Monthly Archives: November 2007

Cukurbostan mosque and school


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A moment of happiness

A moment of happiness
you and I sitting on the verandah,
apparently two, but one in soul, you and I.

We feel the flowing water of life here,
you and I, with the garden’s beauty
and the birds singing.

The stars will be watching us,
and we will show them
what it is to be a thin crescent moon.

You and I unselfed, will be together,
indifferent to idle speculation, you and I.

The parrots of heaven will be cracking sugar as we laugh together, you and I.

In one form upon this earth,
and in another form in a timeless sweet land.

Hz. Mevlana

Kulliyat-e Shams, 2114

Karakoy sea side and mosques from Eminonu


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Eminonu view from Karakoy sea side

Invitation

Galloping from Far Asia and jutting out
into the Mediterranean like a mare’s head
this country is ours.

Wrists in blood, teeth clenched, feet bare
and this soil spreading like a silk carpet,
this hell, this paradise is ours.

Shut the gates of plutocracy, don’t let them open again,
annihilate man’s servitude to man,
this invitation is ours..

To live like a tree single and at liberty
and brotherly like the trees of a forest,
this yearning is ours.

Nazım Hikmet

translation by Fuat Engin

Fatih houses


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“I am tired, beloved, of chafing my heart against the want of you; of squeezing it into little ink drops, and posting it. And I scald alone, here, under the fire of the great moon.”

Amy Lowell

mosque in pink, Bereketzade Ali Efendi Camii


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“There are few things so futile, and few so amusing, As a peaceful and purposeless sort of perusing of old random jottings set down in a blank book you’ve unearthed from a drawer as you looked for your bank book.”

Amy Lowell

a sunday, small grocery in Fatih streets


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a summer day in Fatih.  A small grocery with big visicooler for icecream.

a small grocery in Fatih streets


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a summer day in Fatih.  A small grocery with big visicooler for icecream.

Haghia Sophia museum


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a hospital in Galata streets, love comes on strong


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Love is reckless; not reason.
Reason seeks a profit.
Love comes on strong,
consuming herself, unabashed.

Yet, in the midst of suffering,
Love proceeds like a millstone,
hard surfaced and straightforward.

Having died of self-interest,
she risks everything and asks for nothing.
Love gambles away every gift God bestows.

Without cause God gave us Being;
without cause, give it back again.

Hz. Mevlana

Mathnawi VI

Karakoy’s shady streets, like the face of a mirror


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Let go of your worries
and be completely clear-hearted,
like the face of a mirror
that contains no images.
If you want a clear mirror,
behold yourself
and see the shameless truth,
which the mirror reflects.
If metal can be polished
to a mirror-like finish,
what polishing might the mirror
of the heart require?
Between the mirror and the heart
is this single difference:
the heart conceals secrets,
while the mirror does not.

Hz. Mevlana

The Divani Shamsi Tabriz, XIII

Karakoy sea side and boats


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Eminonu, Galata Bridge and colorful boats … taken from Karakoy with Pentax K10D

Like This

If anyone asks you
how the perfect satisfaction
of all our sexual wanting
will look, lift your face
and say,
Like this.

When someone mentions the gracefulness
of the nightsky, climb up on the roof
and dance and say,
Like this.

If anyone wants to know what “spirit” is,
or what “God’s fragrance” means,
lean your head toward him or her.
Keep your face there close.
Like this.

When someone quotes the old poetic image
about clouds gradually uncovering the moon,
slowly loosen knot by knot the strings
of your robe.
Like this.

If anyone wonders how Jesus raised the dead,
don’t try to explain the miracle.
Kiss me on the lips.
Like this. Like this.

When someone asks what it means
to “die for love,” point
here.
If someone asks how tall I am, frown
and measure with your fingers the space
between the creases on your forehead.
This tall.
The soul sometimes leaves the body, the returns.
When someone doesn’t believe that,
walk back into my house.
Like this.

When lovers moan,
they’re telling our story.
Like this.

I am a sky where spirits live.
Stare into this deepening blue,
while the breeze says a secret.
Like this.

When someone asks what there is to do,
light the candle in his hand.
Like this.

How did Joseph’s scent come to Jacob?
Huuuuu.
How did Jacob’s sight return?
Huuuu.
A little wind cleans the eyes.
Like this.

When Shams comes back from Tabriz,
he’ll put just his head around the edge
of the door to surprise us
Like this.

From ‘The Essential Rumi’, Translations
by Coleman Barks with John Moyne