Passing By by Güngör Tekçe

How much of a crowd I am
My deceased mum
My living uncle
My little sis never born
My bubbles in the heavens
My fear of the caverns
My rocks
My strata
My warm springs of love

How much of a crowd  I am
I’ve given everything a name
I’ve completed every sentence
I’ve sown seeds of the sun on the ground
And brushed the hair of the earth
I’ve sailed out to sea
I have the deed to the fruit and the fish and the flowers
What more is there left?
What is left?

translated  by Esra Çarşıbaşı & Jean Carpenter Efe

At Times by Metin Cengiz

Leonard Durso

at times comes someone
settles down into my heart
surrounding my whole body
the iron protecting me melts

utters words I’ve never heard
telling me about myself
whisks me far away
upsetting my world

no, this is not the only thing I want to explain
this is someone else or you perhaps
but in the end I understand
I am the traveler of myself

translated by Pınar Besen

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Blue by Güngör Tekçe

I covered the whole heaven with my hands
One star escaped me

I covered November on the calendar
One sunny day escaped me

I covered my eyes so the world disappeared
One blue escaped me

Translated by Esra Çarşıbaşı & Jean Carpenter Efe

One of These Two by Güngör Tekçe

Running along the seashore you were a child
The way you entered my dreams you were shimmering blond
How could you have fit the sun into your sand-pail
You smiled at me–not really at me but at the mountaintops

You were a child whatever you were you must have been beautiful
Were the heavens really in place before then
Then I saw the flying fish that went sailing through your hair
You were mornings you were evenings most of all the late afternoons

I ran a long way at your side
I ran you passed me by
There is love and there is death–the two for which no words suffice
One of these two must have been you

translated by Jean Carpenter Efe

In Reply to Chia P’eng of the Mountains, Sent Upon Seeing That the Pine He Planted Outside My Office Has Begun to Prosper by Liu Tsung-yüan

Leonard Durso

Flourish and ruin keep leaving each other,
but no-mind stays, dark-enigma’s fruition.

The bloom of youth scatters steadily away
and grandeur crumbles to its tranquil end,

but mountain streams continue here in this
green pine you brought to this courtyard,

deep snows showing off its radiant beauty
and cold blossoms its kingfisher-greens.

At dawn, even a pure recluse must yearn:
now, I just invite clear wind for company.

translated by David Hinton

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Lyrics (4) by Sina Akyol

Leonard Durso

Stay here. In the noon courtyard.

Settle down at the simple language of time.

Take an interest in horizon-watching.

Experiment with the blue, the white, and the day.

Appreciate the oleander! Surprise me
by murmuring “It’s poison is the ointment
I apply to my skin.”

Try to translate
those feverish insects of August
and their sweaty songs into Turkish.

Learn the rather rich
styles of
washing the courtyard, pruning the vine,
walking barefoot.

Stay here. With the enduring time.
In the noon courtyard.

Absolve from your body. Strip
until you are your own self.

Pour refreshing water over your head.

Sleep soundly.

translated by Suat Karantay

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