Tag Archives: Poetry

An Old Poem, Re-visited

edify what remains in me, i beg of you!

fast for three sets of ten-years
breathe in the generous tears
never exhaling in completion . . .

solitude grows into a safest companion
lives pass by and handsomely multiply
the longing still consents to no passersby
but then sensation enters
your frame’s aged wisdom
is filled with its first ever self-belief
your arid cells cry out womanhood – your birthright legacy
in ceaseless trust all wed your blazing passion
silenced since . . .
heeding your throbbing psyche
after having starved it for long
you become one for a blissful while

the instant comes fast to divide

i hear you went on to your theories
opting to instruct a joy for your intellect instead
when did you resolve your time of bidding me farewell was just?
what was to become of your devoted pupil
you left with no respect to her aching pain?

loneliness cannot lie anymore
for i had not been sated before
hence the inconsolable aftermath

i am emptied

© hülya n yılmaz – April 14, 2014 (From the “letter-poems to the beloved” project)

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“The Meeting”, a Poem

The Meeting

a painting by Pablo O’Higgins
catches the eye
it is said to be
representing unity within humanity
the banner on this artwork claims thus:
“Build a free world. No masters. No slaves.”
Signed: “Makers of the world united”

a portrayal of men only . . .
Caucasians only . . .
clothing . . . differentiated by class
mimics and gestures of the few front-view men
stress who has the last word

unity within humanity?
“Makers of the world united”?
i, for one, do not think so!

this visual art is more like an emphasis on hierarchy
amidst various segments of societal authority . . .

*This poem appeared in the April 2021 issue of The Year of the Poet (volume VIII), published by Inner Child Press International. The theme was to compose an ekphrastic poem (as in Ekphrasis Poetry) in view of the painting of focus below by Pablo O’Higgins.

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“Hoping Against Hope”, a Poem

hoping against hope

at the Tunis Carthage airport . . .
as soon as i entered the passenger lounge
“Litany” greeted me and resonated throughout the waiting area
that piece clung on to the once-innocent heart
memories came flashing back to the core of the soul
emotions fought with one another to be the one to lead
sorrow dominated, followed by a sense of anticipation

what if . . . what if all was not lost?

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Poems, continued . . .

Come Closer!

I am known as “The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum”.
I have embraced my fame.
If you are the same, we all have everything to gain.

Come closer! Much closer! Do not fear!
I am here for you to see.

Can you not hear the beatings of my heart?

Listen to that which is inside me,
and you will know right away
we are, in fact, not that far apart.

*This poem was one of my three with which I had contributed to the January 2021 issue of The Year of the Poet VIII, published by Inner Child Press International.

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“A Simple and Silent Gesture” – New Poem

A Simple and Silent Gesture

It is August 26 in the year of 2016
in the good ole US of A.
Colin Rand Kaepernick sits in the bench
during the anthem in San Francisco
to raise awareness . . .
because “the country oppresses black people
and people of color.”
He was known not to have stood for the anthem before.

That date passes by.

Writers of headlines get busy,
when Kaepernick sits down again a day later.

Reactions are two-fold: some condemn him,
and others applaud.

The NFL speaks up,
citing the lack of any requirement on their behalf
for their athletes to stand up for the anthem.

After three days, former NFL player
and ex-Green Beret Nate Boyer has a suggestion
for this young man of higher consciousness:
“kneel rather than sit.”

Kaepernick kneels before a game on September 1st, 2016
and goes on record with his plan for a donation
of $1 million to organizations that support his intent,
as I have noted earlier, “to raise awareness”
for the centuries-long systemic racism in the country.

September 11, 2016 marks the first full day
of the regular season.
Several players kneel during the anthem.

On Sept. 27, 2016, Kaepernick becomes the subject
of harsh criticism from the Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
The young man responds: “He always says make America great again.
Well, America has never been great for people of color.
That’s something that needs to be addressed.
Let’s make America great for the first time.”

Kaepernick plays his final NFL game on January 1st, 2017.
The 49ers plan to cut him.
He opts out of his contract instead.

The month of September of the same year
witnesses players’ kneeling before
and / or during the anthem
without the civil rights activist in the league.

In the following month,
Kaepernick files a grievance against NFL team owners.
He cites collusion to keep him out of the league.

The powers that be, unfortunately, have a final say.
NFL season ends on December 31, 2017,
having made certain that this epic role model
for equal justice remains unemployed.
Less than a year afterward, NFL owners construct a rule
banning kneeling during the anthem.
It is ‘president’ Trump now . . . as he has made it
into the People’s House. He applauds the divisive initiative.
NFL owners soon retract the rushed rule
because of its divisiveness.

As the second straight season begins –
sans the name “Kaepernick” on a roster,
some players still kneel . . .

The third NFL season enters the world’s calendar,
and ends eventually.

No Kaepernick.

Following the murder of George Floyd, a black man,
on May 25, 2020, nationwide protests begin.
Numerous other sports organizations
join the cause of awareness,
to include the NBA, Baseball, and many more.
Kaepernick offers support.

A few months later, the NFL apologizes, denounces racism
and delivers a promise to further promote social justice.

Thank you for your simple and silent gesture,
dear Mr. Kaepernick.
Your gentle voice was and continues to be
loud enough to stay at the core
of many an equality-for all-seeking soul.
Hopefully, for us all, generations to come
will embrace your contribution to humanity,
understanding and knowing that social injustice
is our common enemy.
Thank you for showing this ‘white’ woman
that which we all-inclusively must fear.
So, in humble solidarity,
I, too, kneel.
Ever so respectfully.       

*This poem is one of my three submitted for the February issue of The Year of the Poet VIII to be published by Inner Child Press International.

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A Favorite Poem

Sinopem

the homeland enters the main vein
her scent floods to each body cell
one stunning aroma after another
i thirst in hunger pangs

etched to memory in blood and flesh
the magic of my early life
often asleep – head should feel sore
however when awake cold or ache no more
blanket soaking in her perfume
pillow, one of softest feathers
“snow falls upon who sleeps” she whispers . . .

one corner – a distinctive delight
a town in unison with its sea
unlocks the long suppressed

there!
it stretches to the harbor in cheer
main street down tea gardens of yesteryear
Divan café – loyal as ever before
hugs the aged salt factory to affectionately mend
guards before the old prison the compliant inner bay
not at all anxious by its fast descending bend
sates with secrets-devouring treats
my childhood eyes and arousing sighs
on loads and loads of mouth-watering plates
a huge piece of Revani* – apt for my sweet-tooth-fame
topped with natural ice cream of vanilla beans
delights generation after generation after generation
eight in total the loved ones of mine

farther away lies the town’s aorta
the legendary passage to famed Ada
coveting April 23rd parades of ribbon bouquets
on Çocuk Bayramı – Festival of Children . . .
flows in sync with streets wide open alleys unseen
carries along a dear one of mine
to the heart’s mind scene by scene

my eyes lock on the trail to the highest peak
one modest look to the left or the right
the sea struts its azure wealth and might

and there a breath away
dons mysteries that spectacular house
bricks worn out shutters ashen hue
still erect in humility though
vies few more breaths to accrue
ornate transoms eye the vastness of the sky
their weathered glances down upon the sea
the soil tender as a new mother’s caress
depleted tree roots soon to finally rest
as have those who were put there abreast

my heart wanders off to the faded print:
wide steps to a wooden tall entry door
a stately man – fedora briefcase handsome face
my uncle by his leg – a mere toddler
a Shirley Temple though Turkish – my mother
her tiny gleaming face ever so bright
glued to the colossal front window

my grandmother’s beauty in the dark
on her lap my other uncle – her youngest
his cruel damaged pre-natal heart 
cut off too soon his contagious delight

next to me
the unique scent of my mother
the warmest warmth of her soul

*Sinop/e of the Turkish Black Sea – my adoptive birthplace, –is the country’s only peninsula. “Sinopem” is a self-coined wordplay for which I resorted to reflect the Turkish possessive suffix. This small picturesque town is where eight generations on my mother side lived and died; “Revani”: A traditional Turkish dessert made of semolina and heavy syrup.

~ ~ ~ ~
This favorite poem of mine has first appeared in my poetry book, Aflame: Memoirs in Verse (published by Inner Child Press International on May 9, 2018)

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Ali Eymen’ime

Ali Eymen’ime, Doğum Günü’nde

İlk Dansımız

Anneciğinin ve babacığının odasında
Yerleştirdik seni önce.
Senle ben daha sonra
Geçtik yedek odanıza.
Yapışık uyudum ben senin sepetine.
Biraz huzursuzlanmıştın sen bir gece.
Çok hafif bir ışık açtım sana.
Kurdum bir de sepet-üstü
“Mobile” oyuncağını.
Onun müziği eşliğinde
Başladık ikimiz ilk dansımıza.
Adeta uçuyordum ben bulutlar üstünde.
Mis kokun, sıcacık masum bebek nefesin
Mest etmişti beni.
Sakinledin sen hemen.
Gene de bırakamadım yerine seni.
Kucağım etti ısrar ve de isyan,
Ayırırsam ben seni benden diye, olur ya.
Kucakladım defalarca o mucize güzelliğini,
Ama dikkat ederek seni uyandırmamaya.
Kokladım her bir yerini belki de yüzlerce kere.
Seni yatırdığımda sepetine,
Bomboş kalmıştı içim.
Pek bir mutluydum ama.
Dalmıştın sen bir kez daha
O huzurlu, melek uykuna.

Our First Dance

Your crib was set up
In the room of your
Mommy and Daddy.
Their spare room
Was serving you and me.
I had glued myself ecstatically
To your you-scented bassinet in there.
One night, sleep escaped you again.
I started your mobile toy
And dimmed the lights.
Then began our first dance.
I was flying atop the clouds.
Your gift of a heavenly scent,
Your sweet, innocent baby-breaths
Had enchanted my aging soul.
You calmed down. Fast.
Still, I could not lay you down.
My arms insisted with a frown . . .
I could not part myself from you.
I hugged your miracle-beauty.
Who knows how many times?
But I did so as softly as I could be.
I inhaled your scent repeatedly.
The moment I lowered you
Into your slumber-bay,
A sense of void came to me to stay.
I felt so empty but was very happy.
For you had fallen peacefully
Into your usual angelic sleep. 

From Canlarım, My Lifeblood, my book of Turkish and English poetry (Private Edition, published in December 2019 by Inner Child Press International)

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“A Pained Yearning”

A Pained Yearning

The Sun and I talk to each other every day about you and how I stayed away. I never had much to offer in terms of worldly gifts. My love for you, however, is forever there. Unlike my words, it never hesitates. It is thunderous. It is wondrous. It is here to stay.

Fast and furious, the urge to be around you roars over me once more. One more evening has arrived after another day without you. 24 more hours have come and gone. Yet, my old frame is still the same one.

Though I loved and will love you infinitely, my outer Self is known for its negligent expressions. Of this flaw, even my One-and-Only had her share. My thoughtless ways of the past undress my soul today, leaving it totally bare.

Forgive me for my phone calls’ rarity! Forgive me for all those times when I was absent from your lives! Forgive me for who I am not and have not been able to be.

You have loved me unconditionally. I know, I have missed my chance to be with you as often as I could. I wish wholeheartedly once again that I would be understood. 

From my Letter-Poems from a Beloved (published on June 21, 2020 by Inner Child Press, Ltd.)

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“Survival”

Survival

I imagine a garden, a gated community, surviving on its own . . . never opening its padlock to those who under their clothes tag along determined drones, ready to elicit an army of loners with clapping hands of “rahs” and “hurrahs”, reproducing at wharp speed to outsource peace . . . in their dire hope for love to be forgotten soon.

*I am aware that “Survival” is about one run-on sentence. Please, do not call the grammar police on me, as this structure was and is intended.

~ ~ ~

*From my book of prose poetry, Letter-Poems from a Beloved (published on May 5, 2020 by Inner Child Press International)

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A New Poem

disillusioned . . .

you must have faced a savage opposition
fanaticism ran deep also in your beloved country
your 1990 Nobel Prize for peace speaks for itself
you have overcome obstacles during your presidency

i often wonder these days
if your birth into the life of regular people
– not with a silver spoon in your mouth,
as we say here in the good ol’ US of A,
was what molded into the essence of you
your non-exclusive dedication to humanity,
to your people’s well-being and sanity

the entire world is now under the threat of a deadly virus
some countries’ leaders have taken – ever so swiftly –
effective measures to control its wide-reaching spread
among their populace – affectionately, all-inclusively –
everyone in every nation today needs such leadership direly
yet several self-serving holders of a seat of high command
go about their own business while they continue to demand
that we bow down, keep silent, and accept what is at risk,
not persist with our questioning
and not insist on our rights
which we are too close to losing
with a hastened move of the leading hand’s swing

oh, how welcomed it would be to have a peace icon like you
if only we could rise above these dark times – all intact –
as if reaching to touch a sky of hues in azure blue

disillusioned?
oh, yes, i am,
about the good i believed that was all-embracing-ly true

(c) hülya n. yılmaz, August 15, 2020

This poem is one of my three submissions that will appear in the September 2020 issue of The Year of the Poet, published by Inner Child International. The year 2020 has been designated to Nobel Peace Prize recipients. September’s focus was Michail Sergeyevich Gorbachev.

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