A LAVENDER DEATH

BEHÇET AYSAN

I'm broken-hearted, I'm like s
a scattered pomegranate

I'm a stream flowing silently
through the night
I’d go if you say so
if you say so I'd stay

if you say
go
the birds, autumn birds, wouldn't return either
with me I'd take cherry bunches

and the good days I lived
with you
the bad days
I'd leave.

the same sky the same grief
nothing changes.
I should go
and stand against the rain.

I'm an unchanted song, abandoned

perhaps
I'll stay
in the pale old photographs

on the tongue of a dark child perhaps.

all the depths are shallow
all the words provisional

nothing, nothing changes
but death.

the same sky the same grief.

 

SONNET 18

BEHÇET AYSAN
"Sone 18," Bir Acıya Kıracı: Toplu Şiirleri (1998). İstanbul: Yapı Kredi Yayınları, p. 418.


As their days ahead turn purple with doubt
Their deformed past days dim.
Those indifferent people addicted to long life
Are like burr-weeds on the transparent material of time.
Those admirers of long life should behold
If all they need is some more injury
Their personality is mud ages old
They should just look back and see.
I don't think the idea of death is terrifying
If it's the deserved harvest of a life.
That moving desire of life for coming
Anew is, I think, worth an early death.
One shining scale on the back of a dragon I am
One falls off, another comes out when it's time.

 

 

 

 

IN SHALLOW WATERS

Şükrü Erbaş
"Sığ Sularda," Aykırı Yaşamak (1999 – first edition 1985). Ankara: Ümit Yayıncılık, p. 40.

Have you ever presented
poems to insensitive people?

On a piece of barren land
have you watered the dead branch
saying "maybe," hoping
that it'd grow green and give fruits?

To scrub loneliness
have you ever looked
at mirrors with no silvering
to find nothing but darkness?

Have you ever been
in rooms where, in unbecoming
desires, voices eat
the silence up?

Have you ever been
drowned in shallow waters?

 

 

 

 


KAMBER ATEŞ, HOW ARE YOU?

Gülsüm Cengiz

("Kamber Ateş Nasılsın?" Akdeniz’in Rengi Mavi (1997. İstanbul: Evrensel Yayınları, pp. 63-65.)

My language is under arrest son
I can’t speak to you
look into my eyes
you’ll see what I say.
And also this sentence
repeating itself on my lips
this emotion in my eyes
finding its expression
in the tone of my voice, you
-- Kamber Ateş, how are you?


My language is under arrest son
I can’t speak to you
look into my eyes
you’ll see what I say.
There you’ll find
the yearning, the pain
and the love in my heart.
My son, I miss you.
-- Kamber Ateş, how are you?


My language is under arrest son
I can’t speak to you
look into my eyes
you’ll see what I say.
In my eyes blooms
the joy of our meeting again
it blooms
and finds its way to your cell
and the odour of the thymes
the violets of the vineyards
I brought for you
from the mountains, from home
and the socks I weaved for you.
My son, what would you like, you?
-- Kamber Ateş, how are you?


My language is under arrest son
I can’t speak to you
look into my eyes
you’ll see what I say.
In my eyes there is anxiety
left over from sleepless nights
from the news I heard.
Did they torture you?
-- Kamber Ateş, how are you?

My language is under arrest son
I can’t speak to you
look into my eyes
you’ll see what I say.
In my eyes a scream
out of fury, out of resistance.
My advice to you son
do not lose your power to resist
keep your head high
don’t you surrender to oppression
don’t you!
-- Kamber Ateş, how are you?

My language is under arrest son
I can’t speak to you
look into my eyes
when we say farewell.
In that sadness you will see
the flowers in the fields
the mad winds of the mountains
the cool waters of the streams
the love and freedom
you’re fighting for
and that bluest sky.
My beloved, beloved son, goodbye to you.
-- Kamber Ateş, how are you?

 

 

 

 


ETCHİNG

SALİH BOLAT

these mountains where i have died many deaths
this timorous child
this flattened wind
this black howling at the door
this deep-blue dead-woman sea
rising from her sleep at the horizon
this barren path at the colt's feet
this fish drowning in shallow waters
these are not it
these are an etching of despair
despair: not till the last nail in my coffin.

THE CHASE

SALİH BOLAT

every morning
a bullet wedges in my sleeplessness
i awaken a dead soldier in my bed
beard of blood wrapped around the wind
i get up to clean my shaving mirror
why this glassy stain of night?
i wipe it but it grows bigger
will my face fade in this dark?

Translated by Yusuf Eradam and Michael Gurian

 

POEMS 1/2 "Siirler 1/2"

SALİH BOLAT
1.
he always finds his way there to the lime wood.
he selects a place for himself between the trees
and his thoughts. does he sit, does he stand
he waits, no problem. but the clouds must have turned red
so have the birds and the leaves. nothing has shadows.
like a splinter the idea of death hurts
in the twilight.
he is tired of understanding.

2.
we, the sad children of this city
for long carried the shadow of a phoenix.
we picked up metal flowers from our fields.
we fell in love, we wrote poetry, we shed tears.
years later, feeling the walls of this city
its rain, its norms, its friendships, we're walking.
our arms fall upon the pavements as the shadow of a dagger.
we stab it in the feet of the passers-by.
ah, nobody feels the pain!

 

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