Tag Archives: The Poetry Posse

“is what we call ours, ours?”

my life in Turkey was multi-colored
brown and dark brown were the most favorite hues
served inside delicately painted frailly little cups
they were devoured by the dearest indulging
who passed the age-limit
with flying collars

thanks to a multitude of gatherings
i watched joyfully time and time again
many rites of simple pleasure
and observed how my ancestors consumed
the thick strong- and bitter-looking taste
sweetened only by a delicious mix
of laughter-typhoons and mouth-watering
gentlest lullaby-like mesmerizing-ly gorgeous
collective-art of masterful story-telling
often a jamboree of exotically aromatic spices
materialized right before all the senses of the gathered
while they sip by sip went on to starvingly inhale
the short-lived though lastingly multi-layered hot vapor
that oozed through the syrup-attired
ready-to-be-painted-already walls
of our little but heart-heated home
all the way to my behind-the-doors dancing steps
then into my heart’s vast collection of inestimable memories

Turkish coffee

soon after i graduated
to my loved ones’ passable grade in age
i accumulated all around me
an army of those intricately hand-made
ceramic art pieces . . . one by one
not even the slightest trace was left behind
of the dark matter that once belonged to their insides

i started to call them “mine”
resorting however with no waste of a second
to olden plausible lessons in my own defense
i riposted to my inner voice:
Turkish coffee was after all
solely in the custody of the Turks
besides . . .
everyone in my familiar
but also foreign vicinities knew
how it long ago was baptized as “ours”
having held on to the reign
for countless memorable years
so powerfully controlled
that the world still speaks of them today!

then . . .

i became
an older grown-up
and re-conceptualized:
what if that knock-out flavor
which offered itself to us to savor
and those magically aromatic spices in it
were never ours to claim as “ours”
but rather invented and toiled over
by civilizations of the long-forgotten past
not unlike the one of the Sabaeans whose Ma’rib
the hub-city of their regime’s middle epoch
that is largely claimed to have earned its fame
not only for its spectacularly built temples
and other monuments but also maybe more so
for its agricultural prosperity

“Turkish” coffee?
“Turkish” spices
that enhance its perception?

what if its creation
had nothing to do with Turkish-ness

what if its construct
was rooted in the Sabaean ancestry

what if . . .

what if
we stopped to care
about things so mundane
and would re-learn instead
our gifted one-and-only destiny
allowing thus to be immortally re-born
the intended core element of our original self
which many moons ago was the sole stronghold
of that which we, the people
of the so-called “modern” times
ever so dismissively
dare to label as “humanity”?

© hülya n. yılmaz, 1.20.2018

[This poem is my third that 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.]


Filed under Poetry, Reflections

“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.]


Filed under Reflections

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

“once a year”

for my %22memoires%22 poem

too old for peer pressure

yet still gullible

bursting at the sight of the all-senses-exposure

those persistent aides-mémoire disguised as lovers

heart goes on to beat to yearn and yearn and yearn…

© hülya n. yılmaz, February 20, 2015

This poem was published in the March 2015 issue of The Year of the Poet, a monthly book series by Inner Child Press, Ltd. as one of my three contributions among the works of poetry by other members of The Poetry Posse; namely, Jamie BondGail Weston ShazorAlbert ‘Infinite’ CarrascoSiddartha Beth PierceJanet P. CaldwellTony HenningerJoe DaVerbal MinddancerNeetu WaliShareef Abdur-RasheedKimberly BurhamAnn WhiteJackie Davis AllenTeresa E. GallionKatherine WyattKeith Alan HamiltonFahredin ShehuWilliam S. Peters, Sr. (the publisher of Inner Child Press, ltd.)

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Mother’s Day is for some…

A week before at least all developed world countries began to celebrate the day, I was introduced to the concept of death. The finality had passionately been kept away as taboo from any type of discussion in my family. When at the age of 48, my mother died on her older brother’s day of birth, May 7th, I have learned. In a childlike innocence at the age of 25, I concluded her death to mean a life-prolonging gift for my uncle. The same dearest man – closer to me than my father in numerous and incomparable ways, whose dedicated protection and devoted guidance I wrapped around myself like a security blanket to last much longer beyond March 28th of this year, is no longer. And the childlike innocence finds me still at an age a mere few months short of 60. With my plane ticket intact, one I finally managed to get after 7 long years of self-imposed separation, I was to hug and kiss him. The last breath cannot be scheduled, right?

So, I am left with the will to continue to write. As I have done earlier this April for my publisher’s monthly book project. I am especially thankful to him this time, for not having limited us, the contributing authors to circle around the theme of Mother’s Day. For each of my three poem contributions leaves much to think about outside that idea frame. The one I am sharing with you today is no exception. I want to hope that you will grant me your thoughts on it.

lions and ants

we like to hunt

to attain gain obtain remain

in eternal sharp-fanged hunger pain

not at all unlike the hero of Walt Mason

he put himself on a quest for a hungry lion one day

its mauling left him alive yet merely undead

forty-seven gashes wreaked his mutilated head

he wore his scars with beaming pride along with his fame

the lion thus became sacred for his until-then-modest frame

on one new day he rested atop a mound of ants

a million bites all over him that was the claim

he is said to have never since been the same

this tale is not told only once upon a time

it roars in us all at the first sight of worldly ills

while the overpowering ones meet our sword and armor

worn out small agonies slaughter our resilience in thrills

piercing bloodless our spirit and valor at their prime

© hülya n. yılmaz, April 2015

“lions and ants” will appear in the May 2015 issue of The Year of the Poet by Inner Child Press, Ltd.

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