Ulas Basar Gezgin





Ulas Basar Gezgin was born in 25th May 1978, at  Alibeykoy, a ghetto  district of Istanbul, Turkey. He had lost his father  when he was 5  years old.

Graduated from Darussafaka Lisesi which was a free  boarding school  accepting poor, orphan children in 1996, and  Bogazici University,   Department of Psychological Counseling at Istanbul in 2000. He  obtained his MA degree in social (economic)  psychology at Bogazici  University in 2002. After 2 years of research  assistantship at  Bogazici University and internship at Lycée de Galatasaray, he moved  to Mersin University, Department of Psychology.

Winner of Genclik Kitabevi Award for his stories in 2000. Translator  of O. Paz's poetry-in-prose book "Alguila o Sol?" to  Turkish. The book was published in 2000 with the title "Kartal mi  Gunes mi?"

Translator of many English, Spanish and some Russian  poems and prose  works. Regularly contributes to literary and  scientific journals by his poems; critiques of opera, ballet, film, poetry &c.; stories; articles; translations &c.

He has sung in various choruses (Mersin Poliphonic  Chorus (2002- ),  Istanbul Chamber Chorus (1998-2000), Bogazici Jazz  Chorus and Rock  Chorus (1997-1999), and Sayat Nova Chorus for some time).

Knows Turkish (native); English; French; intermediate Russian; beginner Latin, Greek,Portuguese, Esperanto and  Norwegian.



2) Huudma





7) Pantoum to All Impatients


9) Radio Waves, Road and the Radio Girl


11) Upon the Last Flight




(This yearbook covers Gezgin’s poetry in English written between August 2001 and 2002.)


-to S.T., the mute dengbêj-


Your last word was the one that gave me to a thought,

What was the first word? First word that should be

That made the other one to state some other thing?

Maybe ‘t might concern the cave they lived for years,

Or maybe ‘t was an eclipse of sun so magnificient to
utter a word

Maybe ‘t was some kind of dreadful sound we have never

But I know for sure the fact that it was a single

Maybe of one syllable, which made the utterer scare a

By the sound she herself produced indeed...

But in what way she could know, she can produce a

Then others would imitate what she did, as if it is
sacred matter,

Later on she could be deified, for what she did was a

What about the first baby? Did he say ‘mama’, ‘papa’?

By the way, did he have mom and dad?

Toys, friends he never had...

Maybe he wanted bread, if someone could understand,

But let him be the first baby, how had parents grown

If they did not grown up, did they accrue out of a

Did he know that he was first? He was first babe on
the earth?

Before that, where he’d grown up is this earth

If not, is there a relevance for us of this baby?..

If he does not want more milk, mother would beat him

Since they do not have any means to negotiate other
than that,

But he is the first one, how would mom infer that to
take less milk is bad?..

Now I have easier ones: Let’s come to the third issue;

What would the mute tell us first, when she is not
mute no more?

“My life without a word was so miserable, so sore”?

“I had no expression, no cure for that” he would say,

“I had –can you imagine?- impressions only”,

“ ‘could complain by no way, even I tried slowly”..

What about the deaf one, who is not deaf –oh no more-?

When one say, do you ‘hear’ me, he would ask what ‘it’
does mean,

If he starts with a buzz, he would miss what he had

If he starts with a tune, this would make him

If he starts to speak, can he grasp that he did?

If there’s nothing worth hearing, it would not be a
good deed...

When first man had no tongue to just speak at those

Guess, what he did to tell what he feels inside...

Believe or not he felt what we felt with the same

Too many times have passed over, since I heard you say

But I know another way, to show you I can not tell,

It becomes at times thunder, it becomes at times a

The first man, the first baby, the mute one and the
deaf one,

All used to communicate by using their eyes at all,

I reply you with my eyes, whenever you keenly call...

My eyes, your eyes substitute what we’re lacking for
the time.

My eyes you desperately miss, your eyes I missed

Then here it’s end for words, to talk by eyes

Ulas Basar Gezgin



Estonia has no sense..

Having no sense capital city, provinces, inner

Estonia, a closed box..

Undiscovered yet, a cave full of spiders..

We enter to that cave together with you,

From whom we don’t hide ourselves?.. From many

We light a fire, we get warmer, pictures on the

Whatever depicted fascinates us..

Her hand in mine, Huudma’s arm in my arm,

Often collects flowers... At most daisy..

Takes photos, life has no bath..

She stands just like that with a life in her palm..

It darkens, it is raining cats and dogs,

Daisies, doves, camels.. All get wet..

All of the ones we couldn’t find outdoors,

We will find them perhaps in a niche, Huudma, my

26 April 2002/ On way to Nevsehir

Written in Turkish and translated by Ulas Basar Gezgin



-To the memory of Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish
and his Rita-

The fact is hard to admit:

There is a water pipe between us…

When I take a deep breath,

I see what Anneli does…

The train moves slowly, hardly…

Taking another breath and not letting out…

Now she’s just inside me,

Union of water pipe, me, and Anneli…

I see the bubbles on the water side,

Nobody sees what happens in me,

She’s dancing while singing something

Why am I the only one to see?..

No, no, it’s OK, noone should see her,

Except my eyes which I can’t spare…

It’s just a blow of mystery,

That is flowing from her blond hair…

I sometimes think she would disappear,

In the labyrinths of my inner sphere,

In contrast, on some other days,

I scare of losing myself in her…

That’s the way my story goes,

That smell knows no limit…

Where she lives now who knows,

If she doesn’t wander in my spirit?..

Between me and Anneli –that’s true-

There is a water pipe still hot, fresh…

If she takes a single sip by the pipe,

Maybe she would come here –soul, bond and flesh…

The name she has forgotten was my name, ‘Uli’…

The name I couldn’t forget is hers –‘Anneli’…

Ulas Basar Gezgin (uli)/ 05.05.2002/ Ankara, on the
Istanbul train







I will plant a linden tree, not knowing its name…

It will have leaves, flowers,

a crust on which we can carve our initials…

we can either draw a map on it

or show it on a map; just come, it is enough…


your throat is always aching,

you are not at ease on talk.

I will offer you a linden tea,

you will take one sip, two sips, all at once,

and many dry rivers will flow; just come, it is enough…

Your eyes are always closing down,

no measure would be effective,

you won't be able to understand what you missed

in a second, in less than a second,

if you wouldn't sleep under that linden tree for a while…

Just come, I will sing you lullabies…

A leaf is withering each and every day despite of spring,

our tree needs irrigation and don't like my water-bowl…

doesn't he know your Indian hands, how can he forget?..

withering each and every day, decaying inside,

he opens his eyes to morning each day, looking for your eyes…

just come, our tree would be too content…

Tell me who would collect those yellow leaves, will they stay on

what are the meanings hidden behind the lines on those leaves?..

do they mean a total destruction?.. A flood?.. A fire?..

you know how to read those lines… You can read, since they love you…

they show you everything I can't see, I can't feel…

just come, we need a translator, a line reader, an underliner…

Tell me who will count the circles of that tree?..

so that I can inform the demographers –they ask me…

you know, this tree doesn't show his inside to me…

he has excuses when I ask him, he says he is ill…

I say to those officers, `I don't know'… They say `isn't it your

`No' I say, `he is hers' and `she is far away'…

`She is far away!' This is my usual response to him, when he is in

when he asks you, when he asks me to call you…

he is a linden tree, just like a little child… He cries…

all the neighbourhood wakes up, all forests, all lakes…

all the birds nest on him, to soothe him, they try in vain…

just come, this is an invitation by a tree, by birds…

Sometimes I think deep inside, deep enough

and mixing the issue up: Am I that tree, that linden tree,

or the linden tree is me, and I am something apart?..

I climb onto our tree on these occasions,

looking up to the furthest border I can see…

just come -what am I?- only you can tell me…


I will carry you on my shoulders, I will show you my inner circles…

the cicadas will always sing, don't care, just come…


anything you don't have for the time being,

our tree carries all at your hand's reach as big leaves…

Just come…

Ulas Basar Gezgin (uli)/ 25.05.2002/upon his birthday



-to the memory of Otis Redding, the father of soul
and his song ‘Sitting in the Dock of Bay’-

Sitting in the court of mosque,

I read the inscriptions: “Olaf was here”..

For those who don’t know this alphabet,

I read louder and louder: “Harold was here”..

The ship has been a wreckage already,

Santa Sophia would confirm..

The God Odin has just seen

The sons of seas sinking..

She won’t dance the muji muji..

She won’t know when you have died..

The waves won’t tell the truth

To her little ears, little heart..

Nobody will know who was borne of sun,

The Northern stars would always lie..

Nobody will see even once,

How you missed The Baltic Sea..

Santa Sophia.. She lives too far..

One breath, one sip won’t be enough..

My God Odin will save her

From those huge lunar tides..

Sitting in the court of mosque,

Like an ant but I have no home..

I work for six-month winter –cold winter,

For our survival –that’s true..

-Take a deep breath, the deepest breath!

You’ll be to somewhere in the very moment..

-Take the big sip, the biggest sip!

This is the home for homeless..

-Take a deep breath, the biggest sip!

It would be the last one perhaps..

-Take a big sip, the deepest breath!

This is all the salt of immense oceans..

Nobody will know you had lived,

The history won’t tell you..

Nobody will know you had sailed

Upon cold waters –undiscovered..

Santa Sophia.. She lives too far..

One breath, one sip won’t be enough..

My God Odin will save her

From those huge lunar tides..

Sitting in the court of mosque,

I see people going to and fro..

Me, the exile at his motherland,

Singing out the song of seas..

An ant looking for some food,

He has nowhere –save home- to go..

A hush on the fig tree

Whispers me the northern lands..

I have lost all that I had

On a Viking loot at once..

Ships after firing everywhere

Leave me and go.. I am alone..

Nobody could believe they would come..

Nobody has a grain of doubt now..

Come and go.. Come and go.. This is their job..

Without bothering how they left the port..

Santa Sophia.. She lives too far..

One breath, one sip won’t be enough..

My God Odin will save her

From those huge lunar tides..

Burn my corpse now, this is my will..

Spread the ashes to the Nordic Sea..

He who has no home save her arms

Would get release at sea’s womb..

Ulas Basar Gezgin (uli)/ 02.06.2002/ Tophane


This tablet,

Had come a long way

From the very core of the Earth...

So hot, so intense...

This tablet,

Travelled too much

Along the oceans...

So far, so immense...

Spartacus had his omelet on it,

Before his final fight...

It was the only thing

The slaves had...

So rare, more precious than a diamond...

The German peasants carried it as a shield,

The medieval people in age but not in mind...

The African slaves used it efficiently,

As an umbrella against hot sky...

So useful, so relieving...

When Ho Chi Minh had his gun,

He was not alone...

His people melting it in a pot,

Produced tanks, bombs, planes...

So volatile, so conformist...

Ghandi had it as his self-image,

Seeing himself at the mirror...

A tablet, incomprehensible,

But knows where to stand on the world...

So conscious, so humble...

Lumumba had it as a wall-paper,

In his office, in his house...

When the Sun falls on the walls,

It spreads onto Africa...

So huge, so tender...

Behrengi had it a half-century ago,

On the shores of river Araxes,

As the sword of his little, black fish.

He knows where it went too...

So tiny, so heavy...

It became a standard in Marx’s hands,

From Europe to Asia...

What he wrote in British Museum,

Did not so much differ from it...

So laborious, so familiar...

What it reads? Can you see it?

What can Indian eyes see,

How would Indian hands touch,

When the dawn creeps in it?..

Equality, brotherhood, freedom and love!

Nothing more says the tablet,

People had the rest of the things;

Spartacus, German peasants, Ho Chi Minh, African

Ghandi, Lumumba, Behrengi, Marx...

That is why life’s worth living, air’s worth

And that is why I love you to be equal, brother and

Hold the tablet tightly and caress it,

Since it is the sole relic of humanity...

Ulas Basar Gezgin (uli)/ 16.05.2002


Pantoum to All Impatients

They say the death of donkey is due to excessive

We are Mediterrenean people, we like cereal a lot...

When the first Varangian landed his ship as an

He saw Spaniards lie along, taking sleep –hibernal...

We are Mediterrenean people, we like cereal a lot;

We have four months vacation –our fatigue’s eternal

He saw Spaniards lie along, taking sleep –hibernal...

He who dares to wake us up, it’s better dare it not...

Fru Doctor suggests patience to her patients,

Patients can’t be patient, Mediterrenean they are...

Fru Doctor suggests patience, she is Nordic,

She doesn’t even remember it is time to sleep...

We have four months vacation –our fatigue’s eternal

We have no word for “patience”, we wouldn’t use if we

He who dares to wake us up, it’s better dare it not...

Everyone is in surprise; how we became imperial?..

We have no word for “patience”, we wouldn’t use if we

Please don’t try much in vain, we don’t mind your

Everyone is in surprise; how we became imperial?..

We are Mediterrenean people, we like cereal a lot...

Why not suggest Fru Doctor to your patients,

Patients should be impatient, if they need

Fru Doctor suggest patience, to your own heart

Yours doesn’t even remember it is nothing save a

Ulas Basar Gezgin (uli)/ 28.05.2002



How come does a peri have her chimney?..

It often happens...

And I, feeling outsider a bit,

Watch out the smoke spreading everywhere...

This chimney is a different chimney... Got it?..

I, taking a chimney sweep,

Work hard to make it work,

Don’t know when to stop, where to stop,

Don’t know what kind of a creature that peri is...

People wandering ahead throughout Ihlara Valley,

They were the first Christians, a bit afraid...

They carved churches below there, let’s see them,

Let’s visit with the eyes of those last Christians...

Stairs ending up to nowhere...

Nobody remembers where it get started...

They say people who bathe at the river,

Would gain eternal youth, maybe childhood...

Let’s try, we have nothing save our pride...

These caves are my home; these caves, my school;

Nobody could ever believe, nobody could ever see...

These caves –I can not think myself without them,

Without those pictures, reflecting each bit of my

You are a visitor, you will go and won’t come back, I

You are a visitor and you don’t know that no place
save here,

No place save this cave, will remind you what you’ve
lost in your office,

It won’t tell you anything more, once you go; as you
go, it won’t come back...

All peris have chimneys, they burn something to make
the sun shine;

All chimneys have smokes on them, trees on none of
them, winds on some of them;

And I’m sure you are the only one among them having no
chimney, no smoke, no trees, no

Having warm breast, warmer when I lay my head, warmest
when I close my eyes, and those others don’t have...

I erase my traces, nobody should see my footsteps,
nobody should share that solitude,

Crawling at some time on rainy days, exploding by
thunders, then soothing if not fully...

I have no camel, no cheese, no milk, not a proper
villager, only stone, only stone, only stone...

Only stone I could give you; I could save only stone,
I could bring only stone, I am nothing
only stone...

You are a visitor, you miss your warm bed, your silent
room, your sweet dog, the seashore...

Me too... Visiting your eyes for some time, missing my
lonely cave... I will be alone when
you go...

Go! Go down! Go up! Go straight ahead! Throughout
ditches... Throughout anything you can
think of, but don’t stay here!..

Here is the Stone Age –here going on- and you are too
much for here, too modernised, too civilised, too

Each peri is a visitor; you are a visitor I feel...

Each visitor goes back at end, you are a returning

Each peri who returned, would not be so any more...

And peris would go on to light up their chimney,

And chimneys would always work, even if I can’t see

Stones too had their tongues, they don’t show up, you
won’t see...

Stones... They are all about the world, about the sky,
about men...

Stones... Our lives carved onto them would not bear up

Let’s not forget those peris, those chimneys, those
smokes and winds...

When we lose whatever we have, they will stand just
like Sun...

Visitors can’t understand, stones are not mere

Ulas Basar Gezgin (uli)/ 21.05.2002


Radio Waves, Road and the Radio Girl

Last night -my sweet radio girl- I saw a star falling, a suicidal act,

I saw it from the narrow window of my tiny cell -excitedly...

Excitedly since I hadn't seen stars and them while falling for I don't
know how much time...

I had an eighteen years old heart having stars inside, but not outside...

Note these, note those, note all carefully...

We didn't have waves, neither wires nor receptor,

An albatross we had, our sole postwoman, messenger...

Even though she doesn't bring us any letters,

We take her as a mail coming from distant worlds...

This is our story, note this, note all carefully...

I saw a road many nights, an autumn road, too silent...

Too silent that if I whisper, maybe it would disappear...

It would disappear when morning comes, when autumn ends...

And I would have the memory of yellow leaves constituting whole

Be silent, it would disappear, note this, note all carefully...

I used not to know where it goes in all its fascination,

Maybe it was something wandering in my mind, a mere hallucination,

Maybe I was nonexistent, you too and roads were more real than

And there was nobody who saw it, nobody who missed it save me...

See the world of a schizophrenic, note this, note all carefully...

I don't know who came, I don't know who freed me... Me under heavy

Me under heavy chains yesterday breathed deeply outside, walked on the

And found where it starts, the road I mean, to where it lies...

It was a real road, real as radio waves, with all the stones, with all the

Record those radio waves, note this, note all carefully...

I found a railway station while going upwards, slowly I walked,
half-drunken to what I saw...

Trains going to anywhere, Norway, India, Moon, other planets, depth of

But there were no officers, all had gone to somewhere I don't know, no man
out of trains...

I left there since I thought there should be other wonders spreaded

Listen to "A Poor Boy in Wonderland", note this, note all carefully...

Going ahead, there were rivers, ships, ports, boats, fishermen, oarsmen,

They were all in hurry, didn't notice me, just running to somewhere...

Ships going to anywhere, Norway, India, Moon, other planets, depth of

I couldn't decide where to go, I have no waves, neither wires nor

Pay attention to the itinerary, note this, note all carefully...

I don't know where to go, always walking on the road, autumn road, silent

Can't see you. Where to go? Where to share this solitude, where to

My radio does not work, I have none, I have less than none, I have least
of one...

Send me a sign, send your voice, send your gentile hands, scintillating

Note yourself everywhere, report it everywhere, note this, note all by the

Ulas Basar Gezgin (uli)/ 10.05.2002




I just got a train,

All the passengers insane..

One says ‘true’ to what’s false

One does not know always known

The lady mutters brand new hymns

Noone gets the lyrics except her..

I just got a train,

All the passengers insane..

One says the world is pretty flat,

Once he loses all he had..

The lady says she is just a cat,

She knows what to be.. No objection..

I just got a train,

All the passengers insane..

Nobody is out of train,

All of us going insane,

We got our tickets by birth,

No way to get off before arrival..

I just got a train,

It has a lady really insane..

What people call North

She contends it is indeed South

She confuses India with Norway

She knows the truth anyway

I just got a train,

Am really going insane..

There should be a way to stop it,

Always crying doesn’t fit..

Let’s start with breaking the windows

One would respond.. Who knows?..

I just got a train,

All the conductors insane..

I will find the brakes one day

Taking that lady badly insane,

I will shift the railway,

To get a brand new train..

I’ll just get a train,

Beware all insane or sane!..

Ulysses/ 06.06.2002/ On the Ankara train/ Haydarpasa


Upon the Last Flight

Oh, oh, oh... Can you believe? I’m flying...

People are just like ants, houses seem to be as little

Oceans are not immense, anymore, nomore...

I always change my hat... Why should I change my

Custom man! Please let me in! I won’t sell my wings!..

They are the only means I can fly with!..

Devastating wars at some places, at other places a
hidden war called peace...

Winds shift by this way, by that way people

Starved children of India, poor women of Kashmir...

All passing through my eyes, in less than a second...

Air Forces! This is me... Civil... Powerless... Don’t
be afraid...

I confirm your omnipotence, but no plane can land on

Oh, that’s awful... I approached to the power plant,

And my wings started to melt, I got heavier and

They say the death of a bird visits him upon flight,

But life too had visited me at skies...

Little girl! Take me to your home!.. I am wounded,
can’t move...

If you help me, I can tell you fairy tales, nesting on
your shoulder...

I will always have some wounds, I can’t fly

Seas, mountains, lakes, streams... All would be
alone... I would be alone...

Caress me, I have no wings, I’ve lost my heart upon

Oh little girl, you don’t know that you have many
things to do...

Little girl! Hide my existence, underline my
resistance, understand my insistance!..

This can be my last flight and you should be with

Ulaþ Baþar Gezgin(uli) / 31.05.2002



A train is leaving the station

People are greeting their friends..

You are absent..

You are absent and moves all the world, all the time,
all the stars..

I see only my vision on dark windows..

You are absent..

The world has a rhythm, the train has one, the seas,
the ants, the machines..

They don’t perverse.. No confusion in rotation..
Everything is proper..

You are absent..

A train should leave the station

If folks are greeting their relatives..

If you’re absent..

If you’re absent, anything existent should move,
initially very slowly, invisible at the end..

I meet your vision before my eyes..

But you’re absent..

Life should have a meaning, a reason to live, like a
reason to die..

Stone Age men would not bother, nevertheless..

You are absent..

A train will leave a distant station..

Nobody will come to greet me..

You won’t be absent..

You won’t be absent and each second and each mile will
consume themselves for our reunion..

They won’t complain a lot.. They will have a mission..

You won’t be absent..

Only then the world will get a rhythm; the life,
meaning; the sky, stars; the seas, fish..

Poor children will not cry then, grandmothers will be

But now you are absent..

What a revolutionary absence you have..

What a stabilising presence..

Ulysses/ 06.06.2002/On the Ankara train





I can cry at your arms tonight. Yes I can...

It is true... Some friend people were hurt absolutely,

At one distant part of this gloomy universe...

And one can feel peace only at your arms, take

I can cry -bare and calm- at your arms as you hug...

I can sleep at your eyes tonight. Yes I can...

It is true... Even if one can grieve at why s/he was

That there is an end to it is another trouble...

To die as to be born, just like the ones of B.C....

I can sleep –just forever- at your eyes as you live...

I can lose everything I have in your songs. Yes I

It is true, my mute dengbej, those have been sung for

thousand years,

That what we have is a life of a butterfly,

That what we have so short, so volatile...

I can sleep –to forget all- in your ‘chanson’s as you

We can build a new world with our hands. Yes we can...

Isn’t it true that what we have was built by hand...

Your hands: so much skillful, your hands: so subtle
any time,

Your hands: it does not worth to say anything for the

We can build a new world with our hands. Yes we can...

Open your arms to poor people, oppressed people, just
to all!

Open your eyes so that I can see what happens as you

Just sing your songs, since they don’t obey the
powerful time,

Just give your hands to me, since we have a world to

Although only your existence is fully soothing and

It is our hands that will make another world just


Ulas Basar Gezgin/10.13.2001