Tag Archives: William S. Peters Sr.

Remembering the Time Before the Pandemic . . . Monastir, Tunisia

Before the pandemic . . . when life was not all about being concerned for the well-being of your loved ones (or of yourself) . . .

Bill and I upon our late night-arrival in Monastir, Tunisia in 2018 for The Sea Sings Poetry Festival (I was as sick as I had not been in a long time – fever and all)
At the opening night ceremonies for the poetry festival, organized and implemented by dear Abdelhakim Rabéi (captured in the back in the photograph below, standing up)

Enjoying the privilege of being the second and last “foreigner”, and hence, receiving personal attention (the first one being the Honor Guest, William S. Peters, Sr. whose book, Tunisia, My Love, was launched) . . .

Two of the most beautiful children I have seen in my entire life (after my grandson and granddaughter, of course . . .)
The sea (anywhere) and this Sinopian woman = a time to celebrate! (What followed was dancing to our hearts’ content)
The final poetry reading night . . .

Şükran/Teşekkür ederim/Danke sehr/Thank you, dear Abdelhakim Rabéi for the breathtaking memories!


Filed under Reflections


how can you even begin to understand
when all you ever saw was a callous-hearted photograph
of a savagely soul-emptied land
or grasp the devoted dedicated commitment of its people
to their justly attained long-labored traditions and customs
cradled within the tenderly nurtured gentle realm
of their age-old civilization?

how can you even begin to conceive
where these precious fellow-souls
gather the countless pieces of their insides
after witnessing the slaughter of their babies
or what happens to that infant-innocence
if it survives the annihilation of its elderly
long enough to avow that it will further survive?

why don’t you look around
can you really not see
the multitudes of suffering abound?

torn inside and out
you still just go about . . .

“Business as usual” rules, you say?
better yet, the passé overrules
any likely change in our busy-ness
and stays put on its mighty swing set
to carefreely sway its mundane existence away
from the highest high of a ceiling
to the deepest hole in the ground

© hülya n. yılmaz, June 31, 2018

This poem was my contribution to Palestine. A Conscious Poetic Offering, an anthology of global endeavors, compiled by Gail Weston Shazor, the Director of Anthologies at Inner Child Press International, soon to be published by Inner Child Press International. Nizar Sartawi, the Director of International Relations at Inner Child Press International -educator, poet, literary translator shown in the picture, has kindly translated the poems I have read on various occasions in or near Amman, Jordan into Arabic. My special thanks go in abundance to all these much-cherished individuals.


[Photo Credit: William S. Peters Sr.]


Filed under Poetry, Reflections

One Day Later . . . from Amman

To connect to the Internet has been somewhat of a challenge here, in Amman, where I am deliriously enjoying an incredible stay for about a month. So, my Wednesday post comes to you belated, dear reader. Bear with me not only as far as this delay but also when the content is concerned, as I am re-visiting a poem I have shared with you before. There is a difference this time, however, and that is where else I have presented this piece of my poetry: At the Jarash Festival of Culture and Arts in Jordan. In the future, I hope to write much more about my wonder-filled experiences in this gorgeous world region. For the time being, I will suffice to let you in on a secret only: My reading of the poem below on two different occasions has met a gracious acceptance, for which I was and continue to be most thankful. I have had the privilege to recite my poem first in Al-Karak, Jordan for The Jarash Festival of Culture and Arts and then, in Amman for the Orthodox Club. While I read “routines” in English, Nizar Sartawi, our incredible host in Amman, has in his beautiful voice read it in Arabic. Mr. Sartawi, educator, is a prolific poet in English and Arabic and a prominent literary translator. With this post, I am extending my heartfelt thanks not only to dearest Nizar but also to his graceful wife, Zulfa, both of who embraced us as their family in their gorgeous home in Amman. An eternal shout of “Sukran” to you, dearest Zulfa! An eternal “Sukran” to you, dearest Nizar! 


i wake up to just another day
and am soon on my way to work
a school bus waits at the curbside
its hugs, ready for the bubbly children
a parent or a grandparent is always there
seeing their babies off to their safe returns

i think back and reminisce in peace
about my own child’s schooling ease . . .

children get born also
in other parts of our world of course!
children are cherished also
in other parts of our world of course!
children are loved also
in other parts of our world of course!

some struggle to stay alive
some can only try to struggle
death finds them when too young

though it does not routinely arrive
with the intent of a personal kill
they are often left behind
without a caring guardian

for the rest of their butchered lives
they await their pre-determined fate

the notoriously grim reaper has for long
been contracted by psychopaths after all
from in- as well as outside their nations of birth

in those dispensable long-forgotten geographies
a school bus might succeed in a lucky appearance
in “neutral” zones or at a “no dispute-border” for instance
as a rare sight for sure
a notable source of pride
but only until the moment
its door begins to open wide
either to gulp down tiny corpses
or to spit them out bone by bone

(c) hülya n. yılmaz, August 2, 2017


[Photo Credit: William S. Peters Sr.]


Filed under Impulses, Poetry, Reflections

Wishing to Time-Travel


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



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

it was the years between  
. . .
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

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.]



Filed under Poetry, Reflections

… no particular category … just because

The photographs you see here depict the people to whom my gratitude is immense – not to willingly exclude a large number of others on my actual list. These images actually show only two minuscule moments of utter joy and happiness that I have witnessed and experienced at the notable 2017 Kosovo International Poetry Festival. While counting solely as still pictures, these images are accompanied by a strong sense of accomplishment. Not because I was one of the invitees. No! It is rather due to a large number of fellow poets from across the globe who gathered their vocal support of dearest Fahredin Shehu in his incredible efforts to underline for our gravely troubled world the timeless significance and beauty of the art of poetry and its incomparable power to unite us all under the one race, one ethnicity, one social class, one religion that exists: humanity.

To William S. Peters Sr., the man dear to countless of people in numerous locations on Earth, I express my thanks publicly at last. Had it not been for who he is, I would have missed experiencing the festival’s home -the picturesque Rahovec of Kosovo, let alone live a mesmerizingly soul-fulfilling, inspiring and rewarding event of all times. Knowing that I was in the mindset of shying away from attending because I had not written a new book, he made sure to stand by me until I, in fact did. All along, he offered my inclination his utmost respect -without even once discouraging me from composing my Aflame. Memoirs in Verse, although such publication was not at all a requirement.

Besa Hoxa Beqiri, dear Besa, my companion in the different-awards-filled life of teaching, must have had a very easy (!) and pleasant (!) time under the piles of poetic translations she had to ready before the festival. She sounded so good while reading my poem submissions in the native language. The person who translates any literary work must be thanked to with full enthusiasm; for such intellectual and creative process requires an all-consuming attention and care. Hence, my attempt to show her my heartfelt appreciation through these few words.

Festivals come, festivals go. What remains are the first, ongoing and last impressions. This festival was memorable in every aspect, starting with the high sensitivity given to the invitees in the event’s preparatory stages. The fine detailing of the program, the arrival and transportation arrangements and communication to the travelers before their trip’s onset as far as what to first expect upon arrival had apparently been planned for a successful implementation of all the different elements of the event.

The people I have met and interacted with throughout this most notable celebration of poetry for humanity at large gifted me with delightful memories of friendship and encouragement for the remainder of my days.

Outside my fellow poets, also the uniquely friendly and most courteous supermen, the beautiful staff of the restaurant -our frequent hangout destination, have etched their place among my lifelong experiences I so do and will continue to brag about.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. My sincerest thanks to all of you whose names I cannot possibly repeat here. And thank you, you fantasy-like world region Kosovo, for making me fall in love with Rahovec, Prizren, Gjakova and other spectacular places you have offered me in this magical year of 2017 thanks to the vision of a wonderful soul called Fahredin Shehu.




Prizren, Kosova.jpg

Prizren, Kosova.2

Prizren, Kosova.3

Rahovec, Kosovo.2.At the opening event with dearest fellow poets

Djakova, Kosovo.Apologies to the fellow poet who took this picture

Photo Credits: Fahredin Shehu (the first two), self (the Prizren pictures). As for the beautiful group pictures, wonderful fellow poets shared them on Facebook. My apologies! I have not saved my downloads by your names.

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Filed under ... on a "just because"-day

The 2017 Kosovo International Poetry Festival

PLEASE NOTE THE CORRECTIONS: My original post was incomplete with regard to the reference I made to the publishing enterprise of William S. Peters Sr., for, initially (1) I had missed providing an active link (added now), and (2) my titling was inadequate as the said enterprise has grown beyond the national boundaries, having become Inner Child Press International (corrected now). 

Good Sunday Dear Reader and Dear Visitor:

A few of my latest posts have not been of my own creative writings as those of you from whom I am fortunate enough to receive comments on my poetry know by now. Many upcoming posts (quotes, though meaningful to me) will follow suit for a while. I am in the midst of writing a book, which I am trying to complete before appearing at a highly exciting event between the 4th and 6th of September 2017: The Kosovo International Poetry Festival.

For this remarkable opportunity, I have two uniquely dear individuals to express my gratitude to -publicly this time: Fahredin Shehu, for inviting me to Rahovec, Kosovo where this multi-national celebration of poetry takes place. Dr. Shehu who has a large number of books in his publication record is the 2018 nominee for the Pulitzer Prize for Literature. He is also an established scholar, particularly in the fields of cultural and religious studies. In equal enthusiasm, I extend my appreciation to William S. Peters Sr., who has been an avid supporter and mentor within as well as beyond the perimeters of his publishing enterprise, Inner Child Press International -along with his steadily growing group of other authors also of my literary endeavors. Peters Sr. to whom belongs an extensive collection of his own written work was honored as Poet Laureate of the festival in 2015 where his contributions to literature, to society and to humanity at large were recognized with the prestigious Golden Grape Award at Rahovec, Kosovo.

I look forward to being back to my more personal and personable posts before too long, and to reconnecting with you once again through that wonderfully caring attention of yours. In the meantime, I wish you a memorable Sunday and far more beyond.



Filed under Reflections

“on a feel good road”

doing a mundane chore
taking out the garbage
the collection bin
several feet away
so it’s walking time

the sun brightens up its rays
bathes me under their glow
kisses me on my forehead
its scent on my bosom and nape
like my daily perfume

i am thus transported in time and space

Freud is said to have challenged:
“Where does a thought go
when it is forgotten?”

a thought
my thought
harboring right this second
innumerable memories
at the contact of one puff of the sun
could it be gone

not even at this mere blink of an eye
not inside my mind
not in my heart
as for my body
it is released to a bullet train
that detected by me alone
makes many a spellbinding stops

an enthralling land extends
and ramifies infinitely
before me
a festival of a sundry of flowers
petal to petal . . .
multitudes of trees
olive pomegranate orange fig lemon mulberry
reddish-black and white
leaflet to leaflet . . .

the window in my private coach
seems at first to have been bolt shut
i get to open this forbidden one
all the way down
and take in
take all the way in
each and every one
of the sensory servings outside

it’s past lunch time
i feel hunger crawl into me
to the core of my starving soul
the morsels are aplenty and delicate
i discover a colossal plate
in a hidden arch of my compartment
tucked in by passengers of the many a past
to borrow it on and on then to make it last
i smile at my bountiful tray
i am content proud feel useful
the next traveler will indeed have
a sating manifold fertile sampler . . .

the virgin oil i extracted
from one olive tree my train had passed
helps me draw stick figures in my loan-dish
that the ones who journey after me
can liken to anything of their wish
there i am

O Dut Ağacının Üstünde
On Top of That Mulberry Tree

local boys around me
for i am a struggling tomboy
near my grandpa’s stately house
pants shorts or a skirt whatever i have on
i cannot remember or better yet
frankly don’t care a zilch about

my mom in her soft voice calls my name
it’s time to go inside

‘you are no longer a child my girl
and Sinop is a small place
we all must make grandpa proud
why don’t you play with the girls instead
and please only nearby and on the ground’

sitting around the dining table
we devour dishes and dishes of delicious food
some are just ordinary but others purely mom’s specialty
while all grown-ups sip strong coffee as is the habit
mom keeps busy
working patiently
on her most favorite fruit
that reddish-pink
semi-round thing

trying to entice me at least to taste it
by laughing behind a giggly riddle
that to me was then one of a kind
From the Bazaar, I bought only one
Came home and found a ton
while i am far from being enchanted
i ask in never-resting curiosity
‘O ne peki?’
What is it?
‘O bir nar, canım, nar!’
A pomegranate, my darling,
The answer is: pomegranate!

. . .

Nar Ağacım Benim
The Pomegranate Tree of Mine

whether one or a ton
THE pomegranate never left me stranded

early and formative school-bench years
showered me with a plentitude of exciting classes
the one on literary imagery
(i later understood correctly)
made my thirst for learning
as acute as my mom’s yearning
for that thing named pomegranate

then came the time of actual growing up
gifting me the privilege to specialize my studies
positive sciences on one road
humanities on the other . . .

a broad literary field of wondrous symbols
an era-identified compilation of Turkish writings
either originally conceived or mindfully adopted
were spread before my eager eyes ears and imagination
a tree of pomegranate the red shiny beads of a pomegranate
no longer were that foreign thing to me

my move out of the landscape of my birth
changed nothing in these later years
for i ran into it again
this time among the pages of a novel
where it was crying

a dear writer-friend of mine
knowing my late-bloomer-fascination
told me she strongly desired a translation
in my hands the same hands that just wouldn’t
just couldn’t let go off that pomegranate
it was crying

joining my confused tears
on one random day at dusk . . .

Kısır Topraktaki Dut
The Mulberry on Barren Soil

high snow covered every bit of dirt
we had peaked the season of winter
sedated by a lifetime lifelong meal
leftovers looking back at me
from my borrowed plate
from my tray of loan

it wasn’t a cardinal’s chest
i could have sworn
a mulberry it was
a reddish-black one
from my little girl-tree
shared way back then
with a few Sinopian lads
before joining my beloveds
before watching that reddish-pink thing unfold
olive pomegranate orange lemon fig mulberry
yes yes oh yes mulberry the reddish-black kind
it was hanging on the leafiest twig
on the branch of my one summer-old tree

as if to wait for me to notice it
before falling onto a softest cushion of snow
like i on that day’s end and many times before
had wished to be falling into my mother’s arms
for lately i have been craving them so . . .

© hülya n. yılmaz (4.20.2017)

Uzak Geçmiş.jpg.opt100x100o0,-6s100x112

In memoriam to my mother whose birthday was in May, who also died in May -on the 7th, the day when her late brother was born.

~ ~ ~

This poem will appear in the May 2017 issue of The Year of the Poet, a monthly anthology featuring the poetry of nationally- and internationally-based writers and published by Inner Child Press, Ltd.

Thank you dear Bill, William S. Peters Sr. for the inspiration to my poem’s title.

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Filed under Reflections

“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.)




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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Filed under Poetry

Join us in our passion for poetry!


(Photo: Free Online)

To have great poets, there must be great audiences too.

Walt Whitman (1819-1892)

Good Sunday!

If you are here right now, then you are a reader – regardless of how much of my text you will read (imagine: I arrived at this no-brainer-conclusion all by myself…gives out a sneaky smile…). Then, of course, there is the writer in you.  And as one, you know how the mysterious concept called “inspiration” works at times (or how it doesn’t). William S. Peters Sr. to whom I am proud to refer as my publisher has done it again; namely, envisioning and implementing together with Jamie Bond the Year of the Poet – monthly poetry books birthed through collaboration between Inner Child Press Ltd. (ICP) and The Creating Calm Publishing Group.

In 2014, the permanent contributors from among the large number of the ICP authors had included Jamie Bond, Gail Weston Shazor, Albert ‘Infinite’ Carrasco, Siddartha Beth Pierce, Janet P. Caldwell, June ‘Bugg’ Barefield, Debbie M. Allen, Tony Henninger, Joe DaVerbal Minddancer, Robert Gibbons, Neetu Wali, Shareef Abdur-Rasheed, Kimberly Burnham and William S. Peters, Sr. In the new year, there will be several new names, including Ann White, Keith Alan Hamilton, Teresa E. Gallion, Katherine Wyatt and myself. I know the remarkable penmanship of all these dear individuals and our shared passion for poetry is evident in every communication we have within or outside the territories of the books of mention. Then, there are featured poets for each month outside the “Core” contributors to poetry, all of whom have the same dedication to this literary art. As the ICP web page states, “[t]he objective is to bring the poetry community together with the various cross demographic representations found in gender, religion, geography, culture and ethnicity. We hope you enjoy the myriad of perspectives represented here (The Year of the Poet).”

2015 will be filled with writing and reading poems for me each month (if not far more often). I want to hope you will be a reader of these poetry books that are bound to surprise you with the promised beauty of one poem after another, month after month.

May the new year be and become all that you wish it to be and become for yourself and your loved ones! I look forward to your visit in 2015.



Filed under Reflections