Category Archives: Reflections

The Comfort Zone ~ 1

I remember my initial studies of Western literary traditions. The divide that stayed in my mind was compacted in the statement, “Poetry for Poetry’s Sake”. Later on, I began to write poetry anew. I too subjected myself to such entrapment. Life has been teaching me a different lesson for a while though. Or better yet, a higher level of consciousness has been educating me all over again. My physical and spiritual eyes and ears have opened up to the realities of fellow humans near me, but also in far-away lands. Awareness has come to my doorstep with a vengeance. Every time my emotions prompt me to compile words about my personal being, I pause and listen. Listen with my soul. To the unfoldings all around the world. The suffering of humans is immense. I know, I am physically not able to do anything about that fact. Writing about them, however, is in my power yet. “Poetry for Poetry’s Sake”? I don’t think so! For, there is so much more that I can do to serve as a reminder what each of us is capable. If not through writing, then by listening and reacting to pained voices all over the globe for sure.

(c) hülya n. yılmaz, 3.11.2019

*Posted previously on Facebook.

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her tears

in the still of the night,
amid complete strangers in uniform
keeping her away from her Mommy,
she is crying shriek wails
her face, trauma-distorted
in its meant-to-be beautiful glow

a mere 2-year-old child

innocence lost
purity, no more

a cold-blooded picture
speaks on her behalf

language . . .

what is it good for
when pain is inflicted
on purity, on the core love
between a mother and her baby?

losing it . . .

the tongue and all

the heart aches yet once again
and hurts on and on and on

where has compassion gone?

(c) hülya n. yılmaz, 4.14.2019

*This poem came to me while I was reading the news about the 2-year old unnamed girl whose trauma has been captured in a moment after her forced separation from her parents at a US border. Her plight’s visual caption has apparently granted the photographer “a prestigious World Press Photo of the Year” recognition . . .

Border Patrol Agents Detain Migrants Near US-Mexico Border

[Photo Credit: PBS News Hour]

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“Mother Tongue”

Mother tongue . . .
Last night, I remembered Mom.

Not the first time. Oh no!
She lives in me, you see.
She has never left.
Nor has my Dad, my father-like older uncle,
My younger uncle,
Or my sister-like cousin,
All hearts of gold,
Unchipped, raw.

Last night welcomed me
In my mother tongue
To a setting that felt like home . . .
Again.
It had been too long of a while
When I last visited her . . .

A surprise guest made her entrance.
Homesickness, she said, is my name.
I knew her too well from decades ago.
She and I hit it off right from the first go.
Again.
We reminisced. She too had missed me.
Where was I all these years, she wanted to know.
Life, I replied, holding back my bittersweet tears.
What brought you to me today, she asked.

Mother tongue . . .

(c) hülya n. yılmaz, 3.2.2019

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“Hello, Brother!”

i have been reading and reading
in a vain attempt to comprehend
the blatantly apparent hatred
behind the brutal killing of the late,
so i caved in to the comments’ content
under shared posts of mostly hate

to a dark place thus my spirit has left

then, i read again:
“A Muslim worshipper among the first people
to be killed in New Zealand’s worst ever
mass shooting” was being quoted
as having “greeted the murderer
at the entrance of the mosque
just moments before he was shot dead.”
. . .

“Hello, brother!”

then, i read again:
“Mosque attacks suspect gives
‘white power’ sign in Christchurch court”,
accompanied with a ‘smile’
. . .

“Hello, brother!”

i heard my ego-less self say to him,
“what, who hurt you so much
that you show no remorse about
what you have just done?”

then, i offered him a hug
with as much love as i could spare,
for i had been direly yearning
to make some sense, any sense
of his violent acts of despair,
for i needed to refute for myself at all cost
his being was merely that of a soul lost
. . .

a smile, however bitter, followed my offering,
along with the words of his first kill:
“Hello, brother!”

i now think and realize . . .
my voice came out more like a shrill
still, i feel that this humane version of me
presents to me an incomparably bigger thrill
hate took him over the threshold of the sane
as for me, i know i desperately want to remain
on this side, where love will help me sustain

(c) hülya n. yılmaz, 3.16.2019

~ ~ ~

I was prompted to write this poem upon finding out the news on March 15, 2019 about the “two consecutive terrorist attacks at mosques” (Wikipedia) in Christchurch, New Zealand. After some soul-searching, I realized that I needed to suppress my own feelings of hatred, and made an attempt to approach the terrorist’s acts with peace. Have I been successful? Yes, as far as the hatred part. I would most prefer to love than hate. Still, this test was extremely difficult to bear . . .

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MIA . . .

I have been missing in action . . . In case my posts were missed, here is one for today . . . it is an old poem . . . hoping that it is not a duplicate . . .

sense me

find me
under my layers of make-believe

amid all that which was expected from me

and uncover my seven pawns
i let play along for too long

serve your heart to me
mine is there for us to share
the core of your soul will then see
that there are no veils over me

seek the real me

quest for me . . .

© hülya n. yılmaz, 11.28.2017

IMG_0164

[Photo Credit: Self]

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A Voice from Africa in Turkish

“In Africa”, a poem by Emeghara Collins © March 4, 2019 ~ Translation into Turkish by hülya n. yılmaz © March 6, 2019

In Africa

Like
the ants…

We’re the restless
people of the world…

People in
endless torment…

And must sing
praises in shame…

If any man
from Africa…

Should
go to hell…

That’ll mean
a cheat o Lord…

For in Africa
we live in hell…

We live in
hell o man…

For with our hands
we bury our children…

With our eyes
we see our own death…

Mr preacher, preach
about hell no more…

For in Africa
we’re already in hell…

We live in
hell o man…

Our belly the mirror
of our economy…

Our lives, used to
kola the terrorists…

In Africa
we live in hell…

We live in
hell o man…

How do I manage
these tears in my eyes?

How do I convince
myself, it was all a lie?

Polling units an alter
we must offer our blood…

Go back and
tell God o preacher…

That in Africa
we’re already in hell…

Oh, we live
in hell o man…

Look at those
singing in shame…

Watch their shoes,
longing for summer…

Behind
their eyes…

Lay huge lump
of frustration…

You ask of truth
here is the truth…

In my Africa
we live in hell…

We live in
hell o man…

For mothers watch
as their child is buried…

Yet, we blow
trumpets in shame…

Instead of standing
naked in our holy places…

To seek the
face of God…

For a naked man has
no pocket to put his hands…

Yes
It’s true…

All copyrights@reserved
Emeghara Collins
March 4th
2019.

“Afrika’da”

Karıncalar gibi . . .

Biz dünyanın kıpır kıpır

Insanlarıyız . . .

Bitmez acılar içindeki

Insanları . . .

Ve utanç içinde

Övgüler söylemeye mecburuz . . .

Eğer ki, Afrikadan herhangi bir ınsan

Cehenneme giderse . . .

Bu bir aldatmaca olur,

Tanrım . . .

Zira biz cehennemde

Yaşıyoruz, a be dostum . . .

Biz cehennemde yaşıyoruz . . .

Çünkü kendi ellerimizle

Çocuklarımızı toprağa veriyoruz . . .

Kendi gözlerimizle

Kendi ölümümüzü izliyoruz . . .

Sayın vaiz, cehennem üzerine

Vaazlar verme artık . . .

Zira Afrika’da

Biz zaten cehennemdeyiz . . .

Biz cehennemdeyiz, a be dostum . . .

Karınlarımız

Ekonomimizin aynası . . .

Hayatlarımız

Teröristlere yatak . . .

Afrika’da biz

Cehennemde yaşıyoruz . . .

Biz cehennemde yaşıyoruz, a be dostum . . .

Gözlerimdeki bu yaşların

Nasıl mı geliyorum üstesinden . . .

Nasıl mı inandırıyorum kendimi

Her şeyin bir yalan olduğuna . . .

Oy sandıkları birer adak taşı

Kanımızı ikram etmeye mecburuz . . .

Dön, geldiğin yere geri git ve Tanrıya söyle,

Sayın vaiz . . .

Afrika’da zaten cehennemde olduğumuzu . . .

Amanlar olsun ki,

Biz cehennemde yaşıyoruz, a be dostum . . .

Baksana, şu utanç içinde övgü şarkıları söyleyenlere . . .

Ayaklarındakine bir baksana,

Nasıl da bir yaz mevsiminin özlemi içindeler . . .

Gözlerinde

Buğu buğu bir hüsran . . .

Gerçeği merak ediyorsun ya hani,

Işte gerçek . . .

Benim Afrikamda

Biz cehennemde yaşıyoruz . . .

Biz cehennemde yaşıyoruz, a be dostum . . .

Çünkü annelerin gözü önünde

Yavruları gömülüyor . . .

Ama biz ne yapıyoruz,

Borazanlarımızı çalıyoruz utanç içinde . . .

Kutsal yerlerimizde çırılçıplak

Ayakta kalıp Tanrının yüzünü aramak üzere . . .

Çünkü çıplak bir insanın

Ellerini koyacağı bir cebi olmaz hiç . . .

Evet,

Doğru,

Gerçek işte bu . . .

 

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On the Road Again

not empirically

reflecting
reminiscing
contemplating
all my beloveds, in my love-line
to be remembered at the core of my being
entering my soul’s depths again one by one

i am trying hard not to feel sad
for their passing to death or to life
surely, they, like i, faced many a strife
but they also were given, like i, many a smile

a sorry excuse for a selfish sense of comfort . . .

have i been loving enough?
have i hugged them with a caring
that had by far surpassed the empirical?

on the road again

questions galore

if only one more lifetime with them
could knock today on my self’s door . . .

(c) hülya n. yılmaz, February 27, 2019

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