Category Archives: Poetry

“because of me”

Dedicated to my OneandOnly (sic), Gizem

You might be smiling right now,
even laughing heartily.
Still, I am reminded of your tears.

Of course, you shed many
because of others.
I could not, cannot
wipe those away.

I have never meant any of them
to come your way
because of me.

At the core of my soul, however,
I will tell you time and again
the truth, my lifeblood,
before my days come to an end:

I beg you
for your forgiveness
for every salty drop
falling from your
clearest-sky-blue eyes
because of me.

I loved you before you were born.
My love for you will be there
beyond eternity.

Annen/Your Mom/Mommy/Mama

hülya n. yılmaz, June 21, 2022

benim yüzümden ~ BirTanem Gizemime

Şu an belki de gülümsüyorsun,
hatta gülüyorsun kahkahayla.
Gene de ben senin
gözyaşlarını hatırlıyorum.

Tabii ki, başkaları yüzünden de
döktün bir çoğunu.
Onları silmem mümkün değil.
Benim yüzümden akıttıklarının ise
hiç biri gerçek olsun istemezdim.

Ruhumun özünden,
can kaynağım Gizemim benim,
günlerimin geri kalanı tükenmeden yani,
sana tekrar tekrar şunu söylemek isterim:

Benim yüzümden
senin o apaçık bir günün gökyüzü-mavisi
gözlerinden akan her bir tuzlu damla için
özür dilerim.

Ben seni
sen henüz doğmadan sevdim.
Bil ki, sana sevgim
ebediyetin ötesinde
hep yanıbaşında olacak.

Annen/Your Mom/Mommy/Mama

hülya n. yılmaz, 21 Haziran, 2022

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Gorillas? Thank You, I’ll Pass!

Gorillas? Thank You, I’ll Pass!

Please, oh please!
Let me never run into one,
Unless he is on TV,
An e-gadget,
Or inside a magazine.
Better yet,
In a menagerie,
Most preferably.

Even his much smaller kind
Is hostile in his squabble.

Oh, yes! We two siblings
Do still remember the battle
On that wet afternoon in 1961.

The entry of a supposed ‘Petting Zoo’
Outside a friendly German town
Is all where it started.

The back of my brother’s raincoat
Had suddenly left for the cage in strips.
The culprit was a seriously little monkey.
It must have waited to test his powerful grip.

I doubt that there were gorillas somewhere nearby.
Would any of us little escapees have wanted to reveal
A private compound for them?
No way!

Even if it were today,
I would shout out:
“Thanks, but no thanks. I’ll just pass
Today, and any other day!”

hülya n. yılmaz, June 6, 2022

This ekphrastic poem is one of the three with which I have contributed to the July 2022 issue of The Year of the Poet, published by Inner Child Press International.

Photo Credit: Max Pixel Mammal Nature Monkey Animal Monkeys Cute Baby
Photo Credit: Max Pixel Ape Baby Gorilla Mountain Gorilla Hand Monkey

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“a concert” ~ A New Poem and Its Turkish Version

a concert

yes, there are cars zooming by,
with a serious disregard of the speed limit
but this place is waking me up
to a precious delight

a concert of birds i am unable to name
that’s okay, as they are after no fame

some come in pairs and perch on the cables
right across from where i live

they sing their unique tunes,
not expecting me to recognize or to applaud
they generously gift me with their presence

hey, one just flew on the concrete
beneath my feet

another one landed before the mailbox
it found some nest supplies on the ground,
picked them up with its tiny beak
and then flew away,
accomplished

not too long ago, i was in their situation,
making a home out of that which was there
i toiled and labored to make it all happen
what was missing with me was a happy song

getting acquainted every morning
with these little avians’ contendedness
is bliss, a gentle reminder of life’s small pleasures,
daily experiences too many are forced to miss

a concert of birds i am unable to name
that’s okay, as they are after no fame

ahh, what a fresh breath of air!

hülya n. yılmaz, June 3rd, 2022

Konser

Arabalar uçarcasına geçiyorlar, evet,
üstelik te hız limitine zerre kadar aldırmadan.
Fakat bu yer beni
pek kıymetli bir tada uyandırıyor,

isimlerini listeleyemeyeceğim
kuşların konserine.
Önemi yok benim bilmeyişimin.
Zira onlar değiller ün peşinde.

Kimisi çift olarak konmuşlar
yaşadığım evin tam karşısındaki tellerin üstüne.
Kendilerine özgü çınılarını ötüyorlar,,
beklemeden benden
ne tanımamı ne de alkış tutmamı.
Cömertçe bana varlıklarını sunuyorlar sadece.

Bak, bak! Bir tanesi ayaklarımın dibindeki
asfalta iniş yaptı!

Bir diğeri de
posta kutusunun önünde durakladı!
Yuvası için malzeme bulmuş da
(kesilmiş çimlerin kurumuş olanları).
Aldı onları minik gagasıyla ve uçtu gitti,
hedefine varmışlığın gururuyla.

Çok olmadı henüz. Ben de onlar gibiydim,
elimde ne varsa onlarla
bir ev kurma çabam içerisinde.
Ben de didindim, ağır çalıştım ki
çıkabilsin ortaya elle tutulur bir yuva.
Ama bende bir eksiklik vardı:
Sevinç içeren bir şarkı.

Her sabah bu minnacık pilotların
tatminkarlıklarını yeniden izlemek
başlı başına bir neşe kaynağı.
Çünkü bu anlar hayatın küçük doyumları,
birçok, hem de pek çok insanın
eline hiç geçemeyen bir olgu.

Isimlerini listeleyemeyeceğim
kuşların konseri.
Önemi yok benim bilmeyişimin.
Zira onlar değiller ün peşinde.

Ah, nasıl da taze bir nefestir bu!

hülya n. yılmaz, 3 Haziran, 2022

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these hands . . ., a poem

these hands

held a handset
for many a traumatic call

these hands

pounded the head
in despair plenty of times

these hands

struggled and still struggle
under the relentless ire of RA
inside a fragile frame,
along with their inseparable companions

these hands

penned elegies
when the soul pained beyond faint sounds

these hands

wiped away tears
that streamed down
onto anything on their path

these hands

caressed a dying mother in her last hours
on her only accessible body part,
her forehead

but

these hands also

touched the rarest of life’s gems
they embraced the magical arrival
of the priceless light of a daughter,
beautiful inside and out,
of her two little precious beauties as well

and

these hands also

touched those of dearest close friends
through countless splendid memories
but during trying times, in particular,
the falling and fallen self being lifted
to its intact version anew

friends far away did not see these hands,
but their caring spirits
warmed up the soul at the core
whenever it was feeling down and cold

friends, never encountered in person –
‘social media acquaintances’ to some,
also knew to lend an ear to the trials and
tribulations of the vessel of these hands

regardless of their confines,
these worn hands tremble now
with the gratitude of their traveler
on her journey from and to life’s offerings

whatever there is to come,
these hands will greet it,
along with their inseparable companions

hülya n. yılmaz, April 23, 2022

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“A Crappy Poem for a Crappy . . .”

a crappy poem for a crappy planet maintenance

lately, i have not written poems
poetry, however, has always been my go-to

i feel crappy inside, and look thus on the outside
negative thoughts have been piling up in me
for too long of a while,
and they spread like fire of the wild

our planet’s state of being leaves me in despair
no care for tomorrow, no care for today
a gigantic dumpster is what we are turning it into
the forests, the valleys, the oceans, the rivers,
all of them get their shabby share

i know, i know
this poem is utterly crappy
but i cannot help writing it for each of us to see
how we supposedly maintain our planet
is being done ever so lousily

what are we leaving for our children,
for our grandchildren,
for our yet-to arrive fellow humans?

a crappy planet

not unlike these crappy lines

an egregious chunk of disarray!

​© hülya n. yılmaz

This poem is one of the three with which I have contributed to the April 2022 issue of The Year of the Poet published by Inner Child Press International.

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“. . . a grim reality . . .”

when the gravity of a grim reality
hits you, you don a mask
of an awkward laughter
at times, internal tears
become a trusted companion

the warning signs were there all along,
screaming from the top of their lungs,
only to be silenced under the pretense of
“Everything will be alright.”

what a gathering of meaningless words,
of make-believes with no end!

giving up your hard-attained abode
is nothing to smile about

yet

you do
yes, you do
bitterly so

and life

goes on
and on and on
with all its heaviness,
it passes you by

only a small breathing room is allowed,
one that is now on lease

so, you sit in one remote corner,
now on loan with a high interest rate,
you stay in its old, familiar comfort
for a moment or two,
hoping against hope
not to be noticed
for being seen in your nakedness
humiliates you even more

sure, life will go on
it always does

but it leaves you
under the gravity
of a grim reality

to deal with the debris!

hülya n. yılmaz ~ February 4, 2022 

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A HAIKU

have all leaves parted
how do they live with their angst
their branches as dust

​hülya n. yılmaz, February 2, 2022

In Turkish . . . not in HAIKU form, however . . .

dağıldı mı yaprakların her biri
bir yere tutunma çabası içinde ne yapar onlar
üzerinde barındıkları dallar bükülmüşken

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“Convincing the Self” ~ A Poem

at a crossroads
of a significant loss
of worldly nature, that is
emotions run high still

sixteen years of memories
embedded in these tired old walls
no amount of fresh paint
can wipe off those delights
each of them will accompany me
wherever i now go, wherever i shall remain
for the rest of my days

i am reminded of a poet’s words
an equally convoluted mind . . .
“With death being a reality,
nothing should be taken seriously.”

i, however, am taking my predicament
with scrutiny, under utmost seriousness
for i have acted impulsively, carelessly
many a year ago

having arrived at a point beyond sadness,
i neared my resolve quite fast though
i, thus, am uttering an eager greeting
to all my erroneous ways toward a peaceful “hello”
for i presently see in myself a grateful soul
with indispensable learning curves

no fault

no guilt

no self-blame

just accepting the self
exactly as it became to be

​hülya n. yılmaz, January 25, 2022

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A Poem in Turkish and Its English Translation

Hani deriz ya, duvarların dili olsa . . .
benimkiler ne derlerdi arkamdan acaba?

Bunca zaman topladığım
hangi anıya verebilirlerdi ki
hak ettikleri gibi özel bir yer?

Hürriyetimin koluna girdiğim
ilk adımımı mı anarlardı
öncelikli bir özenle;
yoksa serbestçe evimin her köşesini
yerleştirmemi mi izlerlerdi yeniden?
Kendi zevkime göre.
Çoktandır unuttuğum bir hevesle.

Ofisimden yorgun argın dönerken yuvama,
kulak mı verirlerdi artık bastırmam gerekmeyen coşkulu şarkılara?
Çocukluğumdan kalma bir serbestiyle
çınlatmaya tedirgin olmadığım.
Genç kızlığımın sınırsız neşesiyle
bangır bangır inlettiğim şu yaşlı bedenimi.
Kendi doğamdan çekinmeden.

İlk torunumun,
Doğum Günü Hediyem’in yani,
can kardeşlerimle belgelediğimiz
birinci yaşını mı kutlarlardı bir kez daha?

İkinci torunumun,
Minyatür Prensesimin yani,
bebek salıncağını mı
sallarlardı o sakince uykusuna dalabilsin diye?

Hangi bir yaşantımı yazsaydım
çıkmaz mürekkep ile yanıbaşıma,
ki fotoğraflarını çekebilseydim
her birinin doyasıya,
iç burukluğuna çare olan bir nektar yerine,
buralardan çekip gitmeden önce?
Onları her özlediğimde,
her hislendiğimde
onların sıcak kucağına dalmak üzere.

Düşünüyorum da,
yerinden yurdundan edilen
sayısız onca insan
nasıl dayanıyor
böylesine bir kalp ağrısına,
ruh burkulmasına . . .

Hiç değilse ben
başka hiç kimse zorlamadan beni
çıkmak üzereyim yeni yoluma.
Çok zor olacak olsa da . . .

hülya n. yılmaz, 12 Ocak, 2022 

You know how we say, if walls could talk . . .
I wonder what mine would say behind my back?

To which of the memories I have gathered throughout these years
could they possibly do any justice, the kind of justice they deserve?

Would they commemorate with special care
the first step I took to hold the arm of my freedom;
or would they observe me in those days anew
when I set up every corner of my home freely?
According to my own taste and desire.
With a sense of enthusiasm, excitement
I had long forgotten about.

Would they lend an ear to the upbeat songs
that I no longer need to suppress, those
which I would chant on my way home
after a long, tiring day in the office?
Chants of the endless joy of my youth,
delivered to this aged body of mine
from the top of my lungs.
With no apologies for my true nature.

Would they celebrate once again the first year
of my grandson – my birthday present,
a landmark can kardeşlerim and I etched into my life together?

Would they sway the baby swing of my granddaughter –
my Miniature Princess,
so that she could ease into her sleep?

Which of my not-merely existed but lived moments
should I have written on my being with permanent ink,
so that I could take pictures of each one of them
to my heart’s content to have them by my side
as the nectar to ease my spirit’s unease
before I leave my home for good?
To delve into their warm embrace
at the first sight of my longing for them,
my paining for them.

Then . . . I think . . .
about the countless people
who have been and are still being uprooted
from their homes, their homelands . . .
how they endure such a heartache,
such a breaking of the soul.

As for me,
I am having to embark on a new journey
under no one’s force at least.
No matter how very difficult
that step is going to be . . .

hülya n. yılmaz, January 12 , 2022 

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After a long hiatus . . .

I Want . . .

Erato and Euterpe to mesmerize me.

I want them to lay me down to a restful sleep
to wake up by their side,
having dreamed of enchanting
poetic lines of my own creation.

I want on every breath of mine
the scent of Calliope,
inhaling and exhaling her Muse.

I want to be fed poetry.

I want my drinking vessels
to absorb poesie
day after day, night after night
never to exit my soul.

Calliope, Erato, Euterpe, come to me
to stay with me to eternity.

Throughout it all,
enthrall me!

“I Want . . .” was one of my poetry contributions for the September 2021 issue of The Year of the Poet IX, published by Inner Child Press, AKA Inner Child Press International. I have made some minor adjustments for this post.

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