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 . . .
each of us
were to aspire
to inhale and exhale
as the likes of Henry La Fontaine!
*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.
the mist of the Mediterranean Sea on my face
surrounds me with my loved ones’ embrace
a childhood spent carefree
early youth and young adulthood?
what a bliss!
all my life stages there
are brightly lit in my memory
with nothing left for me to desire
for fulfilled am i to an ultimate degree
on this day, i keep looking back
at each of those moments, i am taken aback
for the beauties i breathe in vividly prevail
and eagerly, i forge ahead to inhale
(c) hülya n. yılmaz, 2.10.2020
The Eunuchs of the Ottoman Empire . . .
I knew about their existence,
yet not much else as far as their lives.
I had my early schooling in Turkey,
yet very little had been taught to us.
Decades later, I learned a name:
Mustafa Olpak, a writer and activist.
“Dana Bayramı” was one tradition
African Turks held on to
in order to remember their history.
They were not at all small in number.
Not that such statistics would matter!
Some were held as slaves,
others endured the fire and ascended
into rank inside a powerful empire.
Their descendants are alive.
Power structures come and go.
That is the call.
One day, they all fall.
What then happens to their oppressed?
Cultural accounts will and do talk.
As a Turkish woman, I am in despair.
For this shame, there is no repair.
Going through all kinds of emotions,
I am desperate to spread the word,
for whatever it is worth.
(c) hülya n. yılmaz, 2.1.2020
~ Mustafa Olpak
~ “Dana Bayramı”: “Afro-Turks living in İzmir celebrated the traditional spring festival Dana Bayramı (“Calf Festival”) until the 1960s. Dana Bayramı has currently been revived among the younger generation of Afro-Turks (Wikipedia).”
i open my heart’s window to hope
that, one day, destroyers of life
will cease to be
the two-legged animal species, that is
the other kind does it for survival, after all
fear- and doubt-crafters
you know them as well as i do
the lost souls . . .
every one of them has to go
it is not killing i am talking about
no! it is in our power to take away theirs
silence is complicity
why are we still sitting quietly?
is it not worth for humanity
to not turn a blind eye to their atrocities?
think of it seriously,
as John Lennon once did famously:
“Imagine there’s 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.
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one.
I hope someday you will join us
And the world will be as one.
Imagine no possessions.
I wonder if you can.
No need for greed or hunger.
A brotherhood of man.”
yes! i dream to my heart’s content
yes! i imagine the same at the core of my soul
it really is not hard to do
wouldn’t you like to be a dreamer too?
what have you got to lose?
(c) hülya n. yılmaz, 1.5.2020
before you were born
i am not known for mincing my words
you have seen my brutal honesty many a time
whenever it was about the facts of my life
even with confessions difficult to bear
i made sure i spoke each of them to you
in all the details i needed you to hear
so, you already know . . .
as the odd one out
among my marriage-craving friends
of my carefree youth
i had never desired to be a wife
i expected more from life
you also knew,
i had never yearned to be a mother
not because i had no love for children
quite the contrary has been true!
i simply used to think
motherhood was not meant for me
but then, you happened, BirTanem!
(i lived and continue in highest gratitude to live
that incomparable, breathtaking love of and for you
thanks to you, i am living it also
in and with my two little big loves,
oh yes, i do!
four years into my marriage
you, BirTanem, a rarest gem
poured meaning to my being
the Sun woke up and began to shine
water started to run and tasted divine
overjoyed, the air rained on me in a trance
awakened was anew my womanly shrine
to this date
i am great-filled for the fate
that brought me your father
i will be thankful to my destiny
are one of a kind!
From: Canlarım, My Lifeblood – My newest book of poetry in Turkish and English (a private edition, December 2019)
aren’t you afraid to go to those places?
must i fear life?
no, you say?
why, then, should i deprive myself
from experiencing a loving embrace
in countries that enchant countless others
with their people utterly beautiful, inside and out
who despite my lack of their tongue
show their desire
to understand me
was i afraid to journey there?
of course not! no!
love, after all, is
and will forever be
here for us and with us all!
(c) hülya n. yılmaz
From my latest book, this and that
Background: Before embarking on a 2-month-long trip abroad, I was asked the question that serves as the title of my poem here. My travels were known to include various countries in the Middle East. Stigmas accompanied some dear people who seemed concerned about my safety / well-being in those places.
To order, please go to my Inner Child Press-link at hülya n. yılmaz or the Amazon-link at hülya n. yılmaz
a plea to us all
oh, my beloved humanity
take down all the walls of collective shame
we need love’s glow alone at our being’s core
deep within our souls’ all-embracing precious frame
right at this very moment, and henceforth, through eternity
(c) hülya n. yılmaz, December 28, 2018
*I had submitted this poem as one of the five to be featured at the 2019 UNESCO Poetry event in British Columbia.