The Old Sprite

The Old Sprite

Accompanied by my imaginative theatrics, the story spread fast and consistently. My immediate and extended family, ever so eager and ready, would confirm that hearsay voluntarily: I was a dancer with a sprite’s flair, that I would improvise ecstatically. Whether over a real or an imagined tune, I would deliver my role as the honor guest of a yet-unheard beat. Leaving every loved one in awe, giving each an extraordinary treat.

Dance steps have always known how to find in me a most loyal companion. I, after all, had the dedication as long as I received undivided attention.

Ample laughter from an adoring audience was always alive. Without me on that imaginary stage, not even a single cadence had a chance to thrive.

In later years, that young bliss came back to me. On a day when I had concluded it was long dead. Hence, I submitted to the magic of the music in my head. However, I did so in disguise. For, my Self was still afraid to re-appear. The melodic joys, thus, ceased to be.

© hülya n. yılmaz, 3.15.2020

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From my upcoming new book of prose poetry, Letter-Poems from a Beloved


Filed under Reflections

Short Stories on My Mind

Dad’s Wood Sandals

With his usual relaxed pace, my brother passed by Dad’s favorite chair on his way to the TV-set to change the channel. The tiny wood tower under Dad’s feet collapsed.

          “Hınzır oğlan!”

          “What? What did I do?”

Son: 1, Dad: 0. The first-born succeeded yet once again in his sabotage of Dad’s hard work. The formula: one sleek move of a foot. Like that of a skilled soccer player. The barely-there grin of a few minutes-ago turned into a broad smile on my brother’s handsome face. Mom and I could not help but side with the winner. Dad teasingly chastised my brother after our conspiring threesome laughter stepped out of our living room for a little while. “Hınzır oğlan!” My brother did not hold his gut-laughs any longer. Proud of his repeated success, he practically hit the floor laughing. Mom and I, though with a bit more tact, were ready and willing to join him. Dad gave us a supposedly disapproving look at first, but joined in the fun soon after.

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

          “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 finished his sentence, my brother was already out the door. He knew too well what was coming up. Mom and I knew 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 began 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, stayed put – awaiting our doom. After one more of his pretend-angry “Hınzır oğlan!” outbursts, Dad talked on and, poised, put 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. Mitcherlich 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 the clock . . .

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

© hülya n. yılmaz, 2.20.2020

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From my manuscript of short stories, Once upon a Time in Turkey . . . 



Filed under Reflections

“A Special Treat”

A Special Treat

A government office in our precious Ankara . . . it was not yet evident that you had been struck by dementia. We were in the lobby, waiting for one of the employees to call my number. Many people in the waiting hall seemed to be in some kind of a slumber. Business as usual in Turkey: addresses to modify, IDs to renew. And, I had been away for too long. With this process, there was no room left for me to prolong . . .

Your anxiety was probably higher than mine. I still felt like I stayed longer than necessary in that line. Already back then, you were quite fragile. Though, you gave me your usual alert, “Have confidence, my girl”-smile.

Dad, that day, you told me once again how proud you were of me. The fast fading light in your aged eyes mirrored your love for me repeatedly.

When I asked you for my favorite dessert, you didn’t skip a beat. The Café where we both enjoyed it was quite a treat. That afternoon, 2015’s high summer tasted like cool lemonade. A favorite phrase Mom used to formulate.

Sharing a rich serving of Dondurmalı Kazandibi with you was one of the last gifts life has given me of you. Less than a year later, we no longer had you.

© hülya n. yılmaz, 1.30.2020

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*Dondurma is “ice cream” in Turkish, and Kazandibi is a traditional Turkish dessert that is often eaten with ice cream.

From my upcoming new book of prose poetry, Letter-Poems from a Beloved


Filed under Poetry, Reflections



What a concept for our times!

After all, not perilous are all -isms.

Internationalism . . .
a passionate dedication to world peace . . .
hence, the key to the betterment of humanity.

I dream of the day
when, across the board,
our curricula dons finally
a sweeping devotion to humanism,
an unconditional inclusion-ism.

A dream, not impossible to make true . . .

If only
each of us
were to aspire
to inhale and exhale
as the likes of Henry La Fontaine!

© hülya n. yılmaz, 2.10.2020

*One of my three poems that appeared in the February 2020 issue of The Year of the Poet, a monthly international anthology, published by Inner Child Press International.


Filed under Poetry, Reflections

An Enemy of War

I Too Am an Enemy of War

Love left another note on my nightstand.
This time, dance steps donned the paper.

The god of war had met the end of its life.
“Suicide” was the cause of his much-awaited demise.

The autopsy report did not mince words.
Laughter and joy set the tables at the wake.

© hülya n. yılmaz, February 10, 2020

*One of my three poems that appeared in the March 2020 issue of The Year of the Poet, a monthly international anthology, published by Inner Child Press International.


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“Mazinin Kalbi Hala Atıyor”

Mazinin Kalbi Hala Atıyor

Ah benim iç acılarım!
Ah benim bir sürü yüreği sızlatan adımlarım!
Neden bu kadar gecikmeli geldiniz kapıma?
Nasıl oldu da bunca zaman
yoklamadınız beni, girerek vicdanıma?

(c) hülya n. yılmaz, 24 Ekim 2019


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Atop Snowy Peaks

the urge to breathe uninhibitedly
grows by the minute
to soar over lands, seen and unseen
to embrace loved ones, known and unknown
to dive into streams, rough and gentle
to view the sky from under choppy waves
to build dreams on fine and coarse sands

leaving footprints
atop snowy peaks

(c) hülya n. yılmaz, 2.16.2020


Filed under Poetry, Reflections