Poem by Ibrahim Honjo



My grandfather, whom I do not remember
has never had a fiddle
has never seen a piano
yet he played both at the same time

with a pitchfork he played the violin
with a hoe he chose the notes on the piano
he played better than Mozart and Beethoven

while playing he enjoyed invisible walls
in an imaginary castle
with him African and South American parrots were singing
deer and rattlesnakes were dancing the waltz
and Native Americans synchronized smoke signal rhythms
with each note
spreading peace on the planet

he taught his four hundred goats and three hundred sheep
to sing in the choir
when he played love songs
that he composed
picking pumpkins in the fall
and making brandy the first days of winter

about my grandfather the legend said
bears and lions smoked the peace pipe
and drank water from the same source

my grandfather was the first minstrel in Mahalla
also the first pianist and violinist
he played the violin that he made
out of the one maple tree that grew in front of our house
just to keep alive peace on the planet

so he made the biggest bridge between continents
that no one has ever used out of spite
they say when my grandfather shouted
from the top of the mountain
the world’s army lined up in an instant
and paid respect to those who they murdered
in sign of support, my grandfather hugged his sweetheart
and kissed her until the apples didn’t bloom in Mahalla
and peace with peace did not fertilize in peace

Ibrahim Honjo, From my book “HOW TO TOUCH ETERNITY DOWN THE MAHALLA” 2016


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