Posted: 21 March 2011 in ATTILA ILHAN
Tags: , ,


we were fifteen

over the coffin

of the dead man
heave ho a bottle of rum
satan and drink
made us sink
heave ho a bottle of rum
over there a strange pebble chants
sea shepherds have driven their flocks into the open sea
mussels’ eyes have harlot’s blue pupils
in the boundless west green galleons of time
were sighted unforgettable and green
drenched in blood
in glittery splendor
you can hear the ancient marine folk
if you listen
in the kinky marine taverns
the kinky marine folk
spanish songs italian wine
and as if you were god you invent curses
from the fifteenth meridian

to the twentieth

by yourself
you invent international curses
and from the libra mast
you god of curses splashings unknown things
you god of lost treasures
you won’t look back nor spit to the wind
unless black sails are hoisted on the admiral’s own masts
chaste breezes will not kindle sparks
in your pirate’s eyes

unless you get used to
chewing the rain and the tobacco

I have not forgotten the mediterranean
I have plunged in the flames I cried with passion
the joy to create
and to be created reverberated in heavens
and the prayers opened like enormous sails
when one looked three crescents spread out all at once
hayrettin’s songs flew like falcons from his arms
windswept barefoot mariners of the algerian captain
were holding messina and septe straits and all the others
surrounding the caravans of ships
they burned them up
but your festivities your troubles will not be forsaken
by the stars in every constellation

and the lighthouses in every isthmus
then you would go to rome with hannibal
long before that phoenicians carried the alphabet and the glass
when dragons breathed sea monsters appeared
the ghost of a genoese galley slave in rhodes castle
his legs in shackles

the whiplash on his back
and latin songs pour forth
from the ships of antonius
you are
unforeseen unforgettable unbearable and deep

as roguish as a deckhand or the mustache of a sailor
the wind is blowing unconstrained from all sides
your centuries old pirate fate
is tattooed on your arms and on your boundless chests
angel-faced mermaids and slippery dolphins
in green and glittery speckles
so what you understand about this world
is the same what children understand
although time is getting older you are still a child
you are the ancient graveyard of pirates and sailors
you are the graveyard of hayrettin’s songs
with your majestic waves you are the big ocean’s
star studded multitudes of plankton life
skates and sea anemones
you are god and you contain countless other gods in your kingdom
the master skippers who ruled over the currents
some sailing north north-east some westward
there was a captain joy we buried him in the arctic sea
there was an andersen and a captain kidd
skippers salih reis burak reis memi reis
bursting in laughter together like canons in salvo
being tossed around and scattered
we died at a festival of giants
then the fish-garths in kushadasi and surmene
to be old and beautiful to defy memory to forget
all the stars but recognize the north star at one glance
then the italian fishermen with briny beards
then like in hell in tatters bit by bit
to enter a port where the fox spat copper
to go ashore feeling like the karakurum desert
and wretchedness of returning like a flood of wine
o my beloved times
the times when we sailed toward the south pole
from the terra del fuega

from the land of fire
Çeviren : Nilüfer Mizanoğlu
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