Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi’s Ghazal 114, from Divan e Shams, sung by Farrokh Namazi with Eymen Gürtan on Ney and Morrison Mast on Daf, music performed by The College of William and Mary Middle Eastern Music Ensemble
Rainmaker dances, a wild electric dance, she courts thunder to come clap alongside her, she calls her sisters to join her trance.
There are four rainmakers dancing, their electric hair streaming wildly white, black eyes flashing as feet pound minty music.
The sound of rain pouring comes, thunder claps loudly, and black clouds roll their eyes. They blink and tears stream down, showering daily.
Grasses lay on their side beaten, thunder rattles raising rooftops until the hairs on Mothers arm stand on end. Continue reading “Raindance”
Haldee Raam and I drove back the next day. He received a phone call from his daughter, who having returned home from visiting the graveyard and finding him gone, had simply called his cell phone.
“Such a smart girl my daughter!” Haldee Raam exclaimed as we headed out of Baseerah, “Must have inherited from her mother, didn’t even occur to me to call her! Imagine, here we’ve come all the way to Baseerah to look for her, but she’d gone to visit the qabristaan! Continue reading “Moo Meetha”
A short while after Khizzr had told me Zuljabeenah’s story, I stopped in the market for naan and noticed the upstairs windows to Haldee Raam’s shop had the shutters drawn. He was outside with a bundle by his feet, clicking locks closed on the metal pull down doors to his store. To my surprise his eyes lit up when he saw me, and picking up his bundle he came bustling over to the car.
Continue reading “Mirchi”
The camel kneeled and backed up before settling down under a date tree where Rizzaq climbed off from the space behind her hump. His rump was slightly sore from sitting on the camels back for weeks, travelling into the desert where Ilaalat, The Lady of Flowers, tended to her grove. He stretched out and removed his pack from the camels back, then handed the rope tied around her long neck to her handler, a boy by the name of Ammar, who led her away.
Continue reading “Momo”
The market was a maze of alleys with bumpy roads, pockmarked with ditches. Narrow streets intersected in a big open space in the middle, the heart where beggars, balloon shapers, and cotton candy vendors convened amongst the cars lucky enough to find parking spots.
Continue reading “Masala”
Three women work side by side
The first, dimpled cheeks dusted with freckles
Red hair streaked with gray, pours liquid
From one brown bottle to another while the second
Moves from behind mountains
Of paper tearing scraps with stubby fingers,
Sticks them onto shining curves then,
Wielding a black pen,
Slashes and stabs words,
Inking labels with identification:
Coltsfoot Cleavers Codnopsis Mullein;
The third dances between counters
Knee high combat boots daintily pirouette
Shuffle and twist over the tiled floor
While she flicks her wrists and rolls
Avocado and cucumber
Continue reading “Intersection”
There once was a pretty, young woman who lived in a little cottage off a country lane. Her name was Sseldaed, and she was vain and arrogant.
One day, a poor beggar wandering through the country lanes stopped at Sseldaed’s door to ask for food.
“Pooh!” exclaimed Sseldaed at the sight of the beggar, and she wrinkled her nose. “Why should I give food to you? I have friends coming over for dinner, and you are not fit to be seen! Go away!” She prepared to slam the door in the beggars face.
Continue reading “The Heedless Girl”
Along a lonely road in a forest, there was a pool. In the pool lived five nymphs. The nymphs swam in the pool during the day and slept at night. They were naked and slender and pale. Dark hair spilled over their shoulders and deep, beautiful eyes stole the souls of men.
The nymph’s were evil beings that fed off men. They lured the men into the pool with them, drowned them, and devoured their flesh. In their cannibalistic state, their skin became streaked with black, their eyes became smoldering pools of nothingness, and their teeth became sharp and pointy. As they ate the flesh of men, their lovely, pale beauty returned to them.
Continue reading “Seductive Lure”
There is a magical realm in a world that humans cannot see. In the realm live children that never age, each possessing a unique talent. The children were happy and content, able to do whatever they wished without harming anything. They were tended to and cared for by two Matrons, Sense and Order. Because the children did not know the harm their magical abilities would cause to the human world, they had to stay in their realm. Mostly, they were happy to do so. They did not have to behave in any manner, nor did they have to learn to control themselves. They were utterly wild and free.
But there were once were eight children who left the realm and ran away to try out the human world. They lived in the woods. They had a camp, which consisted of eight wooden boxes hanging from the trees. Each child had a box to herself or himself. The children were agile and slender. They enjoyed playing in the woods, among the trees and creeks. They had no parents, and were wild and free.
One day a woman passed through the forest on a path that ran through it. Her name was Mildred. Mildred was rich and stern, and she ran an orphanage with the strictest of rules governing it. As she walked on the path, she heard children laughing and playing. Mildred was curious about the children so she went to see what they were doing.
Continue reading “Sense or Sensibility?”
There once was a boy. His name was Mark. His mother had abandoned Mark when he was a baby and put him in a lake to drown. But he had not drowned. Mermaids lived in the lake. Mermaids that liked a toy to tease and abuse. They had entrapped Mark in a magical net that kept him tied to the lake forever or until the net was removed from him by a human.
The net was what kept the mermaids alive. The net had to have a living being in it to feed off. Without energy to feed off, it could not supply the mermaids with life, and they would all die. Always, the mermaids kept a living child in the net to supply the net with energy and them with life. When the child died eventually, they tricked a human mother into leaving her baby in their lake as the next victim of the cruel, pitiless net. It was not hard for the mermaids to enter the human mother’s dreams and convince her that her child would be born cursed and must be got rid of.
Continue reading “Caught!”