Sword at the Ablution Pool


Sword at the Ablution Pool
by Majid Naficy

There is a sword in this house

Which Father says is a souvenir

From the time of his service.

I saw it at the sanctuary of the ablution pool

And thought that it was a harmless emblem

On the mosaic tiles of the wall.

One evening when breaking the fast

We went downstairs to the ablution pool.

It was a holy Night of Power [1].

The little fountain was whispering to itself.

Father washed himself at the pool

stood toward the House of God

And pressed his forehead to the prayer seal.

I knelt before the boiling samovar

And the dining cloth which displayed

The plate of fried walnuts and dates,

And the dish of basil and mint with bread.

A godly vapor arose

From the cup of hot sugar water

Ready to pass through his parched lips.

A hymn of brotherhood murmured

Through the verses of his prayer book

As he chanted in ecstasy.

His eyes were shining from abstention

And everything he looked at

He would mesmerize.

I surrendered myself to all this beauty.

If my prayers were heard that night

What more could I have desired

Than this open cloth of happiness?

Then, against my will

I laid my head on his lap

And went to sleep with a heavenly dream.

Suddenly, the naked sword came to life

A holy warrior fast and clever

Whirled it around

In an unending dance

And from the edge of his long robe

An army of the faithful rose up.

The soothing murmur of the samovar

Turned into fearful cries of holy raids;

The rich colored tea, to blood;

And the lustful pieces of date,

To the people's living hearts.

In this great clamor

I recognized Father's voice

Shouting at this time:

“Fight in the name of Allah!

Fight in the name of Allah!”

I trembled

And my dream was over.

Leaning against the velvet cushion

Father seemed to be asleep.

I took a date and left him alone

In his nightmare.

At this ablution pool

There hangs a sword.

Father says that it is a souvenir

From the time of his service.

January 4, 1987

[1] A night or nights in the holy month of Ramadhan in which prayers are heard.

Majid Naficy is the co-editor of the literary journal of Iranian Writers' Association in Exile and the author of more than 20 books in Persian. He fled Iran in 1983 one and a half years after the execution of his wife, Ezzat. he has published two collections of poems, "Muddy Shoes" (Beyond Baroque Books) and "Father and Son" (Red Hen Press) as well as his doctoral dissertation, "Modernism and Ideology in Persian Literature" (University Press of America) in English.


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Games :)

by Hassan Danesh (not verified) on

Here is my complimentary hanging bird feeder poem gift for Mr. naficy's Hanging Sword in the down stair wall.

<[{The Suspended Delicacy}])>

I have hung
A long bird feeder on the tree
Full of seeds
In cold winter with snow covering the surface of earth
All sorts of starving birds come to eat
From the hanging heaven with the seeds
Even with the squirrel proof bird feeders
You see the squirrel comes in suspense in insertion
To eat from it like having orgy in licks
Who is not coming to eat from this suspended heaven in air?
The crow... yes the crow
And when you beam it in dilapidated communication for an answer
The bird replies:
You have no idea what it tastes
When you nibble the baby birds delicacy
Snatched right out from their nest
Hot and fresh in spring in feast
Baby I can wait for that taste delicacy
Throughout the winter
Even if it means to starve when all have feast


The Naked Sword

by A Danesh (not verified) on

....Another rare, breath taking, and superb poem by Mr. Naficy. I enjoyed reading the poem quite alot not just for its easy style of story telling like parents use to lull their children into sleep at the bed time but also for its ability to delve into the well of antiquity to bring to the surface the gem of wisdom for modern time's problem solving.

Yes with this sword one can go with confidence to war toawrd the beheading of modern problems at no time in the global village:

Environmental Pollution
Human Population explosion
Urban Sprawl
Excessive Oil consumption
Lack of leisure time for public

////Spread of rapidly growing population of rats
With infinite power to drag the entire earth into the abyss hell


Congrat to Mr. Naficy once again ...