A POEM BY SIMIN BEHBAHANI

It’s Time to Mow the Flowers

It’s time to mow the flowers,

don’t procrastinate.

Fetch the sickles, come,

don’t spare a single tulip in the fields.

The meadows are in bloom:

who has ever seen such insolence?

The grass is growing again:

step nowhere else but on its head.

Blossoms are opening on every branch,

exposing the happiness in their hearts:

such colorful exhibitions must be stopped.

Bring your scalpels to the meadow

to cut out the eyes of flowers.

So that none may see or desire,

let not a seeing eye remain.

I fear the narcissus is spreading its corruption:

stop its displays in a golden bowl

on a six-sided tray.

What is the use of your ax,

if not to chop down the elm tree?

In the maple’s branches

allow not a single bird a moment’s rest.

My poems and the wild mint

bear messages and perfumes.

Don’t let them create a riot with their wild singing.

My heart is greener than green,

flowers sprout from the mud and water of my being.

Don’t let me stand, if you are the enemies of Spring.

—Translated by Farzaneh Milani and Kaveh Safa

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