Monday, February 22, 2016


Old walls, volcanic rock.
A shape of containment, 
relics and small lives
cloistered in silence. 
Rock by black rock, they lived in this place
which closed them in. Old walls infested
with snakes, scorpions, and elegies
of spider webs.

Always hard 
not to have a safe place,
to feel cut off
because your spire, Sourp Giragos,
stands taller than a minaret. 

A foreign people, these ancestors
for one who is not hemiserim.1
But they have something to tell me
even when their stories are evasive
because they can’t name all
that was destroyed of their race.

Stonework of penetrable dreams
at any view.
Stone, metal, and spirit
locked in spirals
diminishing together.
On this side of silence
there are no smiles.

Yet we must dream above 
the fallen bell-tower,
the eight-sided clock
with bell cast in Istanbul.
Dream of poems in these walls
where one sad person talked to another,
songs surging out of souls
singing to the moon
after slow sunsets.

1 A person of this place

This poem was recently shortlisted for the GritLit Poetry Contest run by the Hamilton Arts Council in Canada. It will be included in Mr. Garebian's next poetry collection, currently entitled Armenian Elegies.

No comments: