Tag Archives: Inner Child Press

“Naren”

the other day
i met Anjana Basu
online
following a forgotten vision
one i had
most likely
eons ago

if
my unexplainable
however reliable
instinctive being
is right on the dot that is

at any rate

i pursued her
inquired about her life
even traveled to Allahabad
to see if her town of birth
resembled mine

i took a connecting flight to London
where she had been schooled

within a couple of hours
i appeared in Kolkata
at her doorstep

a gracious hostess

she invited me in
her home was grandiose
not in an empirical sense

oh no!

she knew
what alone had mattered in life
love and light shone out loud
through every nook and cranny
of her otherwise humble abode

she served us tea with milk and honey
it was prepared in a colonialism-free manner
true to her upbringing true to her mother-culture

she had placed
rashly-improvised store-bought delicacies
(i had after all showed up unannounced)
a delicate modest-in-size-tray showed them off

the plane food made my fingers think again
they resisted reaching out
with a strong will
much stronger than my eyes’ appetite
so, i declined with my utmost proper
nay-say-gratitude

we talked and talked
actually, she talked and i listened
to her mesmerizing novellas
her Black Tongue
the novel for which she had been recognized
as the winner of the Hawthornden Fellowship
(in Scotland)

her successful endeavors in script-writing
and more . . .

details about her accomplished self
she had no intention to reveal to me
had i not done my homework right

the subject then came to “Naren”

an epic story-teller at its best
disguised as a poem in free-verse
and thus, began Anjana Basu:

The words I have for Naren are purely prose.
Prose. Prose of a chest
A mat of hair against the sun. Sometimes
It’s counting the tiles on a floor
Held down. Or a bed field of crumbs
And a dirty foot. Even greying underwear.
Sometimes an evening spent in hatred
Following in one’s head the footsteps of a whore
Down some dark lane or a street of crumbling houses.

These are words for Naren.
Perhaps a synonym for rage or hate.
Or even an undefinable word called love
That you could find in rage or hate.
There are other meanings – even other shades
Left out. Footsteps of a child or whore
Or other women deliberately taken
And then the running back to a familiar bed.
I called it lost child.
There were other words too –
Lover, Boyfriend, ex-Husband, boy-husband.
It meant keeping company in an empty room
With haunted corners. With shame
And a telephone wire.
Company against reason or sense
Or the blotting out of a curtain –hiding
From pigeons or from seeking eyes.

These were words for Naren.
Are still perhaps.
Pretended love made in a mirror,
A shuddering belly and tonsils hurt
The way a face may flush or voice darken
Denying everything but lust or hate, or accidental love. Naren’s words.

when this wonder-filled wondrous woman
of unforgettable demeanor ceased her voice to be
her tangibly exquisite
enriching enchanting exfoliating
purity-extracting plate of human-ness
took the external load off of her
and lain there for me to devour

plenty of leftovers gathered up in an orderly row

i am on my way to bring them over to you

 

© hülya n. yılmaz, 2.15.2018

[This poem was submitted for the March, 2018 issue of The Year of the Poet, a monthly international anthology published by Inner Child Press. The Year of the Poet has its regularly contributing poets from various parts of the world and features between three and four new poetry writers every month. Now in its fifth year, this book showcases -outside its monthly changing featured poets, the poetic works of fourteen “permanent” writers. The book’s 2018 offerings have been conceived to highlight a different civilization each month. Accordingly, it serves also as a collective educational undertaking to offer insight into various aspects of civilizations of the past and present.]

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“the world’s timeline knows . . .”

they had to be noted
while their desert of sand
still chuckled in giggles
with their newborns’ tickles
but also drained out persistent tears
that were soaked by parents’ eternal fears

wars were aplenty back then

are you with me?
do you see what i see?
on second thought . . .
never mind!
forget about me!
just look
please take a good look
with your heart’s eyes however
holding on all along
to the hand of your conscience too
surely you will heed
the desperate call for a minute-long silence
in the face of the so-called
ancient times’ wholehearted embrace
of building legendary and timeless monuments
of constructing age-old destructions

oh, the broken spirits’ tears!
oh, those souls-burning tears!

wars are too plentiful today

© hülya n. yılmaz, 1.20.2018

[This poem appeared in the February, 2018 issue of The Year of the Poet, a monthly international anthology published by Inner Child Press. The Year of the Poet has its regularly contributing poets from various parts of the world and features between three and four new poetry writers every month. Now in its fifth year, this book showcases -outside its monthly changing featured poets, the poetic works of fourteen “permanent” writers. The book’s 2018 offerings have been conceived to highlight a different civilization each month. Accordingly, it serves also as a collective educational undertaking to offer insight into various aspects of civilizations of the past and present.]

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“love . . . what else is there?”

oh you dear little one
with gorgeous hope-eyes
which of them was robbed from you

ever so abruptly cruelly
in blood-chilling monstrosities

your mother or your father

maybe both

you are in hunger pains i know and as thirsty
as those war mongers’ obsession to slay
yet so helpless as they never seem to be

my entire being is craving
to cradle you into my body
back to your somewhat safe times
to sing to you inside all my insides
with the hope for a sedating deep sleep
to send you to your innocent dreams
so that they become you
or you them

i have just fetched
my dried-out mother’s milk
it will pour for i have willed it so
nourishing not only your tiny half-cut frame
but also the brutally smashed shards of your heart
an uncut diamond shattered before you were born

your wingless soul introduced itself to me
she too is invited to our feast

as for your angel-spirit
she was meant to fly up on high
so i let her free she now soars
above and beyond the sky
tucked in safely
in her safe haven

please don’t you crawl away in a rush
i do not want you to go there
not yet anyway

i am told
i am good at make-believe . . .

you can tell me how i did
when you and i once again meet

a deserved life of marvels is planted on your path
don’t you ever mind the vulgar stench of the killers

when compared . . .

(if such linking were sane
the scent that our dead and dying ooze
makes envious the newest blooms of the Sweet Pea

sleep my still unnamed little angel
sleep angelically as only you can do

my all-loving heart
and my determined mind
will know how to soothe
my for long unstoppable-y wailing soul
so that my mother-hands can knit
your receiving-blanket into an armor
invisible to the sadistic human beast

i will lay myself down next to you
i promise you i will not leave

until after your last breath . . .

you will at least face death
not in the hands of Man’s vomited filth
but rather in my love-arms

sleep Mother Earth’s untainted scream
and perhaps just perhaps in a dream
try to forgive me if you can
for all the deeds i could have done
but in my passionate paralysis did not do
and for all the miracles you had hoped i would proclaim
but in my emotive weakness have not done so

all that is anon left in me due to you for you
is the mighty strength to sway you in my womb
until forever onto your wasted pathway you must go

© hülya n. yılmaz (Revised from a 2017 poem and submitted to the international World Healing World Peace Poetry anthology to be published by Inner Child Press in April 2018, marking its fourth biennial publication)

As for this “I”, it still is striving to witness one day
that solely love rules in the world.

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Wishing to Time-Travel

Ma’rib

i time-travel frequently
to far-away places and times

do not misunderstand!
it is so not because i cannot cope
with where i am when i am who i am
it is simply so by choice
we all have that button
at our fingertips
do we not?

this time
i left for Ma’rib
to partake of its much-anticipated fall

no!

no!

better yet:
to witness a bit its oft-quoted glory

it was the years between  
. . .
(?)
surely
many a century
let’s estimate them to be
within the 8th century BC
and the 5th of AD
what matters is the fact
that i have indeed come back
to tell you a tiny story
all the way from its era of notable glory

look!
what you see
on the sand of its desert
at the bottom of its incredible Dam
are my footprints
marked forever on each

those fine particles between my toes
made a promise to me:
they will never give my ignorance away
if i were not to cancel my initial plans to stay
to which i replied in my heart’s tongue:
my spirit could not abandon them ever
for i had begun to fiercely shiver
in ecstasy so profound and prolific
that i could not help but compare
the touch of their excitingly hot stare
to my beloved King Solomon’s affair
with Sheba his Queen totally bare soul-wise
legendarily beautiful and well-dressed otherwise
that i had been admiring both
from afar long ago from there
where i am now and have always been

but then resurfaced
flooding along their insatiable hunger
(for the fresh blood of innocence that is)
the cold-blooded powers-to-be. . .

my time capsule rushed to bring me back

what –to my eternally aflame despair–
my ignorant grown-up-eyes did lack
was the growing notorious record
of my own era’s love for affairs of darkness

perhaps just perhaps
you would like to join me

my time capsule has reserved seats for many . . .  

© hülya n. yılmaz, 1.20.2018

[This poem will appear in the February, 2018 issue of The Year of the Poet, a monthly international anthology published by Inner Child Press. The Year of the Poet has its regularly contributing poets from various parts of the world and features between three and four new poetry writers every month. Now in its fifth year, this book showcases -outside its monthly changing featured poets, the poetic works of fourteen “permanent” writers. The book’s 2018 offerings have been conceived to highlight a different civilization each month. Accordingly, it serves also as a collective educational undertaking to offer insight into various aspects of civilizations of the past and present.]

YOTP February 2018 Front.jpg.opt836x1254o0,0s836x1254

[Image enabled with the permission of the publisher, William S. Peters Sr., a prolific poet who by invitation has made personal appearances at numerous poetry festivals in a variety of countries -including Kosovo, Morocco, Tunisia, Macedonia, Jordan, Palestine. Several of his poetry books have been translated into different languages. William S. Peters Sr. is also widely known for his dedication, devotion and passion for humanitarian initiatives, all of which are presently in growing fruition. *Please note: The audio-interview used here is from three years ago and accordingly, the information delivered with it is not up-to-date.]

 

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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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