Saturday 20 February 2021

Five Poems by Laily Mahoozi



Exile is when one stands, not nude

But stripped of bones

It is a grave without a name

Two fugitive eyes to blind the pain

Exile; an asylum of rage retreating to the sea

To the ocean’s end, a shipwreck of a thousand dreams

Exile; a faceless army bereft of a flag

To the skies unfurled, a platoon of empty hands

Dark it is, come

To this perverted playhouse; Exile come in…

ON STAGE:  The Mockery of Death

                     The Travesty of Lives

In this bedlam where whispers die, the ridiculed language of shame is Exile

Exile is Autumn, leaves wither

To the ground, blossoms fall

Exile, a place where they walk and you walk in that place of no place

To be alive and recklessly idle. The doom of Exile

The day marred with darkness. The night wrecked starless

Aborted. The bearing of nothing is Exile

Enigma dies. In the wastes of wonder a fate seen and the end begins

Exile is an edge on the verge of a dive and demise

A battle lost or a loss without a battle

Unbidden, you cry

Exile, the tightrope of ego. Debarred from self. You fall

Assailed by nothing, your name wilts like a petal

In the evening, it leaves you. You fall.

Exile, there are no memories. Images shrivelled in the dry

There are no corners. Just roads endless

Who is there to touch you? Go lay with trees uprooted

Exile is departure without leaving. Leaving without waving goodbye

Exile is solitude robbed of silence. An open cage unsung

Exile, the predicament of existence. Remain absent or become?

Exile, an odyssey from the archives of instinct. A refuge to the beginning of time

Exile is the colour of distance. The woven threads of birth undone

Exile, a wave left at shore

Exile is run

Exile is shelter


On the other side




Amidst wood and fire

I swallow the incidence of white;

The avalanche of winter

The pallid cold

The bloodless axe

The anaemic forest

White flames

Carved ivory


Alabaster eyes




She forgot to live today

Her eyes fixed above

Her skin ashen

She spoke fragmented



She recalled the life she had mislaid

Sitting there


Midst the fishing bait





Snow falls


The world is white


The ground and the dormant dragons glitter and shine


Silence possesses mountaintops

White bewitches


Snow slowly melts

The white veil snatched

From beauty



It is all back to







It is evening

The moon under the scrutiny of the departing sun

Midst the invasion of violet

Lunacy ensues

On the scarlet theatre of dusk

The night is born

As eve gathers its crimson claws

The titanic weight of black descends


The dawn

The day and

The sinking dusk

Laily Mahoozi is a neuroendocrinologist/poet based in Iran. Her life is a matrimony between medicine and poetry.

In 2005, she obtained her specialty in Pituitary diseases from the University of Virginia, the world’s leading centre. Upon her return to Iran, alongside her practice she founded ‘Healers for Heritage’ — an initiative to revolutionize the rigid traditions in medicine and help revive ancient ruins. By transferring her clinic to the heart of historical sites and bazaars, she has curated alternate spaces of healing for patient-care — body and soul.

Devoted to writing poetry and calligraphy, her 2000 unpublished poems reveal a life in exile — Revolution, war and immigration. In 2012, her book of short poems, ‘Curve’ was published. Her English translation of selected poems by the esteemed Iranian, Sohrab Sepehri is under publication.

In 2016, ‘Healers for Heritage’ held its first international gathering of renowned neuroendocrine medical experts and preeminent scholars of history, literature and art in Iran. The event aspired to discern the enigmatic association between Attar’s (12th century Iranian poet) ‘Seven Valleys of Love’ and the seven hormones of the Master Pituitary gland. A documentary film unfolding this surreal saga is under production.

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