Thursday, January 26, 2006

Another Veli


'Look around and you'll see the big secret of a lifetime
In a tree with a single root left in the soil, yet still standing tall.
How sweet life must be, since thousands of people
Keep living, with no arms or legs at all.

I love that drunken soul.'

Orhan Veli

Drunk in our own juices....only Faith tastes this sweet...

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

A little death

I sometimes think that we need to die a little iin order to understand how to live...

To nearly die - to experience the brink of death; the edge of living...

so as to experience the passion for life.

Many of those who have experienced near-death, have returned with a new exuberance for life.

Yet so many of us experience life as a lethargy. We trudge through life as we do through mud.

Sleepwalkers. We're so far from being Dreamweavers.

Perhaps a little death will awaken us, make us glad.

Take this body and break it into beautiful pieces: make this drunken soul mad...

Make this beautiful traitor glad.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

I'm not saying this right

'You bind me, and I tear away in a rage
to open out into air, a round
brightness, a candlepoint,
all reason, all love.

This confusing joy, your doing,
this hangover, your tender thorn.

You turn to look, I turn.
I'm not saying this right.'


How can we say something right when we do not know what are the words?
In a body that burns with unknowing I feel like wax waiting to dissolve.

There's no knowing which way the wind is blowing... ah, this uncertainty
lies on my skin like a stinging kiss.

I don't think I'm saying this right...I'm only a beautiful traitor

Monday, January 23, 2006

Lighter days

Haven't left the house for 5 days... No, my beard isn't overgrown or I'm walking around in pajamas (if I had any!)... just the days of essay marking...listening to music, reading, and drinking red wine in the evenings...

Have just come across an interesting band from Iceland called 'MuM' with some similarities to Sigur Ros..

And started to read Tahir Shah's 'House of the Tiger King'...finally!

The evenings still get dark early, yet waiting for the lighter days...

there is a light that never goes out...

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

More words

More signals..have been posted on Shems Abode:

this is a place where I give poetry a voice.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The art of farewell

When I was living, working, and studying in Istanbul, one of my teachers and friends was the Turkish poet, translator, and dramatist Cevat Capan. He taught me how to analyse and appreciate drama. I went to his house for drinks - we drank Raki and talked of his old friends in Istanbul whom he still meets every week.

We swapped poetry. He gave me a few poems he had recently translated into English for an upcoming publication - I gave him a collection of my own. I then presented him with a copy of my first, and only, play that I had written. His comments were favourable. That was the last time I saw him.

Winter is Over

"I've studied the art of farewell,"
specialized in exile.
I've learnt how a boat puts out from port.
Learnt the bitterness of a train whistle.

For years I lived on letters, lived
on smuggled tobacco, banned
publications. I've not forgotten a thing.
Nothing. Ever.

In the icy loneliness of the steppes
the sails at sea were what I missed the most.
There were no mountains, no mountains:
I leant back on the winds.

Was I out of my mind? A prisoner, say,
in the heart of darkness?
The blood dried -
and I was a rose, blown into flower.

Cevat Capan

In the Eyes

My Eyes are in Your Eyes

Do you always look so childlike?
Do they always have this fire burning deep inside?
There is something in your looks that calms me down;
As if I am at the shore of the calmest seas...
I am a sailboat now, at your harbor
I came from thunderstorms, resting in you.
I wish this tranquility, this silence never ends;
I wish these matchless moments with you last forever...
Never close your eyes, never let your light go away,
My day, my light, my silkworm!
My last flower alive in my fall garden!
I wish my tired heart never sees grief with you;
Don't separate your childlike eyese from my eyes,
Your pure, honest, secluded eyes

Umit Yasar Oguzcan

To Stay Grieved

I could get angry at
The people I love,
If love
Hadn't taught me
To stay grieved.

Orhan Veli

Monday, January 16, 2006

Beautiful Images of Insides of Meteorites

Check out these microscope images of the insides of meteorites. Beautiful, and strange. Some of them are reminiscent of bacteria and computer circuit boards.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

All things

Last night I slowly came downstairs after a period of quiet sitting - and cooked grilled butternut squash and parsnip, with raisons and crushed walnuts... and raised my glass of red wine to the connectness of all things, and all continuance:

'What I loved in my old life
I haven't forgotten
It lives in my spine...

The days of kindness
It rises in my spine
and it manifests as tears
I pray that a loving memory
exists for them too
the precious ones I overthrew
for an education in the world' - LC

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Turkish delights...

Some Turkish poets...some words of delight...


There is One Thing I learned from What I Lived

There is one thing I learned from what I lived:
When you live something, you must live it fully
Your lover must be exhausted from your kisses
You must be exhausted from smelling a flower

One can look at the sky for hours
One can look for hours at the sea, at a bird, at a child
Living on this world is being one with it
Growing unbreakable roots into it

When you hug your friend, you must do it with all your power
You must be in a fight with all your muscles, body and passion
And when you lie on the hot sand,
You must rest like a grain of sand, like a leaf, like a stone

One must listen to all the beautiful music
Such that the sounds, the melodies fill inside

One must dive headfirst into this life
Like diving from a rock into an emerald sea

People you don't know must attract you to distant lands
You must live with the desire to read all the books and to know all
the lives
You must exchange nothing with the happiness of drinking a glass of
But for all the happiness there is, you must be filled with the
longing to live

And you must also live grief, with honor, with all your presence
Because grief also maturates one, like happiness
Your blood must be intermixed with the large circulation of life
The never ending, fresh blood of life must circulate in your veins

There is one thing I learned from what I lived:
When you live, you must live big, like being one with the rivers, the
sky, and the whole universe
Because what we call lifetime is a gift presented to life
And life is a gift presented to you.

Ataol Behramoglu


I Will Hide You

I will hide you, believe me
In what I write, in what I draw
In what I sing, in what I say.

You will stay and no one will know
And no one will see you,
You will live in my eyes.

You will see, you will hear
The gleaming warmth of love,
You will sleep, you will wake up.

You will see that the days passing by
Are not like the ones you used to live,
You will lose yourself in thought.

Understanding a love
Is spending a life,
You will spend it.

I will live you, it can't be told,
I will live in my eyes;
I will hide you in my eyes.

One day, you will just start to tell...
You will look,
I will close my eyes...
You will understand.

Ozdemir Asaf


Remaining Silent

There is no word unsaid under this sun..
That is why I say at nights that I love..
There is no word unsaid either at night or during the day..
And I say what has already been said in new forms..
There is no form in the world not tried...
And I remain silent, hiding my love inside...
You hear how my silence screams, don't you...
There are many declaring their love with silence, my love...
But there is no one who loves like I remain silent...

Aziz Nesin

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

In the luminescence of light....2006 is welcomed in like a guest

Like sparks in a dancing cosmos...our selves welcome 2006

Lights bring in the light of 2006 - Lisbon Sq.

You at Your Absence

Today is the beginning of the Kurban Bayram - the time of sacrifice for those who surrender to the will of Allah in the Muslim faith.

To share, I would like to pass on a poem by a Turkish poet. Peace to All.

You at Your Absence

I am not alone again, as always
I am with your absence at this far-eastern night

Twenty five thousand kilometers between us
You live winter, I live summer
You are in one half of the world,
I am in the other half
Still, your absence does not leave my hand
You are even more 'for me'
That burning nakedness of you, in flames
Is a thousand times more beautiful than your presence
And as your hands talk about the deepest secrets
I don't want to write to you without saying that
We love each other across twenty five thousand kilometers

Aziz Nesin

Monday, January 09, 2006

Where one can find the harbour

Recently a friend sent me this simple paragraph. Simple perhaps, yet swimming in deep water: I too wanted to share

"harbours are there for damaged or weary ships. Ships travel afar but
the harbour stays right where it is. And it resists waves that are
much higher than you can imagine because ever since the day it is
built as a small dock, its one and only wish is to become a harbour.
It prepares itself for titanic ships, and its story of becoming a
harbour starts with the first little boat approaching."