Poetry by Mansour Noorbakhsh

Mansour 4

“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.


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


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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.

Published by darcie friesen hossack

Darcie Friesen Hossack is a graduate of the Humber School for Writers. Her short story collection, Mennonites Don’t Dance, was a runner-up for the Danuta Gleed Award, shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Ontario Library Association's Forest of Reading Evergreen Award for Adult Fiction. Citing irreverence, the book was banned by the LaCrete Public Library in Northern Alberta. Having mentored with Giller finalists Sandra Birdsell (The Russlander) and Gail Anderson Dargatz (Spawning Grounds, The Cure for Death by Lightening), Darcie's first novel, Stillwater, will be released in the spring of 2023. Darcie is also a four time judge of the Whistler Independent Book Awards, and a career food writer. She lives in Northern Alberta, Canada, with her husband, international award-winning chef, Dean Hossack.

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