Monthly Archives: June 2013

Poem 25 In Solidarity: Gezi Parkında bir Kuş Yuvası (A Bird Nest in Gezi Park)

by Müesser Yeniay

Gezi Parkında bir Kuş Yuvası

Nazım Hikmet’e saygıyla

Bir kuş yuvasından yazıyorum bunları
iki dal arasında, Gezi parkında
göğsüme bıçak gibi saplanıyor nefesim
göğü yıkmaya geliyorlar bütün yeryüzü halkıyla

bir kuş yuvasıyım Gezi parkında
iki dal arasında

burada insanlar zehirli
ağaçlar sökülmüş

kovuluyoruz annemizin
bizi davet ettiği dünyadan

kuş seslerini bombalıyorlar
-çıkaramaz kuşlar çil çil para sesini-

bir Ethem duyuluyor ateşler içinde Anka!
kaynak işçisi Ankara’da..
yığılıyor bedeni kuş tüyü gibi.

ölmeden toprak ediyorlar bizi
duman altında sokak çocukları ve kediler
kambur sırtlarında kaybolan rüya
kör gözlerle dünyaya bakılmaz artık
ya uyumak hiç ummadığın bir anda!
hiç ummadığın anda uyumak..

ben bir kuş yuvasıyım Gezi parkında
bir çift dal arasında

A Bird Nest in Gezi Park

In memory of Nâzım Hikmet with respect

I am writing these words from a bird nest
between two branches, in Gezi Park
like a knife my breath is stuck in my chest
they are coming to destroy the sky with all the people of earth

I am a bird nest in Gezi park
between two branches

here the people are poisonous
the trees are displanted

we are getting dismissed from
where our mothers invited us

they are bombing the twitters of birds
-they cannot produce the sound of cash-

an Ethem is heard, a simurg in fire!
welding worker in Ankara
his body is collapsing like a feather

they are turning us into earth before we die
under smoke street children and cats…
on their hunchback a lost dream
eyes blinded cannot see the world…
or to sleep in an unexpected moment!
in an unexpected moment to sleep…

I am a bird nest in Gezi park
between a pair of branches

Müesser Yeniay

Müesser Yeniay

Müesser Yeniay
1984 Bayındır, İzmir doğumlu. Ege Üniversitesi, Edebiyat Fakültesi, İngiliz Dili ve Edebiyatı mezunu. II. Yunus Emre (2006), Homeros Attila İlhan (2007), Ali Rıza Ertan (2009) şiir ödülleri sahibi.

İlk kitabı Dibine Düşüyor Karanlık da 2009’da çıktı. Dünya şiirinden çevirileri kapsayan ikinci kitabı Evimi Dağlara Kurdum 2010’da; son kitabı Yeniden Çizdim Göğü ise 2011’de yayımlandı. İranlı şair Behruz Kia’nın şiirlerini Lalelere Requiem adıyla Türkçeye çevirdi. Diğer çevirileri: Gerard Augustin/Seçme Şiirler (Eray Canberk, Başak Aydınalp, Metin Cengiz ile birlikte, 2011), Michel Cassir/Kişisel Antoloji (Eray Canberk, Metin Cengiz ile birlikte, 2011).

Şiirleri İngilizce, Fransızca, İtalyanca, Sırpça, Arapça ve İbranice’ye çevrildi. Bosna-Hersek, İsrail, Sırbistan ve Amerika’da düzenlenen uluslararası şiir festivallerine katıldı.
Şiirden dergisi editörüdür. P.E.N ve Türkiye Yazarlar Sendikası üyesidir. Bilkent Üniversitesinde Türk Edebiyatı alanında yüksek lisans öğrenimine devam etmektedir.

MÜESSER YENİAY was born in İzmir, 1984; graduated from Ege University, with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has won several awards in Turkey including the Yunus Emre, Homeros Attila İlhan and the Ali Riza Ertan prize.

Her first book Dibine Düşüyor Karanlık da was published in 2009 and her second book Evimi Dağlara Kurdum is a collection of translation from world poetry. Her latest book Yeniden Çizdim Göğü was published in 2011. She has translated the poems of Persian poet Behruz Kia under the name of Lalelere Requiem.

Her poems have been translated into English, French, Serbian, Arabic, Hebrew and Italian. She participated in the poetry festivals in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Israel, Serbia and United States.

Müesser is the editor of the literature magazine Şiirden (of Poetry). She is currently pursuing an M.A. in Turkish literature at Bilkent University, Ankara, and is also a member of PEN and the Writers Syndicate of Turkey.


Noam Chomsky’s Call to the World about the Taksim Gezi Park Resistance

Transcript is from where it is available in 15 languages:

What is taking place on the streets of Istanbul and other Turkish cities today is first of all, an inspiring illustration of what the general population can do to combat repression, violence amongst far reaching plans to change the society so as to undermine the decent human survival in the interests of business and the corporate structures.

What is happening in Turkey is particularly significant because of Turkey’s major role in the region being the most important country in the region. Whatever happens in Turkey is going to have a very broad influence -already beginning to influence the East and the West.

It is part of a major uprising, internationally against the neoliberal assault on the global population that has been going on for a generation. It takes different forms in different places, but it is happening everywhere.

In the beginning of this millennium, Latin America -after many years of struggle- basically pulled out of Western -mostly US- domination and began to move in some independent direction.
Some countries refused to pay the improper debts that had been imposed. Others have sought other ways to extricate themselves from the neoliberal shackles that had impeded the growth and development, caused enormous difficulties for the population, in and throughout, North Africa.

The Arab Spring -now in a kind of a temporary period of waiting- began to follow the same course. Also, reacting strongly to the impact of the economic programs, imposed by the international financial institutions and Western powers generally, and to the local authorities, dictators implementing them. Right now in advance, we do not know where it will go.

Turkey is joining now other similar developments around Europe -very strongly in Greece, also in Spain- and here in the United States as well such as the popular uprisings in Wisconsin and Zucotti Park with the Occupy Movement.

The economic policies of the past generation that have been extremely beneficial to the tiny sectors of concentrated wealth have generally had a severe impact on populations worldwide.
In Turkey, the last few years have seen a very unfortunate regression. The 1990s were a complete horror story. But by the early years of this millennium there was a notable improvement; yet, there is now regression, Turkey now for example has more journalists in jail than any country in the world and other forms of repression are taking place.

The population is now rising up against it. These were the immediate causes in the effort to basically destroy the last open public space in the center of Istanbul, in the interests of a (historical) military installation, a mosque, commercialization, gentrification, and destroying the traditional character of the city and it has now spread to much broader issues.

For the international community, those who are concerned with human rights, justice, freedom, the welfare for the general population, this should be an occasion for an opportunity for support and solidarity.

And there are, fortunately, solidarity activities taking place all over but also an inspiration for their own struggles. These are all international struggles. There should be a lot of mutual support and interaction.

For the great powers who have been imposing these systems, it is slowly destroying Europe, it is having harmful effects in the United States, this should be a warning that they should put an end to these policies and return to paying attention to the needs and concerns of the general population, not just to a tiny sector of corporate power and concentrated wealth.

But the events in Turkey themselves are right now kind of a beacon of hope and of opportunity which deserve the strongest possible support. And one can only express admiration for the people on the frontlines and hope for their success in their just and very significant struggle.

Taksim everywhere, resistance everywhere! Noam Chomsky Professor (Emeritus) in the Department of Linguistics & Philosophy at MIT

Poem 24 In Solidarity: Nazim Hikmet’s Çankiri Prison, 1938

Tr. Joshua Weiner

ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff A Version

Today is Sunday.
Today, for the first time, they let me go out into the sun.
And I stood there I didn’t move,
struck for the first time, the very first time ever:
how far away from me the sky is
ffffffffffffffffff how blue it is
ffffffffffffffffff how wide.
I sat down, in respect, in awe, I sat down on the ground,
I leaned my back against the wall.
In this moment, there were no waves to fall into;
in this moment, there was no liberty, and no wife, my wife.
There was only the earth beneath me, the sun above me, and me.
And how I am grateful, I am happy, to have this thing I call my life.

Poem copyright © 2013 by Joshua Weiner. Reprinted from “The Figure of a Man Being Swallowed by a Fish,” University of Chicago Press, 2013, by permission of the author.

Joshua Weiner -Ralph Alswang Photographerwww.ralphphoto.com202-487-5025Joshua Weiner is the author of three books of poetry, most recently, The Figure of a Man Being Swallowed by a Fish (Chicago, 2013). He is also the poetry editor of Tikkun magazine. A professor of English at the University of Maryland, he lives with his family in Washington DC.

Poem 23 In Solidarity: No. Because

By Amy Key

No. Because

– I want to lie down on the grass
– It’s too early to sleep
– I do not respect you
– The solstice is coming
– I am not tired
– You don’t control me
– I’ll wake up to the birds
– Look at my face
– I’ll stay up all night
– Repeat what I’m saying
– We have discussed this before
– I’ll stay here with my friends
– You’d think I’d be cold
– We gain strength through resistance
– What? I’m not listening

Amy Key

Amy Key

Amy Key is a poet, editor and events organiser. Her debut full collection Luxe is forthcoming from Salt Publishing.

Poem 22 In Solidarity: Çatlak

By Gonca Özmen


Varsın gecede birer sis çanı olalım
Varsın eksik desinler bize, huysuz desinler
Varsın kuyruğunuz var desinler
Varsın arayalım o kuyruğu çocukken telaşla
Varsın ardımızda bıraktığımız ışıltılı çizgiyi görmesin onlar
Varsın ağzımda sakladığımı seni bilmesinler
Varsın uluorta sevemiyor olayım ayaklarını
Varsın bizden bilsinler ömrün çatlağını
Varsın kanımız usul değsin onların yataklarına
Varsın uzun çayırlar dileyelim ikimizden
Varsın uzun çayırlar olmadı diyelim bir gün
Varsın karalığım bulaşsın karalığına
Varsın iki kadın patlatsın gövdesini aynı anda
Varsın iki ağaç devrilelim apansız yol ortasına
Varsın iki otobüs çarpışalım onların aşklarında
Varsın sendeki har bendeki dağı dövsün

Gonca Özmen

Gonca Özmen

1982 yılında Burdur’un Tefenni ilçesinde doğdu. İstanbul Üniversitesi İngiliz Dili ve Edebiyatı Bölümü’nden mezun oldu (2004) ve yüksek lisansını tamamladı. (2008) Halen aynı bölümde doktora öğrencisidir.

1997 Yaşar Nabi Nayır Gençlik Ödülleri’nde “dikkate değer” bulundu. 1999 Ali Rıza Ertan ve 2000 Orhon Murat Arıburnu Şiir Ödülleri’nde birincilik aldı. 2003’te İstanbul Üniversitesi İngiliz Dili ve Edebiyatı Anabilim Dalı Berna Moran Şiir Yarışması’nda birincilik ödülünü, 2005 Homeros İnceleme Ödülü’nde “Edip Cansever’in ‘Kaybola’ Şiiri Üzerine”adlı incelemesiyle üçüncülük ödülünü kazandı.

Kuytumda adlı ilk şiir kitabı 2000 yılında Hera Yayınları’ndan çıktı. İkinci şiir kitabı Belki Sessiz ise Şubat 2008’de Yapı Kredi Yayıncılık tarafından yayımlandı. Kitaplarının yeni basımları Kırmızı Kedi Yayınevi’nce yapılmaktadır.

Şiirleri İngilizce, Almanca, Fransızca, İspanyolca, Slovence, Romence, Farsça, Yunanca ve İbranice’ye çevrildi. Heidelberg, Hamburg, Berlin, Paris, Lodeve, Slovenya, Karadağ ve İsrail’de düzenlenen uluslararası şiir festivallerine katıldı.

Seçme şiirleri, The Sea Within (İçerdeki Deniz) adıyla Şubat 2011’de İngiltere’de Shearsman Yayınevi tarafından George Messo çevirisiyle yayımlandı.

Çağdaş İrlanda Şiiri Seçkisi’ni ve İlhan Berk’in ölümünden sonra kalan şiirlerinden oluşan Çiğnenmiş Gül’ü yayına hazırladı. Ç.N. (Çevirmenin Notu) isimli çeviri edebiyatı dergisinin söyleşi editörlüğünü yapmaktadır.


Gonca Özmen graduated from the English Language and Literature Department of Istanbul University in 2004, holds an M.A. and is now studying for a PhD. Her first poetry book Kuytumda (In My Nook) was published in 2000 when she was eighteen years old. She was awarded a Yaşar Nabi Nayır Youth Prize, the Ali Rıza Ertan Poetry Prize, the Orhan Murat Arıburnu Poetry Prize and the Berna Moran Poetry Prize. She is one of the editors of the literary translation magazine Ç.N. (Çevirmenin Notu). Her poems have been translated into Spanish, French, English, German, Slovenian and Persian. Her second book Belki Sessiz (Maybe Quiet) came out in 2008 and The Sea Within – Selected Poems, translated into English by George Messo, was published by Shearsman in 2011. She lives in İstanbul.

Poem 21 In Solidarity: Membrane

by Sophie Mayer


In the morning, there were no more tears. We had been rendered dry-eyed,
whatever they fired. Mask, milk, veil: our eyes open beneath and unblinking. Burn, yes: at gas and its associations, its membranous insistence. This us is a skin, a sheath for green or trigeminal; porous, vulnerable. Surrounding it. Shout as shield and: spray of air, hair-fine and falling as grass-seed. Sown (from slingshot or peashooter), striking ground and/as galaxy. The hard skin, the wings: we know this flight (street to street to street —

And sleep — two sleeps — millions — curled around — in rocky ground

Then the rain came (again) and seeds re. Called or membered: thin and limber, shooting softness into soil, eating deep earth.Wheat, barley, and chickpeas first brought to hand in our fertile: this bedtime tale of Anatolia. Tulips first grew here, and irises. See(d) our eyes. In each a tree, and we. Winged and skinned and, still, singing.

Ceyda Sungur- Shower of pepper spray turns woman in a red dress into Turkey’s image of resistance. Photograph: Osman Orsal/Reuters

Ceyda Sungur- Shower of pepper spray turns woman in a red dress into Turkey’s image of resistance. Photograph: Osman Orsal/Reuters

Sophie Mayer was inspired by this photo of Ceyda Sungur being sprayed with pepper spray.

Cover: Sarah Crewe & Sophie Mayer - " Signs of The Sistership". Knives, Forks and Spoons Press.

Cover: Sarah Crewe & Sophie Mayer – ” Signs of The Sistership”. Knives, Forks and Spoons Press.

Sophie Mayer is the co-editor of Solidarity Park, and three other poetic activist projects: Catechism: Poems for Pussy Riot, Binders Full of Women, and Fit to Work: Poets against Atos. Her most recent collection is signs of the sistership, co-authored with Sarah Crewe and published by Knives, Forks and Spoons.


The UK’s socialist newspaper, the Morning Star, runs John Kinsella’s poem “Greetings” in its Well Versed column today.