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Sochi - Poem by Nassy Fesharaki

Sochi

Sochi’s name is to all sounding alike
Contrary or different is hidden, mind
Far apart are right-wrong unmatched
We kept behind walls both blind U&I

You hear Olympic, the sport or Putin
But I own memories; partially history
Somewhere it in some way sets in me
Shedding light enlighten with that trip

That is when Adygea comes in paddy
That water, man-made lake its coming,
The people who lived there, Cherkassy
Or Cherkess, who wore the Cherkeska
Man-garment common in the Caucasus
To Georgians, Circassians, Abkhazians

The people who live there are mine too
That is why my heartburns are forceful.
Some for wars were removed-scattered
Some for lake their houses all flattened.

And my trip, was unaware and sheepish
We flew a plane for Shah’s logistic, this
Was insight “Everything here is politics”
We’ve been pawns of a pawn; Cherkess?

Like many I came out of Sochi with limit
Worse, a Journalist passenger complained
“Polite but all these days I was detained.”
I meant to him this “You’ve lost nothing! ”

Thanks to a friend I was right and honest
Interested to the left a thirst was inside me
Slogans “We are one and we are all equal”
Was great match to my culture; Iran-Islam


We landed in Yerevan Gate Opened
Their system was metric we needed
To adjust there was guide who’d fly
To convert; our system feet and knot.

Their airport was a mess; ramp-runway
Terminal was worse poverty, brainwash
They wore shirts, uniform Iranian tricot
On the floor, near wall, Lenin and Marx
On the book, Tavarish-Carl’s beard wild
I asked for some drink at a bar, or water
They wanted a coupon and/or the ticket
What a hell, it is shit, angry I murmured
Our leftist crystal palace soon shattered
“Is this that equality? ” I must’ve sworn.

Our guide was brown head to toe; even
Bag, uniform well-iron and shoe shined
I taught him “With finger push-release”
I told him and explained, we flew; in air
Under us were mountains, forestry-trees
Vast was the USSR and great was green.

Finally, we landed, we flowed as guided
We knew nothing and relied, had a guide
Officer with a bag in brown went to come
Paperwork, bureaucrats KGB and secrets
Curious, I observed, near plane all around
Till I heard a shout “shah” a table on ramp
Scared I went close; saw a few, play chess
Their playing, laughing loud and shouting
“Why shouting in such time for such game?
Isn’t this game for the mind? ” I questioned.


Things were slow so I walk to men-mixer
I was sure to see some work of the cement
The men wore headset-mikes, and radioed
They conversed; traffic and airport control

I questioned if they had led to landing?
A confirmation right away I felt I froze.
I came from USA and systems delicate.
“I want home, not being in such hands.”
I must have said and of that I was sure.
“Something is wrong with this system.”

As always, curious I went looked around.
I could buy a big bottle of beer, in amber.
I was sure, “Misunderstood the Yerevan”
Happily I twisted the top; soon was open.
“It’s bowl” one sip and it made me vomit.
I threw the bottle far away with contents.
“Something is wrong with this system.”
I murmured and was sure I had divorced
Leftism; everything coming for Marxism.

Finally the coach came, and was in white
Our guide sat in the front; close to driver
They spoke in Russian unaware as a deaf
Got nothing of the word, had no comment
Eyes’ work hard looked around; no vehicle,
Empty were the streets seemed very wide.

Unlike ramp and runway city was different
Young and old held flag; on flag was slogan
VIPs were we and welcomed; “It’s so funny”
I smiled while looking at the faces as in Iran
The labor and jobless brought in some busses
Offloaded, like mud-bricks from the trucks
Each held some flag or the sign, “welcome”
We also did, forcefully; were military cadets.

We arrived to our hotel, ceramic work at sea.
Many men and women, children swimming
Even their swimming trunks, swimming suits
Looked alike, mostly like Yerevan-uniformed
“Something is wrong with life in this system.”
Was a message carving deep and going deeper

With our beds cradles and small I was lucky,
I am short, I could fit in; and sleep like baby
But Abbas, a very tall; like Charles de Gaulle,
I doubt that he slept folded legs in that cradle.

The guide who led us took us to certain place;
Said: “We can go change money and buy gift”
Illegal, I knew, had few Rubles, bought in Iran
Rubles were like paper, but here too expensive.
Spent few dollars and with mix could purchase.
Blue-Eyed General, Jahanbani told us all in Iran.

Souvenirs expensive we returned with little
The night was excellent; everything a lesson
Door flew like a bird then crawled on asphalt
Wind howled came, with no belt we could fly
Driver parked, went to door, bulging muscles
Expert he came back carrying the gone parts
Placed them, replaced them; fixed them soon.
In no time we were back on road as normal...
We went to restaurant, it was fishy not for fish
But the food and order for the meal; unknown
“Is it pork? ” crew asked. The guide confirmed.
He shoved it in his bag. Most of us left hungry.
“Something sure must be wrong in this system.”
I thought and kept thinking when he took pork.
“As we’ve heard he’s a major but has no pride”

The young man, passenger, journalist told us
He was not permitted out of sight, was in bar
They’d caught him for his thoughts on Sochi.
Journalists, though not all, are smart, curious
As normal must have asked about rice paddy
Poor still like ours are in the north, Caspian’s
KGB was opposed to knowledge beyond told
He was young and aware; ambitious, curious
So was bad “Something’s wrong with system.”
I had the Andrei Gide’s USSR’s renunciation.


Much later I learned more of people, Cherkess
I learned about rulers’ chess game and Adyghe.
Removing Cherkassy of North Caucasus Krai
Settling and moving once again as sheep herds.

Now we are reading Ukraine; a start in Sochi
“He’s spent billions to make a set for games”
West blew in the mikes with insults at Putin.
He’d done so, possibly. Maybe corrupt theft
But it was all peaceful to become one friend.
Copying Washington and London to Ottawa
Rejected Friendship became mount; piled up
The blames and dislikes; enmity to the fights
The people in Ukraine are the pawns in chess
Shame must be on this game; that rulers play.

“I’ve long left that town but, town remained”
That is a saying and rightly; that’s very true.
I have left the Sochi and Soviet and the men
But they’ve nested deep in me, on my mind.
The “Something is wrong with that system.”
And the chess game and the pawns are here.
As have remained till today, always remain.
Sochi then can’t be one for us all, for you, I.


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