Tag Archives: Inner Child Press

Aksum . . .

December 17 was the last date when I had posted on my blog . . . I have truly missed being here . . . so, here I am with the first entry of 2018 (Happy New Year, by the by) . . . my three poems that will appear in the January, 2018 issue of The Year of the Poet V, an anthology published by the globe-reaching Inner Child Press (monthly poetry offerings of the Poetry Posse and between 3-4 featured new poets). Entering 2018 strong in its 5th year, this publication will provide the reader with insights into a different cultural entity across the world in each of its issues. January’s focus was Aksum.

what i knew would simply not do

Ethiopia
the early Christian era
but Red Sea ruler?

~ ~ ~

empires surely rise

and
as we live it every day today
they also fall
out of history’s authentic tracks, that is
for only white men get to etch make-believe memories
in acid on the indestructible fabric of lies to come
together, of course, with co-travelers –their women
who in the footsteps of
their 19th century Orientalist counterparts
first become enchanted
(or better yet drunken)
by the foreign “object” of their own fantasies
but then upon their return to their home countries
adhere themselves in perfected loyalty to
painting, writing or chanting
pieces of fascinating stories
all of which serve to mesmerize
the self-appointed ”Subject”
of highest esteem in its collective existence

the “other” is doomed . . .
doomed beyond erasure
far beyond the abyss
of eternity

history’s selective books
again and again, as our times evidence anew,
mount permanently
those powers of self-erected “superior” thrones
in their self-designated importance
for generations and more and more generations to come
on self-constructed paper reserved for mass readings
however fast their seats’ physical capacity
may outgrow their miniscule competence
failing to make room for their incurable ignorance . . .

The Aksum Kingdom too is doomed
doomed to remain as “the inferior other”
not to be ever revered for
what it had in fact been, was and will be
namely, a domain of notable accomplishment
among our current world’s celebrated civilizations
worthy of equally noble presentations
as well as proud representations

it is doomed instead

if only this empire had not been discovered
to be an achievement of blacks
created as a “promised land for uprooted Africans”

if only this empire had not been revived
for its utterly memorable existence
through the efforts of enslaved
18th century black preachers
amid us

in the good old United States . . .

~ ~ ~

what is to be your mark?

Aksum’s origin
is not to be traced back to
Semitic kingdoms

 

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What Can Peace Lilies Do?

When my father died, I found myself swallowed up by one thought -but I wasn’t thinking it, I was living it: My last Çınar is gone. Çınar may have its translation in other languages as a plane tree/sycamore/maple, its mention in my mother tongue within contexts of life and death signifies an impenetrable, indestructible, undying fort of mutual, eternal trust and unconditional love. And when the undying dies…

Cankardeşlerim, my soul sisters were immediately there to rescue me from falling into despair and be lost. They had brought along this gorgeous, tree-look alike Peace Lily plant. Stories were shared, about how this plant soothed their hearts when losses to death scarred them. The somber story-telling was frequently interrupted by love-smelling hugs and exchanges of salty drops.

My Peace Lily plant is still alive (I say still because of my fame as a flower- and plant-killer). While looking at it, months later, I still cry. Thinking of Çınarlarım that are gone for the rest of my remaining days. And, I live a want again and again: To be next to them so that I can tell them…

The Peace Lilies have their steady place on top of a cabinet in my breakfast nook, immediately visible to me as I enter my home through the garage onto the kitchen spot. What used to be a builder-dictated area, I have recently transformed into a personal space with only my essentials: my lounge chair (heavily worn-out, therefore only its quite-intact back visible to guest-eyes), a large reading floor lamp and a side table (ignorable in its size but large enough in its function to keep one or two of my most favorite books and a coffee cup). The Peace Lily plant is now grown so much that I feel its presence even without staring at it, as I end up doing sometimes. And: I find day after day a sense of serenity growing inside me, promising growth of my internal peace. Sadness is there in its chronic presence, sitting heavily on the heart. But, acceptance of my newly established orphanhood and gratefulness for all that I was privileged to have lived under the love and care of Çınarlarım for this many years surpass those sad moments.

The poem trilogy below with all the fluctuations in its emotional tone  is my dedication to the ultimate poetry for eternity -life, an unceasingly fluctuating phenomenon that is worth being revived at the core of the psyche.

Peace Lilies

Leaf 3 fell on August 5, 2016

sometimes i drink two in a row
not both at once like you used to
out of your Babiş-cup
despite much teasing

i recycle the same demitasse
for the second round
rinse the inside and the saucer
very fast and without looking in
when the fortune-telling-remains
make me a huggable promise
just like the aunties told and showed me
in those impressionable years

of course i laugh at myself for that ritual
but i no longer have a biting tongue about it
i lived long enough remember enough and well
to see those women through their diamond-hearts
now decayed for decades

just living through the breath-long being
while indulging in the fact
that i have grown an inch
maybe even a bit deeper
so as not to take the self as seriously anymore
the several minutes i set aside are each time
my most memorable simple pleasures of life
around a table setting for Turkish coffee
surrounded by priceless company
that is only visible to me

memories of a most affectionate love

Leaf 2 fell on March 28, 2015

so often i take my mind to a ride
to your birthplace of my particular pride
though merely a dot
on world’s vast geography lot
its all-forgiving all-accepting serenity
saved even me ever so compassionately
during my months of autopsy
where no one but you unpained me
with your right dose of regular Anesthesie

my home phone rings only once in a while
hey i am home not more than only once in a while
it is telemarketers mostly
with their terribly poor timing
and invitations to many an unnecessity
yet i choose to ignore the “caller blocked” sign
and anxiously pick up the receiver time after time
yearning to hear your care-filled voice “Ah, Hülişim!”

i don’t know if the historical your-wonder-inspiring
cafe-in the main mosque-courtyard
the entire town’s gathering place of peace
managed to survive the new regime

Divan Pastanesi is intact
in utter relief i hear…

my soul after all joins yours over there
around two large plates of Revani
playing hide-and-seek with us
under scoops and scoops of ice cream
home-made vanilla we both silently scream
you then ask for a generous serving
of your most favorite topper of desserts
as you always did with a sweet sneaky smile
Sahne – but the real kind please you add as usual
your dark brown eyes sink into their childlike shine
i watch you move in your elegant soul dance
around your once again-found-childhood treasure

i continue to aliken
that bake of generations-tested-recipe
was nothing though next to the sip
you chose to take routinely
with every single part of the package

the address: life itself

as greeted by you

together with its

immense beauty
acceptability
prosperity
gentility
clarity
opacity
brutality
difficulty
cruel absurdity

spoiled milk
All-(or General-)Purpose Flour
broken shell-close to-rotten-eggs
patiently melted but lump-eager butter
hard as Stone Age-rocks-sugar cane-blocks
in lieu of the required finely-blended-granules

one hand-finger-count days of health toward the end
repeated merciless ID-carded cancer visits of types galore
audacity to also take away your newly-a mom-daughter

you must have loved your beloveds so…

memories of a most affectionate love

Leaf 1 fell on May 7, 1981

he loved me as everything you meant to him
because i am your legacy he would say
without ever tiring he tucked me in
with his courageous love for life
his call came in not skipping a beat
on the verge of each of my stormy vibes

your little-girl-picture
appears before me these days
countless years didn’t cloud my awe
how striking your emerald-green eyes are
how intensely you adore him through them
with the selfless gentle caress
of an eight generations-old-woman

i want to unearth your older pictures
my orphaned bodily-grown self
refuses to get colder
and colder anymore
those windows of your soul
may help me turn mine into a whole

memories of a most affectionate love

© hülya n. yılmaz, January 21, 2017

I will never tire of raising my voice to shout out my heartfelt thanks to William S. Peters Sr. (i am Inner Childjust bill) and the late Janet P. Caldwell of Inner Child Press, Ltd. for having privileged me with the courage and opportunity to write publicly and continually as well as to launch my free lance writing and editing endeavor (related links, though not updated recently –AuthorWebPage; EditorWebPage; my co-authored book of peace-poetry). These two unique individuals who are recognized poets, writers and thinkers are also the ones behind the onset and continuation of my poem-contributions to their monthly publication, The Year of the Poet -an international anthology. My thanks go to The Poetry Posse (the same link as The Year of the Poet), my family of mutually caring and giving soul poets who together with our dearest Bill make the said anthology possible. My poem trilogy above was my contribution for the February issue.

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“i want my Poetry to . . .” Volume III, Another Inner Child Press Publication Underway

With my thanks to Inner Child Press, Ltd. for creating through its “Anthologies” another poetic platform under the guidance and leadership of  Gail Weston Shazor, I share with you  the poem of my contribution to Volume III of i want my Poetry to . . . (kindly note the short video-recording by Gail Weston Shazor following the end of my name down below).

i want my poetry to…

burn tears in your hearts
then bring them to the surface
before you decide you’d better cave in
to the pain and suffering etched ever so resiliently
in your past, present and future memories
when it’s 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
which learned to utter only the tongue of love
their aura will entice you into a burial ground of ashes
where to lay to rest your ire and your innermost fears
to shed all your chains to be free of also the tears
which have been fiercely carved on earth
on its every hidden nook and cranny
since the birth of humanity

. . . be a break from life . . .

i want my poetry to weld 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 won’t let you once 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

. . . be a break from life . . .

i want my poetry to hold your hand
every time you must weather a storm
so that you know i too have been stained
the craftiest kind left me barren with 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

. . . be a break from life . . .

i want my poetry to waft 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 cometic 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 don’t sing of elation alone . . .

© hülya n. yılmaz, 11.2.2016 (The inspiration came to me in installments: First, about a month ago; then two weeks later, and finally, last weekend.)

 

 

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“Nanki-poo” ~ Poetry and the Opera

a traveling musician was he,

entering the stage in a cheer: “A wand’ring minstrel I!”

this character stunned many a prop of the two-act comic opera,

“The Mikado” or “The Town of Titipu”

each, a tongue twister of some sort

but a brain-teaser, too, for us – the non-Japanese

mikado stands, after all, for the Emperor of Japan

while it represents – online references claim the same:

“the great gate at the Imperial Palace in Kyoto”

no mind-boggling intent is actually there to spend

an age-old tradition of respect is merely in to maintain

when addressing nobility, that is…

where, then, do i come in?

let me make the attempt to explain:

Nanki-poo speaks of his father as the “Brutus of his race”

the world-renowned assassin of Caesar

for the Mikado “condemned his own sons to death”

charging them with “treasonous conspiracy”

one act’s revelation of this son’s escape from execution

is, please beware, of no notable importance here

the Mikado’s rise to the throne however, is

along with his lifelong pretense as a “fool”…

why, you ask?

allow me now to get to my final task:

we each seek a safe space in our memories, as i believe

an alternative reality to help us avoid self-destruction

for me to pretend i am a fool is a long-lost obstruction

besides…

no seat of any significance ever meant anything to me

so…

it’s not the opera’s mikado i can relate to

or ever do

the daughter, i have in mind instead

one he had only from afar

she betrayed her own paternal kin

no conspiracy was there to wrongfully pin

she thought him the fool her entire life through

though to him she was the brightest shining star

one who refused his admiration, for she was dead set

but…

now that he reached a most fragile age

would declare herself a saboteur of notorious fame

having always received either love or more of the same

without ever having given in return anything without rage

who today remains in hopeful despair and desperation as well

for her homecoming not to be too late to cast anew its desired spell

 

© hülya n. yılmaz, December 16, 2014

Source: One of my three contributions for the January 2015 issue of The Year of the Poet, a monthly book series published by Inner Child Press, Ltd.

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…reminiscing our beloved through poetry…

Welcome, dear reader! Also today, I am sharing with you a new poem. This one comes to you as one of my three contributions for the January 2015 issue of The Year of the Poet – the monthly book series published by Inner Child Press, Ltd. of which I have informed you last Sunday. I want to hope that you will come back next week to accompany me for yet another one. My best wishes for your new week!

 IMG_2525 (1)

“The Twist” and Tunç dayım*

 

a pre-natal fascination it must have been

not only for him, for me too, when on my own

lured by the unheard-of piper’s glamorous tune

coveting a First World culture’s tempo-precision

falling into the magic of his feet’s swing-succession

 

1960s, for pity’s sake!

i, a mere wonder-detecting-eyed toddler

he, a tall cool-dancing swift-footed prince

with an affable smile on his handsome face

removing remarks from his balding greyed head

laughing hard at his pants for their bowlegged dent

those “futbolcu bacakları”* are insured, his pride would allege

for a rare high amount, and upon invitation at that!

by whom? we never learned enough to pledge

 

in 1941, awing the world, Chubby Checker gets born

Tunç dayım had thus far been moving fairly along

to witness the year 1960 for an album’s dramatic release

extracting joy from his music-filled youth of disease

“The Twist” had arrived – an all-American song

competing against his magical feet so strong

inside his shiny all-American shoes

 

that year saw in me a toddling and toodling little fire

my often sickly eyes lain on the twists and turns of his legs

leaving me behind in my sick-bed within a safe distance

frequenting his visits in sets of carnaval-colored attire

to balance my weakness with his weakened substance

 

in 1970s, self-centered-to-the-limit was i

the world-is-solely-about-me-all me-i was i

he – sentenced to an early death at birth

danced in grace to his reserved time’s drum

taking me always to a felt-deeply-inside-mirth

at each of my moments of the slightest glum

having lived with us for years when young

an attentive brother to me is what he had become

his selfless love and care had since often been sung

from me for him however, there was not a thing to come

 

he died, we learned afterward – on the stairways to his office

one late night in his attempt to rush to answer a call

 

late 1970s

1980s

1990s

2000 to the present year

the youngest and a most precious darling of the Erguens

gets forgotten

by me

the universe-turns-around-me-i of me

 

then a friend’s public post the other day

lends me a ticket to that now valued past

its stub shouting a valid grist,

“Come on, baby, let’s do the twist!”

Liked.

Shared as well.

In my chamber’s core canal.

 

“Take me by my little hand and go like this.”

Once more. To tell me you forgive me

for forgetting you this long.

Your brother is among us still,

caring for me since you have left.

And i…

have learned,

have finally learned

not to let him slide by

while he is among the living yet.

 

*”dayım” equals “my uncle from the mother’s side” and “futbolcu bacakları” means “legs of a succer player” in Turkish, my native tongue. Crooked legs in men used to receive a light-hearted description while I was growing up in Turkey, succer being the country’s national sport and one that supposedly caused men the less-than-straight look in their lower body. This younger uncle had been a succer player since his very early ages, and always proudly referred to his legs under this common excuse, while he would don a huge sneaky smile for those of his happiest childhood times.

© hülya n. yılmaz, December 16, 2014

 

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“on a pedestal, no more – a poem trilogy”

Dear Readers:

Today, I am sharing with you my poem trilogy that was published in The Year of the Poet, a book by Inner Child Press where I was a featured poet this month – carrying such honor together with a fellow author.  In their imagery, these poems deviate significantly from the majority of my previous lyrical compositions.  I hope you will find their invitations to uncover my intended audience at least somewhat of enigmatic quality.

May the rest of your Sunday and new week a delightful one! As always, I look forward to your next visit.

NB_French-Pedestal-LST

the impotent puppeteer

 

not an inner beauty nor on the outside

unlike the tender roots where it sprouted

“a bad seed,” voiced only the wise

 

oh Medusa, how hath thou cloned thyself?

when hath thou destroyed

where hath thou buried

other Gorgons of Ceto

of Phorcys?

 

why, the choice to rejoice each dawning day

in the unsuspecting for their ills?

oh, how they added to thy antediluvian thrills!

 

he was no Perseus

naive

trusting

spell-stricken

blind

 

oh Medusa, how thou…

with one of thy latest winding tresses

chanted from the chest of a confidante’s conniving hisses

secreted his sole devotee the ultimate scarlet sentence

slithering in and out of her…

suffocated their blood from its essence

 

he was no Perseus

naive

trusting

spell-stricken

blind

 

a head, nevertheless, dons Athena’s shield today

a Gorgoneion,?  Not in the least.  Oh, nay!

 

Perseus, thy beloved mother knew its lethal envy for long

as hath thy father, the half-outcast, who did not belong

 

thy sister does at last

 

 

the well-meaning chauvinist

 

Hippolyte Cogniard and his brother The`odore

may be tempted to produce anew

their La cocarde tricolore

in 1839, after all, already

its roots penetrated the First French army

although Nicholas Chauvin – an apocryphal fighter

did probably spend not much time to ponder

what was to become of his exaggerated affection

for it to surpass time, space to infect grave degeneration

an innocent male of today owes him the concept’s doomed derivation:

 

a woman is obliged to appear pretty

full facial paint, short skirts, high heels are a must

men-attracting smiles should be frequent and a plenty

hair to be of buoyant design, unrehearsed – as on an odalisque bust

 

her beauty came from nature

its enticing aura lacked pretense

feminine from head to toe – with legs or without

she smiled – at her will and for herself

burst alluring laughters – when she desired

 

marriage also found her

inside a circle of cages

a mere twenty-four year-old…

 

the distorted-Chauvin-coveting one spoke:

what is it you expect?

where is your alternative?

who would accept you in his life?

 

years later, in rapid aging, he found love

dissolved swiftly his first marital union

wedded a woman less than half his age

 

on the other side of the globe

fences wore away

day by day

the twenty-four year old…

 

 

the learned ignorant

 

in a family of futile males

he reaped one day their parched tree’s single crop

none would dare to conceive the challenge to stop

his edification cured the lost honor of their patriarch

 

heading clans of men from many domineering generations

he bestowed upon the wives identical dispensations

for they birthed equally wasted boy-children

of fetal eminence

 

ages passed

indistinctive women attained nobility

as have the sons, their wives, the in-lawed ovaries

their descendants are donned with unrivaled extravagance

 

the sole daughter has been erased away

along with her nonmale offspring

 

a pre-natal larnyx had not been contracted to their matriarch…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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If I don’t, if you don’t, if s/he doesn’t…

Nazıms question

What Nazım Hikmet, the world-renowned exilic poet and thinker of Turkey stresses in his call for collective strength in harmony,  is as follows: “If you don’t, I don’t, we don’t blaze, how can the darkness emanate light?”

Nazım’s invitation, to me, is one to awareness – a timeless gift to generations to come.  If they were to be willing to listen to it, of course.  No different than what John Lennon intended with his song, “Imagine”:

The following lyrics – in sync with the rest of the song, seem self-explanatory:

“[…]

Imagine there is no countries

It isn’t hard to do

Nothing to kill or die for

And no religion, too

Imagine all the people

living life in peace […]”

These remarkable visionary individuals are no longer among us.  We, however, are.  I, for one, have found my niche in the sharing of my awareness for this vital thought processing among the living: love for world peace – one I have been yearning for very long.   It came to me thanks to the World Healing World Peace Poetry Anthology 2014 initiative by Inner Child Press.

Please know I am writing about this marvelous project not at all because I happen to have a submission of my own.  I don’t.  I won’t.  If I had or were to plan to do so, I would have to step back.  Here, I mean.  For I have strict self-imposed rules regarding self-promotion.  And, you all know how I treat my own work contribution – as you have seen my quite subdued announcement of my poems in an anthology by another publisher.

The conceptualization of world peace by the Inner Child Press is simply me finding home.   Through collective poetry creation in order to attract attention across the world, spanning over the boundaries of countries.  What a thought!  In order to lend a long overdue balance against the power of  violence – a trait of our  world that has enjoyed dominance for way too long.  But, that, is a learned trait.  How can it stand – we may respond with a false sense of confidence –  against the strength of love, an inborn asset of each human being?  It can.  It unfortunately can.  And it does.  It has.  It will.  As long as we keep letting it.

Peace in love.

“Poetry is what happens when nothing else can.” – Charles Bukowski  (Source)

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