‘Nefes’ of the Quiet Between Us by Haydar Ergülen
before you even existed I was mad with you
the lack of you upset me, and then you were here
you were so beautiful I could not want you for myself
now I’m subdued by your absence as if you were here
this sensitivity, oh, you can’t imagine
things that should upset me seem to make no mark at all
what am I to do, your presence is more barren than your absence
have you left me no-one else to go quiet on?
I alone am left in the desert of your silence
I know you won’t show this stillness to just anyone at all
and your eyes are like Autumn, that stealer of leaves
as memories fall, eyes shall fill
those eyes must be cleaned before Summer is here
or the silence between us will be sullied by tears
you must love someone enough to go quiet on them
don’t talk when they arrive:
where were you all this time?
why didn’t you love me?
without you I had no-one not to talk to!
is what you should say
and when they’re with you, go quiet on no-one but them
poet: Haydar Ergülen
Translation Collaboration of Caroline Stockford and Selhan Endres
at the 2013 Cunda international Workshop for Translators of Turkish Literature
This poem first appeared in Turkish Poetry Today, 2015, edited by George Messo
available at : http://www.rhbks.com/turkish-poetry-today.html