On Niloofar Fanaiyan, ‘Untitled’
Niloofar Fanaiyan is a dear friend of mine, and I love her poetic voice. Her most recent book, Ley Lines and the Rustling of Cedar (Recent Work Press), is about trees, and it’s extraordinary. Niloo’s poetry is scattered with jewel-bright images, it is ethereal and sumptuous, full of beautiful impressions that are also prosaic and authentic, grounded and real. Niloo typically writes about the world, the universe, nature and life. Her poetry displays a real understanding of scientific truths; but it also speaks to the deepest places in our hearts.
The world is my heart — I shall not waver
in the wake of quakes and fissures, in the arid era
of carelessness and gloom and the ocean’s waves crashing against the mountain’s crest —
a myriad moments roll through my mind in an arc
of fog laden with carbon-monoxide as the muscles constrict and the blood flow pauses,
a holding pattern in the arteries of the earth.
I lift up my eyes to the glass dome decorated
by other worlds moving in an unfathomable dance —
orbiting the orbiter orbiting, orbiting within and without the centre that does not exist —
my heart is, itself, the axis and the boundary
of life and real dreams as amethyst manifests in dark chasms and the twilight sky,
harmonic strains crinkle and echo the silence.
I shall not waver as my heart constricts,
for steadfast is the face of the universe.