We have only one WORLD yet! If we destroy it, where else will we go?
Winter 2002: 8th issue - **2nd Anniversary**

What we see when we stand still

by Asli OMÜR

All that drama means not a thing now
The children barefoot with hope
swing higher with the waves and all the lyrics to every song could never serenade
to this afternoon
I am without need
and everything is beneath my feet
I am reciting things I have still to see
yet I know them from my sleep
I am promising everything to everyone who loved me
with the grandest strength
what are destinies?
Don't spit out the seeds too soon
you will end up fruitless...

- - - - -

Emre icin
Part 1

Today at the park I felt my grandfathers fingers brush through my hair/
loose strands lifted as the sun pretended to fall in the center of a windy afternoon/
today at the park I remembered the smell of a first affair and how

I broke my bones for approval I thought up news ways to approach meeting the

next one who also owns the sweetest words/
I have been lost all my life/

Nothing could save me/
but the memory of what filled my language/
then took sound from my throat/
I was once this simple/
now I have returned/
I have found its the only true way to breathe in the dark/ today at the park/
a rush of children swam by/ And I heard my grandfathers voice rise like the wings of an eagle/
soaring with the most distant stars


* * * * *

Emre icin
Part 2

I am looking at the world through the eyes of benim Emre dedem
that is how he must have viewed the world : the extravagance of you

Benim sevgilim babaannem
You are lovely in your bones and you are so calm and untouched by the power
of release

I am seeing you in front of Topkapi
the snow is swallowing you
you walk on and the sun is sneaking between

This rush of white cotton
Filling up this istanbul morning: turning the sky into Monet's canvas
The sun is approaching your skin like a child new to words
And every question that demands an answer
Is completed there at the rims of your eyes

I am viewing the world through the eyes of benim Emre dedem

The rain polluting my drink, is slipping down my forehead
And I am rugged
I am inhaling life rapidly
My eyes: small cameras

everything is an enlarged photograph
I see my sons they are the trees in Izmir

Bountiful, lush creatures fortifying the soul soil of ancestors

I see my daughter at 15 her dancing reflection fluttering through my mind
Like the wings of the butterfly that landed in her braids
if only I had eternity I would find the strength to write it all down
On a napkin sitting at the table by the window with my granddaughter

I feel myself failing myself
I am sinking and then I feel Anadolu in my ribs
A beating bird
I would let her free if I knew where the cage was
Instead I will drown her along with the memory

I am viewing the world through the eyes of benim Emre dedem

My daughter: fairest thing sprouting from the earth
My sons : trees, their limbs await the bird locked within me
Life is not always something mapped out in plan lying on our palms
Life is found in the corners of our pillows
In the folds of our pockets
Full of sand on a summer eve in Bodrum
When we have a million days left and a thousand thoughts and counting

So I will go and breathe Yalova into my lungs
And I will go on and I will go old and I will go happily
And it is okay because I know once in my life
I saw my wife in front of the Bosporos at 19

Her hair in the wind, the wind caught in her hair
Flapping against her face, round face, round mouth, round eyes

My segment of peace on earth, My pistachio

I am hidden behind a camera
I am hidden and she does not see the tear in my eye
I am hidden in the rain and my children do not see my hurt

And maybe I do not know much
But I saw this and it will surely be enough


*Written through the eyes of my grandfather in memory of his life, his genius and his heart.

© Asli Omur

This issue dedicated to such distinguished poet & composer as (alphabetical order):

We have been celebrating our 2nd Anniversary.
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. 8th issue. Winter 2002, New York.
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