Category Archives: Poetry

“Mesoamerica”

Mesoamerica

an area spanning from central Mexico
to Honduras and Nicaragua
encompassing diverse
civilizations of the
pre-Columbian era

what did those cultural entities do
is what i wonder about when i read
generic definitions as the one above
what were the landmarks of distinction
of this region’s “flourished” civilizations?

like we, they too were no doubt divided by language
religion, social class, economics and politics
how did they cope with those divides
is to me the must-be-asked question
did they ever quest for peace?

do we, in full reality, quest for peace?
if so, why then do we not have it yet?
what can i alone, we together, strive
to achieve a stronghold on that too
slippery road of our differences?

their faith was in multitudes
as were their tongues
not any different,
the rest of their
construct

we are looking at ourselves
in the same inexorable mirror
and do not see what we actually are:
bones, joints, flesh, hair and organs inside
all of which we all will have left for the other side . . .

© hülya n. yılmaz, December 30, 2018

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
This poem will be published by Inner Child Press International in the February 2019 issue of The Year of the Poet VI.

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“Cherokee to Ho-Chunk”

Cherokee to Ho-Chunk

it is not only the volume as far as their names
but also their inherent cultures’ vast and timeless bounty
that made today’s North America, the supposedly
newly discovered world’s 3rd largest continent

and, each of their tribes suffered

Native Americans, that is

they faced pain beyond

humanity’s capacity

they were subjected to tortures
to butchery, to slavery and to conversion
to Christianity – or else, they would have met death

we all sit now in our own comfort on their land
having pushed them into the most remote
corners of low lands of their country
either pitying what has become of them over time
or admiring their enduring strength, integrity, dignity

how, amid immensely bloody tragedies, they still do rise
to shout loud and act out their ancient words of wisdom
as to how to live with respect for every dab of our world
in honor of not merely the two-legged animal species
but, of our four-legged counterparts, too

regardless of what any of us has / not done in person
collectively, we bear the onerous weight of annihilating
an entire indigenous people, together with their languages,
cultures, generations-surviving rich history and daily lives;
of guiding them to their irreparable shameful demise

how many times have i cited your wise insights
not having a clue whom to give the credit to
dear members of the Cherokee, the Apache,
the Iroquois, the Pawnee people, the Sioux,
the Miwok, the Shoshone, the Osage Nation,
the Navajo, the Lakota people, the Ute people,
the Sauk people, the Cheyenne, the Crow Nation,
the Nez Perce people, the Ho-Chunk, the Ponca,
the Paiute, the Omaha people, the Hidatsa, the Odawa,
the Chumash people, the Mandan, the Duwamish people,
the Iowa people, the Cahuilla, the Modoc people, the Otoe,
the Yakama, the Pima people, the Chiricahua, the Arikara,
the Missouria, the Sac and Fox Nation, the Omaha people,
the Meskwaki, the Odawa, the Washoe people,
the Patwin, the Goshute, the Serrano people,
the Maidu, the Quechan,
the Oneida Indian Nation,
the Yankton Sioux Tribe, the Kumeyaay,
the Indigenous peoples of the Northwest,
the Chinookan peoples, the Clatsop, the Miami people,
the Tulalip, the Mandan, the Hidatsa and Arikara Nation,
the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes . . .

forgive my silence
forgive my ignorance
i bow before each of you

forgive my daring, desperate plea
that which i brought along with me
in my quest to seek wisdom from thee
it is said to come from a Plains Indian, you see:

“Give me knowledge, so I may have kindness for all.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
This poem was submitted to the January 2019 issue of The Year of the Poet VI, published by Inner Child Press International

 

 

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“Pachacuti”

an Inca Emperor takes the throne
Pachacuti is his name
his rule becomes a legacy
and attains a sizeable fame
for its unrivaled magnitude
as South America’s rarity

modern cultural history
traces the Inca back to the 12th century

AD, that is
in the Andes of southeastern Peru
looking from a frozen space in a distance . . .

Manco Capac,
the son of the Inca’s supposed creator,
was journeyed by his father, the Sun God Inti
down to Earth

12 million people of a large diversity,
comprising 100 different sets of ethnicity
made up Tawantinsuyu, the Inca state
thus claim the sources of history . . .

using their intellect effectively

helped them survive

a vast amount of misery

they were helpless however
in the face of the worst kind of agony
people in power had waited long enough
time had already passed by too fast
and had traveled away way too far
for them to establish methodically
an all-inclusive tyranny

there is much more to narrate about the Inca
a huge number of encyclopedias is on e-call
what matters to me though lies beneath the shell
that which i will unearth with vigor oh yes i shall
in fact it is nothing new that i choose to seek
to dare to unbury discoveries is not for the meek
let us go on to play our convenient hide-and-seek

powers-to-be?

today?

no way!

be that as it may
some of us are here to stay
and will turn over the stones for sure
to unravel the treasures of this mystery
then, powers-to-be will be no more
have no dismay!

© hülya n. yılmaz, August 20, 2018

[Published by Inner Child Press International in the September issue of the fifth volume of The Year of the Poet]

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“in search of . . .”

in search of

a few meaningful lines
all along while Clio whines
Calliope is nowhere to be seen
as for Erato Melpomene and Polyhymnia
they are getting dressed right before my eyes
in a frantic vengeance and joy i have not foreseen

all i had requested were a few leads
to embark on my quest to find the Lupita
i suspect i am suffering from severe jitters
as i am capable of only counting my fingers
while each compiles in a pile countless beads
i’m afraid i am going to drown in this Chlorophyta

perhaps just perhaps though
i will find what i think i am looking for
would you please bear with me while i search
until a reasonably coherent finding does emerge?

Eureka!

i did
i did find it!
i indeed found an encyclopedia
ever so proud of their voluminous bit
its makers unanimously call it “Britannica”
i can never keep on a pedestal any colonialist

my jottings clearly announce so don’t you think
as for my effort to rise as a weighty conversationalist
i truly hold not one single hope for your “Hallelujah!”
but please join me at least in my jump to a “Hurrah”
i am after all finishing up the task at hand no easy feat
otherwise i would have to throw a never-before-seen fit

© hülya n. yılmaz, July 20, 2018

[Published by Inner Child Press International in the August issue of the fifth volume of The Year of the Poet]

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on Oceania

entitled, 1

does the name “Cook” James Cook
as in Captain James Cook that is
sound familiar to you?

no, you say?
how can that be!

he has a monument in his name you see
for the monumental service he has done in 1774
he proudly did vandalize torture butcher and colonize
the natives of Vanuatu Islands of 500 BCE
and whitened them ever so graciously with a new name

The New Hebrides . . .

you get it of course

there was nothing “new” about the host-land
up until that year ambushed it mercilessly
then . . . there were no more
the same as they were before

the white legacy . . .

isn’t it just grand?

entitled, 2

Kudos to the British!
they worked also 19th century
to their advantage
they took home the bounty
yet once again

the poor unknowing Spanish!

a rushed glimpse of the islands
did not suffice to make them stay

Alas!

they thus failed to discover
the land’s richness in phosphate
mined by the islanders
profits fed-exed to the Commonwealth

entitled, 3

there once was an island called “Nauru”
1,400 people lived on it in peace
they spoke their native tongue
they had their native culture
phosphate was in abundance . . .

the year was 1843 then
45 years later
only 900 survived
together with their phosphate

their language and culture?

out the window they went . . .

© hülya n. yılmaz, June 14, 2018

[Published by Inner Child Press International in the July issue of the fifth volume of The Year of the Poet]

 

 

 

 

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“Where Are You Now?”

41_hikmet_hires-flat

[Nâzım Hikmet ~ Free Online Image]

i miss the untainted i inside you
you caressed my birth
into your bosom
i laid down my many beloveds
my mother’s unforgettable touch
my father’s sacrificial feel
my uncles’ pain-soothing embraces
my granddaddy’s gentlest laughter
my Yasemin’s exceptional beauty
are for me no more
you have taken them all
for my brother
whom i utterly adore
i live no more

you have changed from the core

so many famed traversed through your terrains
they left their bountiful legacy with you
i now understand as to why
Nâzım Hikmet would cry
in his prison cell for too long of a while
even your enviable age-old landscape
of his countless sleepless nights’ saving grace
is recognizable no more

you have changed from the core

today
i feel
as if
i grew up
in a fairy tale

“Once upon a time”
you were to me
a mesmerizing spell
everything in between
had also its magical charm
“And they lived happily ever after”
however
oh my sweet Turkey
has been nothing but a pathetic lie

in your case . . .

i cannot help but still be
after a desperate chase
to honor my memories of you
al
though

you have changed from the core

© hülya n. yılmaz, 10.13.2018

 

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“a secret life story”

a secret life story

seriously?

it’s impossible for our live-records to stay unknown
even long after our skeletons’ offspring has outgrown
their offspring’s sketches donning the ruins of the land
there will always be a soul to give our grim tale a hand

has it not been so throughout the timeline of humanity
when will we begin to see this nightmare in full clarity
what more does it take to note the accomplished wrongs
why vow to look faraway while they parade in throngs

seriously?

what kind of a delete-button did in your testimonies
you surely had some rational and trustworthy cronies
it cannot be that so little of you has been left behind
or was prenatally the multitude of your bands twined

you were after all the inhabitants of Southwest-U.S.A.
also of Mexico in its North and synchronized i daresay
what you achieved between 10,000 and 40,000 years
some of us would submit to just to forsake our sad tears

© hülya n. yılmaz, May 14, 2018

[Published by Inner Child Press International in the June issue of the fifth volume of The Year of the Poet]

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