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Gönderen: HACI 15 12 2005 - 02:36

Oarsman

I work hard
To go backward
My past in the back of my head
Passes in front of me.
No mirrors
No helmsman
I can’t turn around my head
Like an owl.
But, I have the talent to be flown
Into unknown

Vehbi T.

Gönderen: HACI 15 12 2005 - 15:53

Counter Point

One, two, three
Is the meaning
Four
Of my life is
Thirteen and a half
Maybe.
Coming back to the touching episodes
And in between life here, life there and life yonder
Words, symbols, and a whole lot of nonsense
Between food and discharge
Absorption and annihilation
Breathing and contemplating
Something touched me
As profound as Pi and
No less than the square root of
Minus one.
Searching, searching, searching
For what?

Vehbi T.

Gönderen: HACI 15 12 2005 - 19:49

Seashells

Gulf

Sea
Shells
Sea
Shells

Beaten by the waves for millenniums
Now a crunchy white sand as far as eye can see
Alive once, crawling, feeding, reproducing
Then dead
Then crushed into pieces
Maybe the other way around
Yet beautiful and serene
Long after their death
Such beautify required so much death.

One
Sea shell

I take it home
This one is whole
Didn’t escape death
But escaped the beating
Alone it is not as mesmerizing as the white sand
It looks lonely
It wants to go to the beach
I feel its loneliness
I think it would rather be beaten to pieces than be lonely
I should return it to where it belongs

Vehbi T.

Gönderen: HACI 15 12 2005 - 21:36

Safety

Breathing is safe
Breathing is the essence of
Peace and tranquility.
Writing about breathing is safe.

But, I was not born into
Safety.
I was born into danger.
I was born to die.

I was born to love.
I was born to breathe fire.
I am a safety hazard
Back to my breath.

Vehbi T.

Gönderen: HACI 15 12 2005 - 23:15

FACE IN MUSIC

She came to me
With daunting melody
Melancholy movements
Hugging silent pauses
Swirling counterpoint
In rhyming adagios
Of Albinoni.

Ineffable grace of a woman’s face
Unimagined beauty carved in memory
Rose from deep
Deep hollow mind,
To touch me.

Made me whole
Full beat of a heart
Before she left me.

Vehbi T.

Gönderen: HACI 16 12 2005 - 03:37

Completed Chore

One end fits the other
Everything is what is supposed to be
How long it took to worry
Search, plan, inquire and wait
Until the chore is complete

I say our chores make up our lives
And our lives are made up of a chore
A carefully planned, long and tedious affair
Ending with the greatest satisfaction of all.

Vehbi T.

Gönderen: HACI 16 12 2005 - 17:23

Meditation

All my troubles
Come to me
When I breathe softly.

My mind
Clear as night sky
I see each trouble
Like a star.

One rises
One sinks
One old, other new
So much to count
Yet,
My home star
Ah… my home star!

Vehbi T.

Gönderen: HACI 17 12 2005 - 16:16

Manet’s Toreador

Dignity between life and its end
Here lies Manet’s toreador dead.
Equanimity of hips
Sharp turn to the left
A bull wants to mate.

A ritualistic test between the noble beast
Who inherited the earth,
And the clown who will perform
His final dance with death.

A muleta is thrown, the bull attacks the cape
Red passion is his girlfriend.
Cheated of desire by graceful movements
Steaming nose thrills, tail and horn
The bull will learn
Love unrequited.

Before absorbing what this lesson entails
One more finality will strike between his shoulder blades.
The muleta covering its shame
Right elbow rises sudden and swift
A penetrating deadly push is administered
With a long, thin, dark looking penis,
Into the sensibilities of the beast.

There is sensual imagery in all that
But, its meaning doesn’t change.
Every clown removes his black winged hat
To face the truth about himself.
Some die without finding it
But, the noble beast knows the best.

Vehbi T.

Gönderen: HACI 18 12 2005 - 01:47

Civilization

Oil in hot pan, mustard seeds jumping,
Stir in chili with curry leaves to infuse the heat.
Onions, tomatoes and garlic,
Turmeric for color
Coriander leaves to seal the smell
That began all civilization until
Smell became passion
Taste became love
Color became war until
We ran out of Neem twigs
To clean our bloodstained teeth.

Vehbi T

Gönderen: HACI 18 12 2005 - 02:04

ÖNEMLİ BİR HATIRLATMA...

Vehbi T., Hacı değil.....

Hacı'nın yakın bir arkadaşı..

Onun değerli bir ozan olduğunu keşfettiği bir arkadaşı.. Ama kendisi değil..

Ne yazık ki şiirleri İngilizce.. Ben onları biriktirmeye çalışıyorum.. Kaybolmaları bir trajedi olurdu..
Belki ilerde İngilizce-Türkçe bir şiir kitabı yayınlarız..
Birlikte.......
Bunu ona henüz söylemedim bile..

HACI


Gönderen: HACI 18 12 2005 - 14:58

A MAGNIFICENT TAIL

A magnificent tail
Cannot be taken for granted.
It is a burden to lick it.
It is a burden to lift it
Before you go.
And after?
To clean all twelve and a half inches of this exquisite fur
Color of rust blended in snow
And pay enough attention
To its every speck of rust and snow?
It is simply made to cover a whole lot more
Than what it is designed for.
Constipation no alternative
Too painful to hold, may have bloody outcome
Besides rust and red
Do not match.

It makes eating a chore
When you consider it all.

It is a bore to carry it
When everyone else so ill-equipped.
One can never be too perfect or too careful
With such a gift.
It is simply too big to hide and manage.
It makes a simple passage
Troublesome.
A complicated one
Impossible.
When you jump it pushes you back
When you dive
It is no help.
An unlucky gift of
Evolution
An unintelligent creation
To be praised
By intelligent men
Meddling with cat’s end.

Vehbi T.

Gönderen: belgin 18 12 2005 - 15:33

"Ne yazık ki İngilizce" değil, "iyi ki ingilizce". Müthiş ve başarılı. Kutlarım!..

Gönderen: HACI 18 12 2005 - 15:59

İki nedenden dolayı ben ne yazık dedim..
İlki, dil engeli nedeniyle okuyucuların çoğunun şiirlerdeki inceliği anlayamaması.. İkincisi onları Türkçe'ye çevirmenin mümkün olmaması..
Bir üçüncü neden de Türkçe değil, İngilizce literatürün zenginleşmesi..
Biz yazarın Türk olması ile övünüyoruz ama, bu yazar üne kavuşursa Amerikalıllar ona sahip çıkacaklardır. Çünkü arkadaş orada yaşıyor. Bizim İran'lı Mevlana'ya sahip çıktığımız gibi........

HACI

Gönderen: belgin 18 12 2005 - 16:15

Haklısınız hacı.

Yurt dışında Türk Edebiyatı masterı yaptım. Türk edebiyatını ingilizce öğrendim denebilir. Sorunları biliyorum. İzlenecek yol, yazarın ilk adımda Türkiye'de tanınmasını sağlamak. Kendisi de "Amerikalılar" tarafından sahiplenilmek istemiyorsa!...


Gönderen: HACI 18 12 2005 - 16:46

İlginç olarak kendisi İslam'ı pratik eden bir Müslüman'dır, Belgin kardeşim... Türklüğü ile övünür elbette. Şiire merakı yenidir. Sanırım belki biraz da ben onu bu konuda cesaretlendirdim. Son zamanlarda daha hevesli yazmaya başladı... Kendini İngilizce daha iyi ifade edebiliyor. Türkçesi de çok iyidir aslında ama, şiir dili olarak İngilizceyi yeğliyor. Bir Türk gibi düşünüp, algılayıp, İngilizce yazınca, ortaya çıkan şiirin tadı çok farklı olabiliyor. Ben İngilizce şiirleri pek sevmem.. Sevdiklerim de vardır elbette. Örneğin Emily Dickenson'u beğenirim. Vehbi'nin bazı şiirleri bana Dickenson'u anımsatıyor.
Almanya'da ve Fransa'da, ya da diğer Avrupa ülkelerinde yerel dille yazan Türk ozanlar vardır mutlaka.. Onlardan benim haberim yok.. Bazı ozanların arada bir Almanca bir terim kullandıklarını biliyorum. Ben de ender olarak İngilizce kelimeler kullanmışımdır. Hatta Türkçe bir şiirimin adı TWILIGHT ZONE dur.. Şiir bu tür eklemeleri götürüyor.. Arkadaşımın şiirlerini yayınlamaya devam edeceğim. İlgi gösterdiğiniz için teşekkürler..

HACI

Gönderen: HACI 18 12 2005 - 17:27

Depression on Friday Night

Darkness came.
And darkness had thousand colors.
It was not grey, beige, dark brown, mahogany, purple, mauve, charcoal and tan.
It was Black 1, Black 2, Black 3 and Black 1000.
I moved from Black 1 to Black 2 in search of Black 5.
Soon I was lost in blackness and lost count of which
Black I am in.
There is infinite of black in the mind and
I haven’t gone too far.
Just far enough.
Somebody asked me today what Allah thinks about Iraq.
I said I don’t care what Allah thinks.
I meant I don’t care what I think.
I am in the black heaven.

Vehbi T.

Gönderen: HACI 19 12 2005 - 16:41

Wax Myrtle

Ladies of the forest stand tall around me.
Pine, cypress and bamboo have dignity.
Live oak strolls like peacock.
Bald cypress has spurs.
Palms pose.
Bottlebrush spreads gracefully.
Jasmine has white stars that climb.
Little orange has symmetry.

My trunk does not go up
My roots don’t go down
Vertically.
My longest branch
Trails the earth.
My canopy is
Stringy.
Not a single part of me
Could be named in geometry.
Only the Spanish moss hanging
Down my limb
Aligns itself
With gravity.

Some say I am
Extraordinary!
Whatever people say about me,
I am a crooked little tree
Out of harmony
With the upwardly.

Vehbi T.

Gönderen: HACI 19 12 2005 - 22:57

My childhood

When I was a child,
Fear was tangible and
Love was taken for granted.

Poppies defined the color red and
Blood was revered.

Snakes warmed their blood in the heat of summer
Behind the ancient walls of Diyarbakır, and
Snow piled knee deep on the roof
In front of the attic where my grandmother killed the mice
With the iron tongues of our coal stove
In Erzurum.

When I was a child,
Mountains demanded respect and
Neighbors were always welcome.

We wore our galoshes to the Mosque in winter evenings and
Didn’t understand the prayers, but
Prostration was fun.

My hero was a doctor from the big city whose medicine
Delivered the intestinal parasite as big as a snake
From my 13-year old friend’s stomach
Into the soft earth behind the dilapidated four-walls of an abandoned home
Across our apartment building.

I too was freed from agony that day, but not from the nightmares
Of the snake and the ghost
Of my friend’s grandfather who died within the week.

Boy delivers his snake and the man delivers his soul.

When I was a child,
Gypsies brought their bears from the mountains to play on our street and
Sold a baby bear to the owner
Of our grocery store at the bottom of the stairs of
Our 5-story apartment building.

My mother’s period
Stained her skirt and I was bewildered by
The admonishment of my grandmother.

The blood was pure red and the snow was
Pure white.

When I was a child.

Vehbi T.

Gönderen: HACI 20 12 2005 - 02:50

ANNO NUEVO
Date with the 58-year old German nanny of my friend during her first week of her first visit to the USA

Romantic stories- a short marriage, bitter end,
An Italian Count, love in Turin.
A business associate, lover turned into lifetime friend.
A daughter left behind, seldom spoken of- ex husband lives with her.
No commitments, no attachments, never liked sex.
An independent woman getting old,
Still beautiful in the fierceness of her
Freedom like an elephant seal.

You climb a small hill to make yourself
Visible to males- an insignificant hill.
You expect to be approached from behind
Bitten in the heat of coupling
A big male sits on you, nothing’s visible
This is not a porno movie.
You open your mouth to sound a final
Cry of agony before you run away.
The male collapses on the sand
Genuflecting to an invisible God of copulation.

It didn’t take more than a minute to end
Millennia. Neither side enjoyed it.
It had to be done.

One month and three hundred pounds of weight are all a baby elephant seal gets
From her mother.
Before the mother disappears into the Great Ocean.

Quick sex, quick birth, waste no time raising kids
Elephant seals are big on freedom.

You, my dear, are not an elephant seal. Your memories
Of the two beautiful young boys of some else’s will be
Your reward of Freedom.


Vehbi T.

Gönderen: HACI 20 12 2005 - 03:37

A Cooking Day

A cooking day starts early
Not as early as a hiking day.
Herbs have to be found- basil, dill, oregano, mint
Expensive spices to be bought- where is marjoram?
8 D’anjou pears, poaching practice, Madras curry in peaches??
4 kinds of potatoes, cabernet, sherry, two kinds of vinegar
Crème Freche
After breakfast for two:
I cook potatoes with eggs, bagel on the side.
She cooks griddle cakes for me with bananas and raisins.
Butter, globs of expensive Plugra butter from Trader Joe’s
Sweet potato bisque, poached chicken with buerre ruegue
Steamed potatoes with 6 herbs
Poached pears in cabernet and sugar, vanilla, cinnamon
Topped with chocolate fondue.

I nip my finger again, prepared with band aid
Even before the blood appears.
Experience is always the best teacher.

A feast for somebody, but whom?
My daughter and I. She likes potatoes and chocolate topping best.
The bisque is supreme. But, no one to eat it with.
I am not hungry anymore.

Wash the dishes, organize the refrigerator, and label every container with the name of each Dish using a scotch tape with
A little note about what to eat it with and perhaps how- warm, cold, hot.

What are these labels for?
Every good deed must be labeled because there would not be a good deed without a label.

I have no complaints today.

Vehbi T.

Gönderen: HACI 20 12 2005 - 15:44

My little meditation group

Many breaths
One mind.
Many breaths
Calming minds down
To presence of Peace.
There is richness in Peace
That is never boring.
A straight spine
Down goes the breath
Down the Earth.

Vehbi T.

Gönderen: HACI 20 12 2005 - 20:38

To My Wife

All this movement
From moment to moment
To moment
Living in every movement
To achieve the goal
Of achieving so many goals
Satisfies none
But you.

Wind on the left
Wind on the right
Too close to the wind
Reach and run
We came full circle
To whom we are.
Me
In the Water
You go
Free.


Vehbi T.

Gönderen: HACI 20 12 2005 - 23:33

First night of Retreat in Cambridge

We exchange the same air
Both wise and unwise
Young and old fools.

Our practice to look at ourselves,
To see what the mirror wouldn’t reveal
Because our hearts are all broken.

What is this preoccupation with the heart
That compels us to polish it
Like a mirror?

It is enough to grind it
With sandpaper
To make out the fools that we are.

Vehbi T.

Gönderen: HACI 21 12 2005 - 17:22

Second Night of Meditation in Cambridge

My Dream at 3am

We are driving down a narrow street in an SUV
The driver is a young man. I believe he is the son of a friend.
It looks like the road starts where there is a shopping center on the right hand side.
The road looks downhill, steep and narrow, not scary yet.
But, I can’t see the end because it makes a sharp curve
To the left.

The driver is driving very slowly, afraid to proceed.
I tell him to go very slowly. He stops.
I offer to drive the car for him if he can’t. I am sitting in the back.
The van is full of passengers; men, women and children.
The driver is scared. He is terrified. He makes a left turn.

And he is gone.

Our car starts moving without a driver.
I am surprised to see that it is able to make a left turn
Negotiating a sharp curve by itself as I taste the death in my mouth
It stays its course on the road.
But, once we complete the turn, the hill is %70 downhill and very long.
There is a massive, deep gore on the right.
We come dangerously close to the right.
The road is not paved.
The earth splits.
I experience sheer terror.
I think I will die. I think we shall all die.
I imagine the car tumbling and rolling down the cliff in flames.
But, the car continues down the hill as everyone is screaming.

Without a driver.

I don’t remember the rest

Vehbi T.

Gönderen: HACI 22 12 2005 - 02:34

Of My Memory at 55


I used to know the Turkish national anthem,
And meters of its ancient Arabic poetry.
The names of Ottoman sultans,
Their heroic campaigns,
Silly defeats and cumbersome ends
Became fodder for my genius
I am not above intellectual sophistry.
All this having left me with an unfulfilled desire
To remember the last time
I had any intimacy.
I wish I did not take so much delight
Remembering the name of every temperate tree
Anonymously introduced to me.


Vehbi T.

Gönderen: HACI 22 12 2005 - 15:12

Confused

Now is back then,
Was something I looked forward for tomorrow
And tomorrow is yesterday
I am what I was
Then.
Love is within reach
For tomorrow,
I grabbed it yesterday and
Tomorrow may be better than what I had
Yesterday.
But yesterday,
May be all
I have.

Vehbi T.

Gönderen: HACI 22 12 2005 - 15:16

Meditation with my little group on 2/20/2003

Giving makes me feel good
Generosity and unselfishness are
The essence of my true being.
Peace comes from not attaching to things
Giving them to more deserving than me.
Keeping the essence of my true being
To myself
Selfishly.

Vehbi T.

Gönderen: HACI 22 12 2005 - 15:17

War Meditation

Breathing on the War,
Blowing on the flames,
Being the flames.

Breathing in the flames,
Breathing out the flames.

A dragon has a circular image
Of its own delusions
Just like war.

Vehbi T.

Gönderen: HACI 22 12 2005 - 15:26

Bitter Tastes

Accept what you don’t believe
As an offer of Peace
Bitter tastes revolt the palate
Logic infuriates people
And Truth
Even more so-
If you had a single ounce of
Moral fiber
You would have known that every truth about order in universe
Is the fabrication of time.

Vehbi T.

Gönderen: HACI 23 12 2005 - 13:34

Lıve and Die

Make a fist
Tighten your knuckles hard
Push your fingernails into your palm

Open your hand
Relax your fingers
Look at your palm

Now you live
Now you die

Vehbi T.

Gönderen: HACI 24 12 2005 - 19:54

Dolphins

Growing up with elaborate lies
I am suspicious of many delights.
But, these two
Come and go as they wish
With no motive but to please
Only the pure in heart.

Breathing in
As they jump up
Breathing out
As they jump down
They live in two different worlds at once
Meditating all their time
Preciousness of the life.

Vehbi T.

Gönderen: HACI 26 12 2005 - 03:32

Leonardo’s Portrait of Cecilia Gallerani

Che-chilia of chestnut eyes and Irish skin
With pride of youth,
Dignity of a noble neck and
Incomparable sweetness of
A glance,
A barely visible smile
Or, is it contempt of an unworthy lover
That the ermine sneers at?

Whatever the lips are hiding
Ignores the vast longing of hunger for
Love in the eyes.
I loved you for five hundred and thirteen years
Even though we have only met today.
You are too young to enter an old man’s bedroom
Che-chilia.
Where were you when I first painted you?

Vehbi T.

Gönderen: HACI 26 12 2005 - 15:56

BABY FACE

Where have I seen these eyes of sweet honey before?
The deep contour of the cheek that
Starts from slightly above the nose
And goes down, making a gentle curve on the right
To pass the invisible upper lip,
The three lower teeth, as tiny as
Three grains of rice,
All the way down to the barely visible chin
Forming a broad happy smile
In the upper curve of the lower lip
Pale red in front of the white teeth.
Cheeks full of sweet milk,
Translucent as if ready to be consumed by
The hunger of a love bite.
The portrait of a happy smile,
Sprinkled with my soul.
A big ear in the back listening
To the invisible melody of trust.
The intelligent forehead
Shining above the Mona Lisa eyebrows
In indefinable shadows
Below sparse golden hair of prophets.


Vehbi T.

Gönderen: HACI 30 12 2005 - 19:26

INSOMNIA

Ghosts of uncompleted deeds
Why don’t you leave me in peace?
Why do you stare me in the eye?
Haven’t you seen a fool before?
Let me finish this
Please!
And go on my way.

Vehbi T.

Gönderen: HACI 30 12 2005 - 20:07

To Carl Gibson’s memory

WET BIRDS DON’T FLY AT NIGHT

Not much sense to push up
When wild beasts eat your pride
It is good to remember,
“Wet birds don’t fly at night.”

Overwhelmed and alone
Even her smile looked dark,
It is good to remember,
“Wet birds don’t fly at night.”

When you see all you have
In an alcoholic haze,
Hard to imagine the light
In Rembrandt’s face.

When you are full of anger
Betrayal doesn’t matter
It is good to remember,
“Wet birds don’t fly at night.”

When you pulled the trigger
In the old barn’s heart
Friends still remember,
“Wet birds don’t fly at night.”

Sweet Jesus, your secrets are our secrets
We seek the same light.
Why could you not remember?
“Wet birds don’t fly at night.”

Vehbi T.

Gönderen: HACI 31 12 2005 - 00:30

HORSE STATUES

Skin wrapping around and around
In rhythmic procession
Like baroque.
Strips of long steel bands
Covering the torso
Of running, standing and sitting horses.
Essence of a horse is not in its spirit
But in the fluid movements of its steel heart.


Vehbi T.

Gönderen: HACI 31 12 2005 - 14:18

THE OLD CELL PHONE

They say it is too old
I say she is only three.
They say they don’t make it anymore
I say they don’t need to do.
They say it is too big.
I say it is perfect.
What happens to your old cell phone when she dies?
You cannot grieve her like your dear old dead friend.
You might as well enjoy her like your own mom
Before her last breath.

You know which buttons to push
Blindfolded
But, you don’t have to.
There is plenty of light
Where there is breath.

Vehbi T

Gönderen: HACI 31 12 2005 - 23:36

SUDDEN ANGER

Up close and personal disturbances of my mind
Getting in the way
Of your way
Steaming out my chest
Causing havoc
Among
Unadmitted, Unknown, Untold
Devious manipulation.

My art exceeding my craft
My craft
Nothing more than breath
After breath
After my own steaming breath.

Vehbi T.

Gönderen: HACI 31 12 2005 - 23:37

SUDDEN JOY

To look at a smile like that
And be able to feel the cold?
Not sexy or innocent
Not friend or foe
Not the color of eyes.
Just a moment in heart
The giver filled her cup.

Vehbi T.

Gönderen: HACI 31 12 2005 - 23:39

SUDDEN DISAPPOINTMENT

Heart took for granted
Unreciprocated.
Fall from abyss
Didn’t kill.

Trepidatition untold
Self-esteem lost
Hurt did not reach heart.

Alone beat her chest
Breathless for one more chance
Hope will forget.

Vehbi T.

Gönderen: HACI 05 01 2006 - 20:43

STONE

Difference between right and wrong?
How do stones get along?
Stone over stone
Pyramid, wall, home.

Hurricane, war, earthquake
Don’t ingratiate
With the rightful stone.

Vehbi T.

Gönderen: HACI 09 01 2006 - 19:19

DANCE OF THE PENGUINS

Prison walls of fear
Rise up high
In the cold, cold cellars of our human mind.
To be left out in the cold alone- or,
Leaving your newborn baby with your mate
To an uncertain fate.
Enormity of the life facing a frail creature
Confronting the terrifying nature
In fragile circumstance-
Every nightmare of the human being
Is faced to make a living
By the Emperor Penguin.

Using a science unknowable to us,
They walk, they slide, they fall
And occasionally succumb,
Half blind, half dumb,
To the ultimate sacrifice
On the cold Arctic ice.

Their little steps cover the vast space
From water’s edge to their birthplace.
From all directions they arrive
At their meeting place.
Their destiny awaits them on thick ice.
Their journey may be slow,
But, it is precisely timed for the search.
One does not forget his birthplace,
And his mother’s face.
The penguin has to find a mate.

As if it is not enough to survive
Under such conditions,
They must consider future life
Beyond any knowable reason.
One has to select a mate
To perform a delicate dance
And spread his seed on ice- Why?
For, if the arctic must be empty,
Who will enjoy its beauty?

Ten thousand male penguins
Each protecting two lives,
One that he owns
One he promised to his mate.

In the twilight of the arctic night
The scene could be from an African sky,
With its African moon and acacias,
If there were no sheer mountains of ice
And if it were not minus one hundred degrees Fahrenheit.

Under flashing colors of the Southern Lights,
Penguins begin their survival dance:

“Hold your egg tight!
Feel it between your two legs,
Right, left, take a step,
Protect your egg.
Move forward in the circle,
Move another layer deep.
Right, left, take a step,
Don’t lose your egg
Move towards the inner circle.
It is warmer there.
Don’t worry, it will be warmer,
In the center.
Now, you are there!
You can’t stop mate,
You cannot live without your comrade.
You need to keep moving on,
To the cold, cold front.
Right, left, take a step,
Don’t lose your egg.
Turn your back to your death.
When will this storm end?
Ten thousand hungry penguins vibrate,
Like one human being
Against the howling wind
In the blowing blizzard of hell
From the Arctic.”

Emissaries of God to forlorn lands,
They are holier than the Pope himself
Making the best of the extreme worst,
A streak of yellow, blue and white,
A glimpse of the sun
And Ice,
The unimagined
And the unimaginable ones!
Their life is a religion
More sacred than all the religions of the Mankind.


Every living moment of the Emperor Penguin
Is full and serene.
And his short life of meditation is
A ballet of movement, love, tenderness and caring.


Vehb
i T.


Gönderen: HACI 13 01 2006 - 21:22

A Shaman’s Stick

Songs of my ancestors
In far away continents
Traveling with Mevlana
From Balkh to Konya
On horseback with Sultan Murat
From Edirne to Buda
Keeping company to the cavalry
In the frontier towns of Tuna.

Why do I write poems in English?
Because it is the language in which I think.
Ah, but the language of feeling
Is spoken in any tongue
That is a native of the heart.

An eternal companion
Stands in both worlds alone.
A warrior’s horse
Is more valuable
Than the earthly sum
Of all his winning and losing.
Simple yet gnarled,
Obedient but fierce
Spirited yet faithful
Dry yet expressive,
Honest as wood.

By Timur’s head in Semerkant
Stands the ancient Shaman’s stick
I write my poems with.


Vehbi T.

Gönderen: HACI 16 01 2006 - 21:30

PROGRESS

In misery we forget
The joy of being fed.
In bliss, there is no recompense
For what we forsake.
We fool ourselves.
Progress is born
From death.

Vehbi T.

Gönderen: HACI 16 01 2006 - 23:09

Meditating Sex on a Monday night

Hunger to hold flesh
Comes from our meat-eating ancestors.
Monkeys don’t need to grab
Fruits off tree branches
In heat.

I can take desire and break it
Into little pieces of breath- say in batches of ten counts.
I can breathe in thousand pieces of fleshy feelings- in batches of ten
And breathe them out like shattered mosaic
Showering down
Through my three points of contact
With earth.

Here is the batch of kiss
Here is the batch of touch
Here is the batch of toes and feet
And breasts.
Here is the bliss of the end
Of misery with no end.

The whole thing is an illusion
With mind lying to body
And body lying to some else’s mind.
When her response is truly genuine
Ego is satisfied
Declaring back to the mind
For ten counts of breath
Its satisfaction with itself.
But, the mind has already gone somewhere else.
Impermanence
Defines even our permanent condition to replicate.


Vehbi T.

Gönderen: HACI 16 01 2006 - 23:10

Emptiness

No difference between here and there.
Here is full of nothing
And nothing will fill there.
A silly play of words
That is all.

Vehbi T.

Gönderen: HACI 17 01 2006 - 00:34

Forgiveness

Across the far galaxies of human mind,
Deep in its dark chambers out of sight
Lurked a sacred light.

Somehow it became the source
Tamed the savage force,
Made dimension and the time.

An elusive bride-
Reason will not forget
From where she sprang
And how she will end.

True source of all this fight
Is the quiet void in the mind.
All violence will end in calm- and in silent flight,
Reason will meet his bride.


Vehbi T.

Gönderen: HACI 17 01 2006 - 02:04

Tax Return 2002

I breathe in hope
Not to be found
As I breathe out.

Money comes in
Money goes out
Ruins of heart
Fill my chest
As I breathe out
Hope.


Vehbi T.

Gönderen: HACI 18 01 2006 - 22:12

SLEEPLESS NIGHT

Tears and fright
Sleepless night
Fear and loss
Pity and doubt
Little that she owns
Too much is owed
Helpless to move on
Shoulder to lean on
Night is pregnant
For matchless talent
Dawn will wait
Sunshine is back
Great deeds in works
For remaining child.

Vehbi T.

Gönderen: HACI 20 01 2006 - 21:58

APOLOGY

I seek the soft tissue under ego
Beneath which
Together and deep
Lays our friendship.
Far longer than ego walks
Our common story is full of joys
And cherished in sharing.
I wish to squeeze into nothing
To fly underneath
And touch the fabric
Of a child’s caring.

Vehbi T.

Gönderen: HACI 22 01 2006 - 20:58

Levent

To my friend Levent Arsiray (wherever he is)

In a wonderful dream in the early morning
I drove from Sausalito to North Bay
On the back of a humpback whale.
In a brick building in the Ghirardelli Square,
I ran into Levent, my childhood friend.
He was among his palettes.
I saw his last name written somewhere and went to him.
He didn’t recognize me at first.
He spoke German, I spoke English
Until I told him my name in Turkish.
A flicker of recognition came into his eyes.
He muttered my name silently as was his habit.
Just then, suddenly I was awakened and thought
He seemed older and shorter in dream
Than I remembered him.

In early puberty, Levent was my best friend.
Just moved to Ankara, the big city
Having come from a remote town
Raised in my family’s demi shrine,
I was frightened and timid.
He said my manners were gross, my language was coarse and I was color blind.
I was grateful to find a boy who would say such learned things.
Levent’s life was full of brush and paint.
I found him fascinating.

He introduced me to Picasso, Modigliani and Cezanne,
Van Gogh’s portraits, corn fields, lilies under the sun,
Starry nights in Cafés of Paris.
Caricature creatures of Chagal
Smoke filled ballrooms,
Nude models, dripping vaginas, ripped torsos,
Magritte and Dali
Cubists’ cellos,
Sea and garden,
Manet and Monet.
Picasso’s blue period,
Landscapes and luscious bathers
Of the impressionists.
Stuff of my wet dreams.
Half awed, half turned on
I boldly treaded on in the magic
Of the sex and art
Imagination and beauty
With no bias and no boundary.
I developed a taste for the abstract and proportion of mind,
I grew a feeling for intuition,
Symbol, meaning and pride.
I faked learned comments on all manners of colors and shape
Conversed on perspective and viewpoint.
Levent finished a painting every summer day
And spent his nights
With Picasso’s brides
In the centerfolds of Playboys.
His small room always smelled fresh paint
Mixed with
Semen and turpentine.
We skipped the classics.
Levent found Dutch masters boring.
In long summer evenings,
Under long reflections of a pale lamplight
I secretly enjoyed being color blind.


Levent’s mother played the ud, the favored instrument of slave girls
From the territories to the West,
In harems of the old.
Monotonous melodies of the Ottoman music
Accompanied Besamet Mucho
Streaming tape on two big reels.
Neither of us knew what language.
But, we knew in that early age
We had already become masters of music
And connoisseurs of the fine arts.
Except, I just did not learn art from Levent
I learned a different world
Whose existence
I could not even dream to contemplate.

Levent moved to Kadikoy after a year.
I saw him only once since
I was seventeen.
He had a girl friend.
He painted her nude
Ripe, round Turkish buttocks
Of the leaner and fresher Renoir youth
Out of the shower after sex
In the old Istanbul apartment flat.
He said he was ready to study
In the Academy
And loved his new girlfriend.

Forty some years passed since then.
I wonder what happened to Levent.
Is he dead? Is he alive?
Did he find his fame?
How many exhibitions has he held?
Where do his pictures hang?
Which cities did he visit?
How many women has he had?
How many children called him dad?
How many years did his mother play the ud?
Do they still live in that old flat?
Did he have a good friend?
I wish I had a chance to talk to him
In a longer dream.

Vehbi T.


Gönderen: HACI 26 01 2006 - 19:58

HOMESTEAD

Stop!
You can’t enter this place.
It is holy ground.
I am sorry to tell you sir,
You were misled.
You will have to turn back.
You are asking me, “Where is Troy?”
No sir,
This is not the romantic valley of Troy
On the river Scamander.
This is not where
An enraged Achilles slain brave Hector.
This is not where
Alexander the Great
Paid homage to his heroes.
This is not where
Xerxes’s armies crossed north
On a bridge made from boats.
No sir!
The march to Thermopylae
Did not start from here.
Have I heard of Spartans?
Just a few of them, sir.
As you know,
Peloponnesian wars
Were largely fought
In the Ionian lands.
A few of them
May have drifted here
Now and then.
What about Alcibiades?
His name is vaguely familiar, sir.
Was he a Greek?

No sir!
This is not where
Lord Byron swam
To cross the fast flowing channel.
I know he wrote a few lines of verse
Here and there.
Mount Ida, sir?
It is somewhere down yonder.


What is underneath?
Nothing.
Schliemann took all the gold.

Really Sir!
If you want to see those places,
You should turn back and walk down a bit.
They are not far from here at all.

If you must know the truth sir,
About what is underneath,
I ask you how anyone can possibly imagine
The dreams
Of half a million young men
Buried under this land?
That is why we hold these grounds
Sacred, sir.

This is where
The sweet Anzac boys came
On the orders of a drunk British Duke
In armored battleships with cannons
All the way from the other end of the Earth
To defeat the Turk.

They signed up for the oriental dream.
But, Turks killed all of them
And cried for their fate
For they were good boys.
They were friends
And playmates.
It wasn’t their war.
But, we often fight someone else’s war, sir,
To make a living.
And, as you know, we occasionally do
Someone else’s killing.

Turks defended their land
From the high hills
Taking shrapnel hits
From the cannon fire
Down from the warships.
It was hell
From dawn till dusk.
They prayed five times a day
They fired their rifles on the beach heads
In between cannon breaks.
They shot the Anzac boys in the mornings,
Before they got a chance
To climb up the hills to safety.
They killed those who climbed up the hills,
Later in the day.
They took Italians, British and French.
Some took a few Turks with them to death.
At the end,
Gunfire, cannonballs, shrapnel and bayonets
Killed a quarter of a million Turks.

Some Turks fasted in Ramadan
Even though they didn’t have to
In this holly war
To defend their fate.
Some broke their fast
Because they had to drink
Their own blood,
Or, died before sunset
Before they got a chance to break fast.
It was a bloody war.
What war isn’t?
Everyone had to fight
To live or die
Like all wars.
In this war,
They mostly died.
All and all
Half a million
In nine months.
It was a record.
So many young men dead
Between conception and the birth
Of one immaculate child.
You were asking me for Greeks
And Spartans, sir?
There never were so much of them living
Anywhere on earth those days.
The dead counted
The entire graduating class
From the only medical school
In Istanbul.
No doctors graduated that year
To cure the sick and dying
On battlefields or elsewhere.

Their blood washed red in the sea
Their corpses fed the shiny olive skins
And the insides of fig trees.
Bees ate the coastal pines’ sap
Horses and cows ate their fill of hay,
There was plenty of milk and cheese that year,
Eggs, honey, ripe red tomatoes, bread and olive,
For the living,
Even though there wasn’t much living
Left.

No more doctors on its battlefields,
Its heroes underground
High on the hills
Under pale greens of the maquis,
This land is
Too lonely and sacred, sir.
You must not enter it.
Please do not come near it.

As you can see,
I am an old man, and know a bit
About the history of these lands.
When I die myself,
If it is not too complicated to ask for my friends,
I have one last wish to make.
They have my permission
To enter this land,
And put my body in it.
Bury me in good company
In the homestead
Of my old friend
Alcibiades.
Yes, he was a Greek, sir,
Not Spartan, Persian or Turk.
Please don’t make a mistake.
I want to lie down
Next to him
And listen to his stories
Until eternity comes.
This is my dying dream

Vehbi T.

Gönderen: HACI 26 01 2006 - 20:47

DIFFERENCE

I say every day is different
Some say every day is the same.
Herein lays
Our difference.

Vehbi T.

Gönderen: denizci 27 01 2006 - 21:53

QUOTE
İki nedenden dolayı ben ne yazık dedim..
İlki, dil engeli nedeniyle okuyucuların çoğunun şiirlerdeki inceliği anlayamaması.. İkincisi onları Türkçe'ye çevirmenin mümkün olmaması..
Bir üçüncü neden de Türkçe değil, İngilizce literatürün zenginleşmesi..


Birinci nedeni anlayabiliyorum.
İkincisi... Gerçekten çevirmek mümkün değil mi? Çok mu eksilirler?

Gönderen: Vehbi 28 01 2006 - 19:38

Sayin Denizci,

Bundan iki ay once Mevlananin 15-16 tane siirini Ingilizce'den Turkceye cevirmek icin epeyce bir caba harcadim. Arkadasim Haci cevirdigim bir kac tane Mevlana siirini bu sayfada basti. Eger Turkce harfleri basmasini bilseydim herhalde daha da cok basardi. Fakat ben bu siirleri cevirirken cok zorlandim. Bazilari iyi netice verdi. Bazilarini beyenmedim. Cogunlugu Canakkale savasi hakkinda olan en son uzun siirimi Turkceye cevirmeye calisacagim. Bu siiri iki sene once ziyaret ettigim Canakkale savas alanlari ve Truva harabelerinin etkisi aldinda kaldigim icin yazdim. Tam bu sirada da Peloponnez Savaslari hakkinda Amerika'da yeni basilan cok ilginc bir tarih kitabini okuyordum. Gene ayni yerlerde gecen bilmedigim bir cok tarihi olaylar ogrendim bu kitabtan. Tarihte gecen bazi olaylar ve bu savas yerini gozlerimle gormek beni cok etkiledi. Belki de yeniden yazmak zorunda kalirim ama bunu yapabilecegimi saniyorum. Sorunlardan birisi Ingilizce klavyeye ve on parmakla daktilo yazmaya cok alisik olmam. Eger Turkce harfleri dogru yazmasini ogrenebilirsem bu is cok daha kolay olur.
Ikinci sorunum da Ingilizce yazmak daha kolayima gidiyor. Ben su anda agir bir iste calisiyorum. Bir kere bir siir yazmaya baslayinca basimi pek kaldirip is yapamiyorum. Burada calistigim isin bana ve benim de bu ise ihtiyacim var. Fakat yorumunuz icin cok tesekkur ederim. Bu dediginizi yapmaya calisacagim.

Hurmetler,

Vehbi

Gönderen: Vehbi 28 01 2006 - 19:40

POLITICS

I spent my life
Being right
Until I reached the age,
Being right is
Wrong.

Vehbi T

Gönderen: Vehbi 29 01 2006 - 21:32

MY RELIGION

I am a deeply religious man.
I die often and pray when I can.

I die when I see the sun
Before it goes down.
I die if I am awake at dawn
And look at the morning sky.
I die when I see planets,
And a new moon being born.
I die when I see beauty under the skin
Flower, art, tree,
Woman, mountain, cloud and child,
Big bird that soars high above,
Little bird that hides from the eye.

I die when I am scared.
I die when there is turbulence when I fly.
I die when I work hard.
I die when I am out of luck.
I die when I am beaten badly in backgammon.
I die when people are rude and overbearing.
I die when people are sick and dying.
I die when people are ignorant, poor, and stupid and slow,
I die when people disappoint and lie.

I die when I am betrayed.
I die when I am selfish.
I die when I am embarrassed.
I die when I am self conscious.
I die after I sleep, only to find out
I had been awake all along.

I die when I am mad
I die when I win
I die when I am praised.
I die every time
When I write a poem.

I die when I break a heart
And pray.


Vehbi Tasar



Gönderen: Vehbi 31 01 2006 - 09:15

MEVLANA’S TOMB

I went to visit Mevlana
In Konya.
I was looking for a sign.
I was looking to find
Something in this sprawling shrine
That I did not find.

It seemed to me
That the man’s life was
So much bigger than his living
That the living
Could not fit him in
After his death
Into his burying ground.

Just when I was about to give up,
On a far corner of the shrine
I saw my sign.
It was his only poem,
That the living hung
In wooden frame
For the man who lived his life
To make a poem.

Rumi spoke to me
Personally.
His turbaned head
Almost eight centuries old,
Said this to me
Clearly
Through his framed poem.

"My friend,
You have been hard
Like a rock
And broke
Many hearts
For thirty years.
How should spring
Bring forth a garden
On the hard stone?
Once,
For the sake of experiment,
Become like earth
Let roses bloom on you."

Vehbi Tasar

Gönderen: Vehbi 31 01 2006 - 15:45

OSPREY ON THE CELL TOWER

An osprey sits on the cell phone tower
Across the street.
I sit on a chair
In a McDonald’s.
Osprey watches.
I eat my sandwich.
I look at her.
I see greatness
In the distance.
She looks at me.
She sees through the glass
The pupils
Of my eyes.

Vehbi Tasar

Gönderen: HACI 01 02 2006 - 02:29

Benim aradan çıkmam iyi oldu..

Sizleri Vehbi ile baş başa bırakıyorum..
Ama onun tercümanı olmaya devam edeceğim..
Hala benim desteğime ihtiyacı olacağını düşünüyorum..
Şiirlerini size açıklamam gerekebilir.

Kendisi ün peşinde koşan birisi değildir.
Paraya da gereğinden fazla önem vermediğini biliyorum..
Ve paraya ihtiyacı da yoktur..

Vehbi çok okur.. Avid reader terimi sanki onun için icat edilmiştir..

Kendisine bunu henüz söylemedim ama ben, Vehbi'yi, hem Eric Hoffer'e hem de Emily Dickinson'a benzetiyorum.

Şiirleri bana Emily Dickinson'ı anımsatıyor. Ama başlangıç noktası hiç kuşkusuz Eric Hoffer...

Ne demek istediğimi sonra açıklarım..

Selamlar..

HACI

Gönderen: üçnoktabirdört 01 02 2006 - 11:35

İlgi ile takip etmekteyim.



Gönderen: Ceyda 01 02 2006 - 12:34

Sayın Vehbi Taşar, eserleri ile anasayfamızda.

http://www.mevsimsiz.com/yazardetay.asp?id=346




Gönderen: Vehbi 02 02 2006 - 14:03

2005 RAMAZANI

Ramazan başı
Yahya Kemal aklımdaydı.
İstanbulun sonbaharları,

“Günler kısaldı Çamlıcanın ihtiyarları
Bir bir hatırlıyor geçen sonbaharları”

İlk Amerika’ya geliş sıkıntılarım,

“Ölmek kaderde var bize ürküntü vermiyor
Lakin vatandan ayrılışın ızdırabı zor”

Babamın el yazısı hatıra albümünde
Siyah beyaz dolmakalemiyle
En sevdiği teyzesinin ölümünde,

“Yazdan kalan ne varsa olurken haşır neşir.
Günler hazinleşir, geceler uhrevileşir;
Teşrinlerin bu hüznü geçer ta iliklere.
Anlar ki yolcu yol görünür selviliklere.”

Takılmış giderken bu sonbahar tellerine
Bana bir taze değişiklik gerek diye geçirirken aklımdan
Mevlana seslendi yanıbaşımdan,

“Şaraba düşmüştüm geçen yıl
Kızıl bir dünyada gezerim şimdi.
Ateşi gözlerdim geçen yıl
Yanık kebapım şimdi.”

Yanık kebap olamasam da bu ramazanda
Bir dost buldum geçmişte
Gelecekten daha yeni.

Dostum benden yirmi yaş gençti
Kasım başı bir sonbahar günü
Konya’da akşam üstü
Tıpkı bugünkü gibi.
Herkesin bir güneşi varmış,
Mevlana kendi Şemsini gördü
Sene bin iki yüz kırk dört miladi.

İlk bakışta aşık oldu
Deli divane.
Şems erkek güzeli, insan güzeli
Bu dünyadan değil, o dünyadan değil,
Başka bir dünyadan gelmiş olsa gerek böylesi.
Kamaştı gözleri
Kör oldu aşktan.
İnanılmaz bir sevinç doldurdu içini
Bütün aşıklar gibi.
Evrenin başlangıcıydı sanki.

Kavuşma uzun sürmese de,
Başlamıstı bir kere
Aşk mucizesi.
Girmişti gönlüne Mevlana’nın
Şems-i-Tebrizi.
Bütün macerası bildiklerimizin,
Bilemeyeceklerimizin
Açık, kapalı şiirlerinde
Mevlana hiç bir şey gizlemedi.
Ne basit, ne karışık,
Ne sır, ne aşikardı olanlar
Mısraların içinde
Vardı derin imalar.

Şeyhim yok oldu gitti
Fitili bitmiş kandil misali
Gölge bile bırakmadan geri
Bütün ölümsüz aşıklar gibi.
Sene bin iki yüz kırk yedi.

Aşkın verdiği ışık
Yayıldı sekiz yüz yıl
Hüsamın kaleminden
Erenlerin gönlünden
Evrenin her yerinden.

Aşıkların hediyesi
Yansıdı karanlıkta
Çarptı boş yüreklere
Bilinmeyen boşluklardan
Bizlere geri geldi.
Parlattı şiirleri
Aydınlattı kalpleri
Yaktı her nefeste beni
Şu ramazan günleri.

Ramazanin son günü
Mevlana bana geldi
Heyecanıma gülümsedi
Güzelim Türkçesiyle
Bana şunu söyledi,

“Şiirlerin içindeki mevcudiyetleri dinle
Bırak seni götürsünler
Nereye isterlerse.
Gözden saklı imaların
Peşinden git dikkatle
Ve asla bu mülkü terketme!”

Vehbi Tasar, 3 Kasim, 2005






Gönderen: Vehbi 03 02 2006 - 01:24



QUITTING

Quitting is
A dance,
I will practice from birth to death.
Yet, I noticed
I can’t quit and swap my shell.
I don’t know who injected my essence
But, it is not because things don’t change.
Perhaps I grasp too much to what attracts
Or, I am afraid of what I will get.
I am sure both are the case.
I know I evolve by quitting,
Alas, I am horrible at it.
Quitting is
A higher order dance
With the rules that I make.

Vehbi Tasar


Gönderen: Vehbi 04 02 2006 - 01:30


Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 30

Blown by the wind
All is quiet
Their shapes don’t change
Grooves in the sand
They are brilliant.
Profound silence
Away from eye
Not going straight
They may overlap.
Up and down
Twilight has come.
In the horizon
They become one.
Silence astounds
They go down
Color turns brick
Sky is ocean
A far mountain
Rises from none
Touching the moon
Looks like Earth
From the space.
Sky is black
Few more grooves
Climb up its sides
Disappear from eye
Into the stars.
All is silent.


Vehbi Tasar



Gönderen: Vehbi 04 02 2006 - 12:33

SAILING

I could have enjoyed this
If I didn’t get seasick
If the wind was calm
If the ocean was warm
If there were no sharks
If I was on a reach
If I didn’t have to turnabout
Every minute
If I was skilled
In seeing the fire
And the wind.

I could have watched
Frigate birds-
Flying dinosaurs of the twilight.
I could speak Spanish
With senoritas on the beach in Mazatlan.
Touch sea turtles, flying fish and the blue-footed booby
On the hike in Isla Isabella.
Swim with dolphins, visit with whales
In their home,
The great Pacific Ocean.
Fireworks in Puerto Vallarta in 2002
On the Christmas day
Carefree on a dingy,
I could have enjoyed it
If I wasn’t afraid of dying
If there wasn’t another man.

Our limitations define
Our perimeter for living
And the equation of marrying has
One too many variables to solve.

Vehbi Tasar

Gönderen: Vehbi 05 02 2006 - 09:39

Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 31, Adagio, ma non troppo

At the end,
Sick and completely deaf
The old man was on his own.
Facing his death alone
He became the child he once was.
They buried him six feet deep
The depth of his music remains unknown.

During every storm,
Soft taps of raindrops on his coffin
Will seal our intimacy with him.
His lullaby will live on.
For only a mother can know a child’s heart
And keep warm
Our tender human heart.

Vehbi Tasar

Gönderen: Vehbi 05 02 2006 - 18:27

PINK LADY

Pink Lady is the name for a rose,
But it is the apple that I am talking about.
Her blood is noble and pure.
Her father is Golden Delicious
Her mother is Lady Williams of the Wales.
Pink Lady must only be eaten in the winter
When she is fresh.
She was born in the colonies in Perth,
Made her home in the United States.
She is only twenty seven years old.
She likes the soil where wine grows best
In the Eastern Washington state.
She likes to lay naked under the sun
For one hundred and twenty days
Before she is ready to date.
She won’t submit her flesh to men
Before she gets her tan.
She blushes if you get near her.
She smells like a flower
If you bite her.
A rose, gardenia or carnation,
Use your imagination.
She has taste, she has class, and she is juicy and crisp
She is a bargain at one forty-nine a pound.
You are lucky if you can taste the Pink Lady
When she is ready.
When you bite on her flesh next time,
Remember my poem.


Vehbi Tasar

Gönderen: Vehbi 06 02 2006 - 17:16

RESPONSIBILITY

Responsibility is like a stone.
It is nice and round.
Good to have it about.
Feels good to touch,
It is heavy and hard.
I can drop it on the ground.
I can juggle it over my head.
I can throw it to someone else.
It can be fun.
On the other hand,
I can hurt myself with it.
I can kill people with it.
It is a weapon.
If it gets too unwieldy to handle,
I may ignore it;
Or, I can do something about it
Like write a good poem.
No matter what I do to it,
It will always be there.
Just don’t make a mistake about it.
I am not the stone.

Vehbi Tasar

Gönderen: Vehbi 07 02 2006 - 16:19

Creationism

One wrong question,
Too many words are spoken.
If God was here first, why man?
If man was here first,
Why is God needed?

Vehbi Tasar

Gönderen: Vehbi 07 02 2006 - 19:12

Señorita Trujillo

I meet Señorita Trujillo today
She tells me it is her husband’s name;
She is newly married.
She has two small eyes and Irish skin,
On two freckled cheeks.
She has knotted her hair
In two disks.
Smaller one lies at the bottom,
The big one spirals to its top.
Irish hair,
Long and red.
Two long ruby earrings
Dangle down her white long neck.
A long white shawl on white shoulders
Is this a Goya I am speaking with?
She tells me her mother is Danish,
Her father, I forget.
Ah, I am so lucky to meet female beauty
Without consequences.

Vehbi Tasar

Gönderen: Vehbi 07 02 2006 - 23:25



Cartoons of the Prophet

Some say it is freedom,
Some say it is disrespect.
Is there freedom to disrespect?
When the world is a family,
The rules of freedom will change.

Vehbi Tasar

Gönderen: Vehbi 08 02 2006 - 11:01

CAMERA

I have to buy a camera,
I cannot wait
For one more day.
I am in a buying heat.
I have lofty plans for it.
I will capture the souls
Of living and non-living
Without touching.
Animal, plant, child,
Flower and mountain,
Countries I visit,
All the women I will meet,
Places I haven’t seen,
Homes that I will own,
My children and wives,
Relatives and friends,
Everyone I work with,
Souls of everything,
Living and non-living.

I don’t want to touch them,
I am afraid to become
A part of their pain.
I am selfish.
I am aloof to their joys.
I will not spoil their beauty.
I am an environmentalist.
It is only their presence
That I am interested in.
I am a soul man
In passing.

It has to be digital,
I have no patience to wait
For developing film.
I will store my souls in a laptop
I will back them up on disks.
I will carry them with me
Halfway around the world,
Wherever I go.
We can’t be separated,
They are my reason for living.
I am a collector of souls.

Price is irrelevant.
A soul is priceless
Even if it was practical to buy it.
A soul machine is worth everything
That I own.
It doesn’t matter what kind,
Canon, Casio, Fuji, Kodak, Nikon or Sony,
As long as it has a zoom.
I don’t want to get too close.
It is a discreet affair,
This business
Of capturing souls.
Besides, I want to be safe.
There are some poisonous souls
Out there.
If I have to get too close
I must not touch them.
I can’t look too sentimental
I am a professional
Collector of souls.
It can’t be too small.
I have to look important
When I hold it.
I am a naturalist,
Not a tourist.
It has to be a bit heavy.
I can’t afford to look weak.
It can’t be too heavy.
I am not pretentious.
It must look complicated.
I am not stupid.

When I am old and senile,
And ready to give up,
I will look at all the souls
That I collected
And say to myself,
I did it!
I captured them all!
This is how I lived it.
This was my life!

Vehbi Tasar

Gönderen: Vehbi 09 02 2006 - 20:07

Two Teardrops

I was ten years old.
Watched my grandmother pray
As in most days,
In our shared room.

Two teardrops fell
On her cheeks
Sitting,
Still in prayer.

At that moment,
I understood
There are finalities
Beyond prayer.

Vehbi Tasar

Gönderen: Vehbi 10 02 2006 - 04:38

PURPOSE OF POETRY

I will not write a book about this.
The purpose of poetry is to hide nothing.
Open your heart.
Few will see it
Few will read it
Only the chosen will understand.
Such is the nature of heart.
Please don’t be offended by what I say
I mean no harm.
If you want to offend me,
Please proceed.
I may not have his talent
But, I have Nazım Hikmet’s heart.
Made from water buffalo’s skin
Thick, dense and big.

Vehbi Tasar

Gönderen: Vehbi 10 02 2006 - 17:59




İKİ DAMLA GÖZ YAŞI

Bir kış günü Erzurumdaki çatı katında
Birlikte yattığımız odasında
Oturmuşum yatağımın üzerinde on yaşımda
Babannemi seyrediyordum ikindi namazında.

Babannem son rekatında
İki pamuk elleri diz kapaklarını örter
Kırışmış gözleri seccadeye bakarken
Aniden yuvarlandı iki damla göz yaşı

İçe çökmüş yanaklarına.
Ak boynunu ıslattı, silemedi duada.
O anda anladı çocuk varlığını ilk defa
Namazın çözümleyemeyeceği acıların


Vehbi Tasar

Gönderen: Vehbi 11 02 2006 - 05:46

WAVES

Waves, Waves, Waves
Oh Waves!
Come to me.
Soak my feet
Hug my knees
Embrace me.
Bring me your shores
Bring me your tides
Lift me.
Bring me your fish
Bring me your dolphins
Kiss me.
Bring me your whale
Look me in the eye
Spray me.
Bring me your tidings
Bring me your fishermen
Bring me hope
Delight me.
Bring me your sails
Bring me your wind
Fill me in.
Bring me your mermaids
Bring me your bounty
Indulge me.
Bring me your salt
Bring me your sailors
Bring me your dead
Bring me your tears
Drown me.
Bring me your volcanoes
Bring me their fires
Burn me.
Bring me your seaweeds
Choke me.
Bring me your sharks
Consume me.
I am at your feet
I ain’t got nothing
I ain’t need nothing
Make me whole
Heal me.
Bring me your tsunami
Carry me
Carry me
Carry me laughing
Put me back
Gently.

Vehbi Tasar

Gönderen: Vehbi 12 02 2006 - 15:17

ÇÖMLEK

Ozanın aslı toprak,
sazı dil,
hüneri anlam,
sanatı çömlekmiş.
Çömleğin vatanı
gömüldüğü toprak,
çömleğin sahibi
onu bulandır.

Vehbi Tasar

Gönderen: Vehbi 12 02 2006 - 21:44

CLAY POT

Earth is the poet’s essence.
Language,
His instrument.
His talent is meaning;
His output,
A clay pot.
Where a clay pot is buried,
It is where clay pot’s from;
And whoever finds it,
Owns the clay pot.

Vehbi Tasar

Gönderen: Vehbi 14 02 2006 - 14:55

BIOGRAPHICAL ERROR

It is a fact that Tchaikovsky
Stood several hours
In the frigid Moscow river
To escape the only woman
Who loved him as a man.
Some say,
He was gay.
I say,
It was this experience that made
Warm melodies and ice statues
Who could dance.
They say it was a glass of water
From the same river
That killed him.
I say,
“What a tragic mistake!”

Vehbi Tasar

Gönderen: Vehbi 15 02 2006 - 01:31


My Valentine

Will you be my valentine today?
The day after Valentine’s Day?
When they won’t sell flowers
Twice at the going rate?
Will you be my valentine?
When no excuses are needed,
When I have no obligations,
And your need is sincere?
Will you be my valentine when no one is looking?
When we hold hands?
All I want is your company.
All you need is my presence,
As your friend.
On this Valentine’s Day.

Vehbi Tasar

Gönderen: Vehbi 22 02 2006 - 12:55

SIGN

They were intimate like cat and kitten.
Pain struck her as he left home
And climbed up to the sky.
There were no roads to a star,
She could not touch him,
And he did not care.
She was lost in a river; its end unknown,
Its source distant.
She decided to find him; she became a bird.
She lost her colors; she lost her friends;
She landed on the tallest tree
And stood on its highest branch.
She aimed her beak to the skies
And began to sing a song.
Most did not hear her singing,
No one understood her song.
People guessed she was waiting for a sign;
But, I recognized the bird.
She had become the sign
That she had once searched for.

Vehbi Taşar

İŞARET

İçli dışlıydılar kediyle yavrusu gibi
Adam evi bıraktı; göğe tırmandı.
Kadının içine acı saplandı.
Yıldıza giden yol yoktu.
Adama dokunamadı; adam hiç aldırmadı.
Kayboldu bir nehirde; sonu bilinmez;
Başladığı yer uzakta kalmış.
Karar verdi bulacaktı adamı.
Bir kuş oldu.
Renklerini unuttu; dostlarını kaybetti.
En yüksek ağacın en yüksek dalına kondu.
Gagasını göğe hedefledi
Ve bir şarkı söylemeye başladı.
Pek çok kişi duymadı şarkı söylediğini;
Hiç kimse anlamadı şarkısını.
İnsanlar bir işaret beklediğini sandı.
Fakat, ben bu kuşu hatırladım.
Kadın, bir zamanlar araştırdığı
İşaret olmuştu.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 22 02 2006 - 13:17

BECOMING OLD

We were young and beautiful once.
We no longer attract;
But, we are still beautiful.
We lost our youth;
But, the young bird still flies to us.

Vehbi Tasar

Gönderen: Vehbi 22 02 2006 - 15:15

CAT

I grab the cat.
She is not amused.
If you want to pet this cat,
You have to play by her rules.
She comes when she wants.
Her ritual is to sit on her hind legs
And push her two paws in my lap
In rhythmic procession
While she closes her eyes
Walking in the cat’s heaven.
This lady knows what she wants
And she always gets it her way.

Vehbi Tasar

Gönderen: Vehbi 25 02 2006 - 06:05

WHITE

White, white, white,
I paint white.
White has contours;
White has rings.
White has wings.
White has width,
White has length,
White has depth.
White, white, white.
Sparkling white, grey-white, checkered-white, dotted-white,
White on white.
Snow white, dirty white,
Ice white, virgin white,
Bride white, saint white and scarf white.
Vincent white, Dutch white and winter white.
Pure white, off-white and wrinkled white.
Skin white, ocean white, foam white,
Sand white and shell white.
Sky white, cloud white, buttock white,
And baby white.
One hundred whites!
Wide is thick
Like oil;
Hard as marble;
David white of Michael Angelo,
White baby, face white
Of Mary in White in
Sistine Chapel.
White is as thin
As ice.
Our faiths are white,
Our sins are white,
Our lies are white,
Our greed is white.
Our shrouds are white.
Our graves are white.
Our bones are white.
Our lust is white.
Our rage is white
And our revenge is white.
White is good.
White is pure.
White is simple.
I like white.
Why go further?

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 26 02 2006 - 18:27

DOKTORA

Korkunç elleri vardır,
Mert adamdır,
Adanalıdır,
Kuvvetlidir doktor.
Hastanın boğazını sıkar
Ortaya çıkıncaya dek gerçekler.
Sesi gök gürültüsüdür
Zeus’un.
İçinde narin bir kalp atar.
Hayvanlara âşıktır,
Serçeleri okşar,
Kelebekleri koklar,
Güzelliği arar
Çirkin insan neslimizde.
Çocuklarında bulamadıklarını
Şiirlerinde yazar.
Bütün insanların babasıdır doktor
Çocukları olmasa da.

Vehbi Tasar

Gönderen: Vehbi 26 02 2006 - 20:56

BARBERSHOP
(To my daughter)

In my youth, a barbershop used to be the only place you paid
To take away the living from your flesh.
Times have changed.
Now, they have weight clinics
And boarding schools.

Vehbi

Gönderen: Vehbi 27 02 2006 - 11:16

FLOOD

I feel like I am flooded
With verse.
There are many possibilities; but first,
I need to get to dry land.

Vehbi Tasar

Gönderen: Vehbi 02 03 2006 - 04:03

TRANSLATING A POEM

My antlers deep in your cavities,
I feel the weight of your beautiful leaves.
I am drunk with your perfume.
A word here, a word there,
I play.
Some words have no meaning,
One has one too many;
Symbols are deep.
A sentence appears yonder
And leaps to a meaning.
The question repeats,
What is the purpose of all this?
I stop and consider the orchid.
When I am done here,
I will leave.
A rare orchid will bloom in my place;
No footprints, no instrument;
A promised land.
Your soul will be intact.

Vehbi Tasar

Gönderen: Vehbi 05 03 2006 - 17:26

MIND TAKES HEART ON A JOURNEY

World is wild and big;
Heart sits here and ticks
Tic, toc; tic toc; tic toc; tic toc…

Himalayan hills to meditate;
Air is too thin.
Balfour…
Too dangerous
Even the Peace Corps wouldn’t let you go there.
Some country in the edge of Sahara where people live
To teach arithmetic to kids.
Old men can’t live there,
And why do you think you are needed?
Hemşinli in Rize, the old house on the mountain
To drink warm milk from cow’s udder every morning.
Do you like rain?
Have you milked a cow before?
And what makes you think it is pasteurized?
Play backgammon with the old village men in Turkey
And write a touching novel like Alan Paton’s.
You have internet to play backgammon
And you are not into the politics of racism.

Wide Caribbean Sea of Derek Walcott
To compose colonial poetry during hurricane season.
You practically live in the Caribbean!
Besides, who reads colonial poems anymore?
Ah, the tropics!
The rain forest, trees, bromeliads and orchids.
There is always the Selby Botanical Gardens;
You could drive there in an hour.
I don’t like to live with the rich;
Because, you are stupid.

Heart is simple;
It beats where it is; mind is wild and big.
Yet all that entire mind hears from the heart
Tic, toc; tic toc; tic toc; tic toc…

Vehbi Tasar

Gönderen: Vehbi 07 03 2006 - 15:56

CREATING BEAUTY OF NOTHING

Creating beauty of nothing is hazardous to your health.
Your wife threatens to walk out;
Friends are courteous;
Relatives are betrayed;
Your children are embarrassed.
Neighbors do not care;
Companions don’t understand;
Your acquaintances do not read
And fellow poets are enraged.
Only lovers of heart know
Force of nature can’t be compressed.

Vehbi Taşar


Gönderen: Vehbi 11 03 2006 - 19:12

CURVE

Oh my God!
Heavens and Angels above
What would I not give to drink this curve?
The comfort tax of living long…

Vehbi Taşar


Gönderen: Vehbi 11 03 2006 - 19:36

BEETHOVEN’S TEMPEST

This has nothing to do with Tempest.
Ripples that dance and phosphorescence
And surge
That never ends.

Vehbi Taşar


BEETHOVEN’İN TEMPEST’İ (FIRTINA)

Fırtınayla ilgisi yok bunun.
Danseden dalgacıklar ve yakamoz
Ve kabartı
Hiç bitmez.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 12 03 2006 - 20:51

PROPHETS

All prophets were poets at some point
before God talked to them.
They understood their own word
only after they told the truth;
Not before then.

Vehbi Taşar

PEYGAMBERLER

Bütün peygamberler şairdiler bir zamanlar
Tanrı onlarla konuşmadan.
anladılar kendi sözcüklerini
Doğruyu söylediklerinden beri;
önceden değil.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 14 03 2006 - 22:30


INQUIRY

“How are you? “
“Doing good.”
What do you mean?
Did you feed a cat?
Have you woken up yet?
Did you show your face at work?
These are good for doing;
Or, did you mean,
That you were breathing?

Not that breathing is bad; but,
Was that what you meant?
In the past or present tense?

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 15 03 2006 - 01:17


CATS

Cats suffer for lost childhood,
their bullying species.
And what a savage master is
the human race!
Declaw, neuter, fix,
put them in prison for the life
in good confine.
Death sentence for the domestic cat:
A bit of water, a bit of crap,
a bit of affection to receive and give,
and the soft warmth of baby’s fur;
Feel one with the cat.
Heart beats
Purr, purr, purr;
eyes asleep,
tail tense
watch, watch, watch
the life passing by.
Play a little,
die of boredom
And burn with desire.

By Vehbi Taşar



Gönderen: Vehbi 15 03 2006 - 16:16

CONSTANT GARDENER

Gentleness yearns for love
it doesn’t seek. Love
looks for a tender heart
to violate; together, they make
Magic!

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 18 03 2006 - 21:57

SEA RESCUE

I fall in the Ocean
A life jacket on my neck; weightless,
No formalities; shoes and socks lost,
I do not need those.

My glasses are gone,
The highest peaks to see
Are the tips of the waves
Dancing on the roaring wind.

My wallet in my pocket with
Three hundred dollars, in twenty dollar bills,
The portrait of my daughter and a little slip of paper,
On which is typed a prayer;

“Prayer of Abundance” from the Holy Koran!
In the freezing water
I am not aware of God,
But, I am aware of my pocket.

San Franciso Bay has sharks
And Alcatraz.
I am a convict on my own island,
I am not afraid.

I am alone in Peace.
Floating in the cold,
If death comes, it will be a rush of water-
Into my lungs- I breathe the air; breathe and breathe.

A boat comes, a rope is thrown,
My head hits the boat,
I am under the water; it is not a boat,
It must have been a whale with a very hard skin.

I am back on the water,
The boat is gone; I float alone,
A bump on my head, salt in my throat,
My pocket intact, I breathe again.

Another boat passes; I ask for help,
They say they will return.
I wait all alone,
Thinking of my life;

I have a wife, if she can find me.
I have children who will miss me.
I have workmates who don’t need me.
I belong to no one, but the sea!

Help comes back,
They dangle me a rope,
I wish I had hands,
Bigger than mine!

Blood is drawn into my center,
My brain is numb,
My appendages are useless,
I roll my eyes; I have moving parts!

They pull me up on the side of-
I did not say, “The deck!”
Either the rope is not long enough,
Or, their lift won’t work.

I dangle on the side; under full sail and power;
Seawater wants to help
By knocking my ribs senseless against the boat
Like a punching bag.

The coast guard won’t come; it is overrated
For its heroic deeds.
Why bother until after the subject’s dead
Or, when one is not lost, or found!

Between water and the boat and I,
I lose my desire. No pain, no wishes,
I only breathe and become
The water I come from.

I hear voices, someone yells to drop the sails,
My instinct tells me there are still people left
In the sea who seemingly know
What they are doing.

They pull me up on the deck—
And this time, I mean “The Deck.”
I lay on the bottom, water pouring from my cavities,
Like the fish that bit the wrong bait!

They put me in a car,
They take me to the Office
Of the Yacht club-
To shiver in peace until I stop.

Under three blankets,
I think of my wallet!
And the twenty dollar bills drying on the table
Along with my Prayer- Of Abundance!

As I shiver, someone says,
“The coast guard came to file their report,”
They do not need to see me; they only guard the coast,
Files do not care for the living or the dead!

Nothing is lost.
A pair of shoes,
My glasses and my wife
And my sailing career!

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 23 03 2006 - 00:06

APPROACHING STORM

At times like this, I feel at peace
within.
Even though, storm clouds are gathering
in the core,
deep
deep within…

Vehbi Taşar


Gönderen: Vehbi 27 03 2006 - 17:33

THE DAY I DIDN’T GO TO INDIA

Sometimes, irony is so great
that it is hard to see the humor in it;
that is, at least until when it is over and done with.

I am stamping little red circles that have
our two flags on it: the Turkish and the American,
in the fake passports of adolescents
under a small tent in St. Petersburg-
not as in Hermitage in Russia;
but, in St. Petersburg, Florida.
It is in a country fair where we are all working today,
except for me; I am just a voyeur.
We are all doctors, PhDs, wives
and used to be wives, husbands and ex husbands
serving some kids and among us
there is even a child.


We are mostly old.
If there is something else common about us, it is
that we are all fiercely independent- after all, we are Turks-
and if we weren’t misfits, we would all still be living in Turkey
which brings us to the cause that unites us
that seems to be our Turkishness,
or, is it?
there is something about this human exchange
that only Mevlâna could express
as I attempt to translate his poems.

In a few hours from now
I need to catch a flight to India, for a business trip.
But, I am really enjoying this strange prelude to an even stranger trip
that I think I will take today.

All my little red circles are next to the stamps of Tonga,
that is the kingdom of Tonga in the South Pacific,
they got their geography alphabetized.
There is Laos too; few kids know where it is.
Canada, Italy and Vietnam, and many other countries,
but, the point is not geography;
to be quiet honest, I am not sure what the point is.

Egypt’s stamp is a sphinx! Whose idea was that?
There is a huge difference between Egypt of today and the Sphinx.
India has a booth; their stamp has one word in it, “Nameste,”
the Buddhist’s chant of peace.
I don’t know where Indians got this one,
don’t they know that only one percent of their country is Buddhist?

This affair seems to be a strange combination of eating and wearing things,
even though sometimes it is hard to tell what the difference is.

Trinkets are popular,
we sell them in our tent; they are all made in the Philippines.
Ankle bracelets are tried on dozens of little girlie feet.
We sell baklava, döner kebap, dolma and börek
and börek is the most popular of all; hush! It is a secret,
we buy our börek from the Greeks!
To return the favor, we did not say in our literature
that baklava was invented in Turkey; but, it was possible
that it was invented by a consortium of nations, including
Greeks, Turks, Arabs and even Assyrians.
It is guaranteed that this will not satisfy
the pride of any nation and especially that of Assyrians!
But, we have a solution for this.
My wife made aşure and I made copies of a fairy tale that says
Noah invented it!
Noah is not political; after all, he was a prophet.

Italy is our next door neighbor; kids eat their Italian pizza in our Turkish chairs.
A very old gentleman of Italian descent is either sleeping
under the sun on an Italian chair, or may already be dead
in his ostentatious Renaissance-era clothing.
I say to kids Renaissance is a country far away from Italy and closer to Turkey.
It is not fair to say things like that to kids; they don’t know what pun means.
I say good bye to everyone to leave for the airport;
my wife is reluctant to give me a ride,
not because I am leaving,
but, she is anxious to collect a few more dollars from the poor kids!

At the airport, an African American gate agent tells me I can’t go, and why not?
Did she think I wanted to go where she came from?
I am about to tell her that I went there many times in my dreams
but, rest your heart in peace lady! Africa is not my destination at this point.
She says I don’t possess a visa to go to India.
I say this is outrageous!
and since when, dear lady, did anyone need a visa to go to India?
As everyone knows half the world’s population lives there, and none of them has
half as much as a fake passport to travel anywhere.
Here I am in possession of a valid US passport
and tickets that I paid for.
It is my God given right to go to India.
In fact, if it’s deemed necessary,
I could go back to the Indian tent in St. Petersburg
and have the word “Nameste” stamped in my passport!

Rules are rules; they don’t want me to take a 16-hour air trip to India,
only to come back in the next flight-16 more hours to Florida!
But, I am now more worried about going back to work
during the rush hour traffic.

First, I need to be driven back home by my wife to take the other car
that belongs to my Indian friend waiting in Bangalore,
as my wife is in a rush to go back to the fair to sell döner kebap.

From home, I drive to work slowly, deliberately, taking my time
with the classical music playing on the car radio, my windows open;
Oh my God! “One of them” African Americans is blasting
his deafening rap music in his car so loud that my eardrums will pop up;
his car window is open, just like mine!

At work, I go on the Internet to find a visa application
for the Indian Consulate in Washington.
I stamped three hundred fake passports today. Why do I need this?
I fill out the application three times in clear bold letters,
making spelling mistakes on the two previous occasions.
I am told to produce two passport size pictures by 6 pm,
today is my passport day!
My application has to go to the FedEx store on its way to D.C
before the store closes at six p.m.
It is five Friday night and most people are already drunk
and I can understand the need for being drunk.
There are hundred calls to be made,
cancellations, apologies, more plans to make
for a failed attempt;
the desire for intoxication is stronger
when all that is truly disgusting must be hidden
with even more disgusting pretension
that things will be just fine.

I have to go to the Walgreens in the rush hour to get my pictures taken.
I am driving the car of my Indian friend
who was supposed to pick me up tomorrow in Bangalore.
He will not be amused by today’s events!

There is a girl in the counter not more than twenty three.
She is much more frustrated than me.
She is not pretty, she is not ugly;
she is just very angry.
I lie to her. I say she is very pretty and she should not be angry
as if this was half a reason for anyone to be even sane.
But, she is pleased as young girls do;
customers are waiting, she is being blamed
and her picture machine is broken beyond any hope
on this Friday night, less than hour before her shift ended.
But, she is as brave and determined
as she is every fresh Walgreen’s morning.
I feel for her. I hope she has a boyfriend.
I smile and offer my expertise to break things
that are not already broken. I know nothing about
cash registers and broken hinges. But, of course there is
a computer behind everything that spoils the harmony of the living
and that is what I do for a living; or, am I?
We work together; she cuts her finger, her blood on the keyboard.
I offer my sympathies and she gracefully acknowledges-
I wish I could offer her a fake passport and my stamp in St. Petersburg.

At 5:50pm, the deed is accomplished,
I take my pictures to work, the FedEx deadline is met,
And I am back to writing poems.

Everyone makes fun of me at work for going to India at the warp speed.
And I am glad too- I made a lot of kids happy today.

As I am ready to leave for home at 7:30pm,
I see that someone else is still there.
This is very strange for a Friday night at work
I run into the office of our vice president of sales-
and see that he is crying!
he says he thinks he deleted his presentation
that he had been working on all day long.
Another computer broke down a grown man,
when I say computers bring misery to mankind, I am not lying.
I set my suitcase aside with my Indian gear inside,
and rush to his help.
In a freak, I recover the file that he thought he had deleted,
now he is happy that I didn’t leave earlier.

It is so simple to make people happy-
fake passports,
a little patience,
a smile, a compliment
or, find their missing files,
and even stamping our Turkishness
in the blank horizons of a few kids.
How much of an effort does this take?
What is the point anyway?
I am just as happy now at home
as I would be in an airplane.

At the end of a very long day,
I finally understand the point.
We may be steeped in irony in this world,
But, we can still make happy moments in the barnacles of our fate.
Consider the aspirin- the cure for all- not too long ago extracted
from the barks of the willow trees.
When things don’t go your way, search for a shade of the willow.
Your cure may be still be there,
waiting.

Vehbi Taşar




Gönderen: Vehbi 29 03 2006 - 00:51

LAST DANCE

By Vehbi Taşar

An eighty-four year old gentleman
with snow-white hair, wearing a red French beret,
burgundy vest, a silk scarf tucked in his shirt with a
tango on his portable player singing in Turkish,
out here in the fresh air,
he is living his youth in Bosporus.

A ratty Italian coquette,
about seventy years of age,
she is wearing an Irish green gypsy dress
under the veil of cirrus clouds against the blue afternoon,
on a lovely circus lawn by the sea here,
she is drinking the attention.

I am watching them from the small crowd
of the admiring old folks.

They are performing a tango together.
Their steps in unison,
their kicks lively,
their passion touching,
their heartbeats are the heartbeats of two strangers,
perhaps a bit more vigorous than ordinary lovers.
A man and a woman dancing with each other
with great expectations.

An old woman I spoke before is sitting next to me quietly all through this
watching like everyone else.
When the tango ends with him kissing gypsy's hand, she doesn’t clap;
instead, she puts one hand on my shoulder,
her other hand on her knee cap, as if she is going to pray.
She leans over and whispers into my ear,
“please call my husband dear,
I want him come back to me.”
“He is the one, that one ahead, standing next,
to ‘the woman’ over there”

She is suddenly a young girl,
angry, passionate and beautiful,
a kiss on her red lips, a cupped hand on her ripe breasts,
her heart, it’s only been three months since
her triple-bypass,
fluttering with jealousy.

I walk over to the husband
to tell him.
He turns his back slowly
to the gypsy
and joins his wife
obediently.

They are happy.


Gönderen: Vehbi 04 04 2006 - 22:17

GREEN MEMORIES

Why are they playing your song
in this most unlikely place,
twenty-five years ago
and ten thousand miles away?
Since then, other paths crossed,
but none like it.
The song went like this:
“Is everything all right?”
Before our eyes met; and then,
“Do you ever think of me?”
When we made love,
“Miles away…
And hearts will be…
that way.” Later,
when we shared your cigarette.

I am too tired to think what made me walk these paths,
but, as I lay on my back in this hammock today,
I look up and see
the comforting branches of a wild durain tree.
Rays of sun’s straw yellow hair spread on sky’s mauve sheets,
behind two green leaves.
I close my eyes to take them in.
When I open my eyes, will they still be there?
The leaves, my love,
of green memories.

Vehbi Taşar
Munnar, Kerala, India, April 1, 2006





Gönderen: Vehbi 08 04 2006 - 03:55


GOD

Father, Son and Holy Ghost,
I have a tail and two horns,
I am God.
Some call me Goddess,
but respect my mate more than their own king,
for, unlike the king,
he works in their farms,
pulls their carts
and helps me make more Gods.

They can’t hit me,
they won’t push me,
they have to respect me
because I am God.
They can kill their brother,
and go to jail.
But if they kill me,
their atonement is going to be more difficult.
How can anyone kill God?

If I stick my butt
into the middle of the road
where they drive their cars,
they have to go around.
I sit in the markets,
I walk on the highways,
I appear from nowhere like a ghost,
I am omnipresent.

They can’t eat my meat,
I feed their children.
My power is so great,
I am omnipotent.
No one speaks to me
except for the devil,
whom I do not speak with.

I come and go as I like,
I pass highways, crossroads
and walk into food stalls.
I eat trash, weeds and hay
and spread my excrement everywhere,
for everything belongs to me.

They like me so much,
they paint my horns,
like their own girls.

No part of me goes to waste.
My dung is so valuable
that they make turmeric with it
and eat it with every meal.
They spread it on the floor,
and sit on it when it is dry.
They make a gas from it,
to cook their food with.

They heap my dung in piles,
and place flowers on it
to celebrate my bounty.

When I am horny,
I make love to my mate freely.
When I am old and feeble,
they take care of me.

When I die,
they can’t burn me like their own,
my body made this earth,
it will continue to make it.

When I am gone,
God’s children shall live on
till eternity.


Vehbi Taşar, Uttangarai, Tamil Nadu, India.

Gönderen: Vehbi 08 04 2006 - 06:07

TIMES THAT NEVER CHANGE

How many tears carved this marble?
How many polished it?
How many tons of sweat
carried it here from the desert?
All this for the glory of what?
So that a couple of Maharajas could rest,
play polo, consume and fornicate.
They built giant sun dials- world’s largest-
monuments to the sun
to tell the time.
A marvel of astronomy for
times that never change.

Vehbi Taşar, Rambagh Palace, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India

Gönderen: Vehbi 11 04 2006 - 21:16

A ROOM WITH THE VIEW

As a bleeding heart begins to rise,
Taj Mahal hides in a mist of teardrops.
My Mümtaz!
My sparkling white Makrana marble,
My mother, my lover, my counselor, my best friend,
my wife of nineteen years!
I sit in a golden cage in this fort
built by my grandfather,
after the dawn prayers,
and look across the river
at your minarets.
They represent manhood,
dwarfed under the immense weight of a woman’s womb.
A mature woman,
with a perfectly smooth skin like this dome
and sensual curves.
A wise and desirable woman!
When I had the word in that dark battlefield
in the Deccan,
that you were dying,
I rushed to your site.
But you were already dead
at the ripe age of thirty-nine.

Yes, you wanted to be with me everywhere I went,
even my battlefields.
Ah, what would a man not give for such a woman?
I gave you every thing I had
and would have given you more.
These minarettes were supposed to be your lighthouses
swaying away, as if afraid to lean too much,
but, all light came from you
my Mümtaz,
sunlight, moonlight, starlight, candlelight,
all shining from you on this dome.

I was not much of a statesman,
they said,
but, I was a poet.
True, I say,
love is not practical,
but, love is patient.
It took me twenty-two years to build you this shrine.
I knew what had to be done
just as I knew my name was Shah Jahan.
I was selfish,
they said,
for spending my fortune on a tomb.
I say, love is not selfish,
But, love forgives.
I was forgiven at the end.
The truth was
I did not want to be buried in your grave.
You were perfection itself.
I did not wish to intrude
in the symmetry of your tomb
my love,
I wanted to build a Taj Mahal across from you
made from the black marble,
so that I could look at you forever.
Love does not listen to reason.
This was why our own son locked me in this jail,
my Mümtaz,
for eight years
in a room with the view,
to hold you in my gaze
until my last remaining breath.

I am not a shallow man.
This marble from Rajasthan is full of my tears,
crystal from China, lapis lazuli from Ceylon,
jasper from Punjab, carnelian from Baghdad, agate from Yemen,
finest corals from the Arabian lands,
each one of my teardrops were carved in this stone by hand,
one by one.
Üstad İsa from Iran was the architect.
He built two mosques for you on each side of your dome,
from blood red sandstone.
One looked at Mecca, which he called, “Prayer.”
One, on the opposite side, which called, “Answer.”
You sat in the middle,
God’s answer to my prayer.
I invited the finest artisans from China,
Persia, Turkey and Afghanistan,
every talent I could find
to build you this shrine.
I even changed the course of this river,
my love,
but, I could not change my end.
My fate was to lose you
and die in shame.

All I wanted to build was a black tomb for me
on the banks of your river.
I wanted to be buried in it
and mourn you in my death.
But, no reason to blame our son
for putting me in the jail,
it was all my fault.
If a woman could be the emperor,
you would be a better emperor than I.
But love meant nothing, my beloved,
if we did not love
our differences.
This was how,
you and I, together,
carved this marble,
Mümtaz,
with our love.

Vehbi Taşar, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India, April 10, 2006





Gönderen: Vehbi 13 04 2006 - 11:06

COMPUTERS IN BANGALORE

Tradition is strong here,
kings, Mughals, Rajas and the British
and now Americans!
They always served a Master.
With all these people, all this talent, all their craft and brains,
why do they need anyone to invent their own things?

Vehbi Taşar, Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Gönderen: Vehbi 13 04 2006 - 12:15

OLD HOUSE IN A NARROW STREET

An old house for sale in a narrow street,
comfortable, it has been empty for three years.
One story, three-bedrooms, wide windows, shadowy curtains,
handicapped bars to lean on in its bathrooms,
a hundred-year old oak in its backyard,
its limbs cut.
Old green carpets like their owners,
musty smell, walls papered
with colorful flowers, kitchen old
with linoleum yellow,
the intercom system for those
that cannot move to speak their minds.
An old roof, gutters
filled with oak clutters.
Old fashioned furniture inherited
by three daughters,
their names tagged
with scotch tape,
was it the will or memories of their parents?
Imbued with the spirit of its owners,
this is a lovely house- the ownership is
no more.

Vehbi Taşar, Tampa, Florida, April 13, 2006

Gönderen: Vehbi 16 04 2006 - 12:09

A YOUNG INDIAN GIRL’S DILEMMA

I am happy with my husband, I have his daughter.
My parents love me, I am their daughter, yet,
I sit here and cry in my parents flat
because I refused to stay with my in-laws.
I broke the three thousand-year-old tradition,
my punishment will be severe.
My husband already left and my relatives are mad,
except for my father who will keep me
for reasons even I do not understand.
I am torn between my pride and my parents
and my husband who will not even answer my phone calls.
I am all alone with my child; yet, I cannot bring myself to be taken to him.
Why can’t my husband come here to pick me up and take me to our own home?
Because I broke the tradition, I became a bad woman.
I may be a young horse, but I am not ready to be broken in.
Pride or tradition- which one to choose from?
My young heart did not yet learn love
to obey.

Vehbi Taşar


Gönderen: Vehbi 17 04 2006 - 15:35

NINETY-FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE BY TURKS

Ninety-One million books will not change anyone’s mind.
Victors always pay their just price.
Grief is real,
but graves have no meat left
in them.
Cups are full
but hatred has nothing
in it.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 17 04 2006 - 17:55

CHILDHOOD VACATIONS

Sleep captured our memories, not digital photographs;
sun showed us the time; we worshipped hunger by our stomachs.
Pictures were fields of red poppies and sunflowers;
letters were pink hydrangeas; music was an accordion playing in our dreams.
Smell was the honeysuckle; light was jasmine and clouds were gardenias.
Feeling was her hands in my hands.
Love was her breasts on my breast.
Dance was her fresh smell; moon was her gentle breeze.
Swimming was a salty affair;
breathing was its cool gift; blue was its smooth cream.
Our plans were fluffy cotton clouds; future was
not something we talked about.
Running was running out of breath; playing was having fun.
Sand was for lying under the sun to dry my skin;
squinting eyes so that I could hold the sky
in its place with golden rays through
two pairs of moist eyelashes.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 19 04 2006 - 14:47

April 18 (My Birthday)

Years did not weigh in
until I discovered I was one year younger
than the young India.
They say, it is all in your mind,
but I don’t think my cats care.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 19 04 2006 - 14:50


HOLY WATER

I met a man in Rajasthan
who was dead.
It was said that this man was rich,
so rich that he carried two locomotive size water goblets,
pulled by steam engines
across India and three Oceans
to his travel destinations.
This was because
he could not bring himself to use any water
but the holy water from the Ganges River.
It is said that he drank it, bathed in it and gargled his mouth with it
wherever he went.

As I was thinking about this
and how stupid the rich could be
it occurred to me
that all men were like him.

He was smarter than most,
for he knew his holy water.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 20 04 2006 - 13:30

FUNERAL

I will wear my black suit
with three sets of buttons on each side,
staggered.
Only one pair at the bottom tied,
invisible; formal.
I will tie my red bow-tie
on the collar of my white dress shirt
made from Egyptian cotton.
I will shave my beard
with my Braun electric shaver.
I will then comb my hair,
look at my face in the mirror before I leave
for my own funeral.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 22 04 2006 - 18:42

PALM TREE UNDER THE BRIDGE
By Vehbi Taşar

There is plenty of sunlight and water here.
Somehow, my luck; I was seeded under this bridge.
I am a palm tree; what is my purpose here?
Perhaps, I am like an acupuncture needle
made to cure the sick earth under the concrete
bridges; but, how? I do not know,
maybe, electromagnetic fields?

What is a Palm tree to do under a bridge?
Grow, grow and grow until her head hits the concrete.
What am I supposed to do now?
I cannot branch like the oak; I only go up and up and up;
but, I have no place to go under this bridge.
Will someone cut my trunk? This is highly unlikely,
I am not exactly an eye sore; just an oddity; besides,
this is not why people kill trees.

I sit here and pray for the hurricane season,
for only a hurricane can take this bridge off my head,
or haul me on the side to my freedom that will be my death;
like most living beings.
No one will ever notice my miserable life
except for the poet
of palm trees.

Tampa, Florida 22 April 2006


Gönderen: Vehbi 26 04 2006 - 15:07


PRAYER FOR A DAUGHTER

Sweet tears awaken your slumber.
Let water touch your soul.
Stay awake when you make love.
Let no judgment interfere.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 27 04 2006 - 19:43

Monkey Clip

A monkey is humping his mate on a tree branch
happily; they both seem to enjoy the act
while siblings play in a lower branch
except for one sibling who pays no respect to sex;
he comes up fast and pulls his father’s tail, as he was still
humping her fast and furiously; it is the end of history: a sparkling visualization
of one harmful consequence of a kid
on coupling.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 28 04 2006 - 03:50

BLACK AND WHITE

Black and white
like chalk and board,
black and white
like computer,
black and white
like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
The question is how much
can an empty foundation lift
of all black
and all white
things?
And the answer is always
a black
and otherwise white
thing.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 29 04 2006 - 04:29

INTROSPECTION

A bit of dignity
might help me.
Even though, I feel
no less dignified today,
than I did yesterday.
Composure is fine,
But, I can’t close in.
Am I angry?
Not really.
I don’t now what’s the matter with me.
Love is fine. Intimacy,
not easy.
Interest
turns me off.
Am I interested?
Not really.
Friends,
I can’t trust;
Foes,
I enrage.
My temper boils
quickly.
Am I unfair?
Possibly.
Will somebody kill me?
Not likely.
Am I a white knight?
God have mercy upon me!
Did I kill anybody?
Maybe.
There are some black things about me.
There are some white things about me.
I am largely color blind for
sensibility.
My foundation
lacks pretension
it’s empty.
But, the things on it
are breaking me.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 29 04 2006 - 22:39


THAT’S ME

The same tired old face,
good teeth,
silk black shirt with
two orchids and a swan flying
on it, where my heart is.
Underneath,
grey cotton shorts,
legs bare,
feet naked,
Birkenstock sandals,
toe nail fungus;
crime
did not fit
the punishment;
that’s me.

Vehbi Taşar


Gönderen: Vehbi 29 04 2006 - 23:09


TREADMILL

Running in place
and running fast
in place.
You don’t go anywhere,
but your mind does.
Eyes turned inwards,
heart steady,
beating
for a better place.
In forty minutes
and give and take,
four hundred breaths,
you will be there.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 01 05 2006 - 22:42

EMPTY

Empty pockets,
empty hearts
and empty goals.
Grand trophy of our human journey,
few losers, but
no triple-winners to date.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 03 05 2006 - 02:19

QUEEN’S ENGLISH

We did not mean to make fun with the Queen in Wales,
but, her past tense could be better made
by slightly changing its verbs.
In other words,
“I spoke” meant,
I spoke in the past. But, how many times
has the Queen spoken in the past?
If she was kind enough to have said, “spoked,”
--although, entire nations would be spooked--,
she would have meant,
she spoke only twice in the past.
She could even have spokededed once.
This, of course meant,
she once spoke exactly four times in the past.
Only if a queen could count,
we would have understood
what she had been talking about. Even if
she had said “I could’ed have spoked in the past,”
we would know without as so many words,
she twice missed the opportunity to have spoken,
two times in the past.
And so on and so forth for the Queen’s verbs.
As you can see this concept has
vast implications for her future tense. But, it is a shame
that even a queen can’t do anything about her present tense.
Even if she had been given a chance, would’d she
have had’d done in the past?

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 03 05 2006 - 14:41

RESPECTABILITY

If you act like yourself,
you lose it.
You don’t care.

If you seek it,
it is not there.
You don’t care.

If you have it,
it is empty,
You don’t care.

Vehbi Taşar


Gönderen: Vehbi 04 05 2006 - 04:26

LET GO

It is not blood that flows through it,
only dreams; I can’t even live in it anymore,
but I can’t let go this house.
It grew on me like color,
Carolina jasmine on its wood fence,
star jasmine in its veranda,
memories and nightmares,
small blessings and large disasters,
heart wrenching departures,
joys and disappointments,
unfulfilled desire,
a place to hide, a place to cry,
life’s false refuge from its never-ending
noise; I call this love.
I seek a large garden in my mind;
my burning heart will cool down there
under a weeping willow; on its roof,
I will coo with the mourning dove.
It breaks my heart to let go this house.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 05 05 2006 - 22:11

IS THERE LIFE IN SPACE?

There is a simple litmus test.
If there is life in space,
we will find it and kill it. Start
with Proxima Centauri, our nearest star;
light will take four years to reach it,
but then, the prey may not be there.
This is why we have divine intervention:
The good dies now,
The killer will commute tomorrow
and all the saints were killed.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 06 05 2006 - 16:01

DIETS

Fat and thin are driven
by the same hunger of being;
both in one universe,
one expands, other shrinks.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 07 05 2006 - 21:36

ROYAL PALM TREE
(Roystonia elata)

Roystonia, what a pretty name you have!
You were the only honest face I met today;
smooth light grey skin,
trunk, though narrow in the base,
widens and then narrows,
elongates like a snake digesting its prey;
like a cobra stands on its tail.
Long straight shaggy green hair, like the wig of an old English king,
or French;
or, perhaps a judge
of my own character.

Vehbi Taşar


Gönderen: Vehbi 10 05 2006 - 00:00

SPENT MATCHSTICK

Mevlâna came to my bed in dream and said:
“Like matchsticks alight, one after the other,
you burned your capital, acting this way or that.
You are now a matchstick spent.
The matchbox is empty and you have
a decision to make: Do you want to sleep?
Or, do you want to be awake?
Grow a snake, deep within your chest,
and feed it with your own faith;
watch out it’s every movement
and become aware; for it’s your life that is at stake.
Face yourself, remove the noise, and be still and wait;
that mirror will be clear once it is you, again!”


Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 12 05 2006 - 12:13

THE BLACK HORSE OF APOCALYPSE

In politics and religion,
things are never what they seem.
Liberate the foreign lands
or liberate your inner soul;
reality demands:
Lord, give us this day our daily bread.

”Four horsemen of apocalypse went together on a ride.

The first horse was white.

Its rider held a bow,
and he was given a crown,
and he rode out as a conqueror
bent on conquest.

Then another horse came out,
a fiery red one.
Its rider was given power
to take peace from the earth
and to make men slay
each other.
To him was given
a large sword.

Then before me was a black horse!”

Its rider was holding a wheel
between his black hands:
as if flying an airplane, or perhaps driving
his car: the operator for the machines
of our modern civilization:
the livelihood of our children,
our make-up and medicine,
our education and livelihood,
our food and entertainment,
our grace and charities,
our transportation to work
and to our battles in far away lands,
our gift to spread freedom on Earth,
and discover the space,
our religion and power:
Our conspicuous consumption.
In short,
our energy to exist and rule on this Earth:
Oil.
Lord, give us this day our daily bread!

“Then I heard what sounded like a voice
among the four living creatures, saying,
‘A quart of wheat for a day's wages,
and three quarts of barley for a day's wages,
and do not damage the oil and the wine.’

Then, I heard the voice of the fourth
living creature say, ‘Come!’
I looked, and there before me was a pale horse!
Its rider was named Death,
and Hades was following close behind him.

They were given power over a fourth of the earth
to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the
wild beasts of the earth.”

And all this killing and dead
is for this day, our daily bread!

Vehbi Taşar

**Everything in between the quotation marks is from the Bible, New Testament, and the Book of Revelation 6:1-8, by Apostle John.

Gönderen: Vehbi 14 05 2006 - 03:07

HAPPINESS

Bark, fruit and color, green and green;
am I in tree heaven?
Hair yellow, breasts, legs and face, bare feet wet,
is an angel afoot?

Soft skin, fresh smell, simple wants;
one small palm, curled tight,
holds my index finger for life; a baby
smiles at me, now!

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 16 05 2006 - 18:10

RAZOR’S EDGE

If you fell in love without touching,
why are you now touching?
If you can touch without sex?
why do you have to have sex?
If you can have sex and make no children,
why do you make children?
If you have children and responsibilities,
will you start again?
If we came back to where we started from,
why did we leave to begin with?
If the memory is not killed,
truth asks millions of questions like this; but the fact remains thin:
If you live in razor’s edge,
no fears will fit in.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 18 05 2006 - 23:12

LAST STAGE

When you get on the edge of that cliff,
excitement is there.
Heart flutters; a certain death of the way it was,
this life; perhaps angry with its emptiness,
truth will finally face its depths; perhaps sadness
will visit the stage
for things that will not happen
or happened here;
but, anticipation is waiting in now
for the love’s this new face.
When you hit your head on the crags, there will be pain,
blood and brains splattered and eaten by earth;
but, there is also relief
from the pain that bursts your head.
All this excitement
and so suddenly,
you become everything there is:
excited and dead!

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 21 05 2006 - 18:49

UNDER MEVLÂNA’S DOME
In memory of William Butler Yeats

Horseman, passing by!

My poems and translations are interwoven with life.
Don’t pass judgment on my soul
before you read them all.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 21 05 2006 - 23:39

IN PRAISE OF MASTURBATION

I have searched anthologies of the world
and its annals of heroism,
and did not find a single poem directed at
the well-known human obsession with masturbation,
save the walls of public baths and brothels
in Ephesus of Roman times
where St. John the Baptist may have preached about Onan’s sins.
Long gone praises for it existed back then, now made indistinct by time
or erased by Muslims, Christians or Jews
of our moral Centuries.

Here is a noble act of both men and women
gone completely untold by the poets and celebrities
of at least twenty centuries; hidden by infinitely more banal things
that people daily endure in their lives,
war and stupidity comes to mind.
Now is the time that I say something in its praise with pride.

How many marriages were saved,
how much heart burn and pain avoided,
how many women were spared a painful childbirth,
how many separations and divorces averted,
how much money was not spent or made,
how many betrayals, seductions and cheatings eliminated,
how many children won’t come to this world in vain,
how many fewer women and men will die from AIDS
or some other sex related cause,
and how much loneliness was diverted in this cruel life,
only because men and women learned how to masturbate?
Why can’t the human species be honest about it?

Let’s attempt to understand it beyond its biological nonsense.
Can you see that every image that you see in your mind
that every image you look at was only created for you by yourself
and in your own mind?
Can you see that every image that you have
comes from the same heart?
Your memory and history are nothing but these images.
It is only you that you are looking at,
when you masturbate.
Do you still enjoy it when these are your facts? If so, go ahead,
and masturbate, and do not seek compunction from your Gods,
for remember you are only your mind,
the observer and the observed: Two in one.
After all, what is there to be ashamed of
being One with God?

Are you shocked?
Have I upset your sensibilities? Good,
be thankful for it,
and see for yourself what you are and also with pride
for your countless achievements and contributions;
or, would you rather be an ostrich
and hide your own face from yourself,
between those two long legs?

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 26 05 2006 - 03:20

QUAILS ON DALE MABRY HIGHWAY
--Captain Mabry died piloting the Army Airship Roma, a dirigible he was testing, when it crashed in Norfolk, Virginia…

I drive Dale Mabry Highway twice a day,
going to work and coming home both ways.
One of the many ugly highways I have seen,
reminds me of the 8-mile road in Detroit:
Car dealers, shopping corners, strip joints, emergency clinics,
opticians, gas stations, liquor stores and homes for good people,
and bad.
A mishmash of human dwellings next to heavy car traffic- Americana at its best.
Today, traffic doesn’t seem to be moving;
people are driving slowly and cautiously; how unusual!
There is not a day that goes by without some accident here;
speeding, changing lanes, anger and rush, sheer spite
and adrenalin.
But, today, a woman is smiling when she drives in the opposite lane;
and I see the reason: It is a bird.
A male quail walks on the highway, confused.
He has a crown on his head.
He is huge and beautiful
and he has some color on him,
striking.
People don’t want to kill him.
But, there is something wrong here.
What is this beautiful bird doing on this ugly highway?
And why is he walking up and down the lanes
as if in despair?
Is he ready to die?
Suddenly, he takes wing.
He is now over the cars, but not high;
he is watching something down below.
I sigh and look at the road in front of me.
Here, lying on the road, I see his mate; struck by a car, dead.
She is lovely, huge and bent sideways on the pavement without a breath.
Nobody wants to run her over again.
People are willing to wait,
now that she is dead.
Her feathers spread for half a mile on the highway;
feathery, soft and like snow,
downing it for more gentle steps
that will never come there.
I swallow hard and think of her mate,
flying above
on Dale Mabry Highway.

Vehbi Taşar


Gönderen: Vehbi 26 05 2006 - 15:10

MARITAL FIGHTS

What’s all this fighting come from?
I mean between the two people who need each other.
I mean for everything,
not just a few conveniences;
here and there.

There is a big council in Mount Olympus,
in charge of marital affairs,
and may Zeus forbid it,
its chairman is God Hymen
whose sex is undetermined by men.

Mount Olympus is a memory stack
with its good and its bad.
Let some ugliness slip in for flair; for memories
and memories.
It’s all memories to blame.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 29 05 2006 - 16:41

HOW TO WRITE A POEM

Take a feeling and paint a picture with it
with everything you know.
You have to be crazy to do it,
like Van Gogh;
but, such is your living.

Do not stop before it is complete.
Put every color of every poem you ever heard in it.
Do not stop before you see your living soul in your poem;
for poetry is nothing but life compacted
to “it is!”

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 01 06 2006 - 13:13

MORNING CALLS

Two morning calls awakened him:
Farting and erection;
First, to fill an empty day,
Second is its only longing.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 01 06 2006 - 16:56

MALLARD FAMILY

Mallard family walks slowly and assured
of its property, like the Janissary;
no mortgages held
on battlefield, parking lot and pond,
brave and free.

Vehbi Taşar


Gönderen: Vehbi 02 06 2006 - 11:48

LEMON TREE

Limon ağacı, limon ağacı,
Yeşil limonum benim,
Ne diye bozarsın tadını
Keyifli günlerimin?

You planted my seed,
You waited for me to grow.
I give you my white flowers,
Now, am I the shade of your sorrow?

Limon ağacı, mutfağımın camından gözüken,
Gölgeni ver güneş gözüme girerken.
Salata yaparken marul ve domatesden,
Koparayayım dalından bir kaç tane de limon.

My leaves are dark green like your human grief,
My shadow is full of your responsibilities.
My fruit upsets your stomach,
For my essence is your intellect.

Çekirdeklerini ayıtlamak gerek,
Suyunu sıkmak büyük dert,
Posan bir işe yaramaz,
Suyun şekersiz içilmez.

My seeds are your bitter truth,
My juice is your fate.
What is left of my fruit is for you to see yourself,
Sugar is how you must put my gift to use.

Yaprakların güneşi arar, tırmanırsın gökyüzüne.
Kökün her yerde büyür, eğer iklim ılımansa,
Yerde çürümezdi meyvelerin, ah bu lezzetin olmasa,
Limon ağacım benim, çoktur portakaldan öğreneceğin.

I search for meaning with my leaves and branches,
Whoever enjoyed my taste knows the pain of learning.
My rotten fruits will help a few oranges or apples grow,
You will be justly served if you don’t waste my essence.

Vehbi Taşar













Gönderen: Vehbi 06 06 2006 - 17:52

666

Numerology crept into every religion,
including Islam.
Years ago, I read a book about the syllables,
in every chapter and verse in Koran;
all added up to multiples of 19, according to its author;
furthermore, its every line was written
with a meter of 19.
I don’t doubt it.
Prime numbers are magic;
but, they don’t seem to be useful until they begin to approach God
and this is only because God knows how to hide.
Yes, I know 666 is not a prime;
but, how can anyone doubt the holiness of Satan?
Did it not already touch everyone?
What we need on this judgment day is not numbers;
but, just a bit more kindness
than we have.


Vehbi Taşar
6/06/2006


Gönderen: Vehbi 08 06 2006 - 08:18

SWITZERLAND

Switzerland,
you are like the mice and beetle
I saw in your street windows,
assembled from chocolate with great care;
arousing big appetites and hungry dreams.
But, all I can think of are the sewers
you crawled on,
for your kind never starves.

Vehbi Taşar

June 7, 2006, Geneva, Switzerland

Gönderen: Vehbi 10 06 2006 - 02:21

RHONE RIVER

It starts north of here,
the mighty river,
from the Alps;
and flows into a great lake
near Lausanne,
where an English cook and a French chef
served Turkey to their friends
on a white tablecloth from Provence.
A verdant river, its deep green, clean, abundant waters rich,
whirling and churning and flowing
through a land of charitable peace;
home to swans, geese and mallards
of the three different kinds I can tell.
On its banks, horse chestnut, pine, cedar and linden grow,
and a few more trees I do not know.

Here in Geneva on this storied lake
Aga Khan planned his next wedding,
and Lenin planned his revolution.
Its shores inspired Shelley
and Lord Byron;
and horrors of Dr. Frankenstein.
Napoleon built a home for his wife here,
and Rothschilds built a world.

The river’s future draws close to Lyon
and take sides with the French,
on its way to Mediterranean
to meet Homer the poet
who knew of no peace in his lifetime
and was partial to Greeks by birth.
Wagner composed his turbulent music by this lake,
and along with Nietzsche’s Übermensch, made an impact
on joyless soul of Adolf Hitler
whose Nazis kept their treasures in Swiss banks.

A fountain sprouts sky high in the lake
into white clouds of dark doings.
Suddenly, I am a nine year-old boy in Gençlik Parkı,
drinking tea with my father.
I am homesick,
or, there is an eerie resemblance to my birthplace.
I go across the river and walk
into an American style supermarket,
and to show that I bear no grudge to this neutral land,
I buy myself a sports jersey for 14 Franks.
Its color is silk white;
on it, 7 blood red letters spell the name of my motherland,
TÜRKİYE;
only two Swiss franks, for each letter; I pay,
to say that my heart belongs to Turkey.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 11 06 2006 - 17:29

ON A FATHER’S DAY

One loves blue,
one can’t own the sea;
One loves green;
one can’t own a tree,
or rule over a field of grass;
but, one loves one’s own child
in all colors of the light.

Some look deep into the creator’s heart,
and see majesty profound;
I look deep into a baby’s eyes
and know where true love’s coming from;
majestic and profound,
but, never the other way around.

Vehbi Taşar
June 11, 2006

Gönderen: Vehbi 11 06 2006 - 22:55

REMORSE

Dear Moth,
(My apologies if you were a butterfly)
I saw you flying outside of my apartment’s door.
I see you no more.
I should have let you in before you passed away.
I should have let you in and die
inside.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 13 06 2006 - 22:17

THOUGHTS

Thoughts come flooding in
bubbling, waving, dancing, breaking, surging and storming
they come
and fill the nooks
and crannies
until all is flat,
and everything is level,
and everything is the same
with it;
and your beauty is hidden
deep;
but I can’t see
underneath- nothing
but memories- useless,
vain
memories.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 15 06 2006 - 11:56

A BUTCHER’S JOB

It is easy to kill someone;
it is a butcher’s job.
His time comes and I raise my sword;
but, the man is nice
and I do not dislike him- Someone:
Please, hold my hand,
let me not slaughter this man!
But, the job
has to be done
and alas! It is the job I chose.

This must be how Ali felt in the battlefield
when he raised his sword
to kill an enemy of Allah;
and just at that moment, when the man spat on Ali’s face,
glistening steel in hand reflecting on the man’s blurry eyes,
Ali dropped his sword and said,
“I can only kill in the name of God.
I cannot slaughter this man now,
for he made his killing
personalized!”

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 16 06 2006 - 13:20

SCREAM

Driving alone,
lost deep in thought,
windows shut,
AC’s on,
streets are lonely,
lights are working,
something’s brewing;
evil’s in the air,
who are these people?
why are they looking at me?
why are they yelling at me?
what are they trying to tell?
I hear nothing,
it is a warning,
it is a dread,
it may be death,
what are they afraid?
a pending disaster,
am I gonna die?
am I gonna kill somebody?
will I live?
I have only seconds to react,
to comprehend,
danger’s grave,
something bad’s gonna happen here tonight;
people are warning and waving,
why are they silent?
I do not know,
but, I know it is for me;
I could be saved,
if only I could understand
what the hell they are saying to me;
their silent eyes,
full of dread,
their fearful faces,
full of meaning,
their silent mouths,
open wide,
their frantics arms,
wild and lonely;
I begin to scream,
my mouth wide open,
my eyes full of fear;
no sound’s coming
from my dead skull
while I’m screaming through it
in agony!
it’s my grave
and that’s me;
I have no idea
what’s happening to me!

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 18 06 2006 - 04:06

WALKING ON THE BEACH ALONE

I walked on the beach today;
the edge between and away from,
both discomfort zones,
no one should walk this ragged edge alone.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 20 06 2006 - 19:11

WARS

Well, this is a war
and both sides shall kill
until enough blood is shed.
Then, men shall go home
to iron their shirts;
and if there were a consolation,
that would surely be tied on some politician’s neck;
or in a flag or a lapel pin on someone’s jacket.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 23 06 2006 - 15:32

STARDOM OF BREATNEY SPEARS

You have assets;
lips and legs,
bare feet and toes,
breasts,
and a nice ass;
but, you don’t have the right material
for art.

Ah, where shall I start?
For once, where is that secret and inviolate rose
that Yeats talked about?
Goya would not touch you naked.
You are too pale for Rembrandt’s light.
You are too clean for Van Gogh
and too skinny for the impressionists.
Picasso might have sketched you
as a matchstick.
and your songs?
Ah, your songs—

I haven’t heard them
and don’t know what they are like.
But, I can understand why
you may be an object of desire.
Why are old men drawn to Lolitas?
Perhaps, it is the heart,
still young;
perhaps, the dream,
not wanting to die;
Perhaps, a mind,
not patient enough to wait
for being born again young.
Oh the careless and carefree beauty!
My dear child,
you simply have too many moving parts
for a poem to be right.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 25 06 2006 - 22:16

MOVING WOES

Don’ stay in one place too long
and hoard things;
it is a sin to keep
trinkets, books and memories.
Agatha Christie’s mysteries;
All 44 of them with her charming Belgian Detective,
Hercule Poirot of the mustachioed kind;
I had many mysteries to uncover when I was young,
most of them have yet to be solved.
All 34 volumes of the Britannica,
from my scholarly period;
I am not more scholarly than I’ve started.
My books of trees and flowers
from all over the world- they are my jewels,
surely, I am not giving them up!
Twenty years worth of National Geographic Magazines,
weighing more or less a ton;
I even have a back issue from the 1920’s,
about our Indepence War.
In it, there is a picture of a boy
fishing for a wallet with a string,
from an invading Greek soldier’s corpse,
buried in the shallow sea-water of İzmir.

It is so easy to part from our belongings,
once we get killed.

Vehbi Taşar





Gönderen: Vehbi 26 06 2006 - 19:31

HEARTSPEAK

O heart!
Accumulating books and book knowledge
will not make you grow,
neither will it leave you in more peace.
All you need is to put your hands and legs
to work and feel the pregnant breeze.
How can you harvest this earth without picking dirt
under your fingernails?

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 30 06 2006 - 17:03

BRISTLE CONE PINE

Air is thin here
on the White Mountains,
ten-thousand feet high.
Spring comes late
to the Eastern Sierras,
and the shadows are long
at sunset.
I see Death Valley
down below,
on my other side
and weep- for I am the oldest
living creature on this earth
you will ever know.

By looking at my ten-times folded,
gnarled thick bark, you might think
that I am not living anymore.
Yet, I am very much alive
ever since the wind dropped my seed on this rock,
ten-thousand years before.
My needles of five are fused in a bunch
like a claw;
but, my cones still bristle
high in the sky.
I live a simple life,
my needs are few.
Seasons are my only friends.
I am reborn every spring,
and fold my bark a bit more.
I wait for sleep in the fall,
to be covered by snow.
I breathe by the day and night;
I have no expectations
but to breathe every moment
of each year to come and pass by.
I look and look at everything
with the unseeing eyes.

A little water,
a bit of dirt,
wind and lightning,
clean air,
and all the light I need;
I have everything
you don’t have.
I don’t fear the noise of thunder,
I am not lost in the dark;
fire cannot touch my thick bark,
I can live with the lightning’s hole
and I am not afraid of death.
But, the real secret of a very long life is
only the complete and unconditional absence of passionate love;
thus no griefs of loss can accumulate- only the thick,
twisted, distorted and contorted bark,
enfolding my core;
I am a child of the stars.

Vehbi Taşar

June, 29, 2006, Mariposa, California



Gönderen: Vehbi 01 07 2006 - 07:55

A PERFECT POEM

Sometimes, I look at my poems,
my imperfect children!
I could surely make them perfect
only if I could.
Here is a word that should be replaced by other,
here is a comma missing,
even a misspelling!
What did I even mean by that?
It is like how parents are distraught when they discover
they have a disfigured child
or an autistic one.
Yet, if they spend enough time with them
and if they love them,
every child is a living poem,
and every autistic child is perfect.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 02 07 2006 - 23:55

QUESTION

History is given;
we shall come to grips with it
somehow;
it is now a question of moving on,
the infinitesmall;
for the next moment is far
and unlikely to wait for.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 03 07 2006 - 23:09

YOSEMITE VALLEY

Jewels of rock
and diamonds of water,
rush from the granite heights
to coyote’s ear.
Fears of deer,
jumping in front of the car,
and the three little bears
stroll along the hike.
From the beggar chipmunk,
to the ravenous raven,
too much to take in
for the human heart.
Meadows of wildflowers, pink
and castillejas, the paintbrush;
heights and the soaring heights,
and the valley down below;
all disappear
in a blink of the eye.
Why won’t I
walk these heights
for the rest of my life?

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 05 07 2006 - 05:43

AIRPORT GHOSTS

Here, at the airport, people
aren’t lost; they know where they came from;
and where they must go,
all written down.
They walk from place to place,
follow directions or sit and wait
until a plane has arrived and left;
they are all fleeting ghosts.
They know not
what was behind them,
they know not
what will happen next.
People in transition with purpose and speed;
circling and circling,
evanescent living clocks.
They are not real,
but human ghosts- glimpses of what we have become,
glimpses of what awaits in store.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 09 07 2006 - 05:34

NOTHING IS LOST

Nothing is lost,
dreams don’t leak,
books we gave away are read
by someone else;
or thrown away to dust,
and become mud,
and grow into grass,
cycle goes on,
brains are fed,
genes mutate,
anger builds up,
rage becomes revenge,
violence kills,
a baby is born,
a marriage breaks,
a new one is made,
the old one has just begun.
Three hundred pages,
mathematical proof,
line by line,
each follows other,
foolproof and logical,
Fermat’s last conjecture,
someone read it,
proof’s beyond doubt,
glory is found.
Where did thought come from?
There is no escaping
from God’s mad dream.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 13 07 2006 - 13:22

MORNING AFTER RAIN

It is good to be able to sleep;
now, I can say that I’ve rested
like a thundercloud, after rain.
My problems remain,
but, I can now start them over;
another day, before I sleep;
then, I may not sleep ever, again.
More and more clouds
gather, but no clouds can touch
my loneliness here,
with rain.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 15 07 2006 - 00:04

DEEP

There’s magic played;
when you take
something,
and replace it with
anything.
The question is what
and how it is done;
and is it scientific,
or, emotional and artistic,
or is it linguistic?
Is it a random guess
of the brainwaves?
Is it a gift of
reading?
What appears logical
is absurd;
what appears esthetic
is ugly;
and what appears poetic
is garbage.
All these consideration play
in the background;
while you dig and dig for
what is.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 15 07 2006 - 16:49

ABOVE

And from the deep they escape:
Words and phrases,
feelings and landscapes,
colors and memories;
trapped in prisons
where they can no longer breathe.
They surface quickly for air,
on a far away planet,
where no one will see them,
and they know they will be safe.
Only a few stars will notice
and will keep blinking.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 19 07 2006 - 03:47

DUCKS AND DUCKLINGS AND MEN

Oh, it must be birthing season!
A mother duck and four ducklings are strolling,
in front of my office window on the parking lot
twice this day; once in the morning and once at 3 pm,
both ways.
I don’t know where they are going;
between the pond and the parking lot and the road,
there is nothing but parked cars
and the empty concrete, hot.
She walks up the front,
her head bobbing to and fro,
rhyming with her tail and wings,
and her tummy and her four little ducklings;
all black, but one yellow,
follow her gait.
Oh my God, there is danger lurking!
A husky young man’s walking towards them;
he does not see them,
but they are scared;
the little ducklings huddle together
and hide behind their mother’s flank.
I can’t see them anymore from my window.
Even the yellow one became invisible;
but, their mother is defiant and unafraid;
she walks towards the man,
without skipping a beat in his gait;
and the man is oblivious
to the mayhem;
he busily walks and talks on his cell phone.
The parade is maintained,
in its full splendor,
once the man passes them.
One duck and four ducklings- one yellow,
together; happily towards their pond
walking, on a summer’s day.
There are no lessons in this poem;
only duck and ducklings,
and men.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 20 07 2006 - 15:44


ACCIDENTAL POLITICIAN

One day, he says he is committed to protect babies;
another day, he murders them right and left,
along with their parents and families.
One day, he says he is Christian;
another day, he returns one slap with ten-thousand missiles.
He says embryos must be protected,
but, he can’t see from one side of an embryo to the next;
babies and cripples have more common sense than his.
What is even scarier is that
in his every act that contradicts itself,
he is both genuine and sincere, and at home.
He is an accidental politician
of the ancient and everlasting Rome,
governing the everlasting puny minds
of his everlasting masses of slaves.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 24 07 2006 - 00:10

HOW TO VIEW THE WORLD

One should look at the world with the smile
of a baby who just woke up from her sleep,
with the innocence of a thousand years.

One should look at the world with the fuzzy
logic of a drunk
who has been asleep for a thousand years.

One should look at the world with the eyes
of Mohatmas Ghandi who gave up sex when he was not even forty
and meat when he was not even thirteen.

One should look at the world from all angles
Yet one angle should prevail,
And that is the angle that you have not yet looked at.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 24 07 2006 - 13:05

GOOD BYE TIMOTHY TREADWELL
For Timothy Treadwell (1957-2003)

Timothy and his girlfriend
were eaten by a grizzly bear.
No one knew her;
but, Timothy was a friend of grizzly bears.
Here, I am watching him on TV tonight,
playing with his Alaskan bears.
He is the grizzly man, eaten by
a grizzly bear- what a grisly end!
Suddenly, my mind is stormed by a sandstorm
in Death Valley; many years before.
Next, I shall dream of my dying
tomorrow; even though,
I could be dead now
and tomorrow was only yesterday.
There is no time
and there is no dying.
It is all one shameful play of mind
with the almighty crocodile of fate.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 26 07 2006 - 12:21

SALMA HAYEK IN FRIDA

She can act,
she is breathtaking
and she sings in Spanish.
Above all, she can dance.
Ah, she can dance like a princess!
Attraction is inclusive for old men only one way,
for the opposite direction is his death.
A woman of forty looks good to a man of sixty,
but, thirty may even be better than that.
For when eyes look outwardly,
one cannot see himself well;
and a mind with the body of a small boy
and the face of an old man still wanders in youthful days.
An older woman may care for him this way or that,
but, a younger woman has more to attract;
for an old man’s heart is always younger than his head.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 28 07 2006 - 11:53

HUNGER

What is this hunger of the mind for input?
Where does it come from?
It is not the mind that seeks input,
I think it is desire wishing to go out;
For, it is afraid of drowning.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 31 07 2006 - 15:13

IN MEL GIBSON’S DEFENSE

Mel makes movies about God;
but, who said he was a prophet?
And who can blame him for drinking and driving?
What is one supposed to be doing
with boring pauses at traffic lights?
What about insults
levied on us by television commercials,
and undulating laughter of the situation comedies,
demeaning what dignity we’ve got left?
Why does one race think
it is better than the most?
And why do men murder children
in the name of their God?
Drinking is the only thing that makes
Mel, Prophet and God
one and the same.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 01 08 2006 - 14:10

TERMITE’S NEST

In my daily vocation,
I pile words on a page
to make a termite’s nest.
No one knows what goes on inside;
but, the spectacle presents
the wonders of all insects.

There is much space here,
semicolons, commas, periods
and an occasional colon to pause:
Fantasy’s wild ride.
There are entrances and exits,
signs and a main door.

Tunnels and corridors,
kitchens and dining rooms,
nooks and crannies to make love,
a place to throw refuse and trash.
Family room has no TV- low desert of high tech,
but, a desk and chair and a computer to type poems.

Interactions are complex
between the insects,
and things are never what they seem.
A genuine plea may be taken as a threat,
a veiled threat has no impact;
and love is just a word in the world of insects.

They communicate with pheromones
that may not be precise,
death is ever present but ignored by most,
violence is daily affair,
heart attacks and cancer rare- but, it is generally acknowledged,
it is better to die young.

There is no preoccupation with alcohol,
sex and God,
there are no worries of losing your job,
but there are chores and duties no insects can ignore,
and marriages and relationships,
responsibilities for kids and soul mates.

Poetry is a lonely business created for insects,
by insects who think they can build termites’ nests.
It is easy to crumble these things with a shovel or ax,
but, you can not destroy insects,
neither will you find out more about them,
or yourself- better to leave them alone and watch them build their nests.

Vehbi Taşar


Gönderen: Vehbi 03 08 2006 - 15:17

VICIOUS CYCLE

People prefer violence to order
because they think there are more possibilities for them in chaos,
and they may be right;
and death is exhilarating; therefore,
when confidence is shaken in management,
earth trembles every which way.
The age-old way to reverse this trend
is to shake the earth every which way
to create chaos and suffering so that
order can be preserved.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 04 08 2006 - 02:59

SİTORA

Oh baby laugh,
sleepy baby laugh
double chin!
Eyes constricted like a cat in full sunlight,
smile, not in the corners of the mouth,
but in the eyes and two lines on
both sides of the nose going down,
her hair wild,
up and down and sideways and front and back as if
propelled by the wind;
this is my granddaughter,
she is Sitora, the star;
with teeth
four in up and four in down.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 04 08 2006 - 16:49

TREES

Sky is not complete without palms;
earth is not whole without oak;
sea is salt water without pine;
desert is sand without yucca;
mountains are stone and rock without fir and hemlock;
and without trees,
birds would serenade from construction cranes,
and ants would be condemned to deep.
If you can’t see the beauty of a tree,
you will never understand a poem — but, take heart,
the moment a magnificent purple beech was within my sight,
and at that moment I realized, I was crying,
I knew within my heart of hearts, I was a poet.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 08 08 2006 - 17:45

MEVLÂNA’S FACE

What is causing you pain?
Are you lonely or overcrowded?
Are you rich or are you poor?
Do you want love, or is it love that you find overwhelming?
Do you need people, and if so, why are they overbearing?
Is it because you have a job, or is it because you don’t have it?
Everything and its opposite,
and its extreme and in-between may cause pain.
What should you do about it?
Drink, drink, drink and eat, eat, eat,
fight, fight, fight,
or, write one thousand poems
like this?
Everything one does is to override pain;
the pain of being human,
don’t escape it human being,
face your pain!
Sit, sit, sit and face it,
and then again and again,
until you can see it,
and then move on, move on,
do you see Mevlâna’s face?

Vehbi Taşar


Gönderen: Vehbi 14 08 2006 - 19:31

DIFFERENT

A different dream,
a dream’s dream;
a different life,
life’s aftermath;
a different sea,
above the planet;
different clouds,
not the white steam;
a different shore,
the other side;
a different you
but you;
a different job
but this;
a different heart;
neither here,
nor possible.
Fates float
in a plastic sea.
Real is vapor
and dream is real.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 15 08 2006 - 11:51

MIND AND BODY

If mind wants to be entertained,
body complies.
When body needs entertainment,
mind is a reluctant partner.
Mind likes to push,
but, loath to be pushed.
Body can push,
only if mind cooperates.
The marriage of mind and body is
a marriage of necessity;
they only need each other,
because they happen to be stuck together,
by destiny like wild and wilderness are
partners for life.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 16 08 2006 - 19:08

IF I COULD TELL THE FUTURE

If I could tell the future, when would I begin?
Would I begin from now and play it until I die,
or, would I start from my dying and roll it back until I am dead?
For if I have to do everything that my future says,
then I’d rather be dead! Why wait?
A classic approach to solve this problem is to provide just a bit
of the future like the reason of my death;
this will at least give me some leeway like the brave Achilles.
If I don’t have to do everything my future says,
then, perhaps, a search approach similar to Google would be best:
Let me know what will happen from eight to ten on September eight,
in the year two or three thousand and third.
This brings up the question of when I would end my search.
Should I stop when I am dead?
Or continue on until the human race ends,
or, go on and on till the planet’s death,
or even our solar system with all its twelve planets;
including the three new ones, announced today. On the other hand,
if I am lost in space, what is the point of knowing this day or that?
Isn’t every day the same?
Why can’t I skip a day or two, until more pleasant days?
Or, choose the ones that are even worth.
Few questions such as this
reveal why I don’t want to know what will happen next,
and why I made my decision not to change
no matter what will happen next.
Future is best left to experts,
Oracles, prophets and divinities who know their subject.
In the meantime and now, I will always assume,
now is better than the next.

Vehbi Taşar
16 Ağustos, 2006, Tampa, FL

Gönderen: Vehbi 18 08 2006 - 15:04

FLOW LIKE RAIN

There is no pain if you flow like rain.

You had pain for weeks that disrupted your life,
and spoiled your routine and clouded your brain.
One morning, you get up to read, and the pain is gone;
but, you don’t even notice.
Is the pain gone, or did it disappear from your brain?

There is no pain if you flow like rain.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 19 08 2006 - 13:15

SEVENTEEN

I bought you a ticket to space my sweet love,
a shiny train will fly you up there;
and you will play in space my sweet seventeen,
you will play skip with meteors
while I will sit in my kitchen every day for lunch break,
to eat my stone,
and watch this man on CNN making war.
This man says America is at war, my sweet love,
America is at war with the world;
and I talk back to CNN, and I say to them:
The world is not at war with America,
but, the world is at war with this man.

Your brother called me from Tashkent,
Dushanbe and Bishkek,
now, he is back in Boston, USA.
But, you are going to Spain in seventeen days, my sweet seventeen,
and I will not see you again.

I shall miss your bare feet,
I shall miss your cheeks,
I shall miss your sweet smell.
But, in seventeen days, my sweet seventeen,
you shall kiss a Zaragostan matador in Spain,
and I will not see you again.

Your mother will have projects,
she will put stone on stone,
while I will sit in my kitchen every day for lunch break
to eat my stone,
and watch this man on CNN making war.


Vehbi Taşar
Tampa, FL August 19,2006


Gönderen: Vehbi 25 08 2006 - 16:51

WORDS ARE MOMENTS

Words, once imprinted, cannot be changed,
similar to moments lived- yet,
people pay attention to poets’ words,
but, are oblivious to the moments lived.

Vehbi Taşar

SÖZCÜKLER ANLARDIR
Vehbi Taşar

Sözcükler, değiştirilemezler, bir kere basıldıkları vakit,
yaşanan anlar gibidirler- yine de,
insanlar dikkat ederler şairlerin sözcüklerine,
fakat, yaşanılan anların farkında değillerdir.

(kendim çevirdim)

Gönderen: Vehbi 28 08 2006 - 13:33

MOMENTUM

Mind wants to fly
and body keeps answering, answering— go away,
I am sleeping.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 28 08 2006 - 15:27

MAN (OR WOMAN) WHO DOESN’T UNDERSTAND POETRY

He is not stupid.
On the contrary; he does not want to waste his time with trifle.
He is not insensitive.
On the contrary; his eyes moistened many times when he heard a sweet love song,
and when he heard a heroic rhyme once or twice
that made his blood pulse in his veins like thunderbolts.
What he doesn’t know- and will never learn- is
that poetry is everything:
Life and living, death and dying; poor and rich and filthy and clean;
everything there is and anything that remains.
And when you understand this, even your dreams become poems;
and no one can understand dreams.

Vehbi Taşar


Gönderen: Vehbi 30 08 2006 - 15:54

Cancer Survivor’s Plaza on Dale Mabry Avenue, Tampa, Florida

The relic from concrete
of a sailboat, bravely proceeding in waters unknown
yet standing still;
longs mounds of earth with grass on it,
are they graves,
for the rich who build monuments for the dead?
Or, are they waves
of a sailboat going nowhere?
They look more like a vast city dump,
if you ask me,
covering the refuse and dirt.
statues of a young husband and wife at the entrance,
together from the park, steel cold walking-she holds a briefcase and he, a small boy-
a little girl holds his free hand,
and a little boy’s up front running,
into a very busy intersection of streets.

Vehbi Taşar


Gönderen: Vehbi 31 08 2006 - 19:35


A LOVE POEM

A blank paper is hardly the place to begin with:
Perhaps a glance could start it,
or some unresolved need looking for resolution elsewhere;
or sex or hormones,
or some devout attachment to something that boils down
to nothing—too many reasons to write a love poem when there is none.
And when there is,
one can hardly find the time to write a poem.
But, they say that even the most perverse of all actions
available to men, have love hidden in them. Therefore,
perhaps; certainly, yes. This is a love poem.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 03 09 2006 - 00:03


MY APARTMENT PEOPLE

I had unneighborly feelings for my neighbors.
But, a pigeon changed my mind:
A little pigeon lying on a doormat
and looking at me with his bright eyes,
as if I was a cat!
There was something wrong with it that I could not tell.
It couldn’t fly. Was his wing broken?
Should I have touched him? Should I have taken him to my cats’ vet?
But, a pigeon that couldn’t fly might as well be dead;
and besides, I was on my way to an appointment.
This was how I reasoned,
and this was how I never stopped.
I left the little pigeon for dead!

Then, I thought of my neighbors who could have helped the bird,
but there was nil chance for it.
Who were my neighbors anyway?
Pretty faces, pretty legs, muscle and adrenalin,
from the treadmill;
old men and drawn women;
expensive cars, overdrawn bank accounts, plastic galore,
and an emotional capital
that consists of loud music, drinking, sex, parties and more sex.
There is an old gentleman downstairs about my age
who has a distasteful habit of lingering in the corridors all by himself,
holding a glass of wine in his hand;
getting himself intoxicated in public,
hoping to find himself a drinking mate;
and perhaps even a bit more than that.
Of course, I was a wise man- I just didn’t know how much!-
to know that such impressions were poisonous to mind:
How telling were the generalizations, if nothing else,
of one’s own character!

When I came back from my appointment in the evening, the bird
had been advanced,
one more storey upstairs,
on a doormat similar to the first;
but, this time he was lying in a private cage,
instead of on top of a doormat.
As I was contemplating to touch his broken wing, - as if to see it was fake-
a door opened on my face,
and a pretty girl with pretty legs emerged!

She explained at great length,
how the three neighbors had saved the bird:
The old gentleman with the wine-glass carried it upstairs.
The girl with the pretty legs found a cage.
The muscle man with adrenalin drove to the supermarket
and found the bird something to snack!
Someone put a cup of water in his cage,
and now, the bird looked quite content!

When I heard the girl say all this, I said,
“Here goes another good poem!”
For, I had already composed a poem about “My Apartment People,”
but, without the bird;
and it was ready to go to press.
But, I was wrong about that as well- for a poem lost is a poem gained-
and I went home and erased the poem;
to be frank,
I was totally disgusted with myself!

Three days later, we let the bird out of his cage.
I sent my unneighborly feelings along with him,
to socialize, eat and drink, fly and sit,
and be merry with fellow pigeons
who had not helped him in distress!

Vehbi Taşar

Tampa, Florida, September 2, 2006

Gönderen: Vehbi 06 09 2006 - 11:41

HERCULE POIRROT
(With my deepest regards for late Agatha Christie)

Erküyl Puarro, my dearest detective from Belgium!
So good to see you again my fellow sleuth;
The most brilliant mind in matters of crime,
The man who has never been wrong
And never shall be, God willing.
The man who speaks murder in French
With a British accent,
The man who has no woman, children or pets,
Only a mustache to play.
The man who cooks,
When he doesn’t eat out.
The man with only one close friend,
Who is an idiot.
The man who doesn’t need money,
But even then only implicitly,
Like he needed murders.
The man who plays bridge,
Like an old Omar Sharif.
The man who treats death,
Like soufflé and cream.
Victorian minds created sleep
From every crap of imagination,
But you were different;
The female mind that created you
Was brilliant!
An old man,
So vain
That he could never be wrong;
So lonely,
That he must shine like sun;
And so bizarre,
Like a sleepy caricature of himself,
Yet brilliant.
He serves mediocrity
With distinction and grace;
His pride is impeccable,
His charm undeniable,
His penis always erect,
Like his moustache
That he cares and cares for:
His joy and his only pride,
Excluding his crime.
My dear Puarro,
You are more popular
Than the old Tastement,
Less opaque,
And more human.
No wonder you are
A commercial success,
No wonder you are
Timeless, my dear friend,
And forever
Yours truly,

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 06 09 2006 - 13:23

My Only Critic

My only critic is a computer
that tirelessly complains
about my capitalizations;
and occasionally, about my grammar –it says,
“My sentences are
Fragmented.”
And occasionally, I must give in, to make
allowances.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 06 09 2006 - 14:58

Poet’s Gravestone

In this helter skelter,
I caught a wave or two here and there,
And I put them on a piece of stone my way.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 07 09 2006 - 19:15

LET IT RAIN

Shoulders hunched,
steps large,
his stride covers the parking lot.
What premonition
is this man running from?
Let it rain,
let it rain— a second chance to soak
may not come again?

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 09 09 2006 - 03:48

Coming back home to Turkey

My wife says, “The first thing I’ll do
when I get back to Turkey will be to eat a döner kebap.”
And I say to her, “Is that the most you want from Turkey?”
Not for me, I say, the first thing I want from Turkey is to see her
customs’ officer, or the man who checks my passport and
my birth certificate; for it’s St. Peter who greets you to heaven
who makes a bigger impression than heaven itself!
And he may be from Çankırı
and he may even be from my part of town,
and he will say to me, “Welcome Home, my brother!
Welcome Home!”

All I can see is orchids, multitude of orchids;
that come
in different shapes, sizes and colors and smells,
unimaginable to mankind,
let alone an expatriated Turk.
They are penises and vaginas in pinks and reds,
maroons and burgundies and blues and whites
and yellows and a thousand colors and shapes and smells of where I was born:
hydrangeas, tulips, roses, honeysuckles and snapdragons;
after all, this is my country,
this is my home where I was born!

Vehbi Taşar

September 8, 2006, Tampa, FL

Gönderen: Vehbi 13 09 2006 - 07:44


MY PEOPLE

We served one thousand islands with Greek names.
We served the Hittites, Phrygians and Persians,
and one thousand other nations under the gun;
the Roman invaders of the ancient times
and the new Romans of the invading kinds!

Come on now! Hold on dear friends!
We’ve got speak Turkish in Turkish!

We served armies of Alexander the Great from Northern Greece
and Tamerlane of the Fergana Valley-- from the central Asia’s highlands.
Even though, the two have never met,
they both traveled great distances to reach us on horseback,
sometimes more than once or twice!

Come on now! Hold on dear friends!
We’ve got speak Turkish in Turkish!

We drove the wild chariots of Hellios
from Mount Olympus!
We were swimming in Eridanus when Pheaton left the reins loose.
We were his sisters that turned into poplars.
We still tremble windy nights with the egg-shaped moon.

Come on now! Hold on dear friends!
We’ve got speak Turkish in Turkish!

We served the cruel, the ugly and the brute,
hungry, murderous and sex starved.
Now, we are serving our tourists,
just as hungry and thirsty, just as frail and weak,
and just as in need.

Come on now! Hold on dear friends!
We’ve got speak Turkish in Turkish!

We serve them our sun, our sea, our food, our drinks
and our ruins.
We serve barren Scandinavian women fresh meat.
We serve young adventurous girls from Western Europe,
the pleasures of our boyhood.
We pay our own hard-earned cash to young Russian girls,
blonde, blue eyed and white-skinned.
A dozen nations invaded us and converted us to their Gods,
from times immemorial—and we fear them all-yet, we follow our hearts!

Come on now! Hold on dear friends!
We’ve got speak Turkish in Turkish!

One thousand invasions and one thousand transitions;
we know what change means
and we also know one thing that remains:
the transient beauty of the youth that we all cherish
and the rest is all multi-faces; or politics- as our Greek brothers would call it.

Come on now! Hold on new friends!
We’ve got speak Turkish in Turkish!

We are like vast rivers that remain not dammed:
we know where we came from
and we know where we’re going,
we carry the perpetual glow of our good hearts and good humor, in between,
we are an ancient people, now called Turkish!

Come on now! Hold on dear friends!
We’ve got speak Turkish in Turkish!


Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 13 09 2006 - 07:46


MY PEOPLE

We served one thousand islands with Greek names.
We served the Hittites, Phrygians and Persians,
and one thousand other nations under the gun;
the Roman invaders of the ancient times
and the new Romans of the invading kinds!

Come on now! Hold on dear friends!
We’ve got speak Turkish in Turkish!

We served armies of Alexander the Great from Northern Greece
and Tamerlane of the Fergana Valley-- from the central Asia’s highlands.
Even though, the two have never met,
they both traveled great distances to reach us on horseback,
sometimes more than once or twice!

Come on now! Hold on dear friends!
We’ve got speak Turkish in Turkish!

We drove the wild chariots of Hellios
from Mount Olympus!
We were swimming in Eridanus when Pheaton left the reins loose.
We were his sisters that turned into poplars.
We still tremble windy nights with the egg-shaped moon.

Come on now! Hold on dear friends!
We’ve got speak Turkish in Turkish!

We served the cruel, the ugly and the brute,
hungry, murderous and sex starved.
Now, we are serving our tourists,
just as hungry and thirsty, just as frail and weak,
and just as in need.

Come on now! Hold on dear friends!
We’ve got speak Turkish in Turkish!

We serve them our sun, our sea, our food, our drinks
and our ruins.
We serve barren Scandinavian women fresh meat.
We serve young adventurous girls from Western Europe,
the pleasures of our boyhood.
We pay our own hard-earned cash to young Russian girls,
blonde, blue eyed and white-skinned.
A dozen nations invaded us and converted us to their Gods,
from times immemorial—and we fear them all-yet, we follow our hearts!

Come on now! Hold on dear friends!
We’ve got speak Turkish in Turkish!

One thousand invasions and one thousand transitions;
we know what change means
and we also know one thing that remains:
the transient beauty of the youth that we all cherish
and the rest is all multi-faces; or politics- as our Greek brothers would call it.

Come on now! Hold on new friends!
We’ve got speak Turkish in Turkish!

We are like vast rivers that remain not dammed:
we know where we came from
and we know where we’re going,
we carry the perpetual glow of our good hearts and good humor, in between,
we are an ancient people, now called Turkish!

Come on now! Hold on dear friends!
We’ve got speak Turkish in Turkish!


Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 14 09 2006 - 16:42

Kidney Stone

An old man stark naked, thin and white,
sits in a light green round basin in a shower stall,
in shallow lukewarm water—like an aged John Lennon,
shivering
with indescribable pain
that comes
like an airplane,
to shake
the very foundations of his core;
a moment of respite before it hits
again
and then again;
the symphony of pain
shakes his pale skin and hot water pours
and soothes from the shower head,
in her right hand—is that the beloved Yoko?
every fifteen minutes,
all night long,
the ritual of love.
She gives the man water to drink;
“I can’t! I feel like throwing up.”
“Please drink it for my sake, drink it!”
The naked man, vulnerable to his core,
gulps the water down—true love--
true love, true, I know
this is true love!

Vehbi Taşar

September, 14, 2006, Marmaris, Turkey

Gönderen: Vehbi 15 09 2006 - 14:30

Drum Beat

Life is there is- yet,
we search and search for
the next moment, yet
to live for.

Vehbi Taşar


Gönderen: Vehbi 21 09 2006 - 13:24


HEART STONE

After one son, the second one too,
something’s missing in the brains, they said,
that no one could see or guess what it was.
But, something was missing to be sure,
less clear was what was missing
that did not make one whole and why,
in a human sense, if anyone really understood
what was meant by a ‘whole.’
No reasons given, no solutions proposed,
what a father could do but blame,
someone, anyone, starting with his God.
No one was exempt from his blame and hatred
and everyone in the world felt the pain of his
heart stone that has gotten heavier with time.
He looked at the devil valiantly in the eye
and said “I hate you, I hate you all!”
Who in this world is beyond reproach
for standing up on his two human legs and cry,
as defiantly, as fearlessly and with as much hatred,
but the man who fathers an autistic child?
No platitudes could console him
and compliance was not in his book anyways;
if his children couldn’t comply with the rules,
he could do without them as well.
The suffering that he created was intentional,
but well meant; for, unlike most ordinary men,
he stood day in and day out, and faced his pain at it’s face,
his eyes shut tight.
While he served his children every day, in his own way,
he plainly told everyone how he wished they were dead.
This repulsed everyone around him as I stood in awe,
for there is nothing more majestic than to watch a lion suffering,
while his wounds are being licked by two innocent cubs
who are very much alive and kicking,
and are very much lion-like.
The suffering of all of one man’s pride,
makes all the self-congratulations of one human race
whole.
Perhaps, this is somewhat an autistic child is for,
at least as whole.

Vehbi Taşar


KALP TAŞI

Bir oğuldan sonra, bir ikincisi daha,
dediler, beyinlerde birşey eksikti,
göremediği hiç kimsenin, ya da ne olduğunu tahmin edemeyeceği.
Fakat, mutlaka birşey eksikti,
daha az açık olan, eksik olduğuydu neyin
birini yapmayan bütün ve niçin,
insan anlayışına göre, eğer biri olsaydı anlamış olan,
ne olduğunu bir ‘bütün’ün.
Hiçbir sebep verilmedi, hiçbir çözüm önerilmedi,
ne yapabilirdi bir baba suçlamaktan başka
birini, herhangi birini, başlayarak Tanrısından.
ve dünyada herkes duydu acısını onun
kalp taşının, zamanla gittikçe ağırlaşan.
Şeytanın gözünün için kahramanca baktı
ve dedi, “Nefret ediyorum senden, nefret ediyorum hepinizden!”
Kim gider ötesine kınanmanın bu dünyada
iki adet insan-ayaklarının üstünde dikilen ve ağlayan- bu kadar küstahça,
bu kadar korkusuzca ve bu kadar çok nefretle dolu,
otistik bir çocuğa babalık eden adamdan başka?
Hiçbir yavan söz teselli edemezdi onu
ve baş eğme yoktu kitabında herşeye rağmen;
eğer çocukları baş eğemiyorlarsa kurallara,
daha iyi olurdu o da yapabilseydi onlarsız.
Kasıtlıydı yarattığı acı,
fakat iyi niyetli; çünkü, bir çok sıradan adamın yapmadığı gibi,
ayakta durdu her allahın günü, ve göğüs gerdi kendi acısına,
gözleri sımsıkı kapalı.
Her gün, kendi yönteminde, baktığında çocuklarına,
açıkça söyledi herkese nasıl arzulardı ölmüş olduğunu onların.
Kabaca geri çevirdi herkesi etrafındaki ben ayakta dururken huşu içersinde,
çünkü yoktur daha görkemli hiç birşey bir aslanın acı çektiğini seyretmekten,
yaraları yalanırken iki masum aslan yavrusu tarafından
son derece yaşamla dolu ve tekmeleyen,
ve son derece aslan-gibi.
Bütün bir kişilik aslan sürüsünün çektiği acı
bütünleştirir tüm kendi kendini kutlayışlarını bütün bir insan neslinin.
Belki de, otistik bir çocuk biraz da bunun içindir
bütün,
en azından onlar gibi.

Vehbi Taşar





Gönderen: Vehbi 21 09 2006 - 15:19

BEYOND WORDS

My father stops a young man- about forty years of age,
trying to help out his daughter
with a tricycle in a narrow path,
near his home in Marmaris,
and tells him, “I remember your late father,
teaching you how to ride a bike,
when you were a child.”
The young man politely smiles and rushes on his way,
holding his daughter’s tricycle.
I know what transpired between the two men was
sacred and beyond words; unspeakable as such
what connects the old to the young.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 22 09 2006 - 11:54

OLD MAN IN MARMARİS

He was a stranger, who came from nowhere and sat on my bed,
“Son, I am old and can’t see well enough to read your x-rays,
and I have not much of a memory left,
except for the six kidney stones that I had passed;
each and every one of them, I remember, as if it happened today.”
I was wiggling and squirming with pain wishing him to go away.
But, the old man continued, “Son, I can see that
you are in a great deal of pain and you will do anything to avoid it;
but, this is not the way to pass a kidney stone.
The secret is to stay with the pain.
I am not saying you have to enjoy it,
just stay with it until it goes away.
Push a lot of water and don’t wiggle- be brave,
what you fear is dying, but nobody dies of a kidney stone.
Don’t take pain killers, just stay with your pain,
for a kidney stone only passes with pain.”

His logic was convincing and his manner was no joke,
and I stopped popping pills and started to breath with pain.
I discovered many subtle variations in pain, like the wind;
I could tell its coming, I could feel its breeze;
and I could get on it and ride it like a wild stallion;
I discovered the pain was made of vibrations,
each little vibration of a tiny note,
and learned a song was made of them not unlike a scream,
and scream had a melody in it that came with its subtle variations.
Children moaned in battlefields and women wailed after their dead,
and I heard the sounds large birds made when they migrated
over great waters and continents.
And there were blows that blue whales squirted
as they surfaced to suck air,
like hisses coming from deep coughs of old men,
and I heard the booms of whales as they dived in,
when they talked to their friends, through the ocean floor, thousands of miles away.
All chattered through the night air in great harmony,
like soldiers marching through to a certain death and unknown glory,
their steps aligned to the rhythm of a marching band.
I was so much absorbed in pain that I got sucked into its black hole.
Sometime towards the morning, I fell asleep and did not wake up anymore,
either the stone had passed, or I was dead.

When I woke up late morning, I found the old man sitting at my bedside,
smiling, not to tell me he was right- we both knew that;
but to reward me with his handshake- the closure of his lesson in pain.
Pain opened a world for me I had never heard of before;
I learned his lesson well and can now see why pain can be a friend and a guide.
I have a newly gained respect for witch doctors and old men;
and for the wisdom of not avoiding my pain.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 02 10 2006 - 14:13

KEY QUESTIONS
By Vehbi Taşar

I lost my keys and can feel it.
My pants’ pockets are flat
and my pants are sticking to my legs without keys.
I don’t feel their weight.
Worse, I can’t remember what the keys were for.
Yet, the implications are ominous:
I may not go into my car and drive it;
I may have to sleep on the street;
I may have lost both heaven and earth.
What am I going to do without my keys?
I have this uncomfortable feeling without these implements;
I wish I could feel their colds in my hands.
I have heard that they hand them out in holy places
where people can go and pick up their lost keys.
Maybe I should go to a church, or a synagogue or a mosque;
maybe I should become a buddhist and meditate over my keys,
or walk one thousand miles backwards in Tibet to find them.
Can I make duplicates having lost the originals?
How do I find my keys?
What door am I supposed to open

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 02 10 2006 - 14:15

HEART STONE

After one son, the second one too,
something’s missing in the brains, they said,
that no one could see or guess what it was.
But, something was missing to be sure,
less clear was what was missing
that did not make one whole and why,
in a human sense, if anyone really understood
what was meant by a ‘whole.’
No reasons given, no solutions proposed,
what a father could do but blame,
someone, anyone, starting with his God.
No one was exempt from his blame and hatred
and everyone in the world felt the pain of his
heart stone that has gotten heavier with time.
He looked at the devil valiantly in the eye
and said “I hate you, I hate you all!”
Who in this world is beyond reproach
for standing up on his two human legs and cry,
as defiantly, as fearlessly and with as much hatred,
but the man who fathers an autistic child?
No platitudes could console him
and compliance was not in his book anyways;
if his children couldn’t comply with the rules,
he could do without them as well.
The suffering that he created was intentional,
but well meant; for, unlike most ordinary men,
he stood day in and day out, and faced his pain at it’s face,
his eyes shut tight.
While he served his children every day, in his own way,
he plainly told everyone how he wished they were dead.
This repulsed everyone around him as I stood in awe,
for there is nothing more majestic than to watch a lion suffering,
while his wounds are being licked by two innocent cubs
who are very much alive and kicking,
and are very much lion-like.
The suffering of all of one man’s pride,
makes all the self-congratulations of one human race
whole.
Perhaps, this is somewhat an autistic child is for,
at least as whole.

Vehbi Taşar


Gönderen: Vehbi 02 10 2006 - 14:16

SAILING WITH THE WIND

A sail filled with the wind is the ultimate illusion
of going somewhere; like the Viagra,
fabled to hold an erection for four days.
Does one want to please himself,
or her, or does one want to go somewhere? Where?
Mankind always mixed up destination with means.
Destination is the only expressed desire
for being nowhere.
Mind knows this and keeps it as a secret from consciousness,
so that there is movement;
for everything moves with the earth.
But, we forget that too.
Everything and anything that happens to us
happens right where we are
all the time.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 05 10 2006 - 01:06

PİCASSO’S “The Dream”

This woman is three shades of yellow,
with a simple gold necklace around her neck and a pillow;
head lying on it, perfectly horizontal,
shoulders not sexy- but the pillow is.
Neither are the two large breasts,
even though one nipple is showing.
The arms look like they are artificial limbs,
and hands are drawn by a child,
they look like a grandmother’s.
Eyes closed, and face an egg- broken,
half the face is a different shade
than the opposite side of her blouse,
while the other side is the same yellow
of one nipple that matches it
on her heart.

This woman is perfect and yellow
in whatever she is doing- I wonder again,
what sort of dreams she is dreaming today.

I look at this picture hanging on my living room wall,
and say for a thousandth time to myself,
“Masterpiece lies in the whole,
and not in its parts.”

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 08 10 2006 - 22:48

EXPERIENCE

I was simple then, I lived in a tent,
I am simple now, I still live in tent.
Between then and now, almost forty years passed.

I have seen many dead,
but I haven’t seen the evil yet.
I’ve seen many wrongs,
but, I’ve seen many more rights.

I know mankind always hoped for the doomsday,
but never really wanted it.
Rest assure it will not happen,
we haven’t paid our debts yet.

I’ve seen the world become smaller,
but, it hasn’t yet turned into a large tent.
I’ve heard many arguments,
none of them was totally wrong.

I’ve seen the good trying too hard,
and I have seen the bad who totally gave up.
They both came from the same source- to show,
sometimes the good totally gives up,
and the bad tries too hard.

All in all I am content; my brain has much to take,
But, I am not so sure of my body,
I think some organs might have to be repaired.

The world hasn’t changed much if you follow the rules,
and rules haven’t changed much if you follow the world.

I learned love was important and love was true friendship,
I have not yet found God,
but, I am sure he is still looking!

Vehbi Taşar


Gönderen: Vehbi 11 10 2006 - 13:06

CORPORATE MAN

He is youthful and his smile is endearing,
he says he has integrity with charm,
he says he believes in winning
and that there is no winning without metrics;
and he did not come here to make friends.
He will be gone if he can’t make it in twelve-months.
But, how come I see an empty suit when I look?

He says he doesn’t care what you think,
he says he has never failed.
he says he believes in teamwork,
and he says this is his meeting.
He is the corporate saviour- God save him,
and he gives rousing speeches.
But, how come I see and empty suit when I look?

He likes fast cars and high rises,
his wallet shines with corporate medals,
he has an attractive little baby
and no doubt a beautiful young wife,
he reads slogans from baseball coaches
and football heroes.
But, how come I see and empty suit when I look?

He says he is an A-class person
and he will hire more A-class persons like himself.
He says everything he sees here is class B-all of our travels for three years.
He points out our shortcomings and failures
and bids us write prescriptions,
on quarterly schedules.
But, how come I see an empty suit when I look?

Did he raise children of his own?
Does he have horror stories of failures?
Has he smelled a flower yet? Does he know his trees?
Did he ever make friends with foes?
Did he ever write a poem?
I know he believes in corporate profits,
but how come I see an empty suit when I look?

Vehbi Taşar
October 11, 2006




Gönderen: Vehbi 12 10 2006 - 18:26

LITTLE POEM

Escape the real and write a little poem
for daisies last forever with just a bit of water;
and life is a balloon with too much air,
use a bit of it to make a little poem.

A little pain here is a big bubble in the air,
suffering is a hurricane;
our days are long but life is simple,
much like a little poem.

Love is lust when we’re young,
when grown, it becomes denser;
make sure you can breathe with it,
make a tunnel in it with a little poem.

When you’re tired of yourself,
and none will compensate,
drink a little red wine
and then sit down to write a little poem.

Daisies are yellow and they bend in the air,
lamplight is yellow and bends through the window pane,
a lonely room is sorrow
and bends through the hell like a little poem.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 13 10 2006 - 12:38

PUNCTUATION LESSON

Let there be spaces between thoughts
Let there be breaks before rage
Let there be a pause before a feeling
Let there be semicolons between silliness
Let there be one hyphen for an insight
Let there be two hyphens for the obvious
Let there be three hyphens for a show-off
Let there be paragraphs for beauty
Let there be sentences for the morose
Let there be commas between sobs
Let there be colons after sex
Let there be periods after contemplation
Let there be exclamation marks after excitement
Let there be nothing for anger
Let there be silence between notes.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 20 10 2006 - 17:56

I SOMETIMES WONDER

I sometimes wonder if
God is simplicity,
wealth is life- as Ruskin said,
and Ghandi was a cockroach,
as he was more resilient and militant
than the entire British Empire,
in his own way.

I sometimes wonder if
Poetry is everything
there is.
Is there an Iliad not up to date?
Why are we messing about?
The answer…
I haven’t found.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 20 10 2006 - 18:33


REMAINS WERE FOUND
The remains were found in rubble excavated from a manhole near the site of the World Trade Center.

An adult body contains 206 bones;
an infant 350,
bones join each other as we grow.
There are 1100 bodies whose bones
did not come out.
They did not grow.
I wonder if Atta’s bones are still there
waiting for a burial.
He took a vow to scatter bones
in the rubble of their faiths,
including his own.

Vehbi Taşar

October, 20, 2006


Gönderen: Vehbi 23 10 2006 - 11:28


GAME OF DEATH

Five games of accident, one game of death,
I was not meant to understand.
The rules were not complex.
We each watched how it went.
We dressed for it
and I was dressed for death.

When the time came to play the game,
I was as dumb as a bull.
I had a sombrero on my neck,
I had a cap on my right shoulder.
I don’t know if anyone said,
or I was not meant to understand.

I asked the right questions,
But, I did not listen for the answers.
I was asked which game I wanted to play,
I went for the game of death,
either I was dressed for it, or I had faith.
I do not know what will happen

next.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 24 10 2006 - 12:11


CLEAN

They asked.Lawrence of Arabia
why he liked desert so much,
and he said, ‘because it’s clean.’
Clean is the lot of the living,
sand clean, bone clean, carbon clean and ash clean.
Then, why do snakes bite?
Why does this woman hiss?
Why do children disobey?
Why do I translate poems?
It’s all the same.
We do, because we can.
Reward is our doing
of what comes from heart,
and clean is the undoing
of what has been amiss.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 26 10 2006 - 23:58

A Moveable Feast

On my desk, an eraser for white boards,
on it sits a white plastic fork,
and by it, lays down long a magic marker; low odor, dry erase:
Three important tools of the engineer
who built computers, bridges and airplanes
and just about everything else
with his brain and hands
and stomach.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 29 10 2006 - 21:24

RICH IS POOR

I was watching the First Class line today,
sitting across an American Airlines check-in counter.
The line was empty, and the poor lady
invited the second-class passengers to serve;
while a well-to-do couple, older, with a cart and a porter,
arrived at the line and impatiently waited
to be served. On this occasion, I had this profound thought
that the poor was the only force of nature
that could ever stop the rich, and the price they would have to pay,
almost anywhere, they could ill afford to lose.
But, I was comforted by the amount,
the rich would have to pay the poor
in order to stay richer.
In some convoluted twilight of differential calculus and integral truth,
I decided that the rich could not afford it
unless the rich was willing to be poor.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 02 11 2006 - 17:29

NOVEMBER THOUGHTS

One doesn’t have to be a poet to say this,
but life moves on multiple threads,
simultaneously and often unexpected.
Nowadays, I can hardly walk
without pushing aside words, words, everywhere I look I see words.
I am amazed at the depth of Whitman and simplicity
and the precise logic of Mevlâna Celalettin-i-Rumi. There is beauty in all this,
but there is more,
and what is more is what is not there.
For instance, there was a period in my life when I immersed myself
in trees and plants. It was the time I couldn’t see my nose
through some pinnately compounded labyrinth. About this time,
I got interested in mysteries. I read one every night
before I went to sleep (I don’t remember any of them and I could go back and read all of them again!)
And there was the time for mathematics, the pure beauty of it! The prime numbers, remainders, Gauss and Euclid; encryption is fascinating.
And there was the time that all I could think of was sailing, or mountaineering or hiking;
yet all this time I worked, I worked and I worked to make a living, (save two months in between jobs when I learned cooking) and raised two kids, tried to stay married and did other things that had to be done.
And I was reading last night in National Geographic about Reinhard Messner’s feats,
(the man who climbed Everest alone without oxygen and the world’s remaining 19 highest peaks and walked some 10,000 miles on the surface of the earth, and did some other amazing things.)
All this should not come as a surprise to anyone.
We all know we are a lot more than we are (Mevlâna proved this, give and take one thousand years before.)
What is occupying my mind these days is none of this,
but that poorly kept secret; that is,
‘how much less we all are than what we all seem.’

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 05 11 2006 - 15:43

CONNECTORS AND CABLES

Connectors and cables became
the sign of our civilization.
It seems that we need to connect everything
with wires or radio waves;
and the shapes, sizes and numbers of connectors,
both male and female,
have gone out of hand!
But, there are some elementary things
we keep forgetting to connect.

If I were a connector man,
I would make one for hearts and brains;
one way— from heart to brain.
And I would have competition
from brain-to-heart technologies.
But, mine would be so much better,
for it would work even after the brain was gone.

But, it would be hard to market death in this climate;
brainy people would say, ‘heart overwhelms the brain.’
But, I’d say I would engineer an overflow valve
from brain to digestive track, by way of liver,
to purify blood stream from poisons
that brains tend to create.

If brain does what heart wants, there would not be wars
of the human kind. If brain always listens to heart,
there would always be love in minds.
And passionate considerations would make
other types of connectors and cables obsolete.

And I would have the monopoly of hearts
to keep them in my brain.

Vehbi Taşar


Gönderen: Vehbi 07 11 2006 - 19:42

LOVE

I had a conversation with the old master in dream,
I asked him if he could tell me anything about love,
that I hadn’t yet heard of.
He said, ‘possibly, quite a lot!’
Then he said, ‘love is not in your pants or hers,
but you probably knew that,
otherwise, we would not be having this conversation.
You were always told that love had thousand faces: there is the brotherly love,
motherly love, sexual love, love we feel for our children, loving animals or plants,
or love for possessions- gained or to be gained,
love for God, that comes from sainthood;
and finally, the dreamed kind,
always out of reach, the kind that makes good reading.
Don’t believe any of this nonsense!
There is only one kind of love,
and that is the one that you have. But, you say that you haven’t found it yet.
That’s because you haven’t heard the three conditions for it.
First, you will need to make yourself available to love,
so that you can be affected;
Second, you will need to make yourself visible to love,
so that you can be seen by it;
Third, you will need to be present,
so that you can be intimate with it.
These are the prerequisites of love,
but they are not sufficient onto themselves.
Love comes from the mighty river of life,
just hang on to it,
hang on to it tight!
You will be swept by love.’

Vehbi Taşar




Gönderen: Vehbi 11 11 2006 - 11:53

PRESERVATION

Every time I come close to popular myth,
I am saved by the classics!

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 11 11 2006 - 14:48

Poetry

Poetry comes to me like a migraine
that leaves without a trace.

I am sick between episodes.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 14 11 2006 - 13:03

NIGHT’S SERENADE

Mind won’t stop roaming.
And when the body cooperates,
the two can have a ball together.
But, when the body gets old and tired,
mind goes on its own ways:
A few countries, one or two continents,
a memory or two here and there,
or better yet, hide in one or two caves.
Sleep doesn’t like to meet the mind
in bright places;
and darkness settles on heart.
But, sleep won’t visit an alert mind.

It is a dull knive, the man’s kind;
it slices pain,
in front of heart’s mirror,
late into the night.

Until morning comes.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 18 11 2006 - 00:37

CHAIN

Just fill in the blanks of time,
let discomfort turn into pain;
and pain into longing.
Ah sweet longing at the end of a very long chain!
Our celebrity encounter’s waiting.
Chain’s getting heavier and heavier as we approach him.
All’s well that ends well and death’s waiting there
to untie our chain.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 19 11 2006 - 21:27

POETRY ABOUT POETRY

It started out as a flame, but I did not pay attention,
I could have smelled the smoke, but my senses were dulled,
I could have seen the obvious, but my eyes were blurred.
When she finally told me, our house was on fire.

Yet, all the suffering and heartache,
and all that had gone by and passed
cannot but make me wonder,
what it was all about!
I cannot erase from my mind
the image of Phoenix,
rising from the ashes, the only constant in life:
ashes from the ashes. Then, I realize
why art is evermore.

When everything is right, I am here in this poem.
When everything is wrong, I am still in the same place.
To turn and turn and always come back,
like the Sufi sheikh.
Art is not for the poet; art is for all,
for everyone is a poet and a painter and a maestro,
and everyone is a Beethoven.
Art is the least common denominator
of all that can be perceived; both inside and outside. Art is the loving of oneself,
accepting the true imperfection which is always perfect- only a speck,
only, a speck.

When we pass on our genes, we spread
both perfection and imperfection;
only a speck,
for evolution will never end.
When we don’t pass on our genes, we spread our lives,
our perfections and imperfections,
only for a speck of time, for only a speck.

Will we be united with God someday?
There is no doubt about it;
but it is a gross injustice to say,
that will be perfect.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 24 11 2006 - 17:33

POETRY
uses symbols,
and ‘t is based on inference;
a highly mathematical art,
for people with no musical talent.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 25 11 2006 - 20:13

BREAT CANCER

The cancer from her breast
spreaded to her bones,
and killed us all.
The Mt. Shasta of gentleness,
Grand Tetons of grace,
how a tight hug of affection revealed,
as your motherly strength,
could kill a human race!
My dear friend,
whatever happens to your parts,
please come and visit us;
as a warm autumn breeze,
or the soft summer’s rain,
with Schumann’s arabesque,
or a prelude or two of Chopin.
We will cherish your smile,
and our hearts will be buried in your debt.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 25 11 2006 - 20:33

IN THE STARBUCKS

Only in Cambridge, Massachusetts, one can see,
an old man wearing an MIT sweatshirt,
casually reading a mathematical textbook,
as if he was reading Moby Dick,
by Herman Melville, in a Starbucks Café on the street,
“Applications of Markov Chains and Monte Carlo Methods,”
on its cover, a maritime map of France!
I wonder if the original Starbuck
who was Captain Ahab’s first mate,
no matter how business-like he was,
would have taken one look,
at the whale of a coffee-mug
this man had drunk,
and die on the spot!

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 27 11 2006 - 04:48

GRANDPA
(Written in an airplane ride from Boston to Tampa that cost $700 more)
11/26/2006

First you begin to forget things,
then your eyesight gets bad,
you see six as eight.

And if you lose two days,
it may cause distress.

But, you don’t care.

It is not the money that counts,
for its difference is no longer separate.

Your days are full with thoughts,
mostly about your health.
Yet, health has lost its appeal,
its fruits are bland.

Of those things that last,
how many are still not lost?
Sunsets are orange red,
and sunrises are scarlet;
passion is still strong,
bare feet on dance floor attract,
and when you smell perfume mixed with sweat,
old memories of love come back.
Miracles do happen,
and sweet is paradise of regret.

Everything else being the same,
a baby’s love is one element left.
And a baby’s smile is
the only sunshine that lasts.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 27 11 2006 - 20:46

IMAGES

Some images are sharp like knives,
they can cut your throat.
Such images
must be dulled.

Some images are blurred
like clustered heavens,
they must be cleared
by keen eyes.

Some images are perfect,
as if they came from God.
Such images
must be heard.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 29 11 2006 - 11:20


AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL

We accumulated greed and confused comfort with love,
warm bodies came easy but we were cold inside.
We looked for God in the temple when God was waiting in us,
emptiness was replaced with hubris and value became war;
our social commentary is full of dollar signs.
For three centuries we shaped the world to our ways.
We lost three millennia in less than three hundred years.
We call this progress but we are going backwards at light’s speed.
We will lose this world we know in a few more centuries.
We judge nationalism, communism, fascism and capitalism,
while we try to live our own lives in thousands of schisms.
While we preach democracy and freedom, we learn:
Democracy is Damocles’ sword and freedom only comes from inside.
It is time for us to be silent as birds,
it is time for us to write poems and sing love songs,
for we need a unifying theme of love and understanding.
Religion has failed us, so did our politicians.
Some worshipped science, but technology became an arrow looking for its bow.
Let us write poems and listen to our inner world,
didn’t all the wisdom of human race come from there?
Folks, we haven’t got much time left,
we’ve got to stop making this world ours.
This planet does not belong to us,
we’ve got to stop acting like we own it.
Folks, let us discover our own souls:
Therein lays our one and only hope.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 29 11 2006 - 16:41

GAS STATIONS

Having two huge gas tanks under the pavement is a disgrace,
and more than two should be a crime!
There is a reason oil is buried deep,
deep within the earth. It is the juice of ancient creatures that once lived.
Should they be kept in a steel tank?
Out of respect for the dead,
we should reduce world’s oil production--
to the levels of candle oil and cosmetics consumption. Then,
there would more light in hearts and more beautiful women walking.
Perhaps more whales would be killed,
and cities would be dark. You couldn’t tell Africa from America from the space;
but, that should be alright with no spaceships and airplanes.
More children would die,
and old men and women would not live longer anymore.
World’s population would be cut
to a sustainable level.
Without gas stations, there would be less jobs
and families would not often be moved.
Old men could live with their grandchildren.
Without gas stations, everything would be compressed.
People would commute to work on horses and coal would be the king,
which is oil, compressed. Without gas stations,
there would more love
on earth,
and more oil,
within.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 03 12 2006 - 16:57

HUMAN CONDITION

The first war was started by a fool
and fought by the meek.
The meek inherited the earth,
and the fools remained.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 04 12 2006 - 13:54

TOO LATE TO UNDERSTAND RAVEL

We came home from work and cooked together.
She turned on the radio, KQED;
and I heard Ravel.
To break the silence when we were eating,
I said to her, “it’s Ravel.”
She said, “No, it can’t be.”
I said, “Would you like a bet?”
She said, “It’s either Debussy or Prokofiev,
there is no melody in it,
Ravel has melody, remember La Valse?”
I agreed with her, but I insisted,
“How about a bet? If I win,
I want to make love to you.”
She said, “It’s not Ravel!”
There was no way for her to know it,
but I knew it was Ravel,
for I remembered the LP cover in Ankara, Turkey
with the spring flower buds on it,
when I was nineteen.
I had looked long and hard
to try and understand Ravel
when I was trying to recover from a first love,
without success…
I wasn’t sure what to feel,
jealousy, rage, regret or longing or loss,
piano wasn’t leading me to the flower buds.
It’s been almost 40 years since and I still don’t understand Ravel,
but I have a fair idea what it sounds like.
I said, “making love,” and she said, “not Ravel!”
Finally, the piece ended and the announcer said,
“it was Ravel!”
I claimed my prize and she said, “no way,”
she didn’t agree to the bet in the first place;
and I said to myself,” it’s O.K,
no melody, no making love,
it is too late now to understand Ravel.”

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 07 12 2006 - 16:02

I SOMETIMES THINK TOO MUCH

I sometimes think - which is rare,
this universe is made such that
at the end of a very long day,
only the truth outlives everything else.
And of what that is
I asked many scholar friends.
Their answer was either obvious or meaningless,
depending on who I asked.
Only I know the answer to that,
for which I am content!

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 09 12 2006 - 15:48

CONTINENTAL DIVIDE

When two tectonic plates
underneath the earth drift,
they push each other to raise
the backbone that fuses
and separates. It holds the continent together
and splits it into two. Waters on one side flow down the slope,
one way;
the other side, another way.
I am a poet,
always unsure of himself,
always wanting to flow both ways,
always split,
always high and dry,
enjoying the view
from the Continental Divide.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 11 12 2006 - 16:20

TEN FEET TALL

If you were ten feet tall, would it help
your game of tennis?

There is nothing that says,
you can’t play the basketball.

But, your heart would be in the basket!
Instead, all you wanna do is to write poems.

God works
in disjunctive waves.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 12 12 2006 - 17:37

SAY YES, AND TRY TO PLEASE!

I am the last one to give advice to my children about jobs,
for I don’t believe in them.
One should work free if one can avoid money.
I realize there is a social science or two that won’t make this possible.
Therefore, in order to economize,
one should hold as few jobs as possible.
I am grateful for the jobs I held,
especially the ones they fired me from.
I was long ready to leave them before;
and if I wasn’t ready, I should have been.
Just as money and success chase,
my heart is not made for careers,
for I don’t like to chase tails.
This is not to say that I have anything against
free enterprise. One should be allowed to follow one’s dreams.
But dreams are rarely what they are dreamed for;
and a dream realized is too often a dream too late.
All these considerations should not despair one
who enters a career’s life. I was once that,
and I still go to work every day. Everything we learn in life, we learn
from other people, and other people come to work.
People are wonderful no matter what,
even the ones who seem deranged;
they must be especially studied and learned.
Don’t avoid an enemy; he or she is your best friend,
and true friends are only there when you need them.
When a friend needs you, be all ears.
There is more to jobs than careers.
If you can be useful to someone,
please don’t avoid it,
say yes and try to please,
this is what success is all about.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 13 12 2006 - 12:35

ON THE MAIN STREET OF LIFE

On the main street of life,
we walk
one word at a time
on each line
short words
long walks
all alone
sleep and walk
talk and talk
have childen
walk with them a bit
they take the metro
we walk
long
see places
one way stairs
we climb
take elevators
end of walk

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 14 12 2006 - 19:13

YOU DON’T DO ANYTHING!

You don’t do anything, “anything!”
She is screaming,
reducing me to a single-cell.
A single-cell built the entire life on earth,
possibilities exist, therefore, given time.
But, not in a life’s time!

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 15 12 2006 - 04:36

AHMET ERTEGÜN DIED TODAY

Ahmet Ertegün died today.
Ahmet was Atatürk and Sultan Reşat of the music,
USA.
He founded Atlantic Records,
he discovered Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles,
and the Rolling Stones.
He had a heart that beat
with Rock.
He came from our old homeland
and he touched millions of souls for whom
he remained the unknown Turk.
Allah rahmet eylesin Ahmet,
God bless your soul.
Let your bones remain forever
in your beloved town,
İstanbul, Turkey!

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 15 12 2006 - 18:28

BOLERO IN UNDERNEATH

Underneath the door, underneath the window,
underneath the roof, underneath the basement, underneath the stairs,
underneath the washer, underneath the drier,
underneath the refrigerator, underneath the microwave,
underneath the pots, underneath the pans,
underneath the cupboard, underneath the table,
underneath the sofa, underneath the chairs,
underneath the carpet, underneath the rugs,
underneath the sheets, underneath our arms and hands,
underneath the bed, underneath your feet,
underneath our heads, right under our nose,
underneath the ground, underneath the land,
underneath the sky, underneath the earth,
underneath the clouds, underneath the rain,
underneath the stars, underneath the moon,
underneath the sun, underneath the planets,
underneath I, underneath you, underneath the baby,
underneath the eyes, eyebrows, eyelashes and underneath the life,
all of them all of them and underneath them all.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 18 12 2006 - 02:30

HEADSCARF

When I was growing up in Turkey women wore headscarves,
old and young; matching eyes, matching hair, matching their grey overcoats.
They were symbols of modesty, tradition, reverence, prayer, peace and
perhaps chastity and pureness. But, now, headscarves represent
another kind of a symbol, a political one that people generally grab
when they lose all their earthly hopes. An inanimate object
to cling on, as if they want to say they are not alive without. Their message is:
“By this, I live my life; by this, I die; and by this, I commit murder and suicide.”
But, a political symbol has funny ways to catch up: The same headscarf may be banned
in Turkey, or a plague in France; yet, it is an obligation to wear at some other place.
And in the USA, it is absolutely of no consequence!

My Muslim sisters of the world,
please don’t trifle with political symbols.
They come and go and change
like a caravan that disappears into the dusk. Think first,
are you really sure you lost all hope?
If this is indeed the case, look for a more permanent way
to get it back, from the very core of your existence.

My generals, politicians and intellectual friends,
do not lose sleep over a piece of cloth!

If Mevlâna was alive in Konya today,
he would have softly whispered in all your ears,
to the four corners of our homeland:
“You are the golden eyes of God.
What you believe is in those eyes. Wear
what you want to wear and worship
as you see fit.
But, don’t turn yourselves into a headscarf!”

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 19 12 2006 - 20:09

MENOPAUSE

The door is shut.
All the pleasures behind it
must now be imagined.
There are other doors;
too far to walk for. Behind,
smells transcend,
orchids shoot,
and the rose still strikes. But,
the soul is expanding far
far beyond the shores
and doors
of Titanic (which has sunk.)

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 22 12 2006 - 01:03

LIKE A BROKEN RECORD

Broken
like an egg, broken
into space, can’t collect
the pieces. Dissembled the perfect
parts. Perfect, but makes no sense
when joined
like an egg. I forgot
what piece belongs to what
and the end of a day won’t
mind. I am broken
good.

I can’t be helped by food,
I can’t be helped by repairmen,
I can’t be helped by drinks,
Medicine is of no use.
Money can’t help,
I lost my wits,
crime won’t cure.
I need doctors not. Even God
can’t help
because I am fine myself
even though
I am broken.

All my life, I fixed,
or paid
for fixing. Now, I can’t fix myself
like a broken record.
Something inside broke. Not sure what,
things make no sense. My broken state’s
affecting my mind, something’s got be done,
but what? I don’t
want.

Vehbi Taşar



Gönderen: Vehbi 24 12 2006 - 06:15


SNOWFLAKE

snowflake,
snowflake one
breast in hand,
round and soft,
one and hard,
smells God.
freshly made,
bread-like.
one-in-all,
cold and soft.
all-in-one,
all mine.
melt not,
in furnace
of heart.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 27 12 2006 - 18:00

TOO MUCH TIME IN HEAVEN

Too much time in heaven,
we lost our bearing
straight into the hell.
There we burned and learned
how to dream
the eternal light and sin.
Our time in hell’s now ended.
What awaits next
is worse: The mortal
and incurable self!

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 29 12 2006 - 18:00

ON READING ORHAN PAMUK’S “SNOW”

I don’t know if he was trying to describe me in this book.
But it is not possible! I don’t even know the man.
I think it’s rather the poet,
in each and every one of us,
distant and detached;
observing multi-faces played in a dice game
that is not theirs,
by the naïve and the meek,
the good and the bad; and as Mevlâna says,
“this world is full of horse shit.”
Should one choose serenity of Islam
over the dreaming of the West?
The answer to the poet lies neither here,
nor there. Serenity comes from human heart,
and the existing orders must always change
for the best. In the meantime,
men must suffer, and women and children and poets.
But, I wish I had read
this book in Turkish like a Turk!

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 30 12 2006 - 17:10

A MAN HUNG TODAY

A man hung today,
and thousands are murdered by bombs, airplanes and poison gas,
and myriad of other ways.
If our justice seems awkward, it is only because
we haven’t yet figured out what God’s is.
We only know where the chain of execution starts- from the top.
God treats us all equally at the end;
all of us are part of each and every execution of men,
and all of us will in turn
be executed by Him,
one by one.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 02 01 2007 - 03:58

MOVED AGAIN!

Moving is hard business,
tonight, we got stuck in our second bedroom,
after watching Anton Checkov’s uncle Vanya,
played by Anthony Hopkins on TV;
a freshly painted door pushed too much perhaps overzealously
by me to prevent cats from escaping.
I used my hands, first one and then two,
then wife used her two hands at the bottom.
Then we both tried, four hands: one, two and three. No use!
Stuck for good for the night, no hammers or pliers,
just the two of us and two cats,
no cell phones,
just like pilgrims
stuck in the wilderness, you and me.
I used my swiss army knife,
she used her scissors.
She won as usual. We are free!

Vehbi Taşar

St. Petersburg, FL, January 2, 2007

Gönderen: Vehbi 06 01 2007 - 19:08

NUMBERS OF OUR LIVES
For dear friend and uncle Hayri Toroslu who passed away in Germany a few hours ago at the age of 85- Allah Rahmet Eylesin!

It may take a lifetime to grasp simple facts,
like two plus two is rarely four!
And irrational numbers can never be expressed as whole.
Only whole hearts know the numbers of our lives,
and a whole heart and half must turn them off.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 07 01 2007 - 15:13

INTERRUPTED POEM

I want to write lines one by one
starting from one,
and followed by two
and in between,
no interruptions until the third one comes.
Do you interrupt a symphony?
But there is so much noise in this world
and so much stupidity- which is even worse-
it is impossible to do what one has to do
before my laptop’s battery
runs out!

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Bilal Güneş 07 01 2007 - 15:34

Başınız sağolsun, Sayın Taşar.
Geride kalanlarına sağlıklı ve uzun ömürler dileriz.

Siz tamamen parçalanmış ve dünyaya dağılmış bir ailesiniz galiba.
Sabır ve kolaylıklar dilerim.

Gönderen: Vehbi 07 01 2007 - 16:27

Sağolun! Teşekkür ederim. Gerçekten söylediğiniz doğru. Şu anda kızım İspanya’da, oğlum Orta Asyada yaşamadığı zaman Boston’da Cambridge’de oturuyor. Gelinim Özbekistanlı. Hanımımın erkek kardeşi Moskova’da oturuyor. Onun hanımı Kazakistanlı. Her saat diliminde yaşayan bir akrabamız vardır.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 07 01 2007 - 16:29

A STREET CORNER

He sat at the corner of the 4th Street and Gandy Bridge
holding a jar, in between two yellow signs
that said, “Credit Repair,” in bold black letters.
There was also a larger yellow sign standing
in front of him with smaller black fonts
which I could not read from the car.

But, I assumed, he was the credit repairman!
And he no doubt held a jar, full of good tidings
for those who broke their credits. However,
when the car began to move, I noticed
he was accepting donations
from the credit breakers!

How nicely describes this street corner,
the two promises of a soulless society,
whether it is in America or in Turkey,
“The broken borrows from the breaker,
and the thief’s real aim is to be respectable.”

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 10 01 2007 - 15:54

HORRIBLY STUCK

To live an everlasting life,
or to burn in the everlasting hell;
this binary promise of the religion is so computer-like,
no wonder we live in a computer hell
and the only alternative to war is to be at war.
We are horribly stuck!

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 13 01 2007 - 15:11

LISTENING TO PATHÉTIQUE

Dear Pyotr Ilyich,
listening to your last heart beat here in this concert hall,
in the one-minute silence that the conductor wisely decided to observe,
I think to myself.
Your talent exceeded your joy
and your sorrow exceeded your death.
You were overfilled to the brim
with what was given,
and you gave back every bit without thinking.
You were a generous man Pyotr, generous and sepulchral.
The sweet melodies and dances gold-like
warm and reserved but sometimes exploding,
the crotches and buttocks of male ballet dancers,
your aim; and the ornaments, ballerinas,
sweet toes and horse tails, the glamour
of the stage and dance, and all this sadness in: sadness and loneliness.
You are a very generous man Pyotry Ilyich,
as far as I am concerned.

Vehbi Taşar



Gönderen: Vehbi 14 01 2007 - 19:57


DEAD MEAT

Look! I don’t need publicity
or to go on TV.
Stupid!
Did Mevlâna go on TV?
Would He?
Even though I am not Mevlâna,
I have no wares to be bought,
Just tell them the first lie that comes to your mind,
“He died!”

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 15 01 2007 - 17:14

OF MOHAMED ATTA

This time is to talk about things uncomfortable,
this young man learned how to fly to make a one-way journey
to where? Half the mankind screams, “hell!”
And the other half says, he went to “paradise.”
And there is no one who doesn’t care!
When there is such agreement on one extreme act,
one must think, why one should care,
after all, he is where he wants to be at.
People do not have in-betweens for such extreme acts.
This man channeled a tsunami of hatred that destroyed thousands of innocent folk,
including their kids and families and friends. He destroyed generations of lives. He destroyed nations and made some. Yet, all unconditional extremes come from God,
and no unconditional sacrifice can be made without unconditional love.
Am I sounding like defending him?
No, I am writing this to merely defend this conscience of mine.
People often asked me how I’d feel if my daughter or my best friend killed
by him. Of course, I’d be outraged and I would want revenge.
But, humans have only themselves to fall back when God acts.
How would I feel if my son died in an airplane crash?
Or my best friend was a victim of cancer?
One cannot meddle with people’s sorrow.
My sorrow for all victims of this man is profound.
But, people who call him a coward do not understand- they understand nothing:
neither the beginning nor the end;
for no beginning can be rightfully explained without its end.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 15 01 2007 - 22:50

BEHEADINGS

I thought we had perfected killing after so much experience,
I read in the news a hung man’s head fell off today.
Beheadings are becoming popular like the olden Mongol days,
even Achilleas did not revenge Priam’s dead this way.

It is pre-meditated murder whether a person flies an airplane
into a living human mass, or a court of justice sends a man to hang,
which one is lawful and which one is terror?
Are they not the same?

When a head is severed and its body is left to itself,
shame and shameful of the justice join in the neck;
and even after the victim’s dead, the victor has nothing left;
only traces of footsteps searching for the human race.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 19 01 2007 - 15:16

VENTURE CAPITAL

Dazzling words, dazzling songs, dazzling homes, dazzling cars, men and women.
Welcome to the world of rich and wealthy,
in this plantation.
We have come a long ways to see the skin color manipulated
to make the hopeful more hopeful,
and the rich richer.
But there are no fools in this game,
only the dreamers: The investors and the invested.
If the dream comes true, there will be more
dazzling words, dazzling songs, dazzling homes, dazzling cars, men and women.
And If the dream doesn’t come true, there will be another round.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 24 01 2007 - 03:25

AN ASPIRING EAGLE!

I’ve been thinking of the eagle in Mevlâna’s story,
who stole Muhammed’s boot
to save him from the deadly snake hiding in it.
What touched me was eagle’s apology to Muhammed,
after the snake dropped from the air
and it was returning the boot back to him:
“I must be punished for being so presumptuous as to steal your boot,”
even though it was the stealing that saved his life.
Such courtesy today is not found. Here I am translating,
the copy-righted poems that poor Coleman Barks labored on for years,
in a beautiful book called, “One-Handed Basket Weaving,”
without any compunction and sketchy references to the source. I have only twenty-five pages left!
Yet, it would be criminal not to translate them,
and what can be a better cause to sit in the jail
than this? All I need is a few books and Internet
to keep me from evildoing. Then apology comes,
“I am sorry Coleman Barks,
you are saving Lives!”

Vehbi Taşar



Gönderen: Vehbi 25 01 2007 - 16:36

A PRAYER

Some days
heart ‘s cold
Thank you
for the warmth
from outside
that fills the heart
like a Jodul stove
full round hard
and floats
Some days
that’s all
we can hope for
That’s all

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 25 01 2007 - 17:33

SINGING WITH WORDS

Words may mean much,
but they must be kept short;
music plays along,
not much;
sorrow cries her heart,
a bit more;
joy stocks its lot,
not enough.
Somewhere along this song,
world won’t stop
anymore.

Vehbi Taşar


Gönderen: Vehbi 29 01 2007 - 01:49

A GRAPEFRUIT TREE
For my daughter—
(In memory of Robert Frost who died this day on January 29, 1963)

A grapefruit tree was started from seed in earth to sprout
right underneath the mouth of a rain gutter facing down.
It raced its way up through the gutter over the years to the roof,
where the rain gutters went, one to the right and one to the left,
to catch the rainwater from the roof.

Before it spread out, it considered;
for it encountered rich, organic soil up there,
collected from rain droppings, trees and wind
for a good many years. There, it rooted,
again. Sturdy root branches went underneath the earth
inside rain gutters right and left. But, it was not all; it also grew up-
a grapefruit tree on the roof, six feet closer to light!

I met this tree from its wrong end, on the left,
as I saw one of its underground branches, up on the roof,
when I started cleaning the rain gutters for the first time
in fifteen years! And I traced it back to its source,
down there in the earth and I ruthlessly cut it out,
destroyed and killed it. But, not quite!
Its sturdy roots continued to cling where the gutters curved.
Even though it will dry up and drop back in time to earth,
questions remained with me in these roots to think about.

First of all, our origin determines our fate.
But, we have many decisions to make,
like turning right or turning left or going straight up.
These are not philosophical questions;
however, a wise man or woman or wind,
or God, could have picked this little seedling around and
relocate it to a better place to grow up- but didn’t!
Why? Because, gutters will always have seedlings grown
in them. And, why should it matter where a seedling is to be born,
or how it will have grown?

A seedling is all right as long as it grows towards the light,
for all its decisions will have grown towards it and become one;
but all its decisions will be buried some day in the ground.
Isn’t this a seedling made for?

Vehbi Taşar

St Petersburg, FL January 29th 2007

Gönderen: Vehbi 02 02 2007 - 19:50

ONLY LIFE!

One tornado hits
and everything becomes It!
What we organized and planned for,
what we spent our money for,
and all that we dreamed for;
its cutting edge takes it all,
and leaves nothing behind
that comes before life,
where we lived only one life
for everything that we lived for.

Only life shall fill the hollow now,
only life!

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 07 02 2007 - 03:28

OF NATIONAL HEROES, FAMOUS PEOPLE
AND ERNEST HEMINGWAY WHO WAS
BORN IN LATE JULY AND DIED
IN EARLY JULY-

Do you notice how
when someone holds you in low esteem,
that low is uniformly reflected in your view of him? Not withering
your fame, but interesting all the same
that your praise is not so well-behaved.

The one whom you praised
(did you really know him?)
or to be praised by that one,
(whom you never even heard of!)
are they not one and the same?

So, you see where your loneliness is coming from. Is it because the admirer and
the admired are sharing the same blind pretenses and not
reciprocating their human feelings? Yet, why is their praise hitting you so hard
in between those two beautiful eyes? One, for self-esteem
and the other one’s vain.

Praise the vain and bulge the self-esteem. Or praise the self-esteem
to ensure vain won’t go down the drain. Equilibrium
won’t stand up in fame
and the good
will always die young in vain.

Vehbi Taşar


Gönderen: Vehbi 08 02 2007 - 15:50

THE FOG

It is a white disk through the fog, not yellow,
if you care to look. But, if I look at it,
sometimes it comes through the fog
and dazzles my eyes.
I sit here
on the right side of the car,
watching the seabirds float
on calm waters through the fog. She drives.
We are distant.
I can’t take input
and I have no output to give.
Loneliness is chilling.
I am cold to the bone.
I sense anger.
But, I am in peace.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 10 02 2007 - 18:23

MOBY DICK

"Better sleep with a sober cannibal than a drunken Christian."
Herman Melville

The burden, my brother,
one way, or the other,
shall not be lighter.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 13 02 2007 - 20:33

EVERY POEM IS MOURNFUL

Every poem is mournful,
even the most joyful.
What would the soul write for
if the broken is not to be mourned?
Mevlâna mourned for the breaking of his soul
from God. I mourn for the breaking of my body from my soul:
Mind’s one, like a mystery begins and ends for one soul.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 16 02 2007 - 04:12

WONDERS OF ‘ING

To truly learn something,
you’ve got to be doing.
In pure mathematics,
you will not understand analysis
until you are an adolescent.
In sex,
You’ve got to be fucking.
All things in between
take some doing.
In translating poems
you’ve got to use your instincts.
Some things can’t be translated.
You’ve got to be faking!
I spent a whole day on ts eliot today,
he is deep, deep, deep.
He’s got to be kidding!

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 19 02 2007 - 23:52

POETRY DID NOT MISS YOU

If the world curses you,
consider yourself lucky;
for it found you worthy,
and singled you out
for not being honest within you.

Consider all the bad things that happened to you;
some could be learned from, so obviously,
and some could be prevented by mere self-honesty.
But occasionally,
something arises in your life
so disastrous and unfair;
so out of character
with what you believe to be,
like the sudden death of a child,
betrayal of a spouse,
death of a dear friend from lung cancer,
a tsunami.

Then, the time has come to look out
for a true being
out of time and space,
and out of this universe,
to look at your blink of a lifetime,
and find it in eternity.

For, even though you thought
you were lost,
poetry did not miss you.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 21 02 2007 - 16:35

BRITNEY SPEARS ON THE NEWS AGAIN!

I look at her picture at CNN once again.
And I suppose if everyone loves your parts so much,
you will not have to grow so much in.
But, assuming we are all given a free will,
would it not make sense to pause before you do something
and ask yourself the following:
“Am I doing the right thing?”

Vehbi Taşar


Gönderen: Vehbi 21 02 2007 - 20:46

SPANNING BRIDGE AT USF CAMPUS

I stop to look at this bridge
connecting the two engineering buildings. My wife
walks on. She says,
“it’s a simple engineering feat.”
Yet I see the forces of earth moving
upward on a central column,
crawling like light beams
to the right and left after they hit the bridge
to trace the zigzags of the trusses,
up and down, up and down,
until they meet the walls of the buildings
on the two opposing sides
and go down
into the earth
to hold hands with their friends
to support this bridge.
A flower blooms in front
of my eyes,
hovering in space,
a quarter mile long
to the sky.
There is beauty in it.
There is grace in it.
There is earth in it
no engineer
can reach.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 21 02 2007 - 21:38

I WAS WALKING A STRAIGHT PATH

I was walking a straight path when it suddenly turned.
Perhaps, I was lost on this path, who could tell?
But, something grabbed me by the collar and shook me up,
real hard.
Then, she looked me up in the eye and said, “you,
you stupid bastard!
You are all mine.”
I looked back.
But all I could see was words,
words words words and more words
magically rhymed.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 23 02 2007 - 15:40

RAGE

Permit me to express a view that is a rage in me,
and enrages nearly everyone around me.
So few people like poetry!
Even though poetry is rarely a poet’s destiny,
so few can grasp rarity.

Vehbi Taşar


Gönderen: Vehbi 26 02 2007 - 00:16

TRANSLATING SYLVIA PLATH

Conveying the feeling
may not be useful here
in the language of humans.
She spoke the language of angels,
and did not care in her translucent way,
if humans understood.
But to name them as they come,
like a breeze-- this is not translating her.
It is working with color
in dreams.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 26 02 2007 - 16:13

WALKING POINT REYES IN FOG

In the emerald greens of the spring,
between the Pacific and the foothills,
we walked the highlands in peace,
for hours in the thick fog.
We could hear the waves crashing beneath,
we could lick the mist from the air,
the shivering cold penetrated our brains with fear
but we knew the mid-day sun was somewhere near.
We could see where we stepped on this earth,
and we knew the path we traced on was one-way.
Mountain lion lurked in the bush to eat deer,
and the elk grazed unseen,
the red-tailed hawk soared above the shifting stream,
and the quail nested in lupine.
We could hear the seabirds fluttering,
and the swells broke on the rocks underneath.
The wind hissed through the bishop pine,
but the mammals made no sound.
How much this all was like our lives,
blind to what was to come,
and not seeing where we were going, we walked on.
We could smell the desire for the end,
between the sea and the sky.
We were closest to our element, the earth,
on which we stepped on, our sweet home,
our dream home—from the symphonies of the land,
onto the breakwater of memories we moved on.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 27 02 2007 - 17:33

THE BEST WAY TO COMMIT SUICIDE

Everytime I go to a foreign country,
someone offers me a cigarette,
which I politely decline, by saying,
“thank you. But, we Americans prefer eating
to kill ourselves; somehow, I cannot say how,
we find it more filling.”
Every country has a different way to commit suicide,
some use alcohol, some use drugs, some use cigarettes,
some use violence uncalled for,
some use threats,
some use religion.
I am convinced after much reading,
and much translating,
the best way to kill yourself is to keep doing
things that make you less full,
even empty- once and for all!

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 28 02 2007 - 17:46

FLAT

Too many words
Too many opinions
No beauty
No form
No contrast
No metaphor
Nothing subtle
Nothing wrong

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 01 03 2007 - 13:06

OF POETRY OF BLOOD

I’ve been looking for quite some time with no success
for Kurdish poetry
that is not revolutionary
to put on this page. For I would like all peoples
to speak their language of heart,
not their language of blood.
Unlike some people want to believe,
Spartacus did not die for a noble cause;
he died for his own greed.
And his 6000 soldiers crucified by Crassus
along the Appian Way,
were not martyrs. Of many choices they had,
they chose not freedom, but death.
Freedom is not romantic my friends,
freedom is hard work. If you want freedom,
you are the beginning and the end. These lands were conquered
by so many nations and tribes, each and every one of them a speck,
in its majestic landscape. What survives at the end
is the good nature of Hoca Nasreddin, not the glory
of Tamerlane and the magnificent- the magnificent is dead.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 02 03 2007 - 19:39

GO WEST YOUNG MAN

Florida’s air’s sticking
on my skin like a wet sponge.
I’d rather be struck
by the prickly pear this morning in the sunrise.
And what I would not give
for the rich air of the desert at Furnace Creek
that sucks the drops from your eyes.
Or to wake up in Sedona to red rocks,
(and watch a Grand Canyon sunset)—Ah!
I could walk the river in Bryce for my remaining years.
Instead, I dwell in this swamp like a fat frog,
and quack like a duck!
I know this may not come to most as sacrifice enough,
but every sacrifice we make for God in us
can’ t be too large;
or small enough.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 03 03 2007 - 19:54

HOLLOW

All this effort we make
to reach a stable state
is fruitless!
For the slightest disturbance we cause
which is our fault (and what is not?)
will bring it back to an undetermined state.
And any effort we make
to fix things
will bring them back
to a point
that can’t be too far or close
from its beginning or end.
This may be why T.S Eliot said,
“In my beginning
is my end.”

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 04 03 2007 - 15:31

CACOPHONY

A musician’s tricks paint
a thousand blind dreams.

A master’s paintbrush plays
a thousand mute feelings.

The blind and the mute are alive
in moods we call living.

But, only a wizard of symbols
can bring life its meaning.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 05 03 2007 - 15:50


TWO CONVERSATIONS WITH MASTER

I had a conversation with master
shortly before he died. I said to him,
“the deeper you get, the less understood,
you are like a hole, miles deep,
whose entrance is obscured. You know that all the mysteries
are scattered on the surface and you know there is real joy
in singing with others. Why do you bury yourself so deep?”
He said to me: “Son, people are vulgar and I find horizon stifling. Besides,
I find this conversation boring!”

I had a second conversation with him sometime after
he was dead. I said to him: “Master, I don’t know if you can hear this,
but have you ever found happiness where you went?”
When he didn’t answer, I turned my question around:
“Master, has happiness found you yet in this place you went and disappeared?”
Then, I heard him clearly say this,
in his deeply accented English:
“Son, don’t believe in those new-age farts,
happiness is not a choice!”

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 07 03 2007 - 13:50

ADMIRE

high-heeled shoe
sits on a chair
thin heel
one foot above
crossed leg
rocking right
left
arched nose from the profile
light-colored eye when head’s turned
womanhood
mature
self-assured
full
content
ripe
young
enjoying herself
fleetingly fast to fantasize
too much here to ignore
no smell
no touch
no words
not a single glance
a living miracle
from one breath
to next
empty
yet absorbed
sexually
with no responsibility
logic dream or structure
made up
just a mind game
admire.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 07 03 2007 - 19:03

DICK CHENEY AND MOTHER TERESA

If you want something too much
your motives are probably selfish.
But unless you are selfish with your motives
you won’t have much to give.
Here comes the selfishness after self,
powerful enough,
to decrease it to nothing,
to make purer and purer motives;
even as pure as a saintess.

As he would personally attest
Dick Cheney was not Mother Teresa my friends!

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 09 03 2007 - 13:08

A BRIEF HISTORY OF ENVIRONMENTALISM FOR YOUNG CHILDREN

There was once a wood cutter who was quite good
Except for one thing he lacked.
No one had ever heard him complaining!
For, had he ever started complaining,
Forests might have been protected!

Everyone agreed this was unnatural
And ecologically unsound! They said,
Everyone must have their complaints heard.
This was when a logging union was created
So that forest decimations might be planned!

They called a wood splitter’s exclaimer to work
To exclaim every time in wood his ax’s target was found
This was said to increase the man’s zeal
For if he’d ever started complaining
Forests might have been protected!

And no one complained for a long time
That the wood cutter was not complaining.
Everyone was happy and forests were being decimated.
Even though if he was ever back to complaining
Forests might have been protected!

Until one day the exclaimer has gotten old and his voice was lost
And the woodcutter was forced to do his own achs, uchs and yucks
Every time he waved his ax on the wood – poor man! -
His productivity was impaired which meant
Forests might have been protected!

Alas, at this juncture a great confusion fell on this blessed land.
Everyone complained and complained and complained.
The environmentalist wanted their wood.
The logging union wanted their profit.
And the woodcutter said his achs, uchs and yucks.

And in order to bring about peace the woodcutter had to be retired
The exclaimer was turned into a microphone and bulldozers took over the cutting.
But the wood has not complained.
And if it weren’t for the demand for it and the profits it brought
Forests might have been protected!

The moral of this story is, Children,
Never to be an exclaimer for those who cut wood! For if you ever get old
You may destroy this world. And never take a job in a logging union.
For even though wood does not complain
Its memory is long.

Vehbi Taşar



Gönderen: Vehbi 09 03 2007 - 15:39

“YOU ARE A JERK.”

You may well be right.
Some things are best left unsaid;
but not by the poets.
How many ex-wives thought
Nazım Hikmet was a jerk? Not all
but one, the one whom he loved
the best of all!

Vehbi Taşar


Gönderen: Vehbi 09 03 2007 - 16:26

TO MY FUNDAMENTALIST CHRISTIAN FRIENDS

You want me to convert. Why?
The reason why some people refuse to convert
is simple. Their problems can’t be solved like that.
And I know people converted to Jesus in masses in the old days
when honesty was being beheaded.
Thing s have not changed;
except, evangelism became an evil engine
of our industrial age. It is still beheading those who refuse to convert
by simply ignoring them. And no, don’t tell me the reason why, I understand,
reason is not ours to have;
reason is given to us by God Himself.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 09 03 2007 - 19:58

COMMON MISTAKES MEN MAKE

no sex
no respect
hell
I am leaving it all,
he said.
what for?
sex, respect, hell and more?

Vehbi Taşar

COMMON MISTAKES WOMEN MAKE

he loves me
he loves me not
he loves me
I am liked
he loves me not
he is out
where am I?

Vehbi Taşar


Gönderen: Vehbi 09 03 2007 - 20:28


GENOCIDE

Here, we go to jail if we say it was genocide
There, we go to jail if we say it was not genocide
Why don’t we settle on homicide
And avoid jail time?

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 10 03 2007 - 13:58

IN MY STUDIO

I can create
beauty
make meaning
see colors
smell feeling

I suppress anger
forgive
feel peace

all this
I am writing
present
and frail
vulnerable
like a gnat
in the wind

yet
whole
unchanged
and complete

with no
apologies.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 14 03 2007 - 15:56

A Personal Note to Donald Hall

I read “without”
three times without a pause
with no commas or periods
except for a few no’s
embellishments not needed
when a storm hits home
death by cancer
end of life
peace
in poetry’s piece
terrible sentences uttered
seven lines each week
island kingdom’s joy
no color under grey clouds and wind
eight weeks of dying
eight weeks of dying
who says death can’t console
who can translate this sorrow
but garlic and I
and love.

Vehbi Taşar


Gönderen: Vehbi 14 03 2007 - 21:57

POETRY AND LIFE

If both are the same,
when one is real,
is the other one fake? Perhaps.
If you do not understand a poem,
there is much about life to learn.
If you can grasp life, it is all,
it is all part of a poem.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 17 03 2007 - 13:08

I WANT

I want a ballerina who jumps in the air
toes pointed , knees bent, arms stretched,
curves graceful and stay there
until I can figure out which part to look
and which parts are to be mine.

I want creation to burst with joy
in spurts and stay there
until the child is born
out of all the suffering world can stand
and I want the child to stay there
until she is grown.

I want my poems to be read in the sunrise
and sunset by people who have eyes
for the strange. For nothing is stranger
than a poem.

I want meanness to be replaced by tears
for tears are soft and warm.

I want knowledge to be replaced by feeling
for feeling is what we are all about.

I want colors to play with winds
and I want music to be friends with clouds.

I want to marry rain and I want snow as a child.

I want so many things in life.

Yet I don’t know how long I shall be alive.


Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 17 03 2007 - 15:58

I AM THE ONLY ONE

“I am the only one who loves you,”
says your mind. So, you take shelter there.
But, you are stifled by thoughts.

“I am the only one who loves you,”
says your heart. So, you hide in it.
But, you find it too confining.

“I am the only one who loves you,”
says the smallest atom you are made of
and you disappear in it.

You become less as your love grows
until you become nothing but source
of everything there is.

Vehbi Taşar


Gönderen: Vehbi 20 03 2007 - 15:47

KOKHAR

I received an innocent note today from a Turkish woman
whose last name was Kokhar and whose first name left yet more room
for my imagination. May I say that she sounded very hot
but what I really wondered was how she smelled?

Our Turkish way of saying these things in one-words
with two-syllables or with single verbs sounding like two-names,
no poet in English could achieve!

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 20 03 2007 - 15:50

THE FALCONER

There is an elemental beauty and art
between the falcon and the falconer
that cannot be understood-- only to be admired.
Every profession is like hers,
especially that of a prostitute!

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 22 03 2007 - 03:05

NAVIGATING DATABASES

On returning to port at night,
red is on the right
and green on the left.
Yet, generally speaking,
starboard is right
and port is red
which is on the left,
a kind of wine both sweet and red.

If you ever confuse your tables,
databases are all messed up!

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 22 03 2007 - 11:47

OLD FOOLS

What accumulates in life
but a mountain of knowledge
that becomes earth in an instant?
And what doesn’t? Yet old men
always yearn for the ignorance of young women:
for they want to undo all their knowledge
to become immortal or they want to unload
their burden to live life once over.
Old fools, how can they not see the cycle?
We are only filled with this burden,
because we were fools to begin!

Vehbi Taşar


Gönderen: Vehbi 23 03 2007 - 17:43

PAINFUL

“I have been doing this for fifteen years,”
she says, and I say, largely to myself,
“you and I are both old; but, we must be true to ourselves;
we know less than these young men.
No compensation for years; we must keep on learning and learning
the only valid currency, my friend, humility in growing depths
until we are both dead.
You are a strong woman, I say, but the thing is
the only thing going for you is your experience;
not worth much when your ego interferes- your weakest link
in old age: painful, painful to sit in that chair.”

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 23 03 2007 - 19:38

PREOCCUPATIONS

When I was young
I used to be preoccupied with sex
I used to be preoccupied with legs
and other female body parts.
Years passed.
I became preoccupied with myself.
Years later yet, I sit here with empty hands,
preoccupied with words.

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 26 03 2007 - 19:37

4-1 ON SATURDAY

We meet at a Greek restaurant in St Pete for an evening snack,
my friend’s eyes alighted on his white t-shirt,
“Did you see? Did you see what happened today?”
“What?” “Didn’t you hear? We beat them.”
“Who? “ I ask. “The Greeks in Greece, 4-1 in the soccer game.”
Then, he starts with the receptionist. “Are you a Greek my friend?
The girl says, “No sir, I am from the Lakelands.”
Then the waiter, “Did you know that we beat your Greeks today?”
“I am a New York Yankee’s man from Rochester, “ says the young man.
“What about the cook? Is he a Greek?”
“No sir, he is from the Caribbean.”
He finally gives up. “Isn’t there some Greek here whom I can beat up on?”
I ask, “What is that you want to beat them up on? Haven’t we already beaten them?”
“Ah,” he says, “what is wrong with you? Why can’t you understand this?
What is the point of beating them if we can’t beat them up on?”

Vehbi Taşar

Gönderen: Vehbi 26 03 2007 - 20:47

MAKING BREAD ON SUNDAY

We are here to make bread, friends.
We don’t want to hear nonsense.
We start with warm water of common sense-how warm?
Ask your experience.
(It is like tuning your instrument.)

Add a little bit of sugar to make way
for those little fellows who like to work by themselves,
for yeast likes the right temperature but
you have to get it in mood to have it your way.
Even though you have to leave it alone in dark,
you may want to add a bit of oil before then,
just to encourage it to work in a bigger space.

Then add flour and salt
and keep on kneading the task,
up and down and sideway.

Use your knuckles use your muscle,
use everything you have.
Keep on working until it yields
the substance you aimed for.

When you are awfully tired and sick of kneading,
it will be ready to rise itself
(without your encouragement.)

Then you wait and wait
(while your instrument played)
for it to be baked. But, you have to be patient,
first it has to cook,
then it needs to be cooled.

All this trouble you undertake
for making bread
has a well-compensated aftermath
after the bread is made.

Make as many loaves as life can take
as long as you can bite them on,
for life is only making
bread. Then, slice them all to share
until you run out,
so long as you can remember
you will never be full
until you are dead.


Vehbi Taşar



Gönderen: Vehbi 30 03 2007 - 00:53

MY FATHER-IN-LAW

He was a careless man, my father-in-law,
but I loved him dearly.
The horse he rode in on life was his own horse in cavalry
(where he was a captain once, long before tanks came to the army.)
He loved life, he loved women
he loved his wife too
and his family.
And he loved his raki
and he loved his drinking company.
He made a shepherd’s salad with cubed onions and salt,
mixed it with tomatoes and cucumber (all cut into tiny chunks)
and fried cigarette-shaped filo dough filled with feta cheese and parsley,
all with lemon’s juice and olive-oil from the olive tree.

He prepared the albanian-liver plate with fried onions
sprinkled with dill. He fried eggplants
on which garlicky yoghurt spread was poured by the gallon,
walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts and pistachios in porcelain,
all with lemon’s juice and olive-oil from the olive tree.

The fumes of his fried food, the smell of anise and cigarette smoke
filled up his small apartment flat on the second floor
behind open doors and curtains-- a powerful aphrodisiac
while I watched his daughters serve coffee.

He dressed elegantly.
He trimmed his moustache in Clark Gable styles,
he wore dark sunglasses on his sky-blue eyes,
covered his blonde hair with a white-brimmed fedora
and chain smoked white-filtered cigarettes like a bachelor,
possessed with jealousy.
He was like all Hollywood men used to be
except he didn’t care much for money (but, he spent it lavishly)
and when he ran out of it, he simply borrowed more,
only when ‘it was absolutely necessary.’

When I married his daughter, he said,
“you are not like the other boy son,
you will never leave her, will you?”
I said, “no Sir. I will not,”
even though I was half drunk (and could it have been because?)
I never forgot my word, nor did I forget the man’s sincerity.
And I swear I never left his daughter willingly.
Shortly before he died, he called me long distance,
(this was before mobile phones)
to say his final good-byes from his hospital bed in Ankara
where he was killed by the medical arts prematurely.

I had forgotten all about my father-in-law
when tonight suddenly his memory came back to me vividly.
Every time, my wife tosses another job over her shoulder,
every time she leaves me for a better prospect than I,
be it another man or an ocean going sailboat journey
or a one-bedroom apartment flat with only one mattress lying on its floor,
I think of her father and his gift to me
and I still admire the old man’s bravery.
Like father, like daughter, I say; but, her father and I,
how can you compare a sober woman to two drunks?
This woman is braver than both of us
clearly!

Vehbi Taşar

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