Daily Archives: September 11, 2006

if you don’t love me please don’t treat me this way

yellow tulips and purple tulips, Istanbul Tulip Festival, Istanbul, Pentax K10D

yellow tulips and purple tulips, Istanbul Tulip Festival, Istanbul, Pentax K10D

taken by Pentax K10D, at Istanbul

Last Love Song

if you don’t love me
please don’t treat me this way
cause i can’t stand it
i see our love slipping away
did you think you could just put me down
like a worn out shoe
cause if you don’t want me
maybe i don’t want you

if you don’t need me
don’t leave me out in the cold
eyes drifting by me
like somebody you don’t know
did you think that you
could just walk away
anytime you wanted to
cause if you don’t love me
maybe i don’t love you

did you think that you
could just put me down
for somebody new
cause nobody can love you girl like i do
every little bird in the sky
would sing a song of love

if you would just take me back
come on open up your heart again
let me in baby baby

if you don’t love me
stop fooling yourself
no more acting
i know your show too well
did you think that you could
just shake my hand
with a how d’y’do
cause if you don’t want me
maybe i don’t want you

oh and as you go through life
it’s the little things
that come back again
if you came back again
you know i’d give my loving to you

Cat Stevens

yellow tulips garden and wall

yellow tulips, istanbul tulip festival, istanbul, pentax k10d

yellow tulips, istanbul tulip festival, istanbul, pentax k10d

A Spring Piece Left In The Middle

Taut, thick fingers punch
the teeth of my typewriter.
Three words are down on paper
in capitals:
SPRING
SPRING
SPRING…
And me — poet, proofreader,
the man who’s forced to read
two thousand bad lines
every day
for two liras–
why,
since spring
has come, am I
still sitting here
like a ragged
black chair?
My head puts on its cap by itself,
I fly out of the printer’s,
I’m on the street.
The lead dirt of the composing room
on my face,
seventy-five cents in my pocket.
SPRING IN THE AIR…

In the barbershops
they’re powdering
the sallow cheeks
of the pariah of Publishers Row.
And in the store windows
three-color bookcovers
flash like sunstruck mirrors.
But me,
I don’t have even a book of ABC’s
that lives on this street
and carries my name on its door!
But what the hell…
I don’t look back,
the lead dirt of the composing room
on my face,
seventy-five cents in my pocket,
SPRING IN THE AIR…

*

The piece got left in the middle.
It rained and swamped the lines.
But oh! what I would have written…
The starving writer sitting on his three-thousand-page
three-volume manuscript
wouldn’t stare at the window of the kebab joint
but with his shining eyes would take
the Armenian bookseller’s dark plump daughter by storm…
The sea would start smelling sweet.
Spring would rear up
like a sweating red mare
and, leaping onto its bare back,
I’d ride it
into the water.
Then
my typewriter would follow me
every step of the way.
I’d say:
“Oh, don’t do it!
Leave me alone for an hour…”
then
my head-my hair failing out–
would shout into the distance:
“I AM IN LOVE…”

*

I’m twenty-seven,
she’s seventeen.
“Blind Cupid,
lame Cupid,
both blind and lame Cupid
said, Love this girl,”
I was going to write;
I couldn’t say it
but still can!
But if
it rained,
if the lines I wrote got swamped,
if I have twenty-five cents left in my pocket,
what the hell…
Hey, spring is here spring is here spring
spring is here!
My blood is budding inside me!

20 and 21 April 1929

Nazim Hikmet

Trans. by Randy Blasing and Mutlu Konuk (1993)

purple tulip in dark green

purple tulip, istanbul tulip festival, istanbul, pentax k10d

purple tulip, istanbul tulip festival, istanbul, pentax k10d


Letters From A Man In Solitary

1
I carved your name on my watchband
with my fingernail.
Where I am, you know,
I don’t have a pearl-handled jackknife
(they won’t give me anything sharp)
or a plane tree with its head in the clouds.
Trees may grow in the yard,
but I’m not allowed
to see the sky overhead…
How many others are in this place?
I don’t know.
I’m alone far from them,
they’re all together far from me.
To talk anyone besides myself
is forbidden.
So I talk to myself.
But I find my conversation so boring,
my dear wife, that I sing songs.
And what do you know,
that awful, always off-key voice of mine
touches me so
that my heart breaks.
And just like the barefoot orphan
lost in the snow
in those old sad stories, my heart
— with moist blue eyes
and a little red runny rose –
wants to snuggle up in your arms.
It doesn’t make me blush
that right now
I’m this weak,
this selfish,
this human simply.
No doubt my state can be explained
physiologically, psychologically, etc.
Or maybe it’s
this barred window,
this earthen jug,
these four walls,
which for months have kept me from hearing
another human voice.

It’s five o’clock, my dear.
Outside,
with its dryness,
eerie whispers,
mud roof,
and lame, skinny horse
standing motionless in infinity
— I mean, it’s enough to drive the man inside crazy with grief –
outside, with all its machinery and all its art,
a plains night comes down red on treeless space.

Again today, night will fall in no time.
A light will circle the lame, skinny horse.
And the treeless space, in this hopeless landscape
stretched out before me like the body of a hard man,
will suddenly be filled with stars.
We’ll reach the inevitable end once more,
which is to say the stage is set
again today for an elaborate nostalgia.
Me,
the man inside,
once more I’ll exhibit my customary talent,
and singing an old-fashioned lament
in the reedy voice of my childhood,
once more, by God, it will crush my unhappy heart
to hear you inside my head,
so far
away, as if I were watching you
in a smoky, broken mirror…

2
It’s spring outside, my dear wife, spring.
Outside on the plain, suddenly the smell
of fresh earth, birds singing, etc.
It’s spring, my dear wife,
the plain outside sparkles…
And inside the bed comes alive with bugs,
the water jug no longer freezes,
and in the morning sun floods the concrete…
The sun–
every day till noon now
it comes and goes
from me, flashing off
and on…
And as the day turns to afternoon, shadows climb the walls,
the glass of the barred window catches fire,
and it’s night outside,
a cloudless spring night…
And inside this is spring’s darkest hour.
In short, the demon called freedom,
with its glittering scales and fiery eyes,
possesses the man inside
especially in spring…
I know this from experience, my dear wife,
from experience…

3
Sunday today.
Today they took me out in the sun for the first time.
And I just stood there, struck for the first time in my life
by how far away the sky is,
how blue
and how wide.
Then I respectfully sat down on the earth.
I leaned back against the wall.
For a moment no trap to fall into,
no struggle, no freedom, no wife.
Only earth, sun, and me…
I am happy.

Nazim Hikmet

Trans. by Randy Blasing and Mutlu Konuk (1993)

My Lady d’Arbanville, why do you sleep so still?

red tulip, istanbul tulip festival, istanbul, pentax k10d

red tulip, istanbul tulip festival, istanbul, pentax k10d

Lady D’Arbanville

My Lady d’Arbanville, why do you sleep so still?
I’ll wake you tomorrow
and you will be my fill, yes, you will be my fill.

My Lady d’Arbanville why does it grieve me so?
But your heart seems so silent.
Why do you breathe so low, why do you breathe so low,

My Lady d’Arbanville why do you sleep so still?
I’ll wake you tomorrow
and you will be my fill, yes, you will be my fill.

My Lady d’Arbanville, you look so cold tonight.
Your lips feel like winter,
your skin has turned to white, your skin has turned to white.

My Lady d’Arbanville, why do you sleep so still?
I’ll wake you tomorrow
and you will be my fill, yes, you will be my fill.

La la la la la….

My Lady d’Arbanville why do you grieve me so?
But your heart seems so silent.
Why do you breathe so low, why do you breathe so low,

I loved you my lady, though in your grave you lie,
I’ll always be with you
This rose will never die, this rose will never die.

I loved you my lady, though in your grave you lie,
I’ll always be with you
This rose will never die, this rose will never die.

Cat Stevens