the past

We abide our histories,
our most personal mysteries
sifting critically through them
for fear of what others might think
of us in the brightening light of day.

We deride our indiscretions,
our unfavorable transgressions
as impressions we fear will mark
our darkling past as unforgiveable
to those who may our hearts convey.

But as I eager explore
the shores of her years,
fearlessly following her steps
from age to age, from grace to grace,
I discover naught but hope and happiness.

I feel no angry anxiety
in learning about my love,
no cause for dread or far less
for impertinent or bare malicious
judgment of her, but rather respect,

and the utmost regard
for the incredible person
she has enduringly become:
a woman of finest beauty and
refined demeanor and rarest vision.

I have as much cause to admire her
as I do to quite honestly adore her.

Salt Lake City 05 June 2022

layers

layers innumerable peeled gently
sometimes timidly, circumspectly
away before me reveal the painful,
the pleasurable, the eager and awful,
and the precarious steps you have
taken to navigate through them all

layer by layer, step by step

i am sure that in their exposition
there have been moments of fear—
will he remain, or will he flee—
yet these discoveries so much less
than intimidate, or impossibly disgust;
rather they nourish my hopeful heart

beat by beat, moment by moment

for in their revelation i perceive
so sadly sweetly even tearfully
signs of knowing emboldened by
indomitable you, and in their telling
i hear your years and i loving wonder
at the gentle beauty you ever convey

Salt Lake City 27 May 2022

spring – bahar

spring

Life grew and shrank and sharpened
as time passed, and he could not say
when the evening had fallen, or if those
lingering lights truly were the stars
he had known, or even if the moon
would ever reveal its beauty to him again.

For time can be cruel in its selfish
mockery of man’s hopes and needs,
and in the barest moment of calm,
voices emerge once more demanding
his attention as the moon drapes herself
in darkening clouds this night as well.

He knew this had to be so. He knew
there must be a summer of warmth
and playful abandon, and an autumn
of tearful regrets, and a winter
of most urgent and painful longing.

But the snows melted and night fell,
and he opened his doors again to find
his beautiful moon smiling down
on him, for Spring will always come
to those whose honest hearts can sing.

İstanbul 9 December 2021

bahar

Hayat büyüdü ve küçüldü ve keskinleşti
zaman geçtikçe, ve söyleyemedi
akşam çöktüğünde, veya bunlar
kalan ışıklar gerçekten bildiği
yıldızlardı, hatta ay bile, bilemedi,
güzelliğini ona bir kez daha gösterecekti.

Çünkü zaman bencilliğinde acımasız
olabilir, insanın umutları ve ihtiyaçlarıyla
alay edilmesi, ve en sakin anında,
sesler bir kez daha talepkar çıkıp
dikkatini çeker, ay kendini örterken
bu gece de kararan bulutlarda.

Bunun böyle olması gerektiğini biliyordu.
Biliyordu ki sıcak tutkulu bir yaz vardı
ondan sonra ağlayan pişmanlıklarla
bir sonbahar, evet, ve bir kış gelir
en acil ve acılı özlemin mevsimi.

Ama karlar eridi ve gece düştü,
ve kapılarını tekrar açtığında
onun özledigi güzel ayı yine buldu
gökyüzünlerde, onun üzerine gülümsediği
ayı, çünkü bahar her zaman gelir
dürüst kalpleri şarkı söyleyebilenlere.

İstanbul 9 Aralık 2021

night and memories

night and the lights go out as
i wander through the rooms
and remember this space
but not just this one, oh no
my thoughts tend to roam
the halls of every home i
have ever known exploring
all the rooms where i have
ever slept sat supped viewing
each cheaply framed photo
that grayly indents every wall
my fingers tracing the spines
of every book on every shelf
my eyes stare out the windows
watching people passing by
dodging thousands of cars
in San Francisco and Salinas
in Fukuoka and Eskişehir
in İstanbul and even Çeşme
my tongue tastes once more
the pirozhki outside the park
the yaki niku down the street
the pide near the campus and
my ears can still hear them
all of them, all their voices
telling me of their gentle days
warning me to dress warmly
urging me to try again, just
try and while i long to affirm
their wishes and abide a while
i cannot but weep at this too
feeble heart, this rending flesh
and with a cracking voice
i lock the door behind me
and whisper into the dark
how very sorry i am for this
to each and every one of you
how sorry i am that i lack
the strength of you, i simply am
empty of your calm endurance
your ensuring affirmations
being only who i now am and
who i have surely ever been
please forgive me but i really
cannot do this anymore

Salt Lake City 25 Nov 2012