& occasionally about other things, too...

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Azän on a Toronto Streetcar

Bänoo Zan


Azän[1] on a Toronto Streetcar
Bänoo Zan

My heart hears it
before I do

I start to vozoo[2]
in tears

praying
to stop praying—

the ritual
branch
of the tree of speech

roots
falling like leaves

Years back
in the land of Azäns

my disbelieving body
shook at the gropings
of the lecherous call to
piety

In the land of now
this call to freedom
by a slave[3]
frees me
from separations

shackling questions
released by love

shaking roots
to the falling

fruit—



[1] The Muslim call to prayer, sung from mosque minarets
[2] Muslim ritual ablution before prayer
[3] Bilal ibn Rabah al-Habashi, an emancipated slave and the companion to prophet Mohammad, the first muezzin in Islam

Bänoo Zan landed in Canada in 2010. In her country of origin, Iran, she used to teach English Literature at universities.  She has published more than 80 poems, translations, biographies, and articles. Her poetry has appeared in magazines and anthologies in Iran, Canada, U.K., U. S., Israel, etc.  She hosts Queen Gallery Poetry Night in Toronto and is a member of TOPS (The Ontario Poetry Society) Executive.  She believes that her politics is her poetry.


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