On the Road to Tang Lake by P’eng Sun-yü

In the evening I gaze out from atop a high tower;
The sun’s radiance in the forest has been clear all day.
On Lonely Mountain the autumn garrison is cold,
Up the three branches of the Mao River the night tides are born.
Fishermen’s fires appear out in the main current,
Gull-topped waves stay bright all night long.
It’s time for our boat to stop for a moment:
The misty moon is just too filled with feeling.

translated by William H. Nienhauser, Jr.

Wind by Cahit Külebi

A wind just blew past this way
I ran but could not catch it
Where it had wandered about
I was not able to find out.

Obviously blowing in from the sea
It must have swept along the seashore
The smell of salt, tar, sweat
Must have nauseated it.

Then starting to climb towards the mountains
It must have herded the clouds like sheep
Caressing the grass on the plains
Must have nourished them.

If it has stopped by in the villages
It must have rocked cradles in dark humid rooms
Must have brought solace
To those working under the sun.

Then beginning to ascend towards the plains
In the poppy fields pink, lilac, white
In the arid soil blue thorns
Dust must have filled its eyes.

It must have stopped by in cities since it swept past me
Must have seen girls looking like poppies
A smile, a strand of hair, rouge and powder
It must have carried away.

A wind just blew past this way
I ran but could not catch it
Perhaps it would have told me
But I could not ask it.

translated by Suat Karantay

there are dates: for my mother

there are dates
one remembers
etched in one’s consciousness
numbers in stone
and this date
in January
I will never forget
Mercy Hospital
the doctors the nurses
you shivering
a door closing
and crying in Dr. Tassey’s arms
the calls to my sister Theresa
my brother Johnny
and George in my doorway
at two in the morning
our tears our tears
and you gone
leaving this emptiness
in my heart

I’m Out of the Clink by Mehmet Yaşın

Today I’m vying with the birds themselves
having been freed from darkness and solitude
the chance to stroll along a sunlit road
oh, how nice it is!

Today I smile at everyone I see
gazing my fill at every house and bus and tree
the chance to stroll on until the day I’m thrown back in
Oh, how nice it is!

translated by Suat Karantay

Women by Özdemir Asaf

I love you all so much.
You, you are the mothers of so many nations.
You give birth to children for fun.
Without even thinking
That one day they will become soldiers
And face to face will kill one another. . .
That they will become celebrities. . .
That they will become geniuses. . .
That they will become chiefs. . .
You give birth to children
To love them, to love them all over again.

All of you, of all ages
I love you every single part of you.
I just want to look at you all and hear you all
Because to love you all, to caress you all
all at once
is not possible.

They make paintings
They write poems. . .
They compose notes for you.
They play the saz
They drink, they get drunk.
For you.
For only you. . .

translated  by Ayşe Banu Karadağ