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The Moolian Stream

“The Moolian Stream” is about missing the company of true friends and loneliness. These have always been true for humans, but for groups such as immigrants and those who find themselves in exile, they are experienced more acutely. The exiled experience cultural isolation as well as existential and physical loneliness. After the COVID-19 pandemic, many others feel increasingly isolated.

Yär* —

road on horseback—

The Moolian stream
that misses the bard

drinks the deserts
in a cup

walks with
long hair
and glittering eyes—

dervishing the land—

the secret
in rags and rage
the sky forgives—

The better a friend
the worse
a friend


“The Moolian Stream” is a poem by Rudaki, the Persian poet (858—ca. 941), with this central imagery, convinced the Samanid king, Amir Nasr, to leave his resort of pleasure and resume attending to the affairs of the land.

*Persian: friend; lover


Bänoo Zan is a poet, librettist, translator, teacher, editor and poetry curator, with more than 200 published poems and poetry-related pieces as well as three books. Song of Phoenix: Life and Works of Sylvia Plath, was reprinted in Iran in 2010.  Songs of Exile, her first poetry collection, was released in 2016 in Canada by Guernica Editions. It was shortlisted for Gerald Lampert Memorial Award by the League of Canadian Poets in 2017.  Letters to My Father, her second poetry book, was published in 2017 by Piquant Press in Canada. She is the founder of Shab-e She’r (Poetry Night), Toronto’s most diverse poetry reading and open mic series (inception: 2012). It is a brave space that bridges the gap between communities of poets from different ethnicities, nationalities, religions (or lack thereof), ages, genders, sexual orientations, disabilities, poetic styles, voices and visions.

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