The Guest by Orhan Veli Kanik

I was bored yesterday towards the evening.
Two packages of cigarettes didn’t do me a thing;
Tried to write, no good either;
For the first time in years I played the violin,
Walked around,
Kibitzed watching people play backgammon,
Sang songs off key,
Caught flies–a boxful.
Finally, damn it,
I came here to see you.

Robinson Crusoe by Cahit Sitki Taranci

Robinson, my clever Robinson
you don’t know how I envy you.
If you could only show me your island,
there I would find peace of mind.

I’ll be the ship, you be the captain.
We can unfurl the sail one morning.
The sea becomes our shadow in the sun.
The journey. And suddenly we’re at our island.

I wish you could be my interpreter,
introduce me to the fish,
to wild birds and flowers,
say to them about me: “He’s one of us.”

I know how to climb trees.
I can tell a fruit that’s ripe.
I can also manage breaking stones,
making fires, cooking food.

Robinson, understanding Robinson,
if your island hasn’t sunk yet
take me there
before the seaways close.

untitled poem by Cahit Kulebi

Rosy lips
your white hands
hold my hands, babe,
hold them a while.

In the village where I was born
no birch trees;
I pine for cool water, babe,
caress me a while.

In the village where I was born
no wheat stems,
toss your hair around, babe,
toss it around.

Where I was born
bandits prowl at night;
I hate loneliness, babe,
talk to me a while.

the village where I was born
only northern wind;
my lips are cracked, babe,
kiss them a while.

In the village where I was born
only sour faces;
I am shy and sad, babe,
make me laugh a while.

Your face like Anatolia is beautiful;
my village is beautiful too;
now you tell me about your village, babe,
tell me for a while.

The Bee by Cemal Sureya

You are watching a bee whizzing by in the room
The way
You ate your milk pudding
Three days ago.

Only after mere three days of my cajoling,
Coaxing, feeding, lying
You reached this serenity:
Thin, naked
Your pale, still unripe breasts showing,
Leaning against the board,
Nibbling a mackintosh apple. . .

translated by Murat Nemet-Nejat