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