Thinking of you
Do you know what‟s on my mind for you?
A mountain. Not only a mountain, its whisper
A whisper that brightens and multiplies with the zeal of stars
The immobile whisper of a shadow that started a journey
The whisper of the fire of worry pouring into the heart
The whisper of a misty bed and warming mornings
The whisper of our bodies standing in flames in their silent idleness.
In my mind is the heavy weight of memories
The deep scents exuding from lush forests
Touching the sleep we handed over to the rain
Leaking into the mirrors let it flow. The wire of existence is strained
Fingers touching the notes I know less
Clustered memories are squeezed by forgetting.
In my mind is the roof of night and day
Every name of the sun every name of darkness is in my mind
The wet face of clouds pouring itself out of shapelessness
Gives taste to the tongue through the cracking lip
Do you hear the owl‟s cry?
In my mind the owl is perched on the branch.
The sky wanders door to door with its fear of solitude
The wings of little Joseph beat midday‟s heat
On my mind is the fountain
Of drying distance, dew, plants and love
Windows breathe looking at the garden
Water trembles from a lack of fish in the lake…
It is the knowledge of the wind that hurls the ash
It is the law of the moon that wakes you up in startle
Dreams bleed leaves fall, the stone‟s
fate changes shell
The heavy look of time rises in my mind
I think of you…
Translated by Canan Maraşlıgil
Life Does not Lie
I am between the moon and the tide.
Between the whisper and the scream.
As a child I still had the script of a child,
I was hostage to my mother’s pomegranate smile.
When I looked from the window to the full light of the garden
Watching the philosophy of hands plucking the fruit tree,
In those times when we still heard the sounds of frogs,
When women passed through my life , the lake was blue
And I knew the value of blue.
I understand pain ,too, on the steps of life.
On the day of my birth the wind rose up to meet me,
Resistant it sat like dew as the grass greeted my feet
And grown-up fires grew numerous in my body, where
Like doves, my feelings were met by the rustle of wings.
In the spring’s habit I hear the sound of cleaning.
I hear footsteps of plains , mountains ,the law of snow melting.
Earth grows damp in my memory, fruit ripens,
The weight of stone makes custom light ,makes it flow
And tremble when one wishes .
In my place between trouble and wellbeing
I hear the song of happiness from the world
As goodwill blossoms.
Life does not lie ! I say
It does not lie.
Translated by Cas Stockfold Edited by Michael Baron
İlhan Sami Çomak was born in 1973 in Karliova town of Bingol province. After completing his primary, secondary and high school education in Bingol, he enrolled The Faculty of Letters Department of Geography at Istanbul University in 1992. He was detained in 1994 and imprisoned. Mr. Çomak is on remand for the last 26 years in prison. He is a poet of 8 published poetry books, which he wrote during his detained 26 years in prison. He writes poems in Turkish as well as in his mother tongue Kurdish. He has eight published poetry books namely Gitmeler Çiçek Kurusu (Seperations are Dried Flowers), Açık Deniz (the open sea), Günaydın Yeryüzü (Good Morning Earth), Kedilerin Yazdığı İlahi (The Divine Written by The Cats), Yağmur Dersleri (Rain Lessons), Bir Sabah Yürüdüm (I Walked in a Morning) " Dicle'nin Günlüğü (Dicle's Diary) and geldim sana (I came to you). The documentary, 'Posted by: İlhan Sami Çomak' that directed by Cigdem Mazlum and Sertac Yildiz sheds light on the life of the poet. He got the Sennur Sezer Poetry Prize with his latest book geldim Sana (I came to you) in 2019. Ilhan Çomak, Pen member here in Turkey, also got one of the most prestigious poetry awards Sennur Sezer award in 2019. His poems were translated into English and published in U.S.A and India. His 10 poems recently appread on Trafika Europe’s Turkish Delight issue in English.
Although his story contains reoccurring torture, denial of a fair trial, poor prison conditions, repeating banishments from one prison to the other, from one city to the next, sentence to death and lifetime imprisonment twice, spending more than half of his life behind the bars İlhan still writes precious verses, full of compassion, honour, elegance, hope, inspiration and courage. His poetry is lively, pure and authentic.