First I thought of the freshness of the shade
in which I hide. The sound of the city,
mountain's distant grandeur. And the clumsy
attempts of fledglings as they try to land
on branches. I grew thirsty, so thirsty and
thought of other lives. I thought long and
hard, with no view on which to rest my eyes,
of darkness and the sun. My mind asks,
What is it to thrust out green leaves?
What is it to work, build up a sweat,
to tire thanks to labour, from beautiful
hard work? No matter in which stream
I bathe, the waters are so bitter.
Look! See your form in the shaded corner
of the lake. There floats the crown of a daffodil
swimming like a yellow ghost. It's petals
are seeping towards the silence of transparency.
There is strength in the elipses, where petals
overlap, we are strong in the space we make
between us. Come, let us climb Idris's high
mountain, let the brave memories of your
muscles return. Let sweat shine, and not tears.
Stanza 1: İlhan Sami Çomak, Silivri Prison, Istanbul, March 2020
Stanza 2: Caroline Stockford, Bristol, April 2020
Translated from Turkish by Caroline Stockford