May 17 – first Friday after Commencement days – Fatemeh Keshavarz

friday after Friday, May 17 –   about very old wine and time for contemplation

“My city is
That cup of sunshine
I can drink to the last drop
And be thirsty for more.”

On this first Friday of the first work week after a beautiful Commencement, an intuition sent me back to Fatemeh Keshavarz and her contemplation of 7000-year-old wine.   “Breathe a little more often than usual”;  that’s what this morning’s intuition tells me.  Might be good for you too.

Monday, November 14   Shiraz, “the oldest sample of wine in the world”

Poet Fatemeh Keshavarz reaches deep in time to she lift up the beauty Shiraz, her home city in Iran.   Shiraz has lived as a center for art and beauty for c. 4000 years.   Wikipedia tells me that “The oldest sample of wine in the world, dating to approximately 7,000 years ago, was discovered on clay jars recovered outside of Shiraz.”  Detroit is only 313 years old and the United States a lot younger than that, but in these days of terrified immigrants and their children,  of taunts boiling up from decades of grinding working class peoples’ losses, the poet’s praise of her ancient home town in Iran, another home place of the resonant beauty and raw nerves offers stillness and courage to celebrate the simple beauty of a glass of good wine.

I am using Fatemeh’s poem to celebrate the courage of refugees and immigrants today.  Lift a glass when you get off work.   Perhaps before that, read the poem out loud, with pauses.

Have a blest day.


john sj


Rocky Mountain National Park, during Ignatian Colleagues’ silent retreat c. 2013

Today’s Post:    “Shiraz”

Held up to gods
In the palm of a giant’s hands
A rare handcrafted marble cup
Brimming with sunshine
Defined at the outer edges
With tall cypress trees
That line up at dawn reverently
To interpret the horizons
In their meticulous green thoughts
My city is
That cup of sunshine
I can drink to the last drop
And be thirsty for more.

Shiraz, Dec.21, 2000

University of Detroit Mercy — Celebrate Spirit 2012


Fatemeh Keshavarz — b. 1952 – Shiraz Iran

Professor Keshavarz, University of Maryland’s Roshan Chair of Persian Studies, is a poet and a scholar.   On September 11, 2014 she read poetry for the university’s annual Celebrate Spirit Mass.

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