Amen. Cracked Skin Pomegranates. 2 poems by Mansour Noorbakhsh

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 Long time ago, once the star war started. 
 I quit beholding the sky, Moon 
 and planets around it, and in silence 
 uttered a dreaming heaven 
 Rain for me and sea for you 
 I fled with burning feathers.
 Am I afraid of falling in love? 
 What about you? 
 Choose either absurdity or pain. 
 Live without any pretext 
 in this giant circus. 
 I need someone to dream for me 
 If it’s impossible to dream of heaven
 let it be in its very primitive shape. 
 Rough eyes and fiercely look, 
 such as the sweat of wine and liquor 
 that could be smelled from the armpits. 
 Like the freshness of grape vines in a misty garden, 
 as if some galloping horses had left there;  
 dust, sweat and manure. 
 Have you ever seen yourself
 as I see you? I know human beings are eager to be alive 
 even in slavery, in prison or other humiliations, 
 “I want to know if you can be alone with yourself” * 
 Here I stay in the abyss of Hell 
 content with a drop of wine. 
 I can’t live without failure*. 
 You, cleric go and find your supposed  
 heaven, if it’s still not ruined by love. 
 * The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

 Cracked Skin Pomegranates
 I've been silent for a long time
 Like that pomegranate tree in our house 
 when I was a child,
 A tree that never had enough water to its roots 
 but every spring was filled with blossoms,
 and its branches full of pomegranates  
 every Summer, 
 though most of them had cracked skins.  
 My mother was said smiling,
 These are smiley pomegranates.
 She was keeping some of them 
 for cold long winter nights
 I've been silent for a long time 
 like my mother, my father, my siblings 
 and my classmates. 
 Like our pomegranate tree 
 and other trees in our neighborhood, 
 which have never spoken
 Share your drunken moments with me 
 until I drop the last drop of my life  
 into your glass 
 like a cracked skin pomegranate. 
 Sadness is nothing but a heart,
 empty of a bright imagination. 
 Share your drunkenness with me 
 abandoned but rich. 
 Music of the joyful roar of trees 
 rivers, mountains and seas 
 which have never been spoken
 in a cold long winter night.

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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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