Kemal Vural Tarlan

 

 

THE LONG MARCH

 

who would speak on behalf of children

if I fall onto silence

what would birds eat if I fill myself with bread

 

was not life like playing house

what happened to

my baby dolls

my tongue, knotted in my mouth

whom I will sing now my songs

whom would

my domari laugh wound

 

who am I

a limp of light

that washes itself in ganges waters

in which uncertainty it sets off

and just to spite gadjos’ order

how much longer would

barefoot children walk

 

how much longer wheat-skinned women

would take names

hey gipsy what fortune of ours would you tell

 

Oh, do not mistake

the sadness of my face

it is the sister of joy

 

Oh, do not mistake

the lunacy of my heart

it is the source of my pain

 

 

some day,

when the sky dawns on

having hit the road

without looking back

left ganges aside having drunk euphrates’ water

my Elders

colorful pepples

scattered to the earth

 

my heart is shattered

all around the world

my bare foots on the roads

close to my cemeteries

are rowan trees

 

I have drunk water from all springs of the universe

do not mistake sadness of my face

it should be due to my womanhood

 

who would speak to the wind

if I fall onto silence

that morning wind who knew my language

who am I

flamenco is a part of me

barak song is another

 jazz is a part of me

so is bozlak

 

who am I

what are you expecting to find out

at my sad face

a little girl?

 

Every morning

I woke up with birds of thrush

I know birds’ language

 

my face is set toward the soil

the infinite home

encoloring my skin

 

how am I supposed not to laugh

at my age fourteen

though I suckle a baby at my breast

my eyes will remain a child’s

 

who am I

hey gadjo how many names are given to a child

how many cemeteries is a dead buried in

 

who am I

my eyes are a people’s eyes

who knew the roads as their country

my heimatlos identity

is what has been registered

 

Hey ganges

Who flows in the same body with gods

Water goddess

Who has born between heaven and earth

Hey ganges

daughter of mountains

spring sun

 

Hey ganges

Mother of niles and euphrates

and danube and seine

 

 

Hey gadjo

your dishes are full of food

your garbages

full of musty breads

 

hey gadjo

how could you live under the doors

how your souls could be sheltered within the walls

how could you get to sleep

without cedar shadows, tree of gods

without the chirpings of thrush nightingales

 

Hey gadjo

Has sky any owner

let alone the things

the owner of the chicken

the dog

the land

how can you claim it yours?

 

a long march is my life

 

I climbed over mountains and plains and came

Washed my face in the springs

dried it in the wind

drank water from the dump wells

whirled semah with dervishes

upon the kindle light

played ribab with dengbejs

at the wild

I walked through the fog and smokes

the rhythm was my guide

my name was smoke hereinafter 

mıtrıp called the kurds

I played their weddings

the song is tzigane

the minstrels are forlone

I sang bozlak

in dark nights

my name is outland

it is the legacy of that long march

 

I never knew

where is home where is outland

Rom, dom, lom

human is my name

 

 

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