The Fallen Leaf

Lofty Asian-Caribbean cheekbones [1]
Where once her tears fell
To their crushing death
Upon antique cobblestones of a street
Called betrayal
And when she walked
Upon her dead tears, hurried
It was then when I bowed to kiss her steps
It was then when I fell to my death
I fell like a green leaf
Though I am still green
With certainty I am already dead
And since then
Matters it not I land on
Sand or a flowing brook
Devoured, withered or crumbled
I will fall where Almighty loves
Feel no sorrow for I
Am though dead and fallen
So free, away from destiny’s dungeon, I
Am that Persian boy in love
With a kite that never soared
And gold fish that spoke with I
Am in love with a tricycle
That raced through a street called happiness
I am falling like a leaf
(And do not let the green to deceive)
Paddling on my tricycle I heard
The faraway chuckles of a Haitian girl
Reading the walls aloud: “Freedom, Equality, Brotherhood”
It was not the French that I understood
The bow in her hair so loud in my eyes, screamed
And dark abyss of her dimples, the tricycle fell into [2] 
Her running golden folded knees [3]
Frozen still in arctic ice
Of a black and white postal card
(And indeed my name not on this one)
No one cares about a leaf
Stays on? Or to its death tumble
And I am so glad no eyes to trace my fall
It is… these not-gazed-upon falls that one
Falls in love with Beloved
Just like the Haitian girl that
Fell of the serpent-ridden tree
The same tree that bears the fruit
That bitter fruit of shattered hearts
(Grows in orchards of Haiti or Persia)
She fell into her throne, helpless
Silently reading the chapter book of happiness
(And she has much difficulty with the language)
Indeed if perchance you walked by her court
You may hear the eyes of Allah
Gazing upon her Nubian heart [4]
Whether falling from a tricycle
In streets of Persia
Or falling from grace
Mountains of Ken scoff
We are all green leaves falling
From the same tree
Be not fooled by this old tree
And it’s poisonous blossoms of untrue promises
Embrace the wind and fly
Fly young
Do you think it matters where you fall?
Streets of Port Au Prince or rooftops of Tehran?
I am fallen and farewell to you Creola
I am fallen and dizzying around
The old tree, the blossoms, my tricycle
The pink bow, and the writings on the wall
All just whirling images
Round and round
Distant echoes of screams for fist full of freedom
Distant echoes of demands for equality
Distant echoes of fading chants for brotherhood
And my beloved it was and is
The only real thing indeed
The fall
The fall from this tree
So fall, fall young
Fall now my enchanted Creola

This world is a poisonous tree and we are all leaves on its branches. No matter what we are we all going to fall from this tree. Some will fall and be Haitians, some may fall be Persians, some will fall be White racists some may fall and be lovers. But it matters not where we fall, what matters is the very act of falling.
The poison of this tree is its false promises. That you will be a leaf forever on its branches and in reality you know well, you will soon fall and be gone. That you will be better than all others, but in reality you are just another leaf like any other.
All leaves are linked together somehow by this tree, thinking that a Haitian girl has nothing to do with a lad on a bike in Tehran, is like being under a tree and saying the leaves falling from this tree are in no relations to each other.
You fall from this tree to wherever the destiny takes you while the Almighty graces you by viewing your fall and loves you no matter where you fall upon. If you fall ailing with AIDS in a hut in Haiti, Beloved the Creator loves you. Man has no control on love and justice of the Lord of the universe.


[1] Asian-Caribbean Cheekbones: A place were a man cries himself into purity sobbing for his Lord
[2] Darkness: Hypocrisy has made the light dark and the darkness of her skin battles the false light, radiating the purity
[3] Folded Knees: Sitting on ones’ knees in act of worship mixed with compassionate gesture of nursing one’s love i.e. a pious nurse
[4] Nub means gold in ancient Pharaohnic language referring to the Sudanese miners who mined gold for the Pharaohs.

School girl weeping after being teargassed by police, Haiti, 1995. Photograph by Roger Richards.

© 2003-2002,  Dara Shayda