Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Ode to Istanbul...

We have come
full circle
and the Anatolian Cafe music
slows me to the rhythm
of you, dear Istanbul...
where there is always time
for an alley chai,
silver spoons tinkling on glass
for a Turkish coffee in a cafe,
thick muddiness at the base of the delicate cup
for an Efes in the James Joyce Irish Pub,
accompanied by a duo singing American tunes...

Under the hypnotizing eys
of Samuel Beckett
creator of a pair
who wait
patiently impatient
for an elusive Godot
while repeatedly examining
the contents of their empty-soled boots...
Under the map
of Ulysses' travels
in you, dear Istanbul,
in this James Joyce Pub...

My tongue
muddled with chai and efes
cannot even gather the words
for a question.

I tell you
it would be easy to fall in love with you,
beloved Istanbul,
wanting to know
if I should keep my heart open, vulnerable.
And in answer
you take my hand
my palm
pressing into places
that I'd thought had atrophied
long, long ago.

I am raw
your hands.

You are all flow of movement,
terra firma,
rooted between sky and soil.
You are breath, spirit, energy.

dear Istanbul,
we nurtue a calm and tranquil mind,
focusing - without tension --
on the hand
that moves across the eyes
but still aware
of the morning breeze,
the Turkish conversation
as students wait for the bus to appear.
The cardiac rhythm of the fountain,
and the magpies
searching for their own breakfast.

And I mirror your breathing,
beloved Istanbul,
deep, low belly pulses,
and we seamlessly shift roles
mentor to student to mentor
here in this land that seems less foreign every day.

You are a most patient teacher.

You and I,
dear Istanbul,
are learning the many positions
the forms
of affection,
remembering ourselves
that effortless exhale
is woven intricately
into our willingness
to breathe each other in...


1 comment:

  1. What a sweet, sad goodbye. Lots of memories that you will carry for a lifetime Marianne. Can't wait to see the photos.