“When I first picked up Mahvash’s collection of poetry, it was only to glance at a few of her poems. Instead, I then found myself reading through the entire book word by word, in amazement. I thought her poetry was transparent… it was like she let you look through a glass container to see inside her soul; she lets you see all her sadness, all her passion and all her pain. When I read her poems… I was very much moved and I could even feel the tears. I wanted to react to it. I wanted to help her tell her story but as a photographer all I had was my camera. So that’s what I used to tell the other part of her story. Now if you listen to my lens, through these images you can hear part of her poetry that has not yet been said. I think Photography has a soul all it s own and when it is combined with beautiful words, it creates a magic of truth and softness. In this book: “A Woman Defined” both poetry and photography come together as a true tale of Mahvash.” – Dennis Roberts
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The House of Mirrors
You live in a house full of mirrors.
You look at the blue pupil of your eyes
In the mirrors of one room—
Then you look at the blue veins frozen deep in your heart
In the mirrors of the next room.
You hide the real you in a dark closet of a large empty room
With sliding mirrored doors.
Upon you’re leaving forever
You do not want to take anything with you.
I ask you, maybe a china cup?
I ask you, maybe our breath trapped in an unfinished sigh?
I ask you, maybe our sorrows trapped in a slow yawn?
But all you want to take with you is a hand mirror.
As you are parting, I whisper after you in despair,
“Oh… my love… please be careful!”
I come into the room with good news.
Suddenly, the empty is full.
Suddenly, the full is secure.
And Forever sits on the sofa next to me.
Forever knows every line in my face,
Yet it allows life to run, to hurry, and to escape.
In despair I am licking life like it’s ice cream.
In despair I taste life in my mouth like it’s mint.
While I whisper into your ears my dreams,
Words with hidden meanings,
Just to believe I am eternal, and I will remain
When my sprit has left the house of my body,
And I know it will not return.
Without a Body
There was neither love nor hate.
There was only emptiness and silence,
And we could taste the emptiness in the silence.
We could see the seed grow inside a seed.
We could see the soul of a drop of water.
We could hear the sense of touch in a breeze.
We could hear the sense of smell in the flowers.
We could float from birth to death.
Yet, we were all without a body.
We were all without a mouth,
Without eyes, without voice.
We were only ghosts in heaven.
And the mountains were our bones,
The wind was our breath,
The rivers were our tears.
We were without death.
We were a perfect and complete universe
Within a universe.
We were ghosts in heaven.
After I am painted on marble
And my name is announced and printed in every paper,
They come to claim my body
For the cold ice museums that show beauty and sorrow.
My body will stay in a glass case, standing up,
With a blue ribbon
Attached to my neck and to my wrist.
Then the school children will come
To write down and misspell my name
On tomorrow’s essay,
While I look on, with my two glass eyes
My painted blue lips murmuring words that no one can hear.