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How much longer

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Stay two meters away from each other

Don’t visit people at their homes in big numbers

Don’t fill up the coffee shops

Only so many people allowed

Sounds anti-social, doesn’t it?

But it’s our reality now and we can’t let our guard down yet

The variants are rampant

Areas that are doing well suddenly flare up

Where you can fly to and not fly to keeps changing

Some countries, you can visit only in groups

The sanitizer bottle is omnipresent

Masks still adorn our faces

How much longer?

That’s a good question

It depends a little on how much 

Responsibility we will take in combating this disease

Some people still deny its existence

They refuse to wear masks and socially distance

Vaccines are out of the question for them

And on the other hand

There are countries that are having a challenge

Vaccinating a population that wants to be vaccinated

It’s a messy and dangerous situation 

The hospitals are filled to capacity

The medical staff work long hours and are tired

So politicians try to give people incentives to get vaccinated

Money, lotteries, gifts, whatever they can think of

It’s a strange, strange world we live in

One we could not have imagined two years ago

September 6th, 2021

Valued

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Why do we value certain activities over other ones?

Why is working in an office remunerated but not raising a child?

Why is someone’s worth equated with the job they do?

Why is a skilled worker building a house not valued

As much as the architect who designed the house?

We’ve created these categories in our minds 

Certain jobs are more desirable

Certain activities more worthwhile

In reality, we need each and every occupation

For a society to function 

Imagine if the garbage men go on strike

The history of what is valuable work for women

Has changed over time

From being a mother and an educator 

Responsible for the affairs of the home

To working outside the home and competing with men

Perhaps we need to move to the next stage

And value unpaid work again

Rearing and education children

Keeping an orderly home

Volunteering 

Artistic work

Caring for the sick and aged

Rewarding these activities monetarily would be great

But until then, we can just value them

For the real and essential ‘jobs’ they are

Any activity that serves a purpose and serves the community

Should be valued

August 30th, 2021 

Contradictions


Beyond the wall of windows in my mother’s apartment

Is a kaleidoscope of colour, natural beauty and activity

The green of the grass

The blue of the ocean

And the white of the sailboats on the water

The grey of the high rises

And the red bricks of the walking path    

People exercising

People walking their dogs

People going to work

People driving by 

It’s a beehive of activity

And Vancouver’s beauty shines 

In the sunshine of the morning 

Everything seems to sparkle

But not everyone is happy in this city by the ocean

The sight of the homeless and drug addicted

On Main Street breaks my heart

A man whose clothes hang loose on his thin limbs

Talks to another person, a desperate look on his face

A tent is set up on the side walk

Creating a temporary place for respite

A man crosses the street on a red pedestrian light

Pushing a shopping cart containing all his belongings 

One can’t look at the lights to drive across intersections

Some people with blank stares cross at any time 

Oblivious of what’s going on around them

The ugliness of poverty and despondency

Coexists with the beauty of nature and the opulence

Of the high rises tastefully designed

I try to focus on the beauty 

But not forget that many people

Are in need in this city of contradictions

August 24th, 2021 

Letting go

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My responsibly as a mother is the eduction of my children

I’ve been doing that for years now

In a way that is familiar to me

With them close by 

But as they get older

Their education will come from places outside the home

And I need to let go

They will be around less often

But they are on their path of learning and experiencing new things

I won’t be involved in their day to day life

But I will be there to support and encourage them

Their mode of development has changed

They need the input of the society at large

And by letting go 

I’m allowing them to continue to grow

August 9th, 2021

Uprising

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For my brothers and sisters in Iran:

A people demanding justice

Demanding free speech

Demanding the ability to buy the basic necessities of life

Demanding better environmental policies

Their voices are loud

They can be heard in all the different corners of Iran

From Khuzestan, to Tabriz to Tehran

They are united

Their demands are clear

They don’t fear retribution

They demonstrate peacefully

Will this time the results be different?

Will they reach their goals?

Mothers whose sons died in the path of freedom and reform

Women who are tired of being told what to wear

And how to live their lives

Youth who are educated but can’t find work

Workers that haven’t been paid in months

Farmers who are suffering due to drought

Brought about by bad decisions of the leaders in the past

Parents who don’t see a bright future for their children

They are all raising their voices again

These are people who will not stay silent any longer

After all they don’t have much to lose

The near future will show the results of their efforts

May freedom and justice be their reward

August 1st, 2021

Who you truly are

Embrace your struggle

It’s what will make you who you are

There are lessons you must learn

Gifts you must discover

And working through your struggles

Is how you will achieve those things

By overcoming your challenges

You will become the unique person who you are

They remove the veil and show what’s inside

Without toil and labor you are like a blank canvas

With them you can paint a lovely picture

So embrace the vicissitudes of life

They are gifts if you know how to open them

June 29th, 2021

Covid lessons

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These seem like the last few months of Covid if all goes well

Vaccinations are underway

Places are opening up

We can get together in our back yards

But things can change

The variants can cause some problems

We are not quite out of the woods yet

Nevertheless we see the light at the end of the tunnel

At the same time, we are so used to doing things differently

That it will take time to move forward

This has been an interesting time

Working from home is a reality now

Zoom meetings are here to stay

So much time and money will be saved

So much better for the environment

We will still go places

Being in the presence of others still has its reasons

But much more will be done online

We’ll be leaving these times behind

Realizing that our welfare depends on the welfare of others

That we should consider the needs of our neighbours 

That the world is shrinking in size and the countries need to cooperate

The more privileged ones need to come to the aid of the less privileged

Our world is one

We can’t think of ourselves in isolation any longer

June 16th 2021

شقایقم

شقایقم در دریای گندمزار
تنها روی موجها در تلاطم
به انتظار دوستی
که بیاید و من را از تنهایی درا‌ورد

This poem is written in Persian and inspired by the beautiful photo my friend has taken.

June 8th, 2021

This is a rough translation not a literal one.

I’m a lonely poppy flower in a vast field of green and yellow

I’m looking this way and that in the breeze

To see if anyone is coming to assuage my loneliness

June 9th, 2021

Am I the only one?

I come home with what I think are 

Electric toothbrush heads

Only to discover the box contains a toothbrush as well

And I don’t need one

How did I make that mistake?

All I can tell you is that it’s not an isolated case

I’ve come home with a caramel chocolate slab

Instead of milk chocolate one

Chosen strawberry milk instead of chocolate milk

And the list goes on

Natasha asks me if I can read

Silly question of course but I get her point

Is it carelessness? 

Perhaps

The pictures on the packages and their location don’t help either 

I just hope I’m not the only person who makes these mistakes

June 4th, 2021