Mehmet Altun in translation: Poetry



I, (The) Wind!
Knocking on agitatedly closed doors
Swaying on sails, whirring on branches, am coming

I, (The) Wind!
Threatening your windmills, am coming
A purpose to your light, a maturity to your fight, am coming
I am coming from the North
From the traps you were caught in
To carry honey to the essence of an unripe fruit
İ am coming to become the voice of an ant in the dark, the desire of fire in the light

A tornado in a wave, a hiss in a song, frost in the winter say you
But I, I am perpetually overcoming a forbidden place


I, (The) Wind!
Know the moisture of the green, sky green farms
The legend of the Mediterranean stone, and the chill of the fire in Rome

, (The) Wind!
İn penetrating rain, staring at a wet lover
Know the loneliness, that seeps into the tears of the eye and love
I am coming from the West
Knowing the chateaux’s that a thousand struggles seeds fed
The Renaissance of crime and punishment, the Reform of believing
The wall and the truths of the mind, is from where I’m coming
From the tragedy of a crown wet by Nero’s tears
Arenas, the savageness of lions
                                                                the women of revolution İ know

Youth in Paris, history in Rome, the struggle in İstanbul say you
But I, I am perpetually coming from a love that destroys an era in fury


I, (The) Wind!
Know all the directions of the world
Beyond the clouds, the rain, the sea İ know

I, (The) Wind! I am coming from the South
From inside the consolation you find yourself
Passing between the breasts of a virgin
Through the sweat violating her
From the dark courtyard of an ancient temple İ am coming

A storm in the sea, a blizzard in the snow, a thunderstorm in the dust say you
But I, I am perpetually coming from a love that flows to itself


I, (The) Wind!
The cool of the balcony becomes my body
Through the sleep of the sun, not the night İ pass

I, (The) Wind!
Saw the waters steps, fishes in a thousand colours
My journey took me to the root of belief
İ am coming from the East
The earth of the land you worship
From seventh heaven, the mud roof of Babel, İ am coming
The flute of Tammuz İ know, the hoof of the young goat grazing
The sadness of a mother with no milk
                                                                The chest of a lamb still hungry İ know

Or that the first god was a shepherd
And that it stood at the volcano pit of the Upper Sea also

A curse on a mountain, a voice at the window, the boreas in spring say you
But I, I am perpetually coming from the place where a thousand faiths become one

                                                                                                           Translation from Turkish
                                                                                                           Mehmet Aksoy


                                                        Bring me two rivers born of pain

I swam in two rivers
Two fountains, flowed like two eyes
Two tongues gripped me, two embroidered kerchiefs, two fruit trees…
This is why İ was born in Kurdish, why İ love the universe in Turkish
My mother, for this reason
İs still a single coffee grain
A temple who’s door has never seen a lock
No pauper has been refused, no lamb hungry for milk

When the season opens to spring, it says the winter is war
İt says the dead of winter
You will know from the burnt forest
You will know, that the spring is the house of the mushroom and blackberry
That before the crop wilts you will be satisfied by the lands gift
And chasing after partridge…
Trout, carp and…
You will be satisfied
By the smell of wild flowers, a neighbour’s tea
İf the kernel flows, the grain’s ear pulls, the hour is evzel than the coin

İt says;
-You recognise the winter, autumn is the birth’s midwife for this reason
And threshing the birth house
My mother İ say, is Kurdish for this reason or
Kurdish my mother…

İf crying, is the sibling of laughing
Every lifetime has a season, every language a garden
My tongue that carves love like a carpenter, my lover a calligrapher
You are not the land that feeds me, but the land İ make love to
İ say my lover, my lover for this reason
İf İ still sweat in your nights, still a city-dweller of sorts
Like a house sitting, or accepting an address
My lover İ say, is Turkish for this reason or
Turkish the woman İ love
This is why İ say, the two faces of my identity
İ carry two photograph’s within me, two times the tales…

They took me to two rivers
İ chose two plains, two enclosed river basins…
Two ocean smells, two waves brought me up
İ held two hands
With one İ grew, with the other İ multiplied
İf İ still live each season twice
One is for my mother the other for my lover
İf İ multiply one life with two
İt is for love and for birth, İ know
My Kurdish, is my birth; my Turkish, is my love İ say

                                                                                              Translation from Turkish
                                                                                              Mehmet Aksoy

Ereternity: The original name of the poem “Evzel” is a word made by the poet  from the words Evvel (before- ere)-Ezel (eternity) which means both, “ereternity is the word made up for the translation.

Higher Sea

I don’t want to wander with heavy burdens
I don’t want huge bags, huge fights either...
I don’t want to be the falcon of a ruined history
And crushed under the base of a lost life when it’s old

One should be light as water, digestible, like carefree fruits...
The one you call human is the one who takes out silk from his fibres, kite from his breath
Well, what is the hurry of this street

Because of this
Neither the burden of objects, nor the weight of a human
I don’t want to wear the clothes that don’t fit me anymore
By the meanings of matter, killing boredom of hurry
That I am disgusted. Life’s war for “eternity” that always goes on,
Life, which always pulls us into the earth

The picture between us stands like a wall
The season which has sproutted all of a sudden, under the blue sky all of a sudden
And above the earth like a higher sea
What are you up to

Like blindfolded memories in child-plays
İt hits, hallucinations to wobbly shadows
And it’s required to run to caught screams which are wished in the name of gods
It’s required to run. Not only for saying the place that the sun sets
The judgement of the evening will look like a scarlet compass
It’s said. Every burden can be carried, yet the burden of a human is a poison.

Silent like carrying a disease and regardless to death
The endeavour to get rid of my crushed sides looking at your silhouette wandering between us

You’re my friend after all, and when your face comes into my mind, something breaks
Inside me. In love with alcohol like a neighbour tavern’s wall
And like a yard which has no other choice.
Sprinkled down onto the earth in summer as the dearest coolness
And swept like water. Somehow white is an impotent zeal for shirts that are in love with the sun,
Sweat is also a lover for time. Yet, the relation of poetry to women
is obscene as much as the relation of summer to water.
Or, both of them exhaust from some parts. By sucking, by causing to dry.
By changing life into a burden like taking revenge
And human by all means
Since, human’s burden is heavy
İt’s not carried even by a donkey

                                                                                         Translated from Turkish
                                                                                         Rabia (Yılmaz) Uski

Once I See You

“A ship goes by in me once I see you”
The sea gets full with radiance
I could put my heart into your palms
If you open your hand
“I would build a world out of your eyes”
And I’m proud of that

A cloud goes by in me when I see you
The sky gets full with rain
I could be a chilly forest
If you tell a tale
“I would build a world out of your eyes”
And I’m consoled by that

A regiment goes by in me when I see you
The earth gets full with fire
I could leave this bloody war
If you offer a word
“I would build a world out of your eyes”
And I’m shot by that

A wind goes by in me when I see you
The cosmos gets full with melody
I could be a fiddlestick on a violin
If you touch with a little pity
“I would build a world out of your eyes”
And I’m hurled by that

A child goes by in me when I see you
The soil gets full with virtue
I could be a blue sparrow
If you throw a handful of grain
“I would build a world out of your eyes”
And I’m scorched by that                                                                                        

Translated from Turkish Rabia (Yılmaz) Uski


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