Tag Archives: #DirenGezi

Poem 59 in Solidarity: Mappa tat-Turkija / Map of Turkey

by Antoine Cassar

Anatolia

Anatolia

Map of Turkey

Tongue of rugged silk, over
or under which harmonic vowels glide.
Arm and fist, clenched too tightly
for the Ottoman ring, now resting opposite,
hanging off the Balkan diamond.
Magic carpet, swirling amid the fig trees,
floating between the fairy chimneys,
rising above the tear gas
from city to city.
Continental drawbridge
over which Geōrgios and Nâzım
trade places and return.

Out of the fertile crescent, the Anatolian
mare trudges over Upper
Kurdistan, the Armenian
Highland, leaps over
the womb of the Euphrates, the source
of the Tigris, gallops
along the cattle-starred mountain chain, juts
her head out into the sea at sunset,
invites the waves
to caress the curve of her chin
and fizzle with the foam at her mouth.

Beware! From across the Dardanelles,
the butt, stock and barrel of a rifle
may soon plug one of her nostrils
spraying pepper into her pharnyx.

Beware! Burrowing through the acidic sands
and Volgoneft oil, the mole climbing
out of the Sea of Marmara
may soon poke her in the eye.

A bell rings in her throat,
at the Gulf of İskenderun
her neck itches under the halter.
Beware! A cough, however slight,
may shudder the land enough
to knock over the nargiles
in the old madrasa courtyards,
to cause the yoga students
and standing readers
to lose their balance,
to topple the makeshift libraries
at Gezi Park.

On the Bosphorus shore, amid the mist,
the Anatolian mare waits with hüzün.
Watches the foam-white gulls
follow the wake of the pontoon.
Watches the minarets pierce the clouds,
pining toward the sun in descent.
Watches the whirling dervishes
open up to the sky like orchids,
ready to be picked
by the scythe of the moon.

Beware! On the Bosphorus shore,
amid the mist, the Anatolian mare,
like a Trojan unicorn,
waits to sneak into the 21st-
century Ottoman palace
to cough her heart out,
shattering the boutique windows,
shattering the neon adverts,
shattering the global logos,
returning the park
and all its memories
to the people of İstanbul.

Mappa tat-Turkija

Ilsien tal-ħarir imħatteb, li fuqu
jew taħtu jiżolqu
b’armonija l-vokali.
Driegħ u ponn, issikkat wisq
għaċ-ċurkett Ottoman, mitluq biswitu,
imdendel mid-djamant Balkaniku.
Tapit imsaħħar, idur mas-siġar tat-tin,
iħuf bejn iċ-ċmieni fatati,
itir ‘il fuq mill-gass tad-dmugħ
minn belt għal belt.
Pont kontinentali mniżżel
li minnu Geōrgios u Nâzım
iparttu posthom u jirritornaw.

Minn ġol-minġel għammiel, id-debba
Anatoljana tgħaddi tħakwek
mill-Kurdistan ta’ Fuq, mill-Għoljiet
Armenji, taqbeż
ġuf l-Ewfrati, għajn
it-Tigris, tiġri
tul il-katina tal-muntanji
mkewkba bil-baqar, tixref rasha
għal fuq il-baħar ma’ nżul ix-xemx,
tistieden lill-mewġ
iħarħar mal-ħnejja ta’ geddumha
u jitfexfex mar-ragħwa ta’ ma’ fommha.

Ar’hemm! Mix-xaqliba l-oħra tad-Dardanelli,
iċ-ċipp, il-maqbad, u l-kanna ta’ xkubetta
għandhom mnejn isoddulha l-minfes
u jroxxulha l-bżar sal-qiegħ ta’ ħalqha.

Ar’hemm! Għaddejja tħaffer fl-irmiel aċidużi
u ż-żejt tal-Volgoneft, it-talpa tielgħa
minn ġol-Baħar ta’ Marmara
għandha mnejn tniggiżha f’għajnha.

Qanpiena ddoqq fi griżmejha,
fil-Kalanka ta’ İskenderun
taħt il-kappestru għonqha jħokk.
Ar’hemm! Sogħla, imqar ħafifa,
għandha mnejn theżżeż l-art biżżejjed
biex twaqqa’ n-nargiles
fil-btieħi tal-madrasas antiki,
biex ittellef il-bilanċ
tal-istudenti tal-yoga
u l-qarrejja weqfin,
biex iġġarraf il-libreriji spontanji
fil-Park ta’ Gezi.

Ma’ xatt il-Bosfru, ġoċ-ċpar,
id-debba Anatoljana
tinstenna bil-hüzün.
Tgħasses il-gawwi abjad ragħwa
jsegwi r-rima taċ-ċattra.
Tgħasses il-minaretti jinfdu s-sħab,
jixxennqu għax-xemx fi nżulha.
Tgħasses id-driewex iduru durella
jiftħu lejn is-sema donnhom orkidej,
lesti ħa jinqatgħu
minn minġel il-qamar.

Ar’hemm! Ma’ xatt il-Bosfru,
ġoċ-ċpar, id-debba Anatoljana,
bħal unikornu ta’ Trojja,
tistenna ħa tinfilza fil-palazz
Ottoman tas-seklu 21
biex tisgħol kemm tiflaħ qalbha,
tkisser il-vetrini tal-boutiques,
tkisser ir-riklami tan-neon,
tkisser il-logos globali,
trodd lura l-park
bit-tifkiriet kollha tiegħu
lin-nies ta’ İstanbul.

Antoine Cassar’s writes on his blog: “in admiration of the çapullers protesting the planned construction of an Ottoman-style shopping centre at Gezi Park, countering the tear gas and pepper spray with street theatre, yoga classes, and makeshift libraries, I translated Nâzım Hikmet’s Invitation into Maltese. The first stanza of Hikmet’s poem compares the Anatolian peninsula to the head of a mare galloping out of Asia. The poetic Map of Turkey above  is inspired by this cartographic image, and by the creative resistance of the çapullers of Gezi. (Read more about the Atlas project here.)  I wrote it simultaneously in Maltese and English, allowing the two languages to guide each other freely. They should be considered as equal originals. It’s an interesting dynamic; in the Maltese, the images seem to come across more vividly, and more physically, also with the help of alliteration, whereas the English helps me to simplify the rhythm and poetic logic.”

Antoine Cassar

Antoine Cassar

Antoine Cassar is a Maltese poet, translator, editor, and cultural organiser, and a creative activist for migrants’ rights and universal freedom of movement. Born in London to Maltese parents in 1978, Cassar grew up between England, Malta and Spain, and worked and studied in Italy, France and Luxembourg. One of Cassar’s most important poetic works to date, Passaport (2009), printed in the form of an anti-passport for all peoples and all landscapes, has been published and presented in eight languages, in a number of cities in Europe, Asia and North America, with profits donated to local associations providing assistance to refugees and asylum seekers in nine countries. Since March 2013, Antoine Cassar is the editor of Le monde n’est pas rond.

Poem 55 in Solidarity: Here and There

by Karin Karakaşlı

Here and There

I’m taking the night ferry
a fat firefly
the coast a diamond necklace spread before me
sparkling here and there

In my dream
dressed in knives from head to toe
as I spun round
I cut whoever came near me
Each side was blood on steel
steel on blood
spurting here and there

I tried out all the words and then fell silent
I needed a new curse
words never spoken in vain
as old as the Stone Age
a cry
raging from here and there

This poem was translated by the Poetry Translation Centre translation workshop with a literal translation by Canan Marasligil. You can read the original,  the literal translation and more poems from this workshop on the Poetry Translation Centre’s website.

Karin Karakaşlı

Karin Karakaşlı

Karin Karakaşlı was born in Istanbul in 1972. She graduated in Translation and Interpreting Studies. From 1996 to 2006 she worked at the Turkish-Armenian weekly newspaper Agos as editor, head of the editorial department and columnist on both Turkish and Armenian pages. She has completed an M.A. in Comparative Literature, works as a translation instructor at the university and as a teacher of Armenian language and literature in an Armenian High School. She is currently a columnist at Agos and Radikal newspapers, and continues to write fiction and poetry.

Her books include a children’s novel called Ay Denizle Buluşunca (When the Moon Meets the Sea), short story collections Başka Dillerin Şarkısı (Song of Other Languages), and Can Kırıkları (Splinters of the Heart), works of poetry,Her Kimsen SANA (Whoever you are this is FOR YOU), a novel is Müsait Bir Yerde İnebilir Miyim? (Can I Get Out Somewhere You Don’t Mind?).

She is the co-writer of the research book Türkiye’de Ermeniler: Cemaat, Birey, Yurttaş (Armenians in Turkey: Community, Individual, Citizen).

Canan Marasligil

Canan Marasligil

Canan Marasligil is a freelance writer, literary translator, editor and screenwriter based in Amsterdam. Her focus is on contemporary Turkish literature and comics from countries like Turkey, Algeria and the UK. Canan was a translator in residence at the Free Word Centre in London in 2013 where she developed activities around translation, literature and freedom of expression. She is also co-curator of Istanbulles, the International Comics Festival of Istanbul, Web editor for the European Cultural Foundation’s Narratives for Europe project and author at Publie.Net (France). Detailed projects can be found on her website.

Poem 54 In Solidarity: Taksim

Helmuth A. Niederle

Taksim

Wenn so eine Zeit kommt
in der das Aussprechen des freien Wortes
gefährlich wird
Wenn die Zeit gekommen ist
für Wasserwerfer, Tränengas und Schlagstöcke
Wenn so eine Zeit kommt
die Menschen von öffentlichen Plätzen vertreibt
Wenn die Zeit gekommen ist
in der Polizisten ordentlich
Jagd auf Demonstranten machen

wird es für die Machthaber gefährlich:
Es ist die Zeit gekommen
in der das Träumen verboten ist
und die Menschen erst recht zu träumen wagen!

Helmuth A. Niederle was born in Vienna and is a fiction writer, editor and poet. He contributed to “Catechism. Poems for Pussy Riot”. His last publication was “Trakt geräumt. verba in angustiis. Lyrik”. Helmuth A. Niederle lives in Vienna.

Poem 53 In Solidarity: Gel Gör Beni Aşk Neyledi #direngezi

Andrea Brady

Gel Gör Beni Aşk Neyledi #direngezi

We walk burning, itching, streaming all over,
cascading Mungyeong yellow. Love or its sister/
forces has stained Cumhuriyet Caddesi
with blood but les pavés pressed
hand to hand dry flowers become barricades,
underneath, roots of the red apple.
We aren’t static, aren’t mad.
Come see what our revolution has done to us!

Some nights blow hot Jenix up to infant windows,
some days the roads smoke under our feet.
Sometimes we pop our faces against rubber insects,
return weeping milk against water cannon to fill
the sadırvan for our initiation to real life,
clear our eyes in Belgrade’s black forest waters,
infinite fireworks gathering burnt campers,
grey wolves and electors. Come see
what our revolution has done to us!

We march from Topkapı on the Golden Road
tweeting and drumming about our love.
Who cares about the blind face of TOMA
trudges the howling man, the standing man,
the gazi, revolutionary readers, keep watch over us.
Millions of eyes on the icon, Kemalist Pantocrator,
come see what our revolution has done to us!

Our faces blanched with lemon, our eyes are wet.
In the tents the akoimetai of İmrahor Camii play dominoes
and Muslims code with socialists and greens.
Our reality is no longer numb, our hearts shielded
by the watch in our pocket will be the trigger.
Chiapas, Sofia, Rio, Valparaíso, Cairo, you know our state,
Come see what our revolution has done to us!

We are the çapulcu, standing in revolution’s garden,
building its crèche and library. Our power endures
assault, puts its back into the scars of outstanding.
We hold back the generals at the Golden Gate.
Shout down white Russians in the çiçek pasaj.
We are the occupiers of Istiklal Avenue
and fill nights with the ammunition of our sounds.
Scratched from head to foot, hackers, blinded
and spinning drunk with love and athletic on the rebound:
Come see what our revolution has done to us!

ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff in solidarity hope and desire / and with apologies to Yūnus Emre

Artist:Taha Alkan.'History in the Making'

Artist:Taha Alkan.’History in the Making’

Andrea Brady was born in Philadelphia and lives in London. She is the author of five books of poems, including Wildfire: A Verse Essay on Obscurity and Illumination (2010), Mutability: Scripts for Infancy (2012) and Cut from the Rushes (2013).

Poem 52 in Solidarity: after the fiction

by Olumide Popoola

after the fiction

when the credits drop away below
horizon level just below where we can

read the urges that push, that initiate to
say that it will not always be like this

will not end here, not be one of those after
the happy ending, glaring like a creepy sunset

blinding so much, one cannot see
like the credits vanish from the screen

like news that disappears and finds itself
re shaped threats, irregular reporting wavering

banners of uncertain truths. reporting being in
the facts and in fact something is not right here

now long before or long after anything can
be declared ending, declaring always so telling

of who gets to speak what when where and how
much with which media, but when starting it is

rising it is, gaining momentum. so, long before
ends should be uttered, where words find new

connections and we can look comfortably at
the horizon or any screen without the sharp drop

of disappearance, of any alarming sort and no words
will need to fall off any screens to serve the illusion

long before or long after, whichever comes first
we taste this. the way it doesn’t silence but

promotes. the way reality drops close in the is here
is really here. in the way we shape our longings

our intimate encounters, imaginations of space,
shared, emanating voices rising, moments

un-drowned, un-dropped, un-blanked or hidden
but. available. now. rising. rising.

Olumide Popoola (c) Regine Romain

Olumide Popoola (c) Regine Romain

London-based Nigerian-German Olumide Popoola presents internationally as author, speaker and performer. Her publications include essays, poetry, short stories and the novella this is not about sadness, the play Also by Mail as well as recordings in collaboration with musicians. www.olumidepopoola.com

Poem 51 In Solidarity: Zones of Frequency

by Theodoros Chiotis

Zones of Frequency

1.

“Let it be told
to the future world”:

We will still be able to breathe
kkkkkkwhen the air turns thicker.

We are learning from Doctor Moreau
kkkkkkthe codes needed to assemble new faces.

2.

Summer soldiers
twilight zealots
homes turned into barracks.

All these are echoes of previous years:

“We did not make proper use of
last winter,
kkkkkkkkkkkkneither could we,
while we were in a dependent state”

3.

Play Grand Theft Auto.
Lay on the ground.
Don’t cause trouble.

An invasion, described in a once familiar language:

“If you are not contributing to (the) movement
then why are you here?”

4.

Give (your) body
to what does not resemble you.

You might think otherwise but
Psycho was never about hygiene.

5.

Instructions:

Sit still.
Displace the mirth.
Break the meeting.
Occupy all four hemispheres.
Repeat something that did not exist until now.

6.

A map for a new respiratory system.
Nitrous oxide replaced by tear gas.
Our head and face boundaries collapse.

kkkkkkkkkkkkNow: cut across the canvas.

Occupy Gezi – by Adbusters

Occupy Gezi – by Adbusters


Theodoros Chiotis has studied Classics and Modern Language at the universities of London and Oxford. His work has appeared in Adventures in Form (Penned in the Margins), Catechism: Poems for Pussy Riot (English Pen),Otoliths, Fit to Work: Poets Against ATOS, Tears in the Fence, Bad Robot Poetry, Ποιητική, Εντευκτήριο, Παγιδευμένοι στο διαδίκτυο (Patakis), aglimpseof[φρμκ] and Poeticanet. His work has been featured at the Book Festival of Croatia (2012), in the Invisible Architecture installation (2013) and in the Mercy/Liverpool Biennial podcast.

Poem 50 In Solidarity: तीन कविताहरु (Three Poems)

Durgalal Shrestha

तीन कविताहरु

१=
तारमा अड्किएको चङ्गा झैँ
बेरिइरहनेछ मेरो आवाज
यो वायूमण्डलमा,
भोलि यो बाटो आउनेहरुलाई
सुनाइरहनेछ यसले मेरो कथा ।

२=
कत्ति छैन चालचुल
न चलेकै छ पातपतिङ्गर,
मौन– सबका सब मौन Û
हैन, यो निदाएको हैन,
बरु हो– पर्खिँदापर्खिँदै
पर्खाइको पराकाष्ठामा पुगेको ।
३=
घाम डुब्नै आँट्यो
मेरो जाने बेला भयो,
सम्झना Û
हिँड, सँगै जाउँ
फेरि यता
आइरहन नपरोस् मलाई ।

Three poems

1.
Like a kite caught in wire
My voice will be enduring in space,
It will keep passing on my story
To the passersby for all time to come!

2.
Everything is unmoving
Not even the crackle of leaves,
Silence… everything is quiet,
No, this is not a state of slumber,
Rather, it’s reaching the climax of wait
On the process of waiting.

3.
The sun is about to set down
It’s time for me to go
My memory!
Come, let’s walk together
So that
I wouldn’t pass this way again.

Durgalal Shrestha

Durgalal Shrestha

Durgalal Shrestha has been writing since the early ‘50s and is a living legend of Nepali literature.

He has crafted a realm of poetry and fought on behalf of voiceless people. Durgalal’s works have been translated into many languages. He writes fluently in both his mother tongue Newar and Nepali language.He is also known as a songwriter.