4 poems by Mansour Noorbakhsh. WCLJ poet-in-residence

Mansour-Snow-2020 (resized)

Nowruz 2023
     For "Women, Life, Freedom"

Hyacinths need the full Sun
that comes late winter 
or early spring.
What flowers will make 
this year attractive to Nowruz?
Enshroud with the tattered leaves,
clusters of fragrant,  
schooner stiff, upright stalks,
as the growth of your hands.

Your hands will bring Nowruz this year.
You, who went to the street to bring the full Sun 
in a night that still wanders between 
its scarlet sky of sunset and dawn. 

The night that your blood uncovered it. 

I wait for a Nowruz that rise from your collar, 
that beats with your red blood. 
Hyacinths will feel the full Sun then.

Dropping Slow

     After:  And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
     Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings; (W.B. Yeats)

I close my eyes,
but still, can hear, unintentionally.
Like hearing the news
when you drive in a dark road.

Tired of a long run,
laid on, behind my closed eyes, I hear,
perhaps a clamorous flea market.
Not your voice’s visuals. What I need.

Behind my closed eyes, 
the mother turtle leaves 
the shore and her buried eggs. 
With tears in her eyes. 

The sounds 
continue finding their visuals 
behind my closed eyes.

Something rustles a far. 
As if baby turtles leave the shore, 
and their hatched eggshells, 
in the opposite way of their mother.

fictional life

no memoir is free of fiction pieces
that makes food delicious
and warms kisses 
within thousands of photos 
buried under millions of others 
autographed by emojis 

today i tried to call an old friend in iran
the voice was indistinct
i just heard, “internet access is very poor
i cannot even load a photo
they’ve turned it off 
to smother us”

i load a photo, and stray around messages
again and again, in a free country
to feel fictionally alive

then, my life turns to a question

Middle East
Many years ago, a man who was selling cactus fruits on his handcart,
red and sweet, 
was peeling the fruits for his customers.
His hands were rough like cactus leaves, 
told us if I don’t peel the fruits, 
the thorns will hurt your hand and mouth.
There I have seen cactus and orange plants growing side by side,
while women and children were working together.
In a hungry and thirsty land surrounded by mountains, rivers, and seas.
Where the cradle of civilization is buried there.
Now, it’s said the bullets are planted there, and bombs were bloom.
And people have abandoned planting the drought resilient fruits, 
and the cradle of civilization near the oil wells, 
on a journey to beyond the drought.

I can imagine how the land continues growing sweet fruits resilient to the drought.
but I don't know whose hands will remove the thorns.

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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, is published in 2017. He tries to be a voice for freedom, human rights, and environment in his writings. He presents The Contemporary Canadian Poets in a weekly Persian radio program. Mansour’s poems are published in WordCity Literary Journal, Verse Afire, Parkland Poets, several anthologies, and other places. His poems are translated in Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Serbian, Macedonian, and Chinese. Mansour Noorbakhsh is an Electrical Engineer, and lives with his wife, his daughter and his son in Toronto, Canada. Mansour is WordCity Literary Journal’s Poet in Residence.

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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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