winter wraps its quiet calm
ruthlessly around my heart
dragging me out of the night

desiccated blossoms droop
dripping hopeless tears
in the harsh morning light

why awaken at all I ask
when the fools around me
still to these insanities cling

why step forth at all, my friends
when these furious voices
praising a pathetic tyrant do sing

my soul from birth dreamily
drawing on hope and light
to the seas longed to embark

but in the midst of this shameful
display of ignorance and hatred
I find I now prefer the dark

the view from my window this morning

in fallacy born

In fallacy born is mankind unfettered
falsely purveying delusions of love
Addicted to hate, a mind so unlettered
naively awaiting a light from above

How strives he for glory, impertinent fool
couldn’t be buggered by this or by that
Gladly surrenders himself as a tool
to a soldier, a merchant, an infantile prat

Unbalanced, unhinged, he cries in his cups
laments his unbearably impotent wrath
He gorges himself, unrestrainedly sups
while drowning his shame in a semeny bath

How dare you imbibe such absurdities still
promoting your grandiose scheme of the me
Refusing to exercise aught of your will
to strive for a truth that any could see

Lay down in this bed then your greed has thus made
caressing the lucre, the filth, the decay
Wallow in blood, in the death that was paid
by the willful inanities proudly you bray

And yet, dare I say, it is still not too late
to escape the dark fate you nearly have sealed
Step back from this precipice, lock up the gate
that leads to a doom your own wit has revealed

Surrender the bombs you too fondly ignite
embark on a journey of peaceful entente
Open your mind, imagination take flight
let kindness and balance and truth be your want

Impart to this world a grace that is new
while holding yourself to a higher resolve
Open your heart to much more than the few
their unwanted deeds do you firmly absolve

this madness

lies, lies, blatant lies!
raising his fists to the skies
indignant he cries

while out on the streets
he and she and we blether
outraged repugnance

incited by they
with incessantly whinging:
see what was stolen!

in callous caprice
lofty winds self-righteous rage
rending flesh from hope

the clock is ticking
step down from your pedestal
before we all die

Boastful tyrant pretentious and cruel

Boastful tyrant pretentious and cruel
Pompous prince of prevarication
preening before your sycophantic admirers,
O would be king utterly bereft of honor
and altogether ignorant of truth or time

I do not know who to despise more now—
the orangely glowing greedy fool
who giddy slithers atop his imaginary throne
or the pathetic masses who so willingly
bend the knee in craven obeisance

Together you accomplish nothing of value
derangedly demanding praise for your failures
while blatantly chipping away at the once
glorious foundations of a beloved democracy
the ruins of which you sell off to the highest bidder

Insipidly you smile as you lower the shroud
over the bloodied corpse of our principles
striving to replace them with cretinous commands
for children caged and families torn asunder
in a land of hatred and venality and perpetual fear

But know you this—
O despicable despot of dancing dunces
and all of you who blindly bow before him—
truth cannot be silenced forever
and we will certainly rise again

think for yourself

this was never about honesty
for in the temples and councils
deception is all too alluring a desire
for these men and women
who seek dominance over us all

this was never about truth
not when lies come closest to satisfying
the endless voracious appetites
of tyrants and war mongers
who throbbing pulse for power

this was never about you and me
for the guardians who tower tottering
in our nations’ decaying capitals
do not give a damn about the people
they so slavishly so blatantly despise

and no, this was never about God
for the repugnant pastors and preachers
who so lasciviously lay hands
on the golden child of their demented dreams
have never known God themselves

it is time you stopped obeying
the deceitful deranged demagogues
it is time you stopped listening to
the pathetic pretentious preachers

it is time for you at last
to think for yourself

before the sirens fade

Before the sirens fade and the last drop dries,
the flies have commenced their gruesome task
insatiable zealots relishing their latest meal.
The cloud of confusion and righteous anger
hovering over the street slowly settles,
a bitter shroud clinging to bloody flesh.
Yellow tape snakes its way around the scene,
feeble yet efficient. No one ventures beyond.
No one would dare.
On the other side, people moan, demand, swear,
and eventually make their way home.
The next day or the next, the propaganda will be recycled,
as bodies are examined, identified, and laid to rest.
Sweepers will sanitize the path you tread,
and the traffic will return, passing unaware.
What would you expect? This is how you survive,
not so much clinging to life as pursuing it.
And my student asks me if I honestly think
he should buy the newest iPhone or Galaxy.
Let me think about it.

pompous deception

there is precious little
your inglorious pretence
can fulfill in this world
beyond boggling the minds
of those incoherent to reason
and juggling principles
like so many rotten apples

regardless of how often
you exclaim in favor of the us
your own voice disclaims
quite vociferously, so vilely
against the most innocent
of beings seeking nothing more
than an ounce of kindness

Turkey and Iran – Best of Friends

Hürriyet newspaper reported this morning that in the first five months of this year, 1052 foreign firms were established in Turkey. A sign of – what? Development? Globalization? Hmm, I wonder… Of those 1052 foreign firms, the largest numbers originated in Germany (no surprise there with 123 firms) and – drum roll, please – Iran. Yes, Iran with 120 firms.In the last few weeks, particularly following the scandalous and tragic clashes between Israeli soldiers and international (including Turkish) ships breaking the blockade to bring aid to Gaza, Turkish papers, commentators, humanitarians, and huge numbers of bloggers have had a field day with pro-Gaza, anti-Israeli stories and reports. And beside each of the newspaper reports, one could typically find a colorful photo of a smiling Ahmadinejad, the grin a bit too smug, a bit too self-congratulatory. The puppet-master sitting back and appreciating the play he has wrought.

More to the point, if you keep your eyes open, have been the photos of Ahmadinejad and Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan, side by side, hand in hand, Erdoğan’s smile only slightly less smug, but equally satisfied with himself and the scenario he is creating. A few days ago, Turkish papers reported on how Ahmadinejad described a recent communication between Ahmadinejad’s new best friend Erdoğan and his long-time foe the United States: “Obama calls Erdoğan to plead with him.” I wasn’t present when the call took place, yet I find it hard to believe that Obama begged Erdoğan to do … well, anything.

Whether or not it happened quite that way, it is clear that, at least as regards Erdoğan and Ahmadinejad, Turkey and Iran have become fast friends yet again. All for utilitarian purposes. Largely, as the economic reports suggest, for financial reasons. Which you would expect anyway, right? But more insidiously, for religio-political purposes. Erdoğan has been dying for another opportunity to disprove Atatürk’s resolute belief that Turkey’s future lay with the West. (I easily imagine, in my angrier moments, Erdoğan throwing darts at a picture of Mustafa Kemal. Late at night. With the doors locked. Just in case anyone might chance along.)

As for Ahmadinejad, imagine how much pleasure he derives from forcing ever larger and larger wedges – spiked wedges – between the U.S., the largest military member of NATO, and Turkey, the second largest member. How he gloats, not just at the harm to U.S.-Turkish relations, but to the zealous attacks against Israel by Turks, both in there private and public capacities, both as Islamists and secularists. Has Erdoğan ever enjoyed so much popularity? Finally he has found something that even hardcore secularists can praise him for – hating Israel and – can this really be true – for loving Iran!

The puppet-master keeps pulling his strings, chuckling all the while. And look at how we dance here in Turkey. Look at how we dance!