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]


Filed under Poetry, Reflections

“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 . . .
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.
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


Filed under Poetry, Reflections

“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 . . .


Filed under Poetry, Reflections

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


[Photo Credit: Self]


Filed under Poetry, Reflections

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

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…

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…

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…

It’s true…

All copyrights@reserved
Emeghara Collins
March 4th


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 . . .


Ekonomimizin aynası . . .


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 . . .


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 . . .



Gerçek işte bu . . .



Filed under Poetry, Reflections

On the Road Again

not empirically

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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Filed under Poetry, Reflections

Soul’s Letters

Mommy, I know you cry and cry.
I know you miss me so much.
I miss you, and Daddy too.
And so very much.
Mommy, did I do something to that man?
Did I break a window of his house
With my soccer ball?
You always told me to be careful
And I really, really was.
If Idid, I didn’t mean it, Mommy!
Why did he do those horrible things to me?
I was so happy with you and Daddy!
He was that monster under my bed, Mommy.
I know you told me every time I was
Too scared to go to bed to sleep
“There are no monsters, my Sweetie!”
But that monster was real, Mommy!
And on that day, he came and snatched me
From your beautiful Mommy-hands.
I was never scared like that before.
And what he did hurt so much, Mommy!
Why did he cut my head off?
You so loved kissing me on my forehead,
“Rosy-cheeks”, you always said
About my face.
And you loved my long, thick hair so!
You always caressed each strand so gently,
Afraid that your hairbrush
Could hurt me because of a knot.
It all fell to the ground with my head.
I know how much you are hurting now.
You loved me so.
And I loved you and Daddy so.
I miss you both and want to come home.
I so badly want to come home.
But I can’t anymore.

Mommy, I want to tell you about a stranger.
A woman far, far, very far away
From our home.
She sees me in her nightmares every night.
During the day,
She cradles me, keeps me warm inside her heart.
Her heart is so gentle, so tender.
She feels for you and Daddy so.
Last night, she cried many
Many many tears again.
She was shaking in agony for me.
She hurt so much inside
Because of my death.
She wrote to her Mommy
About my final breath.
She is a Mommy too and a Grandma.
Her grandson is almost as old as I was.
He has a bright and beautiful smile as I did.
I will not see my grandmas anymore.
They too loved me so.
This woman is by my side, Mommy.
Since that day my head was cut off.
Since the moment I stopped breathing.
So, try, please try
Not to be too sad, okay?
I must go now, Mommy.
I must go now, Daddy.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~


it has been too long of a while
since i talked to you the last time
forgive me for my grave absence
i feel terrible and lost these days,
preoccupied, needing your
insightful, loving presence . . .

i don’t know what to do
with our world anymore

we live in dark times,
struggling to get through
too many people are lusting after hate
too many so-called leaders
have for long made hatred their mate

children die again and again
in the hands of war-mongers
children die again and again
in the hands of their parents
in many a vicious way

my breath is in direst need
for a prolonged delay

a beautiful little boy was killed
in the most brutal way ten days ago
what a beautiful child he was!
long, wavy black hair
Angel-eyes, coal-black
and a sunshiny smile,
one that was meant to shine
until his nature-required last day

i cannot get him out of my mind!

he comes to my sleep every night
my heart is an entirely different story

how lucky my brother and i have been!
we never met a monster in real life
these days, however, they are aplenty
and they come in many a shape and size

i often think of your love and tender touch
only to realize that i still miss you too much
i also miss those years of innocence
and light

our times offer time and again
darkness galore,
filled with too hard-to-handle,
plentiful plight

i don’t know what to do
with our world anymore,

we live in dark times,
struggling to get through

(c) hülya n. yılmaz, 2.21.2019

In honor of Zakariya al-Jaber who was beheaded by a religious fanatic in Saudi Arabia on February 8th, 2019

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Filed under Reflections