Posts Tagged ‘Tiel Aisha Ansari’

A Date with Ben Franklin

August 22, 2010 Comments off

From (E)vocation by Tiel Aisha Ansari

“why me,” he wonders

Because I wanted to know
what it was really like

feeling that lightning strike
run down the string

handling the hot slag lump
that had once been a key

and now, shapeless and smoking
nonetheless turned in your hand

and opened so many doors
even though it wasn’t really like that

Because I wanted to know
if your legend has ballooned

like the sails on an outer-banks schooner
running before a storm

and needs to be trimmed for accuracy
And I wanted to know if you

would rather be remembered for
the Declaration, the glass harmonica,

the Gulf Stream, abolitionism,
political satire, chess, refrigeration,

being right about the wave theory of light―
most of all I wanted to know

what was it like, just what was it like

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Tiel Aisha Ansari is a Sufi, martial artist, and data analyst living in the Pacific Northwest. Her work has appeared in Islamica Magazine, Mezzo Cammin, Untitled Country Review, The Lyric, Barefoot Muse, and the VoiceCatcher anthology from Portland Women Writers. Her poetry has been featured on KBOO, Prairie Home Companion and MiPoRadio and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her collection Knocking from Inside is available from Ecstatic Exchange. You can visit her online at

A Hole in My Heart

May 3, 2006 8 comments

There’s a hole in my heart
that began as a bleeding wound.
Time smoothed the edges and trued up the frame.
Now it’s a window into memory.

I could have let it grow shut
kept out the dust and occasional flies
but that would have cut off the view.
So what if rain gets in?

An empty seashell echoes with remembered surf.
If it were sealed shut, you would hear nothing.
Poke a hole in your heart
what sounds are echoing in there?

written by Tiel Aisha Ansari of Knocking from Inside.

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