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. As an avid reader and researcher on the transportation issues, he also comments regularly (as a columnist) by using some of his poetic skills in the 2 popular Turkish news websites [www.lojiport.com/gunturk-ustun-252y.htm & www.haberhurriyeti.com/tag/gunturk-ustun]. Mr Üstün is fluent both in English and French. He divides his time between Istanbul and Izmir.

BIBLIOGRAPHY (Published Books)

  • Kıyı Şeridi Ve Kıyı Sakini Şiirleri (June 2014)
  • Demiryolu Palas Oteli’nden Şiirler (April 2015)
  • Limanı Gören Bir Çatı Katından Şiirler (November 2016)
  • Raylı Sistemin Uzun Öyküsünün Kısa Şiirleri (November 2016)
  • Denizyoluna Turkuaz Gölgeli Dizeler (May 2017)
  • Raysever Şair Merhabasının Dizeleri (May 2017)



Outward and inward journeys take
The same fast ferry in the sunny or moonlit
Waters of my Mediterranean poems


A Swedish woman from Stockholm prepared me a delectable “semla”
A French woman from Cannes offered me a delicious “choux à la crème”
A Swedish-French poetess from nowhere infiltrated me this poem with her tasty lips


If my state of mind is too rough and uncompromising
The scarce and unlucky maritime words that are still alive
And traveling below my imagination’s surface cannot come up for air


“I know that the menacing Mount Etna keeps its activitiy”
Said the dauntless Taormina to me and added
“Fortunately, I have both the Ionian Sea and Sicily to depend on”


The coast and the harbor
Come to Rome at Civitavecchia
Let’s celebrate it there with cannoli and white wine


It’s not a private beach
So everyone is welcome all the time
Except the big white sharks


Being both a maritime and railroad city
Very few metropolises can overwhelm
The intriguing, enchanting and irresistible Venice


The heavyweight sadness
Deployed in the ship horns
Are more complicated than it is imagined


Her teal eyes, her tawny hair, her tan naked body
And her Tyrian purple soul, they all radiate the message
That she will leave me soon at this small seaside hotel


Inevitably, the interstellar dust clouds
In the open and dark skies could meet
The glittering cruise ships’ sheer jealousy


Whenever she feels excessively sad
Not to be a Mediterranean city
Lisbon embraces her citrus yellow trams


From the flirtatious Amalfi Coast
To the seductive Capri Island with a gentle breeze
“When you’re tired of being alone, try me”


That tiny coastal nook
In one of the secret Aegean coves
Is home to young lovers’ getaways


For most passionate cruisers
The large enough balcony cabins
Still feel more like a home than a hotel


Yard switchers on the rails
Harbor tugs on the waters compete fraternally
To be the ports’ most favorite workhorses


I’m no stranger to sleeping
Between the bed and the quilt
Of my indefatigable nautical dreams


This ocean city’s harbor is dazzling
And its surf beaches are dreamy
But where is the railroad’s driving force?


Now and then, it is truly so regrettable
For the Mediterranean to accept that
Bodrum does not belong to her but the Aegean


In the summer of ’86, almost every evening, when we used to
Talk and walk in the vicinity of her grandparents’ beach house
She was always captivating with a rare romantic look


The buccaneering spirit has become
A harsh reality again on the high seas
But with different boats, weapons and tactics


Ilegal fishing puts at stake
The uncertain future of
Both fishes and fish lovers


I took a dip in one of that spectacular city’s beautiful bays
Minutes later, when I was about to leave the water, I noticed
On my left the famous port smiling at me in the long and hazy distance


I love to watch that slim blonde beauty
Run on the windswept beach by her sensational loneliness
Approximately every afternoon at the same time


It’s honestly great fun
To stroll or picnic along the ravishing rivers
But I still terribly miss the serenade-like seashore


Long before aircraft pilots
Were available maritime pilots
Under the sea-friendly skies of our planet


This solitary and sorrowful night in Barcelona
I can only lean my hopes and dreams
Against the mustard-yellow full moon


Island escapism is totally true
Escaping totally from an island is unreal
My mind’s islands can temporarily escape my total soul


For a more restful French Riviera experience
I had to use the seacoast-friendly railroad line
To skip Cannes and Nice for Eze


Valetta is an impressive name for a gorgeous woman
Valetta is the proud and active port of the gorgeous Malta
Valetta is the absolute starting point of this little poem wanting to be gorgeous


There are no welcoming ports
Without the reliable hospitality
Of harbor and docking pilots


Not only stunning and a must-see
These Mediterranenan bays, coves and gulfs
Are also so calm and serene


As the marine’s official language is poetic prose
It can dramatically reduce my chances
Of being an esteemed maritime poet


Dear Mediterranean, with your permission
May I declare you as one of the World Poetry Centers
And the uncrowned queen of all seas?


The tides change frequently
In my marine verses which
Save them from monotony


The idyllic island of Hydra had to manage to find one by one
All the hidden blazing words in bougainvillea colors when Leonard Cohen
Her most beloved and famous son suddenly sailed to eternity


Overpoetry never has
Safe harbor problems
In maritime literature

          © Güntürk Üstün-2017

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