POET IN THE CITY

You have always been a child of wonder
Speaking to the waves and kissing flowers
Writing on napkins, the stories of your heart
Singing lyrics into the wind and the wayward sun

You tried your hand at this and that
And still within you the yearning stirred
And the words flowed down and out
As if there was no recourse

So, be a poet, if you can’t help it
Your grandmother would say
You were born for it
Your parents will close their eyes and smile
Because they know your spirit – wild and romantic
An untamed horse’s run
A foolish lover’s heart
A believer’s day dream

Be a poet, if you must
The world is working on your behalf
Better than you can possibly conceive.

Since my work contract ended in February this year (when I was three months pregnant with my second child), I have been wondering what path my career will take in this new chapter. I had the grace period of pregnancy, and now a few months of maternity leave, with the question looming over me, like September clouds in Vancouver: What will I do next? My work has shifted numerous times over the past few years, going from working full-time as a counsellor, to working in the corporate world as a personal and leadership development professional, to completing my 200 hour yoga teacher training and teaching in this field… and finally, to taking on my passion for writing (poetry to be specific) over the past seven months, sharing my words and thoughts on Instagram @eshq.and.embers. After becoming a mother in 2013, I started to truly believe that whatever I was doing for work had to be fulfilling and wonderful enough to be worth putting my child in someone else’s care. And now, with the birth of my second child, I have even more conviction that I must follow my passion, for the sake of my personal fulfillment and happiness, as well as for what I will teach my children about creating a life of their dreams. After all, life truly is too short to do things that do not bring you alive, that do not make you feel whole and complete. So… all this considered, I feel, I must be a poet.

My grandmother was a poet. She passed away a few days ago, and her passing has awakened in me, once again this unshakable belief that I must live into the life I was born to live. From a young age I related to my grandmother’s spiritual ways, to her devotional life, to her creative and romantic spirit. She used to put song to poetry she knew off by heart, and write her own sweet words like honey running down my soul. Even when my Farsi was too elementary to understand the depth of her work, I understood the essence she conveyed in her potent words. A few months before her passing, I was experiencing great impatience with my life. She said to me, “Be patient. This life is working better for you, than you are.” (Hence the final lines of the poem above). She was a teacher of trust.

Before she passed, she left a poem she had written to be inscribed on her grave stone. She was a poet through and through and her willingness to live her truth until her last breath, feels like a permission slip for me to follow my truth: To be a poet, without apology. To be spiritual and speak of devotion to and belief in the divine, without cowering in fear of judgement. For this, and for all her lessons, I am forever in debt, and full of gratitude for her beautiful soul. As a mother, I hope to convey this same truth and trust for my children, and one day if I am so fortunate, for my grandchildren.

Now the question has changed from “What will I do next?” to “How will I be a poet in the city?”
I do not yet know the answer. I do not know how I will make an income, how I will get a book published, or when… But with the great perspective that life, death and grieving provide, I realize that it does not matter that I do not yet know how I will make it as a poet. All I need for now is inspiration and courage. I will let you know how the exploration goes!

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Erica Dolsen
    October 3, 2017 at 6:44 pm

    Thank you for your faithful, heart-felt, clear eyed truth. We are better for it.

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