Honourable mention — Mansour Noorbahksh

   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.

© Mansour Noorbakhsh, 2020
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