Category Archives: Poetry

Filistin aklımda . . .

A poem in my native tongue, in response to the silence we resort to in the face of atrocities with which the innocent are being erased from the face of the Earth:

Filistin’in masumları,
kalbimden dilime taşan
tuzlu damlalarla birlik olmuş,
umutsuz bir ümitle haykırıyor.
Sessizce.
Için için.

Ne çare!

Insanlık uykuda.
Insanlık unutkan.
Ben dahil.
Insanlık seçici.
Insanlık kendi rahatında.
Ben dahil.

Umursamazlık,
Vurdumduymazlık
Günün sloganı.
O kadarla da kalmıyor:
Her yeni günün odağı
Konumunda
Tahtını koruyor.

Acaba, diyorum,
Bir dakika sussak,
Susabilsek yani,
Mazlumlardan kendisine yol döşeyen
Postalların asitte bekletilmiş bağcıklarıyla
Birer birer eritilip yitenlerin
Çığlıklarıni dinlesek,
Ya da sosyal medya hatırına olsun,
Dinler gibi yapsak?

Acaba, diyorum.
Sadece, acaba . . .

(c) hülya n yılmaz, 18 Eylül 2018

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“Positano”

Hayat, sana teşekkür ederim!

many a moons ago,
i fell in love
with Positano
in a book
in the film of that book
but long before that,
in a single image of it
which was donning a small balcony
overlooking a cliff over a calm sea

i am in Skopje now
not in Italy
not even close . . .
sitting on a small balcony
with a stunning view of the city
its surrounding mountains
strut justifiably
their majestic beauty

the Sun has watched over me
looked after me
saw me fall asleep last night
in my lately ailing body
waited patiently
to wake me up early this morning
to its spectacular show
to let me know
i have to heal faster
i just must
for life’s unimaginable offerings
are here for me to see

there is no sea
not here
i have however seen aplenty
already
devoured each one by one
along the way
they all are inside me
and forever, they will stay

forgive me, Positano
i am still in love with you
but with Skopje too
though also with Monastir
Larache
Assilah
Petra
the Dead Sea
Bethlehem
Mar Saba
Ramallah
Madaba
Mount Nebo
Wadi Musa
Amman
Giza

many a moons ago,
i had concluded
my own life was just that:
as good as it got
back then . . .
the universe, however, had
something totally different in mind

i am falling in love
with its every nuance over and over
i keep my spirit’s eyes wide open
as i do so with my soul’s arms
while i fly on a magical spread
on and on and on . . .

i am on a small balcony
Skopje is the name this time
its magical mountains
span expansively before me
with a full view
over a unique sea
of this Macedonian city

Hayat, sana teşekkür ederim!

(c) hülya n. yılmaz, 9.12.2018

[Photo Credit: Self; View Inn Boutique Hotel, Skopje)

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“breakfast”

i am about to eat the new day's first meal
in Nefertiti's legendary presence
the Pharaohs may object
but my soul
uncorrupted
is ready to commune with all
for all

at the end of the "Sound and Light" show last night
while the Pyramids stood upright
having defied the impact of many a deadly earthquakes
not having caved in to the soft silky sands underneath
standing majestically erect
evidencing the fatal flaw
of modernity's claim
that it was humans
who built these World Wonders
though Man can still not prove
the technology required for their construction
had been available to men or women back then 

while i half-heartedly listened
to the theatrical staging of perhaps one of a kind
my soul entered the Sphinx and the Pyramids
there, i met my past life again
the last musical piece was most-intoxicating
each move left me in contemplative tears
my entire life passed by my core essence
all beloveds who had stepped on Earth
leaving their frames behind
their spirits intact
watching over humanity 
caring for them
waiting patiently
for their hearts' eyes to open ajar

they assembled before me one by one

i lost the count
an all-inclusive assembly of humans
how can anyone ever do such a math

and the Ultimate One . . .
invisible untouchable mute
only to be conceived
not to be conceptualized
but only to be conceived
as Rumi asserted time and time again . . .

i am one
one is what i am
i am all
all is what i am

i am not becoming 

i am

here and now

hülya n yılmaz, 8.28.2018

 

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[Photo Credit: Self; A view from the balcony
of our hotel on the Giza Plateau in Egypt]

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“sun-kissed”

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“boys and soccer”

we just took a short walk
to the hotel across the Wall
a well-to-do tourist trap
with nothing at hand to impress
i had already inhaled the history
all the Graffiti Art represented
on that monument of collective shame
the entire land is a museum a gallery
bearing its all to the visiting-pure at heart
a gift shop? i can do without!
gifts are all around
the children's smiles 
their eager words of "Hello"
the warm embrace of their hearts

many boys are before my eyes now
they are playing all kinds of games on the street 
where our comfortable hotel is to be found
soccer catch-a-ball bike-tricks 
hesitant to look us in the eye at first
but in pure smiles a few minutes later
giggle-like laughs back from our end

how they move about at ease
as were all of their families' trials over
a tragic list of events on the walls of their homes
as profoundly etched in memory
as the Wall of collective shame 

oh humanity
why are you so deep asleep
while in bed
when awake as well
take down the walls
as only you can
open your eyes
stop seeing selectively
only united can we embrace ultimate love
not if we take sides electively 

oh humanity
take down all walls of collective shame
each of us needs love's image alone
in our souls' all-embracing precious frame
from this moment on to everyone's eternity


© hülya n. yılmaz (8.12.2018)

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[Photo Credit: William S. Peters; Location: Bethlehem, Palestine]

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“at Jordan’s Jarash Festival”

sitting in the Roman amphitheater
in anticipation of the global gathering of poets
transported in time and space
i am in an amphitheater in Turkey
my country of birth
and feel Side in me
Efes comes alive inside
Bodrum joins in joyously
her world-renowned white would go so well
with the various earth tones
Jarash offers in abundance
as does Amman at large
my adored host town for the summer

Oh, Jordan
i may have fallen in love with you . . .

i haven’t been to my homeland
in too long of a while
i cannot recall the last time i inhaled
the magical aroma of Side Efes Bodrum
my childhood and youth companion Ankara
Istanbul my grandparents’ initial home
the entire globe’s focus of wonder
sitting on its unique throne
between two continents
in all its centuries-rich glory
while Sinop my adopted Turkish hometown
still keeps me at an ocean’s distance
from her picturesque beauty
since my last loved one’s death

housed yet homeless
for the lacking geography
the home-scented soil’s delight
the gut-laughter’s home-grown fillings
and the condition-less-ly all-embracing air

Oh, Jordan
i may have fallen in love with you . . .

i am enchanted by your Amman
your Zarqa your Al-Karak your Jerash
your people’s mesmerizing warmth
your beloveds’ heart-generosity
your rare gem of natural beauty
your out-of-this-world valleys
your majestically high mountains
your incredible all-encompassing history

in trance with the dance
of poetry’s magical tunes
accompanied by age-old Ud
as brought to life by the tenderly masterful
yet modest hands of a lyrical gift of the ancient past

never mind the to-me-foreign phonetics!
my loss of course but i refuse to fret it
for there is one sound
one sound alone
and that is all there is:
in the soul we are united
through the soul we all speak

shared smiles shine brighter than the noon sun
lighting our blurred paths in the darkest of our nights

poets and non-poets alike
men women young or old
from all walks of life and space
together with children’s delightful giggles
easily evidence pure innocence is acutely in place

Oh, Jordan
i may have fallen in love with you . . .

© hülya n. yılmaz, July 27, 2018

 

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“torn”

how can you even begin to understand
when all you ever saw was a callous-hearted photograph
of a savagely soul-emptied land
or grasp the devoted dedicated commitment of its people
to their justly attained long-labored traditions and customs
cradled within the tenderly nurtured gentle realm
of their age-old civilization?

how can you even begin to conceive
where these precious fellow-souls
gather the countless pieces of their insides
after witnessing the slaughter of their babies
or what happens to that infant-innocence
if it survives the annihilation of its elderly
long enough to avow that it will further survive?

why don’t you look around
can you really not see
the multitudes of suffering abound?

torn inside and out
you still just go about . . .

“Business as usual” rules, you say?
better yet, the passé overrules
any likely change in our busy-ness
and stays put on its mighty swing set
to carefreely sway its mundane existence away
from the highest high of a ceiling
to the deepest hole in the ground

© hülya n. yılmaz, June 31, 2018

This poem was my contribution to Palestine. A Conscious Poetic Offering, an anthology of global endeavors, compiled by Gail Weston Shazor, the Director of Anthologies at Inner Child Press International, soon to be published by Inner Child Press International. Nizar Sartawi, the Director of International Relations at Inner Child Press International -educator, poet, literary translator shown in the picture, has kindly translated the poems I have read on various occasions in or near Amman, Jordan into Arabic. My special thanks go in abundance to all these much-cherished individuals.

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[Photo Credit: William S. Peters Sr.]

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