from For Distant Destinies by Turgut Uyar

I know, one day when sitting at a park
A hand will touch my shoulders as rain
A pair of eyes, an invitation, a heart
I’ll leave everyone behind . . .
Leaves will fall, flowers will wither

There will be an autumn, a morning and a rain
With scents of the earth and of people,
In a howling drunkenness, for the years
I’ll leave, go on my own.

translated by Omer Kursat

Every Woman Knows Her Own Tree by Bejan Matur

When I came to you
I meant to unfurl my wings
Over that lifeless city
Built of black stone,
To perch on the branch of a tree I found
And call out in pain.

Every woman knows her own tree.

That night I flew.
I passed the city where darkness was afraid to go.
When shadowless, the soul was alone. I howled.

translated by George Messo

Sand by Gülten Akın

I had a lover
Who sent sand from the city where he lived
And yet it was the wind there I always wondered about
Was it tame wild incessant?
Did it suddenly appear hurling in the sky
What it took from the ground?

Later there were cities we shared
The wind a master but me untrained
It blew, raging, came and went
Sand filled my eyes

translated by George Messo

In Love with the Wind by Leyla Şahin

alone, and alone before too
from his eyes a carnation clings on to the world
in the middle of that world he was alone.

his kite never once reached the clouds
in the middle of that world he was alone.

the sun never once warmed his heart
in all the winters there were he was alone.

he lived a timid, fearful life
alone, alone among voices.

in his vision and his pose he was alone
in his memories alone, he had no songs:
in the evening he was most alone . . .

translated by George Messo

Broken Windows by Leyla Şahin

we’re hopeful migrants
we pitch our tents in the open
now open your arms
a bird multiples in air

we’re a raised voice
we rise with our eyelashes wet
put your arms around me
it’s love that rears the day

our eyes and brows cast down
walk now through roses, sweat
(windows broken
you can’t take me away from sorrow
it’s only for you that I cry)

a bird multiples in air
my eyes overrun my eyes
I’d have been as mute as stone, but for you

translated by George Messo

Pale Blue by Aslı Durak

Hold my hand
Not to carry me far away . . . no.
My roots and branches
Will strain for distant clouds

Maybe my eyes
Are in that same pavilion of loneliness now
Let my face again be the statue of sadness

When you beautify me
I’m a pale blue woman now

translated by George Messo

Poem 3 by Enver Ercan

I had unraveled
under the spell of a garden
with stars overlooking its pool

she was bending over the water
a swan appeared

did the swan resemble the poppy
or was the poppy the swan
the question did not even occur to me

in that childish afternoon
when words retreated into silence
was kissing everything it passed.

translated by Suat Karantay