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O Canada

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O Canada

My home after my homeland

O Canada

Where I spread my wings

O Canada

Our refuge during frightening times

O Canada

Freedom, your gift to us

When people ask me where I’m from

I always say Iran

That bond is secure

And will be for the years to come

But you became a safe haven for us

A place where we could live and thrive

 

O Canada

You are not perfect

No country is

You mistreated the natives of this land

You are warm hearted and welcoming

But issues of race and justice remain

O Canada

You need time to grow and become more mature

You’ll need all your inhabitants for this growth
O Canada

A beacon of hope in this world of ours

O Canada

Where many nationalities reside side by side

July 1st, 2020

Storms

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One storm is over

Another one is on the horizon

It’s not clear how bad this storm will be

Early indications say 

That it won’t be severe

But forecasting these things is not easy

And if it wasn’t this storm

There would be another one 

Life is like this

So, we need to build our homes well

So they can protect us

Faith, good friends, patience and perseverance 

Optimism and hopefulness 

Are good building material

 

October 9th, 2019

Home

A trip away from home gave me a new perspective

A trip to the other side of the world brought me closer to my home

We take so much for granted and I’m no exception 

It’s hard to know what you have till it’s gone

Montreal may have long brutal winters

Lots of potholes and unending construction

But it’s the city of culture

In Montreal, all races and nationalities live side by side

Our lives are made richer this way

There is much variety and

We’re exposed to different perspectives and ideas

Montreal is a city of art, music, theatre and sports

It’s the city of writers and poets

It’s a place one can be inspired and thrive

It took me going to a land far off

To appreciate what I have at home

To appreciate friendships I’ve made over the years

Having lived in Montreal for seventeen years 

This is the place I call home now

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October 14th, 2108

The collage

 

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A second book
Another essay on life
My life
With its challenges and trials
With lessons learned
With hope and optimism
Written with love

The collage of me
Is a collage of prose and poetry
The coming together of various experiences
And exploration of various cultures
Of Travel
Of connections
Of fellowship and camaraderie

It tries to answer the questions
Who am I?
And where do I belong?

It explores issues of identity and immigration
And the coming together of East and West
And the essential oneness of man

Dancing street

 

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Dancing street is
Where I lived at in Shiraz

It was actually called
Ghasr’u’dast
The palace in the meadow
But we called it Raghs’u’dasht
The dancing street
As a tribute to the multitude
Of potholes that made us dance

It was a long narrow street
That led out of Shiraz
To the tiny town called Ghasr’u’dasht

There, at the end of a
Dead-end street
Called Zargary, the Goldsmith
My father built a house
Which seemed like a palace to me

It had many rooms
And a huge back yard
A large garage
And a multi-coloured gate
At the front

We had many dinner parties
And house-guests
My mother made meals fit
For a king
And we entertained a lot

We had guests from Tehran
The US and Africa
Some were relatives
Some were friends
And some were Baha’is from abroad

I remember walking and singing
In the grassy area of the back yard

And playing with the weeping willows
As I sang songs

This was my childhood home
Until we left Iran
It was off the dancing street
Outside Shiraz

Guests

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Guests
Guests from Shiraz
Guests from other cities in Iran
Guests from other cities of the world
Friends
Relatives
Friends of friends

Guests
What I remember of my childhood home
The well used large dining table
The big back yard
With the weeping willows
Where I roamed and daydreamed
Dancing with the willow trees

Guests for dinner
Guests who stayed
Bringing pieces of the world with them
Entertaining guests
Is what defined our home

January 10th, 2018

Travelling

Travelling and learning
Getting to know new people
My favorite thing

Seeing new places is also good
But I’m a tourist of people

Different personalities fascinate me
I learn from talking and listening
The physical place is not as important
It’s the people that count for me

Connection matters to me
Friendship is important to me
It’s the trip of the soul that counts
The body just comes along

The physical landscape is interesting too
But if I go somewhere and don’t get to
Know a new soul
I may have as well stayed home!

Reflections on identity…

I’m a Persian girl who grew up in Canada
Married a Dutchman and lives in Quebec now!
Where should I start?
I guess at the beginning…

My Persian heritage has shaped me
It has given me the gift of poetry, hospitality
And strong family ties

My Canadian upbringing
Has given me the gift of religious freedom
Our best attempts at equality of women and men
And freedom to be me
Not what others expect me to be!

My association with the Dutch
Has given me the gift of authenticity
Artistic expression, music and love!

My time in Quebec has given me
My passion for poetry, exploration of the arts
Self discovery and growth!

I’m happy to be all of the above
And I’m thankful for each!

It hasn’t always been east to navigate
Different cultures and try to figure out
Where I belong
But I’m in a good place now
Not hesitant to acknowledge my heritage
Not worried that I don’t fit in
Not confused about where home is

As they say
Home is where the heart is
And perhaps I’ve had many homes
This is the kind of world we live in
Things are not black or white
But all the colours in between

Lida Berghuis
December 1st, 2014

The wise guest arrives

There is a time when we are ready to ‘hear’ something
Before that, what we are told goes in one ear and out the other

The home has to be prepared and cleaned
Before the guest with the message arrives

Cleaning takes time
Creating order and beauty in the house takes effort and thought

But when the home has been made ready
It attracts the wise guest in no time

Lida Berghuis
August 22nd, 2014

The stay at home mom who didn’t!

The stay at home mom?
Who is that?
One who never leaves the house?
I can’’t do that!
It does not seem appealing
Not at all!
Why should I stay home
All day long?

Those days, my dear
They are gone
Mothers are out and about!
I see them at coffee shops
At the mall
I see them at the library
At schools
At volunteer organizations
And at the “Y”
They bring their children with them there
They meet their neighbours and their friends

They don’’t have nine to five jobs
Their job needs them around the clock
Their office may be at home
But they are on the road a lot

Their job involves
Late night sessions
Overtime
Projects that stress them
Problems that need to be solved
Though training is mostly on the job
Research is required often
And good problem solving skills a must!

I’’m glad I could be there
When my children were small
But I was the stay at home mom
Who never stayed home
Who was always gone!

Lida Berghuis
April 6th, 2003
updated in 2013