Ali Sali

He was born in 1960 in the Karyağmaz village of Dursunbey District, Balıkesir. Since November 1, 1982 when he enrolled in ODTÜ (The Middle Eastern Technical University), Ali Sali has been living in Ankara. He pursued his journalism career until 2011 for which he made his debut in 1978 by working as a proofreader at Yeni Devir – New Era newspaper. Since 1978, he has published his poems and literary works in many literary magazines such as Bursa’da Sanat Edebiyat, Aylık Dergi, Yönelişler, Mavera, Dergâh, Edebiyat Ortamı, Hece, Kökler, Kurgan, Türk Dili, İtibar, Yedi İklim, Türk Edebiyatı, Edebiyat Sokağı, and Çeto. His first poetry collection called re mektupları – re letters (2016) and his second poetry book entitled Fatma Begüm’ün Saba Defteri – Fatma Begüm’s Saba Notebook (2018) have been published by Hece Publishing House.

Fatma Begüm’s Saba Notebook

should I find the right words
then this story will make sense
maybe my life will be awarded
should I comprehend the connection among letters right
should I attach exhilaration to your dignity
I would act cowardly and pass the threshold
if only I could put in pledge exhilaration on my tongue
for the purpose of putting ointment
fatma begüm would have been the right word
and she would have been awarded with Saba

verses of heaven refer to you

which word becomes exhilaration of my language
what drops from the throat of mortals cannot guess right
which word would lose your tongue
for the purpose of an ointment, exhilaration on my tongue
I would be the come coming to your unloosened tongue
I am the bone to honor the call of Saba maqam

the trap of filthy locations attracts
I am taken with the enticement of the foams at the sea
the entrusted secret brings salt to my presence
I cannot recognize the exhilaration of your presence
minarets of satans get in my ways

one cannot question the dictionaries
capricious word turning green in your presence
your words would weaken my memory
I cannot memorize the lexicon thirsty for the morning shift
the words would keep on and on, over my tongue
my memory would get surprised and come down on me
the verses of heaven referring to you

dressing on the wound in you maybe turns
into the words to be stuck in my mind
I may multiply the words in my memory
maybe in order to suppress the deep explosion in your eyes
the nights might cover perhaps
the swear words
the soil I sprinkled on my face
would make wild roses turn green on my collar
the state of the hotel rooms without you
I am not able to understand how to be capricious
I didn’t memorize
the words that don’t concern your trouble

stars deserted their place

you are gone
our words decreased
the words did not turn into a lament
stars deserted their place
for you left by leaving light beams behind

an angel cuts hulle* for your departure
you would recognize the angel
through the violet scents
it is a signal from the verses of heaven
the angel who cuts the bridal gown for hulle

you suppose it is prophet idrees holding out his garment
while your soul is looking for the right word
how nicely are fitting the verses of the soil with your garment
the angel carries the words you would entrust to his wings
the words of languages from the ancient times we don’t remember
would say salavat for you

when you are gone
we suddenly noticed we prospered
eastern hollyhock did not make any sense
even the silence at home
it is as it is as you left
the silence of the house waits sitting on heels
the silence left by you
frees our hands
to find a way through the words
by holding on to the eastern hollyhocks raging in your blood
to smell the rose scents of melancholy wandering in your blood

hulle* garment of heaven

English Translation by Mesut Şenol