think we all are. We soar to a place we have never been and that will never be again even if we physically traveled to the place as it is today.

I have seen the far away look...