. . .

missing it terribly
the yet-to-be-tainted
print of the gullible body
kept pure centuries ago
the one that was left behind
on that first day of the first snow

© hülya n. yılmaz, 2.9.2017

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“on a feel good road”

doing a mundane chore
taking out the garbage
the collection bin
several feet away
so it’s walking time

the sun brightens up its rays
bathes me under their glow
kisses me on my forehead
its scent on my bosom and nape
like my daily perfume

i am thus transported in time and space

Freud is said to have challenged:
“Where does a thought go
when it is forgotten?”

a thought
my thought
harboring right this second
innumerable memories
at the contact of one puff of the sun
could it be gone

not even at this mere blink of an eye
not inside my mind
not in my heart
as for my body
it is released to a bullet train
that detected by me alone
makes many a spellbinding stops

an enthralling land extends
and ramifies infinitely
before me
a festival of a sundry of flowers
petal to petal . . .
trees
multitudes of trees
olive pomegranate orange fig lemon mulberry
reddish-black and white
leaflet to leaflet . . .

the window in my private coach
seems at first to have been bolt shut
i get to open this forbidden one
down
all the way down
and take in
take all the way in
each and every one
of the sensory servings outside

it’s past lunch time
i feel hunger crawl into me
to the core of my starving soul
the morsels are aplenty and delicate
i discover a colossal plate
in a hidden arch of my compartment
tucked in by passengers of the many a past
to borrow it on and on then to make it last
i smile at my bountiful tray
i am content proud feel useful
the next traveler will indeed have
a sating manifold fertile sampler . . .

the virgin oil i extracted
from one olive tree my train had passed
helps me draw stick figures in my loan-dish
that the ones who journey after me
can liken to anything of their wish
there
there i am

O Dut Ağacının Üstünde
On Top of That Mulberry Tree

local boys around me
for i am a struggling tomboy
near my grandpa’s stately house
pants shorts or a skirt whatever i have on
i cannot remember or better yet
frankly don’t care a zilch about

my mom in her soft voice calls my name
it’s time to go inside

‘you are no longer a child my girl
and Sinop is a small place
we all must make grandpa proud
why don’t you play with the girls instead
and please only nearby and on the ground’

sitting around the dining table
we devour dishes and dishes of delicious food
some are just ordinary but others purely mom’s specialty
while all grown-ups sip strong coffee as is the habit
mom keeps busy
working patiently
on her most favorite fruit
that reddish-pink
semi-round thing

trying to entice me at least to taste it
by laughing behind a giggly riddle
that to me was then one of a kind
ÇARŞIDAN ALDIM BİR TANE,
EVE GELDİM BİN TANE
From the Bazaar, I bought only one
Came home and found a ton
while i am far from being enchanted
i ask in never-resting curiosity
‘O ne peki?’
What is it?
‘O bir nar, canım, nar!’
A pomegranate, my darling,
The answer is: pomegranate!

. . .

Nar Ağacım Benim
The Pomegranate Tree of Mine

whether one or a ton
THE pomegranate never left me stranded

early and formative school-bench years
showered me with a plentitude of exciting classes
the one on literary imagery
(i later understood correctly)
made my thirst for learning
as acute as my mom’s yearning
for that thing named pomegranate

then came the time of actual growing up
gifting me the privilege to specialize my studies
positive sciences on one road
humanities on the other . . .

a broad literary field of wondrous symbols
an era-identified compilation of Turkish writings
either originally conceived or mindfully adopted
were spread before my eager eyes ears and imagination
a tree of pomegranate the red shiny beads of a pomegranate
no longer were that foreign thing to me

my move out of the landscape of my birth
changed nothing in these later years
for i ran into it again
this time among the pages of a novel
where it was crying

a dear writer-friend of mine
knowing my late-bloomer-fascination
told me she strongly desired a translation
in my hands the same hands that just wouldn’t
just couldn’t let go off that pomegranate
besides
it was crying

joining my confused tears
on one random day at dusk . . .

Kısır Topraktaki Dut
The Mulberry on Barren Soil

high snow covered every bit of dirt
we had peaked the season of winter
sedated by a lifetime lifelong meal
leftovers looking back at me
from my borrowed plate
from my tray of loan

it wasn’t a cardinal’s chest
i could have sworn
a mulberry it was
a reddish-black one
from my little girl-tree
shared way back then
with a few Sinopian lads
before joining my beloveds
before watching that reddish-pink thing unfold
olive pomegranate orange lemon fig mulberry
yes yes oh yes mulberry the reddish-black kind
it was hanging on the leafiest twig
on the branch of my one summer-old tree

as if to wait for me to notice it
before falling onto a softest cushion of snow
like i on that day’s end and many times before
had wished to be falling into my mother’s arms
for lately i have been craving them so . . .

© hülya n. yılmaz (4.20.2017)

Uzak Geçmiş.jpg.opt100x100o0,-6s100x112

In memoriam to my mother whose birthday was in May, who also died in May -on the 7th, the day when her late brother was born.

~ ~ ~

This poem will appear in the May 2017 issue of The Year of the Poet, a monthly anthology featuring the poetry of nationally- and internationally-based writers and published by Inner Child Press, Ltd.

Thank you dear Bill, William S. Peters Sr. for the inspiration to my poem’s title.

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. . .

a metronome woman of the old world
one pulse to the east
to the west another
carefree smiles
twist into a grimace
right on cue

© hülya n. yılmaz, 4.16.2017

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167 Poems to Dial Up

Last night, April 14, 2017 there was a groundbreaking event in our small town –the second of its nature in the United States: The grand opening of Telepoem Booth State College, Central Pennsylvania. And the poetry art scene at large owes the expansion of its presence in this exceptional form to the 2017 Viola Award Winner, artist and writer, Elizabeth Hellstern. If you are in the area –downtown State College, that is, stop by Webster’s Bookstore Café. Then simply walk down its stairs, look ahead once on ground level, and be greeted by this public art piece right across the entrance.

In an article, featured in the April 2017 issue of State College Magazine, Steven Deutsch–a local poet and freelance writer and one of the members of The Telepoem Selection Committee offers valuable insight into this “new public art installation” (“Dialing Up Poetry”, 32):

[Quote Start] The Telepoem Booth is a repurposed 1970s rotary dial telephone booth, developed, refurbished, and sent to us by artist and writer Elizabeth Hellstern. When you dial a number, you are connected through a computer to a catalogue of poems, nearly all recorded by the individual poets.

The first Telepoem Booth was showcased at the Festival of Creativity in Mesa, Arizona, in 2016. One currently resides in Flagstaff. Old phone booths have been repurposed as libraries and aquariums in the past, but the conversion to a poem booth is unique to Hellstern. She writes of the idea:

[Sub-quote Start] ‘In the arts we focus on vision, but I’m especially fascinated by touch. To me, touch is a very powerful and intimate sense that requires a one-on-one interaction, unlike sight or sound. It is the first sense. When I was a curator, I began judging beauty by touch as well as sight and I started to explore the concept of haptic experience. As a writer, I pondered the idea of bringing multi-sensory engagement to word. What is the word of art? How can I make words have materiality of object? How can I bring words off the page?

I want words to interact with an audience in a way that is visual and kinesthetic. I want them to feel more intimate and require engagement of the senses. I thought about the forms and objects that have historically helped people to connect to others, forms that were created for moments of intimacy: pay phones and poetry. Combined, these two forms create a whole new experience – the Telepoem Booth’ [Sub-quote End] (Deutsch, 33). [Quote End]

John Ziegler is another name that everyone aware of this newly erected art of ‘touchable’ poetry in State College should know. Inspired by his accidental discovery of the Telepoem Booth in Flagstaff, this local poet together with Hellstern initiated the installation of one in our town.

The Telepoem Selection Committee –consisting also of local poets, judged 327 poems submitted by 86 poets for inclusion in the initial round, as quoted by the TSC chair Sarah Russell in her congratulatory email to those whose submissions were accepted. Deutsch writes the final outcome in the same article cited previously:

[Quote Start] 167 poems by 75 poets were accepted. […] While many of the poets are from the Centre Region, poetry from as far away as Australia is included. For the most part, the individual poets have recorded their poems, so that the voice the listener hears upon dialing up a specific poem will be that of the poet (35). [Quote End]

Today, I feel gratified that two of my poems are among the 167 to dial up and to listen to. The Telepoem Book inside the booth offers a no-nonsense assistance. Poets and poems appear in that directory with their last names under two headings: “Telepoets” and “Genres”, spanning over nineteen genres. I am one of the ‘Telepoets’ whose own voices are heard once the dial-up is complete.

Elizabeth Hellstern: Video (top left) and still picture (top second left)
John Ziegler: Still picture (top center)
[Photo Credit: Self]

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. . .

“A human being is part of the whole called by us ‘Universe’; a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to enhance all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” ~ Albert Einstein

Related Links:

Albert Einstein – Biographical – Nobelprize.org

9 Things You May Not Know About Albert Einstein

10 Strange Facts About Einstein

25 Things You Didn’t Know About Albert Einstein

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instead of . . .

i surprised him
the second he spotted me
behind his mommy
his little darling body
became a dance all by itself
his always smiling face
made room for even more
giggles many giggles
‘come on, grandma!’s
hand in hand
eyes locked on mine
my little enormous sunshine

‘you come to anne car’
ending in 1/3 of a question mark
with my yes already in his shiny heart

leaving his pre-school

amid the two grown women’s chatter
as untainted as out-of-this-world
as a human voice can ever be
“I love you, grandma!”

. . .

i love him so
his little sister too
that each such moment takes my breath away
but then together we all get to breathe again
laugh cry eat drink celebrate sleep be loved again

and on the many other ends of our truly splendid world
because of the few but contagious sick and sickening minds
under their equally plagued but money-pouring hands
children die
die
die
die
die again
again
again
again
die again

© hülya n. yılmaz (4.6.2017)

With a lump in my throat for the millions of children killed “[i]n the past ten years, as a result of armed conflict,” for the millions who “have been disabled, […] are homeless, and […] have become separated from their caregivers.” From: The Invisible Trauma of War-Affected Children (My quotes’ source, a post by Robert T. Muller, Ph.D. dates back to April 27, 2013. Close to four years later, the numbers of the so-called “casualties of war” do not need a scientific reference, do they?)

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. . .

annual death of
3.1 million children overlooked
overeating self

© hülya n. yılmaz, 4.2.2017

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