Birds And Clouds by Melih Cevdet Anday

I found it in the cellar of a caravanserai
Under a copper lamp,
An ancient handwritten manuscript of the Isagoge,
Perhaps dating from the Seljuk Empire,
Wine stains on every page.
I don’t know whether it was the author or a reader,
But right at the end, in a secret place,
He added these frightentng words:
The sky is our brain’s membrane,
Birds and clouds wander around in it.

untitled poem by Ahmet Haşim

A river of fire
between your soul and mine
mine unburdened itself
of this love’s impossible wound

As this glitter reflected on her
I ran away from that look, that lip
I looked at her silently, from far,
as this river reflected on her . . .

translated by Murat Nemet-Nejat

Remembering Ahmet Haşım by Oktay Rıfat

The sun in mist;
A wild duck fallen from a cloud
Maybe a young great-crested grebe,
On its back a fine blood streak, perhaps
The color of water, perhaps of loneliness,
Head drooping, wet, it floats. A few feathers
Left in the silence, something like evening.
Shore and sky, twinned one under the other.
It struck water, turbid, unclear,
The rickety quay, remnants here and there,
Lake-birds hanging their heads in thought.

translated by Ruth Christie & Richard McKane

A Rough Pillow by Oktay Rıfat

Where were we? Here were we?—Now it’s impossible to tell.
It was a rough pillow we shared!
It was us or perhaps someone else who was like us,
The fruit of our love, the immortal child.

Soaking wet from the rain of those dreams,
Our coming smeared with sticky blood
Will never go out of my mind,
The gentle pulling out like swimming
In the clear sunny waters of the days,
Turning into ourselves from our mother’s womb,
That first scream, that first blue, that first breath of air.

translated by Ruth Christie & Richard McKane

Abraham by Asaf Halet Çelebi

Abraham
Topple the idols inside me
With the ax you hold
Who is the one
replacing the broken idols with new ones?

The sun shattered my icehouse
Those mighty blocks have fallen
Necks of idols are broken
Abraham
Who is the one
putting the sun in my house?

Nebuchadnezzar made the idols
of the beauties wandering in the hanging gardens
I am the one cuddles those timeless gardens
Beauties stayed with me
Abraham
Who is the one
breaking my head
seeing it as an idol?

translated by  Burak Tıraş