Iran needs us, we need Iranian women. a poem by Diana Manole


Iran needs us, we need Iranian women
            To Masha Amini and all women martyrs of the fight for freedom

“Women’s rights are human rights!” she gasps before
everything goes blue. “A dream I’m finally dreaming,” she thinks.
Blue girls and women walk, dance, whirl on the streets of Tehran,
throw their hijabs into the air,
their long blue hair raining down fire and burning sulfur
onto the walls of Evin prison, the Persian Bastille collapses,
their liberated laughter turning godless women’s guardians and state enforcers
into pillars of salt.
Whirling mothers, daughters, wives, and sisters refract joy,
female love to God’s love, life to life, freedom to freedom.
“Killing women is killing the human species,” she gasps
before everything goes dark, the world at a standstill.
Crushed breasts ooze blood instead of colostrum, 
bees make venom instead of honey, suicidal seraphs smash themselves
into the bulletproof golden-rimmed windows of 
dictators and forgers of religions
who turn profit from hunger and death.
“Say her name!” she hears in the darkness,
millions of all ages, races, and religions respond, chanting her name,
pulling her back
into the light.

NOTE: As one of the Romanians who faced the bullets, marching on the streets during our anti-communist revolution in 1989 and as a woman, I’m enraged about the death of Masha Amini on the hands of police and the imprisonment of innocent protestors, women, and children. This is my humble tribute to her and to all the martyrs of the fight for freedom. I pray Iranians will finally earn back their liberty!

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Bucharest-born Diana Manole immigrated in 2000 and is now identifying herself as a proudly hyphenated Romanian Canadian scholar, writer, and literary translator. She holds a PhD from the University of Toronto and has been teaching at Canadian universities since 2006. In her home country, Diana has published nine creative writing books and earned 14 literary awards. The winner of the 2020 Very Small Verse Contest of the League of Canadian Poets, her recent poetry was published in English and/or in translation in the UK, the US, Belarus, Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, Turkey, Albania, China, France, Spain, Romania, and Canada. Her seventh poetry book, Praying to a Landed-Immigrant God, is forthcoming in a dual-language English and Romanian edition from Grey Borders Books.

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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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