Category Archives: Reflections

Humans, Abandoned

[Disclaimer: I love pets. I love animals all around. I do not condone any type of cruelty toward them.]

i have seen many an activist,
having also read extensively
about those countless individuals
who demonstrate compassion to pets
and loudly voice their passion

about animal rights,

taking away from the homeless
their only 4-legged companions,
leaving the society’s neglected and ignored
unfortunate behind,
to whatever end awaits them

to make sure the animals have a shelter
or to have them euthanized,
when homes cannot be found for them

if cruelty were to define itself
such acts would do so to a t

hülya n. yılmaz, February 23, 2022

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The Snow

sitting on what is still my patio,

all bundled up in winter gear

watching the snow flakes dance

a strong wind accompanies them

i will soon be scattered around

off to another leg of life’s journey

thinking of the world’s homeless . . .

hülya n. yılmaz, February 18, 2022

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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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“Sliding Doors” ~ A New Poem

sliding doors

almost as often as i breathe in,
i exhale this wishful thinking these days

what if . . .
my impulses were tamed
once and for all

what if . . .
my amygdala had lent an ear to reason
on voluminous occasions

what if . . .
my what ifs would exceed the extent
of a modest-size single-hit volume of my
life-altering decisions and deeds

what if . . .
i had viewed beforehand
with some suspicion at least
each swift initiative i took
ever so flirtatiously

what if . . .

the reality

of my existence

was now

not thus . . .

​hülya n. yılmaz, January 20, 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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Remembering the Time Before the Pandemic . . . Monastir, Tunisia

Before the pandemic . . . when life was not all about being concerned for the well-being of your loved ones (or of yourself) . . .

Bill and I upon our late night-arrival in Monastir, Tunisia in 2018 for The Sea Sings Poetry Festival (I was as sick as I had not been in a long time – fever and all)
At the opening night ceremonies for the poetry festival, organized and implemented by dear Abdelhakim Rabéi (captured in the back in the photograph below, standing up)

Enjoying the privilege of being the second and last “foreigner”, and hence, receiving personal attention (the first one being the Honor Guest, William S. Peters, Sr. whose book, Tunisia, My Love, was launched) . . .

Two of the most beautiful children I have seen in my entire life (after my grandson and granddaughter, of course . . .)
The sea (anywhere) and this Sinopian woman = a time to celebrate! (What followed was dancing to our hearts’ content)
The final poetry reading night . . .

Şükran/Teşekkür ederim/Danke sehr/Thank you, dear Abdelhakim Rabéi for the breathtaking memories!

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“The Seven Fine Arts and I”

the seven fine arts and i

a painter – unsuccessful
a sculpturist – clueless
an architect – only a wannabe
an artist of music – no chance
a dancer – failed after the beginnings

poetry and literature . . .
daring to try them out at least

 

*”the seven fine arts and i” is one of the three Ekphrastic poems I have contributed for the September 2021 issue of The Year of the Poet published by Inner Child Press, AKA Inner Child Press International.

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Back from fishing . . .

I Want . . .

Erato and Euterpe to mesmerize me.

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

I want every breath of mine
on the scent of Calliope,
inhaling and exhaling these Muses.

I want to be fed poetry.

I want all my pitchers, cups and glasses
to daily and nightly absorb poetry.

Calliope, Erato, Euterpe,
come to me please and stay
eternally with me.
Throughout it all,
mesmerize me!

*This ekphrastic poem, “I Want . . .”, will appear in the September 2021 issue of The Year of the Poet published by Inner Child Press, AKA Inner Child Press International.

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