Z.T. Balian (Western Voices 2023)

Bio: Born in Beirut to Armenian parents, multilingual French author, Z. T. Balian, holds an MA in English Literature from the American University of Beirut. After a career as a lecturer at a number of Middle Eastern universities, during which she published several English textbooks, she now devotes her time to writing poetry and fiction. She published her debut novel, Three Kisses of the Cobra, in 2016. Her second novel, Fallen Pine Cones, is due for release shortly. Her 199 Haiku Poems in Western Armenian was published in November 2022. A collection of her haiku poetry in English will see the light later this year. Her haiku poems in Armenian are regularly published by hayerenblog, and her poetry in English has previously appeared in Hope: An Anthology of Poetry and Setu Mag’s Poetry: Western Voices (2021 and 2022).   

 

Hold Me in Your Arms…

Hold me in your arms

And we can measure

The time and space

Of our embrace

The mass of our bodies

The heat emanating from them

The sounds our lips make

The movement of our limbs

 

Keep me in your mind

And you can stack up

Memory after memory

Calculate the number

Of our encounters

Remember anniversaries

 

Anchor me to your heart

Where nothing is precise

Exact, conclusive, determined

But a bond that may be

Indefinite

***

 

Phantasmagorical Journey

Stay awhile

Before I leave this world of

Perfect illusions

Where bitter pills

Are swallowed like honey

Faux pas are welcome gifts

Miscalculations never shock

Misfortune is the

Redeemer of souls

Stay awhile

In my reverie of untainted love

Spotless, pure

Sing me a lullaby

To get through the night of

Flawed passions

Walk with me

One day at a time

Help me amputate

One desire after another

Stay awhile

Let me go elated

That I wasn’t alone on this

Phantasmagorical journey of

Hallucinations of reality…

One day we shall meet again

In a sphere of faultless grounds

***

 

In Memory of Departed Loved Ones 

In the autumn of a life

Yellowing leaves are held onto

For a while longer

By branches

That carried blooming flowers

Not long ago

And a late summer fruit is still

Clinging to its life-giver…

The tree will soon wear its

Garb of nakedness

Reminiscing in its massive trunk

Those who died for it

Awaiting those

Who will again live for it

***


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