At a Quarter to Dawn

Let me tell you of waters today,
Of the smell of cut roses in baskets,
of my desire to climb the willow tree
and of longings that have faded to memories.
To tell you how the anger is sown, when
my mind plays its broken record, calling
Life tripped me up! It went and tripped me up!
Where will the sun rise? I want to talk
about this and the most simple reasons for crying
in the rain. The sky has a strange way of caressing.
There is a sound to budding leaves and to
forgottenness. The sun will be born from my palm!
I want to tell you about this, and of the trembling
of the wind that swims over my body.
Your body is a tree, each leaf is a poem
the curious wind plays every one, and we,
on our far islands, hear the music of your news.
We measure endings with the setting sun.
Ceaseless star that will not stop, pouring gold.
Tell me the rain's secrets, on the mountain
slopes at a quarter to dawn. I would tell you,
too, of the vision of that day, when I saw the
horizon rise up, of the inner worlds of patience
and possibility, but you know all these better
than me. Tell me of your miracles, I'm listening.

Stanza 1: İlhan Sami Çomak, Silivri Prison, Istanbul, March 2020
Stanza 2: Caroline Stockford, Bristol, April 2020

Translated from Turkish by Caroline Stockford


These poems are written by postal exchange. Ilhan sent his first 5 stanzas in April 2020

If you are a poet and would like to write with Ilhan in this way, please email [email protected]

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