A selection of my poetry:
foreign faces in foreign stasis,
on every turn I make ready my sail,
waiting for the tide to let me out
to a sunshine that tans my skin,
to olive trees and house-top mountains,
to the call of prayer
and pink blossom dawns,
to a never-ending flame that lights
the heated nights
and copper-coloured sights
of the Bosphorus,
to the darbuka and the oud,
to sad songs of longing,
to your chaotic design
I push my sail through distant pools,
needlework dreams mending distant seams,
I carry pictures of you inside me
and call the wind to carry me
back to you Istanbul.
The strength to stand up,
By standing does a child learn
The wisdom to walk,
By walking does a child learn
The importance of each step.
By thinking does a soul learn
The limits of its range,
By feeling does a soul learn
The range of its depth,
By experience does a soul learn
The sum of both.
By loving does a heart learn
The strength to beat,
By losing does a heart learn
That it can beat once more,
By friendship does a heart learn
It does not beat alone.
You had asked me once, on those cherry blossom nights,
where we would speak for hours and hours,
our hands touching, our souls touching,
like two boats knocking together on a shifting sea,
And I had said "Can you forgive me?
The cage of love you had put me in,
had been so new to me, and I had always thought
we'd have forever to make it right."
Hushed words like butterflies on the tongue,
I had leant over and whispered in your ear then,
about how like a child I had been hypnotised,
when I had seen your nakedness for the first time,
how our stars had smouldered under the velvet black sky,
as we had kissed time after time,
a Walt Whitman sin, so helplessly curious about everything,
the perfume of our lovemaking, part smell, part song,
knitting us tightly together,
and we had foolishly thought that
no time or tide could pull us undone.
Reflecting in this room,
Where we made love so slowly, as satisfied lovers do,
How we stopped time with each stroke,
Slept for hours in each other's embrace,
Thankful for the minutes I had you in my arms,
In that space carved just for you.
I can barely speak, as I watch the day awake,
Like newly-polished silver,
The dawn's fingers rubbing away the night
To show the shine of the morning,
With the rain and the scent of jasmin
Filling this room, and reminding me of you,
And all the kisses we had made just for you.
I can barely watch, as memories play our goodbye,
You leant against me a truly last time,
Like sunrise slipping away you fell asleep
In this room, and still with the lie of your loss
I can't hate the sun that keeps shining,
Because thinking about you even now
Is always the most beautiful part of the day.
I've spat in it's face.
I've cried tears of blood, rallied cries against it.
But what frightens me the most is that I recognise the face
I hate so much.
This is me.
That female soldier giving a thumbs up sign beside the body of a dead
Iraqi in that photo,
The suicide bomber taking innocent lives
In an Isareli cafe,
The destruction of Gaza and the massacre of
Innocent Palestine children
How can we all be human?
Is the umbrella of humanity so wide?
This isn't a rant.
This is a cry for help.
For the love of love.
Let me hear me.
mingled with sweat...
the feel of power
underneath rough skin,
yet all indulgence.
The sum of a woman,
wet with morning dew...
covered with silken hues
as bitter as whisky
yet equal in indulgence.
all my given kisses before you were rehearsal,
every touch of lovemaking was a guide,
a practice direction to give the best to you,
now I'm ready to chain my soul to runaway trains,
I've chained myself to you,
take me where you will, I will go,
where no one dares, I will follow,
I used to wake up for the love of a new day,
now I wake the day for the love of you,
life is searching for something until it is found,
and now I am found in you.