Hilal Karahan



(Translated from Turkish to English by Koray Feyiz)

You Were a Voice:

         —I Saw the Voice—



1/         You were a voice, I saw it one evening out of the blue:



             as if setting an old sky on fire

             that you rubbed on my face


             handmade birds, a gift of trees

             that you laid for my childhood:


             even if the silverberry does not sniff

             does the soil stroke

             the seeds of your heels


             if the flower didn’t miss the fragrance would it love,

             the hands of wind that flow through your hair?


when the vine rests on your shoulder

at a heavy night

about to land on the shade...



2/         You were a voice, I touched your face one loud night:



my heart, that deep howl

thought your voice dull


oh, not with compassion, no, not that way

you coiled with your veins

and strangled my heart


and later as a borrowed book

silently and ashamed of being late

             you took it and put it on the ground


             : it was my heart that dragged after you

             all night...





3/         You were a voice, the plural is a trace of love:



             to love you was to love a lifetime


             I kissed in your mouth

            the bodies that you dragged


             my fluttering blood

             you would stroke with your hands

             that was left from other women


             it was natural for you to run away

             like drinking water, or to light a cigarette


            to be accustomed to your loving me

            was being defeated, when you left

            with the pain that cut my heart


            it was the most trusted feeling

            in your absence

            the pain that I sheltered in...






4/         You were a voice: the bending mystery about to break



             you were calling out from a well


             the only light that you saw

             you thought was brightness


             no, you were not going mad

             we were nonexistent


             : I created you

             from my devoid flesh


             the schizophrenic

             loves gangrene...





5/         You were a voice, the night started from your voice:



              whatever the half is left inside me

              I described with your voice


              as you withdrew

              I hugged emptiness even tighter


              the far away ports all to you

              whatever I longed for

              I described it with you


             I burned, I pledged allegiance

             I bent to the ground in front of you


             the two piers are but one body for years

             : the need for your existence

             and anger at your absence...






6/         You were a voice, you came slowly down the stairs of night:



              how time’s fire passed so quickly

              when did the scorpion sting the shearwater?


              if at every breath a word turns into cinder

              how can through your mouth the cinder’s knot be solved?


              hush! whatever you say I will be shattered

              this hallowed mirror will fall from your palms


              to think of pain startles more than pain

              silence my heart with your mouth if you have to silence it! 






7/         You were a voice, you passed through the night:



             every love is a mistake when it ends…








Arrhythmia Poems




1.         Fibrillation:



             your heart that heavy rapine

             the vine leaf

             that covers

             the crushed grapes


             the city celebrations that smolder, in your heart

             the secret sin is is saffron and purulence

             to those that look it would show

             the love that deserves the dawn 


             the thunderstorm hand taken

             and set anew in a candle

             a migrant tent is our heart


            : the noise of that blind

            no one except a  deaf poet

            can hear, but you...


            that frosty air is not strong as you would expect

            the wings will  bleed, the two cherries that dropped

            on your face...






2.         Tachycardia:



             Is that blood flowing through your veins or what?

             a transparent possibility, yellowing at this speed


             a loss? do the lakes strike the deep that is calm

             in your clotted mouth?


             the times passed that is remembered with longing

             fate still waits for words to be spoken of substance


             be patient , no doubt it will erase, it will erase

             the tired stamp that dried with your fingerprint


             count that it recognized a rock in you

             the woodpecker with its noisy mouth!    






3.         Asystole:



             we withdrew, we withdrew from those nights, those fires

             we passed but the saffron threw the ashes to the wind


             we were no one, no one stayed with us

             a lie it was, the real meaning would be real if we believed!


             you assumed it was two thunder that clinged

             no, you are wrong again, it did not touch you


             June never wrapped, for whatever we say

             is deaf... whenever we called you were the night


             : we went through you and yet

             you never looked back for one instant...






4.         Arrest:





             every love is left

             from a previous sadness


             ash is always more powerful

             from your face…









Moon Waltz





1/         New moon:



            it is time, she should wake up from disorderly sleep

            the drunk time that thinks its dream real


            the lights of the bridges you burned

            how long will it continue to light the dark?


            how far will it root the strap ripping weeds

            from the fields of memory? How many times can it break


            the heart’s crystal? How many times can it separate

            the strings of voice where its thin?


            how far can you be?

            :  conceited as human become appreciated…





2/         Crescent:



            if its heart has turned to an ashtray what can the fire say?

            what can be said

            for one that covered ashes with writings for a life time


            if its wine you are accused of, so be it

            your mouth distilled rose from the wine


            if your remorse is dry cold loves

            you washed the cinders from steel with water from your eyes


            ungrateful times passed in a swirl

            if not grinded in the windmill of memory


           : the undershirt will burn a person

           it burns but cannot take it off…





3/         The First Quadrant:



             your heart an earthen oven, your voice horsy

             we turn to you, oh, holy fire


              tear the memories drawn from waterless wells

              let our neck lie in front of you


              : aside from the gates we have been banished

              there is no cradle but the labyrinth’s threshold,

              we understand


              oh, the might past, lend a hand to us this night

              that oven we seek whiningly…




4/         Full Moon:



             the pain that you thought decreased

             the love that you thought passed


             there is no answer to certain questions


             : the right questions asked at the right time,

             are the answers given by the past


             : as the wound chills the ache increases...





5/         Last Quadrant:



             ye! the blade in my heart!


             if your weight  is living

             your warmth is love...











1/         Suzidil solo tambour:



             your voice’s vine

             wraps around the waist of songs


             with its speed it thrashes about

             the dialogue with broken wings


             each telephone a frosted glass

             covers our face


             the quiet fingertips know

             the language of fire


             not spoken, somehow no one speaks

             the murmuring nights


             not kissed, only placed on the nose

             the well-behaved lips


             even if  not kissed

             your neck’s steep veins

             it will run amok...






2/         Suzidil song:



             with your glance the birds will land

             on branches that have bloomed flowers


             the old forest will wash his feet

             in the well of the eye


             how nice the distances with you

             please leave again


            as we go lower inside you

            that sad malice will be left outside


            it is at the front of the door June

            no longer will it wait for anger


            it will not wait your arrival

            the port with new attire...






3/         Suzidil instrumental semai:



             How cheerful you are

             you, the sun and the stars


             the parks with chıldren smiles

             how radiantly blonde


             from the night’s crystal it filters

             the crystalline feelings


             how wonderful it would have been

             if you were with us


             and still beautiful

             despite the distance


             if only at that horizon

             we could have left you


             if we tried not to empty

             the stones in our bossom

             into your tightly closed hands,

             perhaps you would have missed us a little...





4/         Suzidil mevlevi rite:



            it’s nice to know you

            the morning chill


            the horse drawn carriage

            that combs the children’s hair


            the calm mid-afternoon

            that feeds the pigeons


            thank God we heard

            your voice as if


            to feel your existence

            is how many lifetimes?


            in fact the same place every day

            in the meaning where we found

            what else is life?


            you who are a kindness to us

            without distinguishing refinement

            were the meaning to be trusted...


© 2011 Hilal Karahan and Koray Feyiz



(Translated by Koray Feyiz)




Hilal Karahan was born in 04.01.1977, in Gaziantep, Turkey. She graduated from Kütahya Tavsanlı İstiklal Elementary School in 1988, Balıkesir Sırrı Yırcalı Anatolian High School in 1995, Ankara Hacettepe University Medical School in 2001 and Ankara Başkent University Medical School, Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency in 2006. She is a medical doctor, working as an Obstetrics and Gynecology specialist.


Since primary school she has been writing the texts published in various local magazines and newspapers, and received various awards. She re-activated Hacettepe University Poetry Club in 1999 and participated in poetry workshops. She took part in the editorial board of CAMCAK Culture and Literature Magazine, published in Ankara Hacettepe University during 2000–2002 and ETKEN Poem Magazine, published in Alanya during 2003–2004. Since 2000, her poems, short stories and poetry articles have been published in various literature magazines such as Mühür, Eliz, Varlık, Cumhuriyet Kitap Eki, Çinikitap, Mor Taka, Patika, Hâr, Ayraç, Kül, Kül-Öykü, Le Poéte Travaille, Dize, Akbük, Akköy, Etken, Şiir Saati, Islık, Ücra, Kum, Düşe-Yazma, Bilinçaltından Notlar Dergisi, Şiiri Özlüyorum, Mavi Ada, Bahçe,... and etc.


She is married and has two children. Currently she is living with her family in Karadeniz Ereğli, Zonguldak, TURKEY.


Poetry Books:



First Edition: Fabruary 2003, Kül publications, Ankara, Turkey.



First Edition: May 2003, Kül publications, Ankara, Turkey

Second Edition: June 2010, Mühür Library, İstanbul, Turkey.

(First book is republished as a last chapter in this second book)



First Edition: November 2004, Kül publications, Ankara, Turkey

Second Edition: June 2010, Mühür Library, İstanbul, Turkey.



First Edition: June 2010, Mühür Library, İstanbul, Turkey.




•●  SECRET AND MIST folder found as “remarkable” in 2004 Yasar Nabi Nayir Poetry Contest

•●  DELAYED MUMMY book found as “successful” in 2010 Cemal Süreya Poetry



Member of:

•●  Turkish PEN Centre

•●  Turkish Authors Association



•●  hilalkarahan@yahoo.com

•●  http://hilalkarahan.blogspot.com

Poet and Translator


A Turkish poet, born in Istanbul in 1961, Koray Feyiz studied Geodesy and Photogrammetry Engineering, and Urban Planning, at Karadeniz Technical University, and at  Middle East Technical University. He completed his doctoral dissertation on Urban Psychology. Feyiz is currently engaged in research on Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing. His first published poem appeared in one of Turkey’s most prestigous literary magazines, Varlık, in 1987. His poems and prose essays have continued to appear in numerous Turkish literary magazines over the last two decades. He has also published seven collections of his poetry: Mezarlar Eskimedi (The Graveyard is Not Exhausted, İz, 1987), Bir Mektupta İki Yalnızlık (Two Solitudes in One Letter, Engin, 1988), Ben O Issız O Yorgun Şehir (I Am a Desolate, Exhausted City, Prospero, 1995), Uhrevi Zorba (The Metaphysical Autocrat, Urun, 1995), Düşle Gelen (To You Who Arrived in a Dream, Suteni, 1995), Seni Bağışladım Çünkü Beni Çok Üzdün (Cause of My Grief, I Forgive You, Hera, 1999) and Su Yarası (Wounded by the Water,  Artshop 2010)