Ahmad, by Jason Eslamieh

June 18th, 2011


A few strands of hair on his chin

An early sign of puberty

Boy to man

His head is buzzed, clean and perfectly round

Holding back his smile, no clue why

The call to heaven, no questions asked

His younger brother standing by the doorway

Eyes wide open, gazing no where

His father standing a few feet away, eyes glazed over

His mother kisses him goodbye tears rushing down

She looks up in the sky to the heaven above

She sees more sky

Searching for heaven, believed it was somewhere beyond the color blue where God is watching over her son.

Under his white cotton shirt buttoned up to his neck

A bomb wrapped around his waist.

His jacket covers him good in the chilly afternoon

He walks away with an older man who told him about the myth

A free pass to heaven, 72 virgins and an eternity with God.

They blend in with the crowd in the busy down town

He hops onto a crowded bus, his uncle stays behind

He sits down on the cold metal bench

Seems too shy to look up to see the children, women or elderly

Sitting across the aisle

Lives he holds in the palms of his hands

Shattered glass, the sounds of screams, and smoke rising to the sky

Same place his mother looked and saw heaven, angels and God

Some myths are as beautiful as the unicorn, others kill like God

Variegated Boswellia hybrid

May 9th, 2011

This is a variegated Boswellia hybrid in a three way cross; (B.popoviana X B. nana) X B. sacra. There are four different coloration in the leaves at the Juvenal stage.

Pachycormis discolor in bloom

April 20th, 2011

Pachypodium sp.

April 20th, 2011

Ask Hafez, Jason Eslamieh

April 17th, 2011


Last night I visited Hafez in Shiraz

The moon was full but hidden behind the clouds

Waited with his book in my hand

Thumbed the pages all night

He showed up late, drunk and disillusioned

I asked; have you found your lover in paradise?

Laughter broke the silence

A few words danced crossed the pages

As his shadow walked into the clouds, he chanted his favorite song

I met God when I found myself

Disillusioned, needed more

Took the journey up to the heaven

Found heaven empty and the angels dead

So I tell you my friend

When you find yourself, you have found god

Ceraria pygmaea

April 15th, 2011
Ceraria pygmaea

Ceraria pygmaea

Commiphora campestris

April 15th, 2011
Commiphora campestris

Commiphora campestris

Bursera microphylla

April 15th, 2011
Bursera microphylla

Bursera microphylla

Boswellia elongata

April 15th, 2011
Boswellia elongata

Boswellia elongata

The Pomegranate Stick By Jason Eslamieh

April 4th, 2011

The Pomegranate Stick

Every Thursday after school
I walk to my grandma’s
Kick every rock laying in the alley on my way
The last pebble stands on its feet and whispers: you are here!
I softly curse and open the door
The sound of screech
Brings back in me the good boy I need to be
Painted smile, obedience and a dash of charm
Hide the war as nothing is wrong
So I sit on the floor holding one knee to my chest
Chanting the Koran with rhythms and
Swaying motions that never end
My thoughts wander to the forbidden land
Where boys question without punishment
Where silence begs the truth in my head
My eyes miss a word or two and my chanting stops
My body still in motion
The long pomegranate stick cuts the air in half
I see my hand pulls back
Just a tad too slow, the pain rushes in my head
Tears fill my eyes
My Pride fights the gravity
The words are blurry running cross the page
The pomegranate stick cuts the air
No tear drops on the page

Grandma is long gone and half a century passed
I learned the Koran, words of hollow and foreign sounds
I still see the bruises on my hands
Dreams of the pomegranate stick haunt me every night but free at last