Sweat – Mahnaz Badihian, California



Long time ago I was a seed
Growing up in the far land
Thinking I will root there for ever
But I pollinated in strange lands for many springs
Next to Mississippi river
Where….once I lived
Next to red wood trees
Where once native Americans lived.
May be i never sang their song
I never sweat with them in the moonlight
Under the thick tent covering the red, hot stones.
But I feel part of them now
I meditate with them in dark and recite their song
a call for sisterhood.
As long as I live on this earth
No matter which land I end up pollinating each year
I can connect to people around me, only with
One theme and that is “love”.

Mahnaz Badihian is a poet and translator whose work has been published into several languages worldwide, including Persian, Turkish, and Malayalam. Her work has appeared in many literary magazines including Exiled ink! in the United Kingdom and in Marin Poetry Center Anthology amongst others. She attended the Iowa Writer’s workshop with a focus on international poetry while practicing as a dentist in Iowa City.  Her publications include two volumes of poetry in Persian and a best-selling translation of Pablo Neruda’s Book of Questions into Persian.  Her most recent publication is a critically acclaimed book of original English language poetry, From Zayandeh Rud to the Mississippi. She has an awarding winning selection of poetry (XIV Premio Letterario Internazionale Trofeo Penna d’Autore, Tornio) translated into Italian by Cristina Contili and Pirooz Ebrahimi. Currently she resides in Northern California where she runs an online multilingual literary magazine, MahMag.org in an effort to bring the poetry of the world together.  She presented a paper on erotic literature by Iranian women in the Diaspora at the American Comparative Literature Association’s 2008 annual conference. She is a MFA candidate in poetry from Pacific University. She is currently working on a collection called “Poems of Protest” which will be published in 2011.



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