Senem Gökel (b. 1982) was born in Nicosia. Her first poems were published in 2005. Her poems, translations and prose have been published in various literary magazines of Cyprus, Turkey and Greece, such as Varlık, Kitap-lık, Cadences, Mandragoras and Eneken. In 2012, she received the Fikret Demirag Poetry Award from the Union of Cyprus Writers. As a result of this award, a bilingual poetry collection (in Turkish, Greek) was published under the general title of Ποίηση / Şiirler (Poems) which consists of poems by two Cypriot poetesses (2012). Her poetry collection in this book is titled as İkinci Jülide / Ζουλιντέ η δεύτερη. Gökel has also participated in several poetry anthologies as well as initiated and organized poetry events such as of Cypriot Poets: Transcending Conflict at the National Poetry Library, London (2017). In addition, she published two poetry pamphlets, one, as the author, and another, as the editor of the titles (Unutmabeni/Forget-Me-Not/Μη με λησμόνει, 2018; Cypriot Poets: Transcending Conflict, 2017.)
Dedicated to the murex trunculus who
were sacrificed for the imperial purple.
Down the walls
children chase after dogs
and dogs after dogs
Date palms scattered around
like my state at home.
Outside, I run away just like the dogs—
from the people chatting each other
standing rigid, like the date palms.
Pity, always locked the Famagusta Gate;
rebels and murderers hung from the Gate
now live in every desolate house
where fig trees grow.
Even souls are captives in the curse of this island
A thousand needles draw you on a mirror;
as the iron walls of the sea
slowly hit the shore
seashells fill my ears.
© Translated by Gürgenç Korkmazel
Edited by the poet
Venedik Surlarında Yürüyüş
Erguvan moru için kıyılan nice
murex trunculus’a adanmıştır.
çocuklar köpekleri kovalıyor
Oraya buraya serpilmiş hurma ağaçları
evimdeki halim gibi.
Dışarıda köpekler gibi kaçışım—
hurma ağaçları gibi dimdik
sohbet eden insanlardan.
Yazık, hep kilitli Mağusa Kapısı;
şimdi incir ağacı bitmiş her harabe evde
Kapı’da asılan asilerle katiller yaşıyor.
Ruhlara bile tutsak adanın laneti
Bin iğne bir aynaya seni çiziyor;
denizin demirden duvarları
yavaşça kıyıya çarparken
kulaklarıma kabuklar doluyor.
© Senem Gökel
Published with the permission of Senem Gökel
Photograph by Mehmet Nevzat Erdoğan