Category Archives: Poetry

“Against the Stream”

Against the Stream

My nap was quite troubled.
A vivid dream sequence haunted me.
Though utterly disturbing,
I will never call it a nightmare.
You were in it. You, in all your beauty.

We didn’t move our lips even once,
but we did talk. Quite extensively.
I was not yet retired; just done with the day.
You appeared to me when I was ready to go home.
I was tired. In fact, exhausted. In dire need for a ride.

You looked about 40.
8 years before your death.
As well-dressed as always,
still donning a set of full hair.
Cancer-free as I have best known you to be.

For barely a minute, I was in my office
to get a few more items and my coat;
you were gone the next moment.
I found myself outside. Feeling lost.
We were to meet by your car. Near the garden.
Both, non-existent in reality.

Crowds began to gather around my suddenly little self.
There was no sight of you anywhere.
Only bodies, countless bodies, walking aimlessly.
A gigantic fish tank then appeared right before my eyes.
The garden behind it seemed so far away. Unreachab-ly far away.

I wish that I could have stayed in the realm of my nap.
If only I had stayed asleep for a few more moments!
I would have found you. I would have hugged and kissed you
one more time. Not for the last time, but one more time.

(c) hülya n. yılmaz, November 21, 2020

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“a balancing act”

she has been tip-toeing
through a magical garden
of her innocence and imagination,
oblivious to her surroundings

all around her, sorrow persisted tirelessly   
only a few had the luxury to live in her bubble
everyone was facing a fatal struggle
she stayed put in her safe world

then came the word
that she had to grow up

she thus met life’s reality
and began to dwell in agony
anguish turned into a steady companion
the entire globe was fighting for a breath

the vile hands of death suffocated the ordinary
those who reigned still luxuriated in good health and joy
their ploys poured down on the common folk as acid rain,
and boasted about their power to inject grief-laden miseries 

countless souls were drowning in pain
while some people took delight in opulence,
their future intact – with not a single worry,
others faced a violent end, day after day

those heedless of the real danger of the times
complained, for they had to remain self-confined
sensible rulers were scarce across the globe

to act promptly in the face of threats to health

facts about the dead and the dying
failed to have the human race unite
under their clueless leaders, masses opted to ignore
the necessity to keep the continental divide

as days grew old and nights signaled despair
medical staff everywhere
endangered their lives with no fear
even then when essential supplies were bare

for the survivors on Earth
to breathe anew for another day
emerged as an erratic gift from the grim reaper,
one that too many could not spare 

*This poem was published in Corona . . . Social Distancing, an international anthology made available to the field of literature by Inner Child Press International on May 5, 2020.

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“convoluted”

convoluted

sitting still,
contemplating;
body, numbed,
knowing that neither a taser
nor a bullet touched it . . .
yet
feeling safe in the color of my skin
no one has despised or violated
any aspect of my external humanness . . .
yet

sitting still,
contemplating;
spirit, in grave despair,
crying me the longest river on Earth
the at-my-face pain and suffering
of my co-human beings
have eras ego been the writing on the wall for me –
a succinct display of one of the ugliest barbaric timelines,
of a collective guilt- and shame-canvas,
cloaked in a hooded “patriotic” cape
of the palest hue of white
a sight, i no longer can bear  

sitting still,
contemplating;
mind, convoluted,
incapable of making any sense of it all –
all that which is taking place
again and again
and then . . .
once again

as i sit still,
mind, body and spirit
immersed in convolutions,
my decades-long readings
come back to haunt me repeatedly;
for, those supposedly learn-ed
and often-regurgitated pages
cannot even begin to compare
to anything that has been unfolding
right before my eyes in this century,
as long as i have lived consciously
for a considerably extended period of time, that is,
and not just once, twice, thrice . . .
but again, again and again

what continues to dominate
the stance of the willfully ignorant –
ordinary people as well as the powers that be?
an age-old prejudice,
words of unconditional condemnation,
extremely negative stereotypes,
blatant injustice in the name of justice,
self-justifying acts of discrimination,
self-justifying acts of selective violence,
a wholehearted condoning of brutal murders
that are being committed against each soul
who happens to not share
my skin’s particular hue

on and on, i ponder the events that transpire here and now
in the hope that a poem will eventually emerge
from the innermost turmoil
which each of my living cells senses to the core
having become a second skin,
my anguish weighs heavily on me,
it tears up and cries me the longest river on Earth
while my petite, fragile external frame
is faced with the onus of climbing a mountain
so massive that nothing which had prepared my self
mentally, psychologically, emotionally,
and spiritually in many a period of time before
comes even close to sufficing to serve
as a source of comfort for me anymore

i then remember a calming fact,
namely that there is also a most powerful side of me:
an all-empowering monozygotic pregnancy!
it doesn’t take me long at all to realize
that only the true “i” in me can carry my twins full-term
as can you through the “i” in you!
once born, our twins, Aequitas and Justitia
will begin their peaceful reign of goodness and truth
whatever is needed for an all-inclusive humanity,
they will instill in the hearts and minds of our youth

i am not the one to judge
if a poem has, indeed, materialized from my words
as for their impact – if any – it will remain unknown
but of one outcome i am absolutely sure:
i no longer feel any despair;
for, that self-defeating state of existence
is replaced by a boldly deep resolve
in which i unhesitatingly let myself dissolve
it is there where Ludwig Uhland’s painless joy
cuddles me with a kissing breeze:

“Oh fresh scent, oh new sound!
Now, poor heart, fear not!
Now everything, everything must change.”

convoluted?
no more!

*This poem represents but one of the dynamics within humanity that is screaming for a need of change . . . bias, bigotry, racism.

~ ~ ~
This poem has appeared in W. A. R. ~ We Are Revolution, an international anthology of poetry and critical essays published on September 20, 2020 by Inner Child Press International.

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“minds, contaminated”

minds, contaminated*

female virginity
eternal purity 
its lack: the primary taboo
before during after matrimony

timeless obsession
ageless restrain
tireless phobia

true loves chained
vibrant lives ruined

oh, my sweet home country
depossess your manhood already
conceive your women in whole
remember the wisdom they wore
countless centuries before

see the substance beyond the frame
stop being a fool of inordinate fame
make yourself a new name
the bodies are never the ones to blame

~ * ~

*A poem from my first poetry book, Trance, a collection of poetry in English, German, and Turkish (published by Inner Child Press, December 12, 2013)

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“Undressed”

Undressed

The fragile soul had never been undressed to this ultimate extent. Back then, she had decided to be a once-only lover. She should have known all along not to attempt such a fatal risk. Still, she does not regret being left this bare. Nor does she resent the one for whom she had stripped herself of expectations, guilt, fault, and blame.

The yet-innermost turbulence trashed her apart many a time. A violent slash tore her into a blindness of the temporary kind. The ego cast guilt, fault and blame on the other. But it also dared to expect. Not even massive masses of tears mended the scars. Nor did they suffice to revive the spirit from its raging death. The fragile soul had against all odds resolved to pace steadfastly its torturous path.

From the beloved then, she borrowed a new breath to ensure an absolute stillness of the heart. She tried in vain to regain her courage toward a gate that is opened ajar at best. She sought peace and salvation from the lover’s final request: not to expect, nor to blame; not to assign fault, nor to designate guilt . . .  just to be dead.

*From my latest book of prose poetry, Letter-Poems from a Beloved

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A New Poem

disillusioned . . .

you must have faced a savage opposition
fanaticism ran deep also in your beloved country
your 1990 Nobel Prize for peace speaks for itself
you have overcome obstacles during your presidency

i often wonder these days
if your birth into the life of regular people
– not with a silver spoon in your mouth,
as we say here in the good ol’ US of A,
was what molded into the essence of you
your non-exclusive dedication to humanity,
to your people’s well-being and sanity

the entire world is now under the threat of a deadly virus
some countries’ leaders have taken – ever so swiftly –
effective measures to control its wide-reaching spread
among their populace – affectionately, all-inclusively –
everyone in every nation today needs such leadership direly
yet several self-serving holders of a seat of high command
go about their own business while they continue to demand
that we bow down, keep silent, and accept what is at risk,
not persist with our questioning
and not insist on our rights
which we are too close to losing
with a hastened move of the leading hand’s swing

oh, how welcomed it would be to have a peace icon like you
if only we could rise above these dark times – all intact –
as if reaching to touch a sky of hues in azure blue

disillusioned?
oh, yes, i am,
about the good i believed that was all-embracing-ly true

(c) hülya n. yılmaz, August 15, 2020

This poem is one of my three submissions that will appear in the September 2020 issue of The Year of the Poet, published by Inner Child International. The year 2020 has been designated to Nobel Peace Prize recipients. September’s focus was Michail Sergeyevich Gorbachev.

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A Previously Posted Poem

exhaling ills at their worst . . .

with your arrival, dear newborn innocence,
inkpots uncovered the fading verse;
quills dipped into their dazzling universe,
and brought to life phenomenal instants
that had been sought out eternally

you helped reminisce and reflect,
showed once again how to hear, touch, smell and see;
but also to taste and to sense,
then, to forever inhale the newly dawned breath

exhaling ills at their worst . . .

© hülya n. yılmaz

 

 

 

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A Poem for Dark Times

problem-free

a new day is dawning tenderly
on rainbow-hued and ocean-scented sheets

the laughter of countless infants
appears on mouthwatering breakfast trays

our screen-free window is always wide open
it invites in the freshly-breeding families of house wrens
their united eyes watch their yet-to-be-hatched eggs
tap dance on cue – uninhibited and carefree
the matured ones chant the elating news the wind brings
amid a gentlest breeze – putting all worries at ease
the resulting love-songs taste like chilled lemonade
on a day of a hottest summer’s blaze

the world has just been declared a problem-free zone

 

This poem with which I had contributed to the 2020 international anthology, The Heart of a Poet, Words for a Better Tomorrow was published on July 7, 2020 by Inner Child Press International.

 

 

 

 

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A Prose-Poem on Audio and as Text

Without Ether

I believe the records date back to the early eleventh century. You would know, my love, as we have also shared our profession. The patients would be seized for an extended procession. To the bloody altar, they would be slowly lowered down. They would begin to drown in the agony of their pain. With a swift gash, their appendix, liver or one of the intestines would appear in its carnage glory. The spectators’ eyes would revel in their gory inventory.

Can you see now, my beloved, how it had felt at the time of my alive-autopsied end?

~ ~ ~
From my latest book, Letter-Poems from a Beloved (prose poetry), available at Inner Child Press International and at Amazon.com

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A Prose-Poem on Audio and as Text

I Do!

Do you ever reminisce about our sensation? I do! I had lain on the emerald ground, unwrapping myself in the softness of your scent . . . alongside the compassionate creek of our first encounter . . . cradled by the rays of the afternoon sun.

Do you ever look back on the tiny ripples anew? I do! They had slowed down to honor our euphoric reunion. Witnessing our fiery souls flow into one another, learning and approving.

The wind envied our harmonious spread, and assembled its brutal forces. Thus came the abrupt end. Like a lightning. Fiercely brash.

I had kept my delicate “i” at bay, hoping for you not to float on. I have since pampered, re-dressed and preserved the ‘what ifs’ of our oft-resounding dread. They insist on haunting me yet. My old self thus is entangled in a merciless no-exit-thread.

Would you have possibly favored me instead, had I opted to defy the boulder at the barricade?

~ ~ ~
From my latest book, Letter-Poems from a Beloved (prose poetry), available at Inner Child Press International and at Amazon.com

 

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