“i LOVED school”

Unaware about the terrible ongoings in the world, I led a very happy (and apparently, a sheltered) childhood in Turkey, truly in love with learning throughout my early schooling and the songs we got to sing all through elementary school. And: my family and I never had to worry about whether we would survive the next day amid power games of war mongers. In this poem, my child-self wants to hold on to those innocence- and peace-filled times through a back then most popular Turkish children’s song while my mother- and grandmother- adult-self is in agony over today’s gruelingly violent murders of children. Those helpless little darlings of my old neighboring country being merely one case.

“orda bir köy var uzakta
o köy bizim köyümüzdür
gezmesek de tozmasak da
o köy bizim köyümüzdür”

there is
there is
a village
a village
far over there
far over there
that village is ours
that village is ours

we may not saunter about there
we may not sss… (What did he say? Sibel? Murat?) about there
but that village is ours
but that village is ours

Hocam, I…I…bbbbeg your pardon, please.

What is it, Hülya?

tra la lala la la
tra la lala la la
tra la lala la la la la laaa

Sibel couldn’t part faster
with my corner of our bench
her eye-glassed question marks ablaze anew
she insisted to settle her stare on my right shoulder
and poor dear gold-hearted Murat
he had almost fallen off – again
of what was left for him to safely perch on
he was just too big of a boy anyway
to seize and conquer one single bench

tra la lala la la
tra la lala la la

wasn’t there a tra la la refrain
we all sounded best at
in our mommy-ironed black and white

has even the freshest of the stale leaves
i always tucked in between my memory sheets
dried out already completely

“orda bir yol var uzakta
o yol bizim yolumuzdur
dönmesek de varmasak da
o yol bizim yolumuzdur”

there is
there is
a road
a road
far over there
far over there
that road is ours
that road is ours

we may not return from there
we may not return from there
we may not ever get there
we may not ever get there
but that road is ours
but that road is ours

tra la lala la la
tra la lala…

you sweetly sung poem
only for us children

tra la lala la la
tra la la…

Sayın Ahmet Kutsi Tecer
this one is one of yours
one of the most-liked
most- and best-remembered
wasn’t there a tra la lala la la in there

tra la lala la la
tra la…

salaam Soureyya salaam Moustaffa
salaam Hameed salaam Fatima salaam Laila
could you really see us from your village
did you hear our beloved song then
did any of you sing it together
had you heard it before

tra la lala…

yes i have a child a daughter
and she has a boy and a girl
how about you

tra la la…

oh i only said

how about you

tra la…

a boy and two girls

how lovely

do they also learn how to sing in school

tra…

. . .

words of old lore then
began to haunt my privileged self
though i knew this Halep was a semi-disguise
it was all about the same torn-up place nevertheless

“Halep ordaysa”
if Aleppo is there
“Arşın da burda”
here too is Arşın

and

. . .

with the silence of corpses
my no longer-intact heart
screamed on top of its lungs

if Aleppo is there

where on earth is humanity?

 

© hülya n. yılmaz (January 15, 2017)

~ ~ ~

This poem was my contribution to the Aleppo anthology by Inner Child Press. Publication pending.

2 Comments

Filed under Poetry, Reflections

2 responses to ““i LOVED school”

  1. thank you dear Hulya for your contributions to humanity ❤

    Like

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