Güntürk Üstün

Güntürk Üstün

Raised in Izmir by the Aegean Coast, Mr Güntürk Üstün, a retired medical doctor, a poet, a long-time maritime, railroad and aviation fan has lived in Istanbul for the past 23 years and he currently works on his new books of poetry [He has written and published 6 books (all in Turkish) until now]. His poems have been published in various literary journals and anthologies in Turkey as well as in a English language poetry website called Mediterranean Poetry (www.odyssey.pm) based in Sweden. Mr Üstün is fluent both in English and French.



I’ve learned that when I’m down and out
About losing my ability of writing serious poetry
I should call back my furloughed marine verses


Maritime poetry met the bottom of the ocean
In the name of all unknown poets who dared
To beat writer’s block’s sultriness by a floating creativity


Sea pollution can kill fishes
Sea ingratitude can destroy ships
Sea laziness can sink maritime poetry


Surfing the deep web might be
As troublesome and risky as
Surfing the giant ocean waves


No matter how heavy and large the ships are
Their possible bravado and bullying
Do not work on the joke-free oceans


When they were called “Transatlantic”
Ocean liners of the past
Had a total feeling of satisfaction


I surely know that islands are a metaphor
For ecstatic escapes from the pessimistic peninsulas
But without ferries, they whisper nothing to me


What a gruesome gale!
It left cruise ships stranded
And their planned voyages cancelled


Seafarers learn how to accept
The aging process with grudging respect
From their life experiences at sea


Frank and friendly tugs
Can touch but can’t hug
Their vessel buddies


According to the waves
Only the desperately lonely
Souls at sea need ghost ships


A wonderful replacement for after dinner strong coffee or black tea
Is a bracing hand-in-hand nighttime walk with your wife
Along the glittering promenade surrounding the Bosphorus


Adorable catamaran ferries, they all know by heart
How to use waterways as highways
Without getting stuck in traffic jams


Poor seamanship caused
Another terrible collision in the strait
A few hours before dawn


Stranded ships are so ashamed that
Only becoming a minor tourist attraction
Might appease them before going back to the sea


Sensual and sensitive Mediterranean Sea
Soaks up the sun while it lasts
So do its rejoiced coasts, ports and cities


I take two sips from my delicious and delicate
Thirst-quenching Darjeeling tea, then I feel like
My spirits soar from the upper deck


The dizzy light blue depth of her eyes
The vertiginous blonde tempest of her natural hair
And her statuesque figure, they all take my breath away to the horizon


Brainy balladeer girls along the bays
Curious and constant girls from the coves
Gorgeous lifeguard girls of the gulfs


A brisk afternoon breeze controls
The stunning azure waters, the sand-fringed coastline
And my recalcitrant worries


I’m sure they miss us terribly
Who do you mean? The grandiose ocean liners
And where are they now? In our misty memories


Many Septembers ago, on a fateful fall morn
The courageous family of tugs and their crew managed
To be exemplary brave in the green waters of the Big Apple


I’m not a seafarer
I can partially understand
But can’t speak marine


The train ferry and me
We both have a long way to go
It will write foam, I will write poetry


Caribbean blue! I want to be one of your swimmers
Turquoise blue! I want to be one of your sea-poets
Ultramarine blue! I want to be one of your sailors

          © Güntürk Üstün-2017

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Poetry in this post: © Güntürk Üstün
Published with the permission of Güntürk Üstün