Category Archives: Poetry


i have been lulling my soul
to a sleep these days

i cannot decide
if my photo gallery
is a friend or a foe anymore
i memorize them time and time again

each picture ages you, Toruncanlarım,
so fast that i ache deep inside
for missing out on your heavenly smiles,
your whole-body “Grandma!” shouts,
your precious little feet, hurrying
to take my heart out in its yearning,
on its joy-dance with you two once more
amid your purity-scented hugs and kisses
and out-of-this-world sunshine-smiles

i have been lulling my soul
to a sleep these days
that i may wake up
to our olden times
and rejoice

(c) hülya n. yılmaz, April 10, 2019


[Photo Credit: My Daughter; Date: December 2013, right after my grandson’s birth. In this picture, he is resting on my shoulder . . . cut out of my respect for their privacy. As for my granddaughter, her birth happened so suddenly that I lack any pictures with her at the similarly early stages of her life. My poem is for and to both of them.]

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i am but a tiny ripple
in the water of life, oft moving too fast

“moving too fast”,
as Ryan Montbleau was singing
a few days ago on the road to New Mexico
i had heard that song before,
but its impact this time was profound
as i had been doing some soul-searching
for quite a while amid nature’s gorgeousness
his words reached deep within . . .

moving too fast as a tiny ripple
in the raging waters of life,
facing along the way many a strife
yet also many a sunshiny smile
countless ones given as a gift to me
and those i have been gifted with
to give unto others

still . . .
moving too fast as a tiny ripple
on the raging waters of life,
wishing all along that i had taken
each of my breaths only one sip at a time

(c) hülya n. yılmaz, 7.5.2019

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“Morocco in California”

one magical night
under the spectacular sky
in Morocco’s gorgeous Larache,
we all were tucked in love’s heart-laughter
sips of Turkish coffee, Americana,
sweets and tri-lingual chats galore
amid the eager eyes of some passersby
with interest to sell us jewelery for the fantasy

my dear family in Morocco
yet once again had connected with us
in the deepest depth of our souls that night

our spirits had conjoined
and were dancing unabashedly
in open air to our beings’ content

“there is a shop just around the corner . . .”
an invite after our several other delightful stops
was too appealing to resist
we had, after all, taken in
the aromas, the delicate tastes,
the visuals, the sounds earlier that day
and during all the enchanting days before

in that “shop just around the corner”
is where i met my Moroccan sandals
they were on display one minute,
snuggling against my feet, the next

after returning home,
i did not wear them for a long time
as far as i was concerned,
they were going to stay intact,
looking as pristine as they did
in that lovely “shop just around the corner”
i only wore them for special occasions . . .

today, however, i had them on,
caressingly, ever so tenderly
only in the car, safely tucked around my feet
but when we spotted a bluest-sky-kind of-beach
like those in my warmest memories from my country of birth
on our way right by a Vista Point in California,
i could not help but take my feet
for a child-like carefree outing
to the sands of the “Monastery Beach”

i did not get my sandals wet, though
oh no!
they stayed in my dry hands the entire time,
cuddling with me ever so snuggly,
caressing me with the love
of my Moroccan family

(c) hülya n yılmaz, June 27, 2019

[The sandals I am wearing in the picture are not the protagonists of my poem . . .]

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“i wish . . .”

i wish . . .

i, a woman of the West –
not an Anglo-Saxon, mind you!
Still, a woman of the West . . .
or so they tell me
because i look white, you see . . .

A mother of one and a grandmother of two;
blessed in childhood, youth, and old age too;
blessed to the extent that too many on Earth
are not even given the chance once to unearth.
For, i had my birth-country’s freedom and support.
As for my parents and extended family . . .
Ah, what a blessing in luxurious serenity!

When you hear me speak today in decent health
about how incredibly i have been blessed by life,
make no mistake, my little angel, i had many a plight
but none, as i sense from my being’s core, could come close
to the ordeals, trials, tribulations and ills you now face.

While i am telling you about how well-to-do i was,
i have no intent to even hint at monetary wealth –
for i did not have it then, nor do i now.
My family barely made do, but never had to bow
before any hardship life had in store for us.
Struggles were there all along. Yes.
Still, my brother and i have always known we did belong.
A safe, loving and caring environment was always there,
ready and able to help us through thick and thin to bear
our world’s incongruous challenges, tests, cruel offerings.

Throughout it all, schools were aplenty.
Schools for one, schools for all.
No child was forced to prematurely fall.
Also for the underprivileged, learning was free.

You, however, my little angel, face much strife.
All along, you keep deep inside that incredible drive,
that urge to make it happen no matter what, where or how.

The times are changing, a change must come now!

Tell me, oh, please tell me, what i can do!
With all my might, i want to be there for you!

i know . . .
these are mere words,
and as such they don’t say much,
but i write all of this to you from my being’s core,
and my intent derives its source from the depth of my soul.

So, will you open the gate to your tender heart and let me in?
Only then could you and i start building our learning blocks
in order to allow our spirits’ reunion to begin . . .

© hülya n. yılmaz, March 23, 2019

~ ~ ~
Phanice Achieng, a beautiful 12-year old girl from Busia, Kenya has read this poem on June 16, 2019 on the International Day of the African Child. Unfortunately, I have not been able to attend the poetry and culture festival honoring African children. A video recording of Ms. Achieng’s reading of my “i wish”, however, has been made available on social media. Others who had submitted their poems on the occasion of the said festival have also been provided with a video clip of their own work being read by a different child each time.

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not a strong gust . . .

not a strong gust
but a set of tender breezes it was
that started to shake the leaves one by one

change was in the air
nothing to prevent, nothing to prepare for
like artificial breathing and then . . . no longer
trying to catch a gasp of air along the way,
in the midst of a blindingly dense fog,
attempting to see clearly once again
that which now belonged only
to the soon-to-be-forgotten past

each left for its own path,
struggling still to stick together
for a little while more
until none was the same as before

© hülya n. yılmaz, June 21, 2019


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not here . . .

hearing the fireworks at Niagara Falls
thinking of war zones overcasting the globe
bombs, grenades, exterminated lives, blood,
much blood, unimaginable pain and utter fear

seeing is believing, says this language root
yet soul’s eyes pierce the empirical
sees through and through
meets it all eye to eye
and takes it all in
loud and clear

there is so much suffering in open sight
that the mind freezes up,
crawls back to its womb
the heart is helpless
in its despair
and woes

(c) hülya n. yılmaz, June 7, 2019



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IMG_20190308_111512_772.jpgi hear cries
the cries of children
i cannot see them but i know
those hefty tears are there to stay
frozen in mid-air, frozen in helplessness
in hopelessness and in utter fiery despair
for we grown ups have chosen to be quiet
yet once again, numb, deaf and delusional

so delusional that we wake up

every single day

to the comfort and convenience

of our petty lives

lives so petty that we insist

to insist on and on

not to care, not to think,

not to sense, not to feel

all along dismissing

what stirs up deep inside

our consciousness,

our gut instincts,

our compassion,

our original purpose: to love,

to love them all

“why?” asks one of those icons of innocence
“what have I done to deserve this fate?”

not in words, as not all know

how to speak yet

their eyes say it all,

eyes filled with salty drops

instead of tummy-giggles,
instead of daily, nightly jumps of joy,
instead of cushioned care-free slumbers,
instead of the tender safety

of love’s embrace

why are there so many cries?

(c) hülya n. yılmaz, May 30, 2019


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