Category Archives: Reflections


When Information Delivery Is Condemned

While reflecting on the process of the midterm elections, I felt the need for a distraction as numerous other people evidently do. I glanced over the news feed. A most recent controversy caught my attention – the key words being the name Kyrie Andrew Irving and “antisemitism”.

Amazon has been enabling the purchase of the bestseller documentary and book, titled “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America” – the same information that Kyrie Andrew Irving has shared, and has been accused of “promoting false accusations” about Jews since his words came under the radar of activists and lobbyists.

If anyone could make sense of this inquisition of Mr. Irving, please explain via reason and accurate referencing. While you are at it, do justify – by providing a rational discussion – how his act of information delivery goes against freedom of speech.

As a Liberal Arts professor and researcher in the U.S. over 40 years, I resorted to a multitude of reference materials throughout my academic career – some of those instructional materials were controversial; others, not. My teachings as well as scholarly activities were completed by the book; that is, within the rules, regulations and policies of the higher education institutions where I have served with honor. In sum, delivering referenced information has never been anything to frown down upon. Quite the contrary, it was applauded indirectly for the vast educational contribution to critical thinking and analyses. So, I ask: Why is a thinking individual such as Kyrie Andrew Irving being condemned publicly for bringing a legally (and broadly) sold documentary and book? Could the reason possibly be lying within his skin hue?

hülya n. yılmaz, 10.11.2022

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My Introductory Note to My Upcoming Fictional Autobiography, “Once upon a Time in Turkey . . .”

A corner from my old home

In Turkish, my native tongue, there is an adage which etched itself on popular songs and citations: “Bir fincan kahvenin kırk yıl hatırı vardır.” ~ “One cup of [Turkish] coffee should bring to remembrance this person for 40 years.”

I wholeheartedly offer you my own demitasse of Turkish coffee (virtual realities are all that we have these days) before you embark on my memories of “once upon a time in Turkey”. Would you please accept my humble offering here for forty years to come? I promise that I will also serve you Turkish Delight to accompany this daily ritual of high significance in my country of birth.  


Filed under Reflections, short stories

Another Excerpt from “Once upon a Time in Turkey . . .”

Dad’s Wood Sandals

At his usual relaxed pace, my brother passes by Dad’s favorite chair. Destination: The television. Purpose: To change the channel. Objective . . . one swift kick, like that of a skilled soccer player, to the sandal on the bottom. Mission accomplished: Son, 1 – Father, 0. (Yet once again.)

“Hınzır oğlan!”

“Why do you call me a rascal, Dad? What did I do?” My brother Süleyman snickers.

            The first-born’s demolition of the father’s sandal-based footstool officially takes place.

The once barely-there grin turns into a broad smile on my brother’s handsome face. Mom and I cannot help but side with the winner. Dad plays his usual role and chastises my brother. Our conspiring threesome laughter spans over our living room like a thick cloud. “Hınzır oğlan!” Dad announces again. My brother cannot hold back his gut-laughs any longer. Proud of his repeated success, he practically hits the floor laughing. Mom and I, though with a bit more tact, are ready and willing to join him. Dad gives us a make-belief angry look at first, but joins in the fun soon after.

          “Baba, you know that I am going to get you each time. So, why do you still keep towering your sandals?”

          “Oğlum, my feet feel really good like this. I am very comfortable. Besides, it’s great for circulation. If you sit for a long period of time, your . . .”

Before Dad finishes his sentence, my brother is already out the door. He knows too well what’s coming up. Mom and I know it too: a set of mini-lectures by Dad about the health benefits of lifting up one’s legs during prolonged sitting-sessions. While the first-born begins to have the time of his life again with his basketball buddies just around the corner of our apartment building, Mom and I, the members of Dad’s captive audience, stay put – awaiting our doom. After one more of his pretend-angry “Hınzır oğlan!” outbursts, Dad talks on. But first, poised, he puts his sandals back into their original cooperative state: one on top of the other, each tucking in one foot in an envy-raising tenderness.

          “I got these in Germany during my first stay there. Prof. Lemerz told me then how wood was the healthiest way to go as far as footwear. He was an intelligent man in every which way. I learned so much from him. He always said to me that our care for our health must start with our feet. In spring, summer and autumn, he would wear open shoes only. Inside and outside. In winter, only wood sandals inside.”

Mom and I knew what the mere mention of Dad’s doctoral advisor’s name was going to cost us: an onslaught of many more assorted anecdotes. We just had to escape without hurting Dad’s feelings. Just at that moment, our kitchen made an announcement: dinner preparations were in order. Thankfully, Dad was not paying any attention to who remained as his audience . . .

By the way, did I mention that Dad absolutely loved everything “Made in Germany”? His totally worn-out wooden sandals, in particular.


Süleyman is a popular male name in Turkey. Historical context: Süleyman the Magnificent, Süleyman I or the Lawgiver (1494/1495-1566), Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1520 to 1566.

Hınzır oğlan: Rascal

Baba means “Dad” in Turkish.

Oğlum: My son


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“I Want My Poetry to . . .”

i want my poetry to
be a break from life

i want my poetry to
burn tears in your hearts
then bring them to the surface
before you decide you had better cave in
to the pain and suffering, etched ever so resiliently
in your past, present and future memories,
when it is time to have that wail explode
letting out that desperately patient standby, “enough!”

i want my poetry to

ease you then
into the arms of a selfless child-bearer
whose lullaby will tuck you in safely
under a snuggle-obsessed blanket-sleep,
after having raised you from a darkest deep
together with the gentlest touch of other souls
who learned to utter only the tongue of love . . .
their aura will entice you into a burial ground of ashes
where to lie to rest your ire and your innermost fears,
to shed all your chains to be free of also the grim tears
which have been fiercely carved on Earth
on its every hidden nook and cranny
since the birth of humanity

                                                i want my poetry to
be a break from life

welding with steel
the vital holes on your pails so frail
for you to be on your steadfast way,
to flood in the universe with no delay
its tamest of waters on nature’s path
will gather for you to help you cleanse
your self-unforgiving self-foremost
but will not let you forget all else
which you may have cursed in wrath . . .
they will amass for you serene drops of bliss
to bathe under each the bitter ghosts of your ills
chafing away your immense boulder’s mass
for a modest few little whiles at last

i want my poetry to
be a break from life

holding your hand
every time you must weather a storm
so that you know i too have been marred
the craftiest kind left me barren in all its might,
hail rushed and wedded bloodcurdling thunders . . .
lightening was only watching from afar at first,
but then it exalted their union in a raucous roar
even snow flurries of my most loyal delight
showered the procession in a sliest twist

i want my poetry to
be a break from life

wafting you in the end
inside a cloud that is mate to the mild zephyr
to undiscovered lands as well to the Seven Seas
to the faraway councils of breath-taking skies
to the communes on the many luminous moons
to the comet-ic homes of ancient curiosities
in pursuit of the suns of the Egyptians,
of the Hindu, the Chinese, the Japanese,
of the Greek, the Aztec, the African,
of the Navajo, the Inca, the Inuit,
of the Sumerian, the Roman

even though
i do not
sing of elation alone . . .

~ * ~

“Be a Break from Life” has first appeared in I Want My Poetry To . . . Volume 3, an international anthology published in March 2017 by Inner Child Press, Ltd.


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A Contemplation

I am contemplating . . . to have regular write-ups on my blog site in the near future. This post is only an invite as to what my dear friends and family consider to be a vital aspect in an intimate relationship. A thought from me on this matter: Sensitivity toward the partner’s concern about a previously visited irritating issue along with a resolution offer in a caring and keenly attentive manner in order for the trust factor to continue to remain untainted are a must. In sum: placing a cork on the partner’s bottle – full or half full – while s/he is still digesting the content/s will not relieve the tension as needed.

Note: Please do not conclude that this writing stems from a personal experience. I was reading an article on relationships, and thus was prompted to voice it. I am an analytical person. As one such, I prefer to bring important points to my own table to gain further insight.

Türkçe’ye Çeviri/In Turkish:

Buraya yakın bir gelecekte düzenli yazım eklemek düşüncesindeyim. Bugün yazdıklarım sadece siz, sevgili ailem ve arkadaşlarımı bir özel ilişki çerçevesinde neyi mutlak gördüğünüzü/bulduğunuzu benimle paylaşmak için size bir davet. Bu konuda bir görüşüm: İlişkideki kişilerden her birinin geçmişte üzerinde beraberce konuşulmuş tatsız (söz konusu olan tarafı rahatsız eden) bir konuda ciddiyetli bir dikkat, ilgi ve hassasiyet ile yaklaşmasının önemi yönünde. Özetle: Söz konusu olan taraf hala şişesinden içtiğini hazmetmeye çalışırken diğerinin o (tam ya da yarı dolu) şişeyi tıpayla kapatması soruna tek bir çözüm getirmez.

Not: Lütfen, bu yazımı kendi başımdan geçen bir durum üzerine dile döktüğüm sonucuna varmayın. Kadın-erkek ilişkileri hakkında bir makale okuyordum ve püf noktalarından bazılarını burada belirtmek istedim. Ben düzenli analiz yaparım. O özelliğimden dolayı da daha derin bir anlayışa varmak için bu tür benim için önemli yazıtları kendi masama taşırım.

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After Another Long Hiatus . . .

The last writing I have shared with you goes back about two months. I am still writing – poems mostly, along with a few analytical texts on the side. I have, however, been keeping the majority of those write-ups to myself. The reason as to why I stayed away from my website lies in the fact that I am ready to embark on an unexplored path here. I would, therefore, appreciate it greatly if you could suggest subject matters, topics, points of concern and/or ideas for reflections, . . . a focus that will allow me to explore in my writings henceforth. I thank you for lending me an ear.


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“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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“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,

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


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


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


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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