Monday, January 25, 2016

turkey: some praise haikus

We spent about 10 days exploring Turkey this January, and we quickly grew to love the country. We were lucky enough to spend the first part of the trip in Tarsus with the best tour guides ever: Julia and her beau, Besir. (Thank you so much for your hospitality!!!!)

L-->R: Bedriye (Besir's sister), Besir, Chris, Mel, Julia. The caves!
Tarsus was a great introduction to Turkey because it’s less touristy and ritzy than Istanbul. Besir oriented us well to Turkish and Kurdish food, culture, and history before we set off on our own. There’s lots we could say about the country and its tension between the east and west, religion and secularism, etc. However, we’ll use this short post to offer simple celebrations of some of the quieter, smaller, stranger moments we spent in Turkey, and let the photos on my facebook page tell the larger story.

By the way, these are terrible and hastily written haikus…

Hovering near banks
crowds of smoking men stand still.
What do they wait for?

On an empty street
a bar owner smokes hookah,
texting all the while.

Cutting through the air:
clink of small chay spoons on glass
and murmuring men.

Four kinds of cheese and
olives and jams and breads and…
Turkey knows breakfast.

Before the plane stops
many people jump right up,
hungry for their things.

We made a sweet friend—
a kitty on the metro,
purring as we rode.

What we’ll miss the most
is sweet, flaky baklava,
honeyed perfection.

Love, mel


  1. Lovely poems and am reminded that I have some baklava in the cupboard - off to snack.

  2. thanks, nigel and lacey! constraints are fun. :)