I say don’t grieve, birds will come back one day
Filled with hope and carrying the wind on the pillion.
Birds will come back
And so will you. You will find a croissant
On your window sill, the scent of flowers
That you have been longing for
Gathered in your palms, and you will come back to me.
One day, filled with hope and birds on the wind’s pillion,
You will shed your exile
On the harborside quay of my eyes. Wooden crates
Will cast anchor. My mischievous words
Embark at full sail towards hope.

Such are my painful solitudes,
My loves turned loose to range at will like horses.
Yesterday I walked through Kumrular Street.
No birds were there. I have never forgotten them, though.
And you really should remember them sometimes.
Birds have begun to diminish in numbers.
Trees are deaf, branches and leaves are blind.
Remember the poem Behçet wrote about birds,
He loved birds, don’t forget.
So did Orhan Gürayman when he was alive.

Maybe one day Behçet will come back,
The fairy tale of our youth a slice of sky
Breaking out of his forehead. Where is the photo
Whose empty frame hangs on an old dirty wall, the one
Taken of us in the prison ward?
Where is the courtyard of our hearts, the one opening onto melancholy?
Don’t grieve. Birds will come back one day,
And you will come back to me, with rain in your saddlebag.

The river held back by patience does not overflow its banks,
Its lifetime spent in yearning for the sea. What’s more,
An autumn whose leaves yearn for branches
Cannot be your life, your life
Like a spring that children drink water from.
You know I love the yellow of autumn,
Or waiting for night to fall on a window’s yellow pane
Single-masted boats: they were nonexistent,
Yet I know a poem whose title was “Single-Masted.”

Everybody waits for something, some
For those lost along the way,
Some to be a river delta.
Dreams are false, and yet dreams—dreams
Are all those that I’ve loved, let go by my heart.

~ Koray Feyiz
Translated from Turkish by Prof. Kenneth Rosen and Dr. Nesrin Eruysal.

A Turkish poet, born in Istanbul in 1961, Koray Feyiz studied Geodesy and Photogrammetry Engineering, and Urban Planning, at Karadeniz Technical University, and at Middle East Technical University. He completed his doctoral dissertation on Urban Psychology. Feyiz is currently engaged in research on Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing. His first published poem appeared in one of Turkey’s most prestigious literary magazines, Varlık, in 1987. His poems and prose essays have continued to appear in numerous Turkish literary magazines over the last two decades. He has also published seven collections of his poetry: Mezarlar Eskimedi (The Graveyard is Not Exhausted, İz, 1987), Bir Mektupta İki Yalnızlık (Two Solitudes in One Letter, Engin, 1988), Ben O Issız O Yorgun Şehir (I Am a Desolate, Exhausted City, Prospero, 1995), Uhrevi Zorba (The Metaphysical Autocrat, Urun, 1995), DüşleGelen (To You Who Arrived in a Dream, Suteni, 1995), Seni Bağışladım Çünkü Beni Çok Üzdün (Cause of My Grief, I Forgive You, Hera, 1999) and Su Yarası (Wounded by the Water, Artshop 2010).

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