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Thursday, 1 November 2012



Rain: photo by Abbas Kiarostami, 2005 (Purdy Hicks Gallery, London)

...Eyes should be washed, we should see things in another way.
...Words should be washed.
...Word itself should be the wind, word itself should be the rain.

...-- Sohrab Sepehri: from The Footsteps of Water, 1965

Rain shafts riddling the night the long homeward
Path of sodden leaves and slush, traffic splashing
Up a spume of dirty water on Shattuck
.............through the deafening downpour
Out of a blurred, soggy past, becoming who?
Reflected on cold glass, blurring, halting
At the Circle, world turning
..................................round a roundabout.
Miwoks once ground acorns in holes in these rocks
To feed themselves,
........................ Captain Useless
Non-native returning
In the blue sluicing mirror of the headlights

It's not you, that streaming blot in the rearview
It's the reflection of the beams on the raindrops.

Rain (23): photo by Abbas Kiarostami, 2007 (Purdy Hicks Gallery, London)

Abbas Kiarostami: ABBAS KIAROSTAMI RAIN (27) 2007
Rain (27): photo by Abbas Kiarostami, 2007 (Purdy Hicks Gallery, London)


Anonymous said...

I am thrilled...yes...!!

TC said...


Sus palabras emergen de la oscuridad antes del amanecer como el primer rayo de luz de día, como siempre.

Anonymous said...

qué lindo...!!

Hazen said...

Oh, this is great. Maybe it’s me, or the dark coming on, but this one resonates. The photos too.

The ‘non-native returning’ seems a hardy soul. He said with a wry smile.

TC said...


Know what you mean about the dark coming on...

To prove my own non-native status (as well as my ignorance, once again), I ought to admit that the Miwok tribe ("Miwok" meaning "the people") are an over-the-hill (that is, from here) gang. The local indigenes in this precise spot from which I now attempt to speak were the Ohlone people ("Ohlone" is a Miwok word meaning "western people"). These people ground acorns (to make a kind of mash, basic foodstuff) in declivities in a big rock just up the hill here. It is called, in a fairly obvious yet still accurate designation, Indian Rock. The hardy dame of the manor, whose intrepid pioneering boggles the mind of this stodgy old reporter, in fact happens to be dodging the raindrops up there at this moment.

This photo shows rainwater pooling in an acorn pit at Indian Rock.

Abbas Kiarostami, of course, is not a native American. He is of that tribe which one of our candidates for Big Chief is being egged on by his moneybags to bomb back into the Stone Age (the one with no acorns or oaks, that is).

vazambam (Vassilis Zambaras) said...

Fine photos, fine poem--a fine way to start a new month.

Wooden Boy said...

Out of a blurred, soggy past, becoming who?

It's not you

No steady identity, but a subject looking nonetheless.

I hadn't seen Kiarostami's photographs before; they almost have the slippiness of Soutine landscapes. Very beautiful.

Nin Andrews said...

Rain here, too, so this resonates.

Love the poem and the photos.

TC said...

Many thanks Vassilis, WB, Nin.

WB's comment reminds me that the names of the photographer and of the author of the lines in the epigraph here may not be familiar to everyone.

Abbas Kiarostami, a maker of poetic images to stop the heart. His films should be known to everyone.

Sohrab Sepehri, a world poet -- little known in this country, where so much of the world is so little known.

One of Kiarostami's earliest films, and a classic for the ages, takes the title of a Sepehri poem, and offers a beautiful cinematic variation on the theme of that poem.

Here you will see Sepehri's poem rendered into English, and stills from the Kiarostami film. In the attendant comments there is a video link that will enable those interested to be opened up to those worlds.

Where Is the House of My Friend?