Dignity “To: Joyce Echaquan*” A flat tire stopped us In the middle of a vast desert extending between two oceans. Sands can move through the borders freely with the wind, as waves can move through borders in the ocean. No border exists for sand and waves. Sands are equal, waves too. We are stopped in the middle of a desert a few kilometers far away from the border, the dream of freedom. Sweating and burning under the intense Sun. Dying. Thirsty. And I think of those who drowned in the ocean waves, a few kilometers far away from a border attempting to save their freedom, their dignity. Sands are equal, waves too. “The rank is but the guinea's stamp” ** But still human beings are equal in dying. * Indigenous woman records slurs by hospital staff before her death. https://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/indigenous-woman-who-died-at-joliette-hospital-had-recorded-staffs-racist-comments **From “A MAN'S A MAN FOR ALL THAT” by Robert Burns Till You Recognize Me Even sky, somber or starry needs the sound of crickets to enliven the night. So, we may listen to it, or listen to our chanting-like paces. And still nothing can placate a blown away dream by an irreversible sudden awakening.
Rescue a poem for me, the words of childhoods, motherhoods or loves, lost in Tehran, Baghdad or Kabul or died in Damascus, thrown out of a hospital’s window, drowned to die in an abandoned pool, perished in a shot down airplane or in a glorious holy jail, disappeared or stolen somewhere in Middle East, Africa or agitated, mortified, grieved somewhere else. And still the spell of responsibility or “justice” is a sardonic smile, the selfishness of unreal protests. Respect, regard, or sympathy in the absence of your voice is an ironic tautology. Just your subterranean words threaten those who see us as the staggered and silent human-like shadows. They shoot the poets. Rescue a poem and say something that keeps me dreaming the chanting-like paces of your childhood; lively, happy, and decided. Say something to rescue us from the shadow of what you see amiss and ensure we recognize each other while we are walking along this dusty road, beside that roaring river, or toward that thriving meadow, as we move toward it, if we move toward it. Your silence frightens me.
Honourable mention in the Annual Contest, 2020 of Brooklin Poetry Society
Mansour Noorbakhsh writes poems and stories in both English and Farsi, his first language, and has published books, poems and articles in both languages. His book length poem; “In Search of Shared Wishes” was published in 2017. He tries to be a voice for freedom, human rights and environment in his writings.
He is an Electrical Engineer, P.Eng. and lives with his wife, his daughter and his son in Toronto, Canada.