ALI CENGIZKAN – FOREST AND GARDEN

Posted: 10 November 2011 in ALI CENGIZKAN
Tags: ,

In mid-life as I awake in a dark forest, lost chances, regrets, the joy of
skies unexplored, air particles with traces of my wings, they all they all,
like pebbles on my back finding themselves a place and trying to settle
beaer, like traces hurrying to fill up voids and extra spaces, everything
that is the picture of endurance like the soot under the kettle, the embers
I kick, the ash smearing my foot, there,they all they all, everything that
belongs to today and yesterday and tomorrow and to the self, say,
one should be on his way.

In mid-life as I awake in a dark forest, questions, like why didn’t we meet
before, why does a friendship sometimes start hopelessly like separations
beginning before even uniting and like the first tiny leaf of a sapling
in a dry forest, why does the fire of regret befall in the very last moment,
why does the fire of regret we feel for the immense compromises we make
in return for small gains burn the forest helplessly, why are your eyes
that shine like two pieces of diamond in my palm, those eyes I’m afraid
to touch, those eyes that can endure forest fires so distant, and why
oh why are your shining eyes turning into a question now !

A garden, however, like prose, prose forever in need of editing,
whose words die out, which fertilizes its own soil, places its
commas awkwardly, waters itself under the noon sun and always
conceives its fruit in the winter, a garden like prose which bears its
unwanted fruit in the winter, with which women always fall in love,
with which women always fall in love but where men feel regret
and are lonely, consoles itself digging and writing.

At this hour of waking with the hardness of pebbles on my back,
let reason play its drums, common sense blow its flute and hit
its cymbals, thoughtlessness break its pen and seating its brother
torture next to it let it kindle the fire of love: Kiss honor on the forehead
and on the petal and make destiny, dragging its beard along,
piss off the road cleaning the lust of the asphalt.

In mid-life as I awake in a dark forest, oh god, there is so much light to
be trodden, so many saplings to plant, so much death to be witnessed.

Translated by Suat Karantay

ALI CENGIZKAN (b. 1954) is a poet. He graduated form the Faculty of Architecture at Middle East Technical University where he is presently teaching. He has translated several poets into Turkish. Major poetry collections: Cocuk Omrumuz (Our Life of a Child/1982), Yunan Dosyasi (The Greek Dossier/l983), Bagimli Siir (Engaged Poetry/1986), Ankara Ankara Guzel Ankara (Ankara Ankara Beautiful Ankara/1987), Surek Avinda Dunya (The World at the Chase/1994).

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