Two Poems by Soodabeh Saeidnia

I’m so thrilled to see two pieces of my poetry “Punctuality” and “We were close” have been published online by “Burning House Press”. My heartfelt appreciation to the wonderful guest editor, Amee Nassrene Broumand for accepting them. I love the picture she added to the page of the poems.

via Two Poems by Soodabeh Saeidnia

This is my Farsi translation and reciting of the poem, Punctuality.

Poets Who Contributed to “Persian Sugar in English Tea”: Clara Burghelea

Clara Burghelea is Editor-at-Large for Village of Crickets’ blog Small Points of Light. She is a Scott James and Jerry Cain Creative Writing and Social Media Fellow from Romania, working on a multi-genre MFA at Adelphi University. A poet and translator, she published in print and online, including in In-Flight Literary Magazine, Straylight Literary Magazine, Indiana Voice Journal, The Galway Review, Peacock Journal, Full of Crow Press, Quail Bell Magazine, Ambit Magazine and elsewhere. Her poetry and fiction have been included in anthologies such as Where Are You From? Anthology, May 2017, Peacock Journal- Anthology: Beauty First., January, 2018 and Persian Sugar in English Sugar Anthology. Vol. II, March 2018. She lives in New York.

Clara contributed with three poems to the second volume of the bilingual anthology, Persian Sugar in English Tea, of which “Mama” is a visceral, poignant experience familiar to many.


I think you’re safe now.

I’ve raised a son in your absence,

my roots have turned white

and there is a breadth of a continent between us.

I believe I still bear you,

if not actually in my flesh,

growing old and new alike,

then in the presence of you

that animates this flesh,

the intimacy of having washed

your body

and the long good-bye

to the strange bedridden days.

Your absence turned into a locus of language.

I needed words to hang on to you,

fixing and unearthing the unspoken

and the small losses

leaping out like cracks in the pavement.

I was a fool. Words do not heal.

They plaster the holes and clear space

on a page. At times, pretentiously.

It’s been a decade of bargaining

and eluding to name you.

Now, I think I will let you rest.

Will you let me live?


Note: Mama was published in Quail Bell Magazine in September 2017.


فکر می کنم الان دیگر ایمن هستی

من در نبودنت، پسری را بزرگ کرده ام

ریشه هایم سفید شده اند

و فاصله ای به وسعت یک قاره بین ماست

باور دارم که من هنوز تو را تحمل می کنم

اگر نه واقعا در بدنم

که پیر شده و برایت تازگی دارد،

بلکه در بودنت

که این جسم را حیات می بخشد

صمیمیتی که جسمت را شسته

و آن خداحافظی طولانی

با روزهای غریب افتاده در بستر

نبودنت تبدیل به زبانی خاص شده

من نیازمند واژگانی بودم برای سخن گفتن باتو

تثبیت و کشف ناگفته ها

و از دست دادن های اندک

جهیدن همچون شکستگیهای سنگ فرش خیابان

چه نادان بودم، واژگان شفا بخش نیستند

آنها تنها حفره ها را می پوشانند و فضای کاغذ را شفاف می کنند

یک دهه چانه زنی

و گریختن بنام تو

اکنون بر این باورم که بگذارم بیاسایی

آیا تو نیز می گذاری که من زندگی کنم؟

Poets Who Contributed to “Persian Sugar in English Tea”: Michelle Bermudez

IMG_3959Michelle Bermudez is a Latinx poet who is currently taking her MFA in creative writing at Adelphi University. Her poetry is heavily influenced by bilingualism and the cultural implications in Hispanic families. She is the recipient of the Donald Everett Axinn Award for Fiction and is currently at work on a collection of Spanglish poetry, Mother’s Blood, Sweat, and Tears.

Michelle contributed with three poems to the second volume of the bilingual anthology, Persian Sugar in English Tea. “What Love Made Me” is one of her lovely poems. You can find it below together with the Farsi translation and narration:


What Love Made Me
A night owl, hiding secrets in the dark
fighting sleep and the beautiful moon
to write you 3 a.m. love poems for when you woke up

Our passion gave me the strength to white out
night’s hulking darkness in favor of the light—

the rising sun, your newly opening eyes—
exposing my heart in all its raw vulnerability.

I dread the day I am no longer nocturnal.

آنچه عشق بر سرم آورد

جغدی شباهنگام، رازها را در تاریکی پنهان کرده
با ماه زیبا و با خواب دعوی می کند
تا نیمه شبان، شعرهای عاشقانه ای
برای لحظه ی بیداریت بنویسد

هیجاناتمان به من توانایی می بخشد
تا لاشه ی تاریک شب را به لطف روشنایی بروبم

برآمدن آفتاب و چشمان تازه گشوده ات
طبیعت آسیب پذیر قلبم را آشکار می سازند

من از روز در هراسم که دیگر آن شب زی نیستم

She has been awarded a full tuition scholarship to the New York State Summer Writers Institute for 2018. The award is for Advanced Poetry, session two, with Henri Cole. More info and details about this brilliant young poet and her poetry may be found on her accounts on social media









Poets Who Contributed to “Persian Sugar in English Tea”: Juan Chemes

Juan Chemes will have earned his MFA in Creative Writing from Adelphi University this coming May, 2018. In 2017, he published poems with Indolent Books in NY, Cagibi /kä’jēbē/ Literary Space, and a non-fiction piece at Bloggetry. Currently, Juan is currently working on revising his Master thesis and first novel, The Shame of the Shameless.

More information and details of his works may be found on his Twitter (@Juanchemes) and Facebook:

Juan contributed with three poems to the second volume of the bilingual anthology, Persian Sugar in English Tea, of which “Wishful Wishing” is simply a multi-layer, deep experience. You can find it below with its Farsi translation and recitation.


Wishful Wishing

Tell me something I do know,

that the mirror has three faces, if not more.

Or that easy does not

necessarily does it. It does not!


That the good outweighs the bad,

perhaps, for all we know.


Tell me again, if you’ve learned

that your thoughts are worth more than a cent,

that to fuck up is divine and it’s human to repent,

that well said can be even better than well done.


That the good outweighs the bad, not doubt

for all we care.


Tell me, but say yes:

Can I call a spade a dove, or just a spade?

Can I hope for something new under the sun?

Aren’t things almost always what they seem?

Does the good outweigh the bad?


We know it does! For all we stand.

آرزوی آرزومند

چیزی را به من بگو که آنرا می دانم

اینکه آینه سه چهره دارد، اگر نه بیشتر

یا این که کاری لزوما به آسانی انجام نمی شود

نه انجام نمی شود

اینکه خوبی، بدی را از بین می برد

شاید به این دلیل که همه ما می دانیم

اگر درست یاد گرفتی، دوباره آنرا برایم تکرار کن

اینکه اندیشه هایت بیش از یک سنت می ارزند

اینکه رنجها هدیه الهی است و سبب توبه آدمی می شود

اینکه گفتار نیک می تواند حتی بهتر از کردار نیک باشد

اینکه خوبی، بدی را از بین می برد

بی تردید به این دلیل که همه ما به آن اهمیت می دهیم

به من بگو، اما بگو بله

آیا می توانم به  یک پیک بگویم فاخته؟ یا فقط می شود گفت پیک؟

آیا می توانم برای چیزی نو در زیر آفتاب امیدوار باشم؟

آیا چیزها تقریبا همیشه همان چیزی نیستند که به نظر می رسند؟

آیا خوبی، بدی را از بین می برد؟

ما می دانیم که چنین است! به این دلیل که همه بر آن متفقیم

A few lines from the above poem appeared on the back cover of the book.


Poets Who Contributed to “Persian Sugar in English Tea”: Claudine Nash

Claudine Nash is an award-winning poet whose collections include The Wild Essential (Kelsay Books, 2017) and Parts per Trillion (Aldrich Press, 2016) as well as the chapbook The Problem with Loving Ghosts (Finishing Line Press, 2014). Internationally published, her work has appeared in a wide range of publications including Asimov’s Science Fiction, BlazeVOX, Cloudbank, Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, and Dime Show Review.  Website:

Her author page on the Facebook:

You may find interesting facts about the wonderful Claudine’s poetry reading the below interview:

Claudine contributed with three poems to the bilingual anthology, Vol I. “Sea Glass” is one of them.

Sea Glass

At some point you began the process
of becoming sea glass; hazel green

shards of torn bottle nursed on algae
and kelp, twisted to sleep by channels

of lenient sand who draw your surface
from memory, erasing the outline of your

eyes in half-speed until they no
longer pull at my fingerprints. Cast into

the sound in May, I will find you between
mussels and an icy foam, when I can

run my finger down your side,
pick you up in my ungloved hand.


Note: Previously published in The Westchester Review.

سنگ شیشه ی دریایی

زمانی فرا می رسد که تو
به شیشه دریایی بدل خواهی شد

به تکه های یک بطری شکسته برنگ سبز عسلی
پوشیده با جلبک و کتانجک*، آرمیده در کنار کانال هایی

مملو از شن های روان که چهره ات را
با خاطرات ترسیم کرده و طرح چشمانت را

با کندی پاک خواهد کرد تا آنکه دیگر
آنها بر نوک انگشتانم نچسبند

در اردیبهشت روح نواز
ترا میان صدفها و کف های یخی خواهم یافت

و آنگاه که بتوانم با سرانگشتانم کناره هایت را لمس کنم
ترا با دستان برهنه ام بر خواهم داشت









Poets Who Contributed to “Persian Sugar in English Tea”: Blanca Alicia Garza

Blanca Alicia Garza is a poet from Las Vegas, Nevada. She is a nature and animal lover, and enjoys spending time writing. Her poems are published in the poetry anthologies, “Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze”, and “Dandelions in a Vase of Roses” now available at Blanca’s work can be found in The Poet Community, Whispers, The Winamop Journal, Indiana Voice Journal, Tuck Magazine, Raven’s Cage Ezine, Scarlet Leaf Review as well as Birdsong Anthology 2016, Vol 1. Blanca was recently nominated for The Best of the Net 2017.

She contributed with two poems to the bilingual anthology, Vol II, and you can listen to the Persian translation of her poem, Stumbling, on the link below:

This poem has been recited in English by Hank Beukema on YouTube:




My world teeters
but I will not fall

I’m standing here
tall and proud
No matter what
life throws at me

I’m making my own path
with the stones
that I stumble on

Will not follow the crowd

My dreams could be
scattered by the wind
like pieces of a dandelion

But if I can touch a heart
with my words, if I can
make someone think
twice before they act,
then my work wasn’t in vain.

یله خوردن

دنیایم زیرو رو می گردد
ولی من نمی لغزم

اینک من ایستاده ام
سربلند و مغرور
بی خیال از
دغدغه های زندگی

راهم را خود می سازم

از سنگ هایی که
سد راهم بودند

من همرنگ جماعت نمی شوم

رویاهایم شاید
مانند قاصدکی
از هم بپاشند

اما، اگر قلبی را
با کلامم لمس کنم
اگر کسی را
پیش از آنکه کاری بکند
وادار به تامل سازم،
پس آنچه کرده ام واهی و باطل نبوده است


Poets Who Contributed to “Persian Sugar in English Tea”: Scott Thomas Outlar

Scott Thomas Outlar hosts the site where links to his published poetry, fiction, essays, interviews, reviews, live events, and books can be found. His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Scott was a recipient of the 2017 Setu Magazine Award for Excellence in the field of literature. His work has been translated into Albanian, Afrikaans, Persian, and Italian.

Scott contributed with three short poems to the bilingual anthology, Persian Sugar in English Tea, Vol II and published a Youtube video, reciting a selection from the above mentioned collection including his own poem, Coloring Outside the Lines.

You can watch the video and listen to the Farsi translation of the poem below:

Coloring Outside the Lines

Blue is the color of kaleidoscope dreams

abstracted with neon mandalas

that swirl and shift

in spaces beyond

those consciousness knows how to tame.


Energy crystalized at a pressurized point

transcends the limitations

of places we fear to tread

while manifesting the miracles

that only grace can erupt into existence.


White is the color of cumulus clouds

singing hymns down from heaven

as mantras of whispered breath

hum from the lips of holy angels

to swarm across the land below.


Prophecies and prayers of old

align at the web’s woven center

to reveal a matrix of truth

that boils in the heart of peace

and tears away the final veil of illusion.


Note: Originally appeared in Tuck Magazine.

رنگهایی که از خط بیرون زده

آبی، رنگ رویاهای متنوعی است

که با تذهیب های براق از هم جدا شده اند

در فضاهای ماورایی

می چرخند و تغییر می کنند

آگاهی و شعور می داند که چگونه آنها را رام کند

انرژی در یک نقطه متبلور شده

از محدودیت مکان هایی که می ترسیم

در آنجا گام بگذاریم، فراتر رفته است

در حالی که معجزات نشان می دهد

تنها فضیلت است که امکان ظهور دارد

 سفید، رنگ ابرهای پنبه ای است

آوازی بهشتی است که نازل شده

همانطور که که لبان فرشتگان مقدس

اذکار را زمزمه می کند

تا در سرزمینهای زیرینش ببارد

پیشگویی ها و دعاهای قدیمی

در مرکز بهم تافته یک شبکه، همگام می شوند

و زمینه ای از حقیقت را آشکار می کنند

که در دل آرامش می جوشد

و آخرین حجاب توهم را می درد







Poets Who Contributed to”Persian Sugar in English Tea”: Michael Lee Johnson

Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada during the Vietnam era and is a dual citizen of the United States and Canada. Today, he is a poet, freelance writer, amateur photographer, and small business owner in Itasca, Illinois.  He published in more than 1012 publications, his poems have appeared in 35 countries, he edits and publishes 10 different poetry sites also nominated for three Pushcart Prize awards for poetry 2015, 2016 and 2017 Best of the Net.  He also has 153 poetry videos on YouTube:

He is the Editor-in-chief of the anthologies, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze and Dandelion in a Vase of Roses which both are now available on amazon. You can find them on the links below:,

Michael contributed with five poems to the bilingual anthology. He is a poet of exile and there are always footprints of the years he lived in Canada and reflection of the grief missing home and hope to the future.

Here is the Farsi translation of his poem, “If I Were Young Again” in the bilingual anthology, Vol II.


If I Were Young Again 


Piecemeal summer dies:

long winter spreads its blanket again.


For ten years I have lived in exile,

locked in this rickety cabin, shoulders 

jostled up against open Alberta sky.


If I were young again, I’d sing of coolness of high

mountain snow flowers, sprinkle of night glow-blue meadows;

I would dream and stretch slim fingers into distant nowhere,

yawn slowly over endless prairie miles.


The grassland is where in summer silence grows;

in evening eagles spread their wings

dripping feathers like warm honey.


If I were young again, I’d eat pine cones, food of birds,

share meals with wild wolves;

I’d have as much dessert as I wanted,

reach out into blue sky, lick the clouds off my fingertips.


But I’m not young anymore and my thoughts tormented

are raw, overworked, sharpened with misery

from torture of war and childhood.

For ten years now I’ve lived locked in this unstable cabin,


   inside rush of summer winds,  

    outside air beaten dim with snow.

اگر یکبار دیگر جوان می شدم

تابستان ذره ذره می میرد

زمستان پایان ناپذیر دوباره بسترش را می گسترد

 ده سال است که در تبعید بسر برده ام

محبوس در این کلبۀ لرزان

 شانه هایم به آغوش باز آسمان آلبرتا تکیه زده

اگر دیگر بار جوان می شدم، خنکای گل های برفی در قله های بلند را می خواندم

و نم نم باران شبانه در مرغزارهای آسمانی رنگ را

شاید انگشتان باریکم را – در رویا- به سوی ناکجاهای دور می گستراندم

و بر دشتهای بی انتها خمیازه ای آرام می کشیدم

علفزار جایی است که تابستان سکوت می رویاند

و شامگاهان، عقابها بال هایشان را گسترده

و پرهاشان مثل عسل گرم می ریزد

اگر دیگربار جوان می شدم، میوه کاج وغذای پرندگان را می خوردم

خوراکم را با گرگ های درنده تقسیم کرده

و تا دلم می خواست دسر نوش جان می کردم

به آسمان آبی سر کشیده و ابرها را از نوک پنجه هایم لیس می زدم

اما من دیگر جوان نیستم، اندیشه هایم خام و عذاب آورند

از رنجهای ایام کودکی و جنگ خسته و کاهیده اند

از ده سال بدینسو – من در این اتاقک متزلزل- اسیر زندگانی ام

دردرون، وزشِ بادهای تابستانی

در بیرون، هوا تیره با بارش برف

“If I Were Young Again” has been converted to song composition by the singer, arranger and composer, Bill Bero.


Poets Who Contributed to”Persian Sugar in English Tea”: Bob Heman

Bob Heman‘s poems have appeared recently in New American Writing, Caliban online, and Otoliths, and in the anthology The Other Side of Violet (great weather for MEDIA). He has edited CLWN WR, formerly Clown War, since the early 1970s. His words have also been translated into Spanish, Arabic, Italian and Hungarian. Recently he has been working on a series of collaborations with Cindy Hochman.

His art includes cut-outs [“participatory cut-out multiples on paper”], drawings, and collages, and has been included in a two-person show at The Brooklyn Museum, in a one-man retrospective of his cut-outs at BACA’s Downtown Cultural Center, and in group shows in Toronto and Los Angeles, as well as in galleries in D.U.M.B.O., Chelsea, Williamsburg, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn Heights and the East Village. In the late 1970s he was an artist-in-residence at The Brooklyn Museum.

He contributed with four poems to the first volume of the bilingual anthology. His poem, STEM (ساقه) is a short, deep and simply beautiful read especially in Persian. Here is the Farsi reciting of the poem:


at the root there is time
& in time we get to
the root of it & see why
through time the root
draws its nourishment
from the soil surrounding
letting it keep on until
its time runs out & it
lives on only in its seeds
& in the seeds of those seeds
& so on until time itself
becomes the root that
draws all space into its
once & incredible bloom

(previously published in NEDGE)

 (ساقه (ریشه

در ریشه، زمان جاریست
و در زمان است که ما
به ژرفای ریشه پی می بریم
و در می یابیم که چرا ریشه
در گذر زمان
از خاک پیرامونش تغذیه می کند
و این کار را ادامه می دهد
تا اینکه زمانش بسر رسد
از آن پس تنها در دانه ها می زید
و در دانه های آن دانه ها
و همچنان ادامه می یابد تا آنکه زمان
خود نیز تبدیل به ریشه می شود
و بناگاه تمامی فضا را در خود می بلعد
و چه شگفت انگیز می شکفد

A few samples of his collages:


“Straying from the Herd” was made in 2017 and published in Home Planet News Online.

“x collage” was done in 2015 for the book ABC URDITIES: A COLLAGE ALPHABET, published by Benzene Editions.

“Guarding the Small Light” was originally done as a cover in 2015, but wasn’t used, when they chose another one of my other designs instead. It was later published in Clockwise Cat.

About the Cover Illustration of the Vol II

The cover illustration is one of the Nermin Kura’s works called “Overture”(means Pishdaramad “ پیش درآمد “ in Persian), 2017; Coil built stoneware; mid range and low fire glazes; 15 x 13 x 6 inches. She is a professor of Art and Architectural History and Ceramics at Roger Williams University in Bristol RI .
“What does “Pishdaramad” mean in Persian art and music?”, several friends asked me. As a matter of fact, Pishdaramad means, “before entering”. It can be compared with the European prelude. A 20th century invention, it consists of a measured piece written for group performance, to be played at the beginning of any traditional performance. The melody of a pishdaramad usually contains hints or references to the upcoming “ghoushehs” in the performance (Ghousheh here means a piece of music). The pishdaramad was invented by the great tar and setar player of 20th century, Darvish Khan, who wrote the first such piece for a public concert in the early 1920’s. It can be composed in various rhythms, but almost always in slow tempo.
Like the music of ancient Greece, Persian music is closely allied with poetry.Generally one couplet of classical verse is set to a single Ghousheh with long melismatic sections and instrumental rhapsodizing between the various Ghousheh. Thus the meter of the poetry imparts a kind of recurrent rhythmic structure to the otherwise unmeasured composition.
You may find more details of Persian music on the link below: