David Kherdian

Poetry (United States)

FOR NONNY’S 88TH BIRTHDAY

MAY 7, 2020


A vase sits on the end table,

flowers pink, white and yellow,

Nonny’s birthday present

arriving from afar;
everything distant now,

including what is near
here in our shutdown site


Not a candle or cake to put it on,
for me to light, and Nonny to cheer,

such it is, but the indomitable beauty

of life will not be stilled


The clarion call from the distant

hills sounds even louder now,

for being blessed in quiet,
the heart surrendering at last,

for eternal love to appear
from out of the dark


Free in this day where nothing

is clear but the love we hold

that will not give way to what

threatens its life,
that no death will ever put asunder.

STILLNESS

There is a stillness now

that is new,
apart from the usual

nervous agitation

over what comes next
and what to do,
as if life was waiting
for us, when it is we
who must take on life, although

uncertain of the future,

having lost our assurance,

our presumption
that life is always there.

Now to be grateful for life,

and concerned over
the welfare and safety
of others,

a new beginning,
something never practiced,

unfamiliar, yet not radical
in thought, but sudden,

surprisingly necessary, for even

when isolated we are not alone,

but connected to others
who are now just us,
as we now are forever theirs.

David Kherdian is the author and editor of over seventy books, that include poetry, novels, memoirs, biographies, retellings, and children’s books. His anthologies include Beat Voices, and three seminal works, including Forgotten Bread: Armenian American Writers of the First Generation.

 

With his wife, Nonny Hogrogian, they were the publishers of three small presses — Ararat, Forkroads: A Journal of Ethnic-American Literature, and Stopinder: A Gurdjieff Journal for Our Time.

He has, with his presses, journal, and anthologies, along with his own work, helped place ethnic writing into the canon of American literature.

© 2020 by Creative Armenia