Tag Archives: memories

“no longer the same one”

please do not tell me anymore
how to cross my sitting legs in a skirt
to hide well under my pants the private fabric 
in what age-order to serve guests our coffee
what to do with the crumbs on the dining table
(no hand swipes on to my palms!)
not to laugh heartily in public
to wait for my turn in speaking up anywhere
. . .

my instincts had no trouble
accommodating the required obvious
catering to the needs and wants
other than my own
while i knew deep inside
that you all 
meant well
carrying me through life with your love

i am of old age now
and i have had enough

still conflicting no harm to anyone
holding not even an ounce of ill will
in any of my body’s cells
or inside the pure chambers of my heart
i am forevermore
as gentle as ever before
toward those 
who had no business in mine
or continue to think they have the right

i have had my bountiful share
of personal sacrifices

for self-prolonging decades
and then some more beyond
. . .

i am of old age now

and i have had enough

please do not judge me anymore
for actions that i have not undertaken
nor for the spirit-lifting deeds 
i was (and will always be)
happy to carry out

without inhibitions
with no hesitancy
and in love
love for one
love for all

a few chunks of real life
are awaiting me
as these days i find
in sweetest delight

i will not cease
to care about you
nor to eternally treasure you
in fact i would do so with my utmost might

whenever i am invited that is . . .

will you just please
try not to turn

my humbled joy and happiness
into a nonsense plight

© hülya n. yılmaz, 12.6.2017



Filed under Poetry, Reflections

“Kazaçok”, we called it…

thinking of mom again
my routinely composed beloved

she is too beautiful not to be so
my in-love dad would say…
a no harm-intended frame of mind
the most vicious version of it though
has been ruling over women
in a tragically fallen Turkey today

dancing the Kozachok
on the beach-road of Erdek late one night

my brother
back in the bungalow
deep asleep

i on the other hand
back then an utterly free essence
in eager applauses
too big for my yet-to-grow hands
exalting to my heart’s content
the no-curfew-months of all summers
ever so ecstatic of my standing ovation

the sea


the back-then spectacular sea

with all of her well-aged
head over the heel for her-trees intact
was too admiring mom’s graceful frame
keeping the slightest breeze
in a grip ever so tight
with not even one ripple in sight
lest mom’s step would miss

not even one ripple in sight?

oh this is nothing!
i surely did exaggerate
adorably manipulate
reality a little bit
way back when

mom seemed to me
as if she was caught inside a trawl
willingly laughingly uninhibitedly
living only by being

i cannot remember another moment
when she had let herself just be…

© hülya n. yılmaz, 3.14.2017


Filed under Reflections

. . .

once in your absentia long time ago
i was let in on your sigh-rich utterance mom
from decades past
of your post-delivery moments
how your whispery voice
hovered over my first breaths

oh my unfortunate girl…


i will never learn

© hülya n. yılmaz, 3.14.2017

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Filed under Impulses

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
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.


Filed under Reflections

. . .

11079659_10153219946689711_2308223597785260993_nCandayım, Mahmut Oğuz Ergün, Dr. Med. (5.7.1931-3.28.2015)

what telling stories did you embroider
in the tapestry of our family tree

your Life-support system was unplugged too hastily…

© hülya n. yılmaz, 3.30.2015

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Filed under Impulses

…a note to self: if not wise, seek advice…(Week Seventeen)


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…with full respect to the world-renowned author from whom I am quoting today: what is one to conclude when the “stillness” ‘within’ transforms into “a sanctuary to which” memories, adamant in their dedication to hurt yet refusing to be un-lived, “retreat at any time”…

“Within you there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time.” ~ Hermann Hesse

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…a note to self: if not wise, seek advice…(Week Six)


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…suffering -considered mental unlike pain that is physical- is a result of the act of “clinging”, I had once read outside of Bodhidharma, an act of ‘resisting’ in the sense of our ability or lack of readiness ‘to flow with life’…I, for one, am yet to experience a ‘transformation’ of “everything” as I haven’t stopped “clinging” – for the fear that I may forget those most momentous memories, sad and happy alike…that I will have to to face head-on all over again the loss of the loved ones to death and to life…as if to cease to live…

“Once you stop clinging and let things be, you’ll be free, even of birth and death. You’ll transform everything.” ~ Bodhidharma

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