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)


An Indian summer afternoon
In the heart of a both
Railroad and culinary country
We are rolling quiet fast
And still miles away
From the Mediterranenan coast
And its ports and marinas
Outside the comfy train
A pair of lavender fields
Are easy to forget
Due to the high speed
Inside the 1st class cabin
How painful it is to forget
About a pair of lavender eyes
Of a charming woman
Sitting on the other side
Of the large enough aisle
Due to her apparent and true
Indifference to me
What a soul-wrenching
Scene to witness
For my middle-aged
And fragile being
In such a sunny fall afternoon
It's not my healthy heart
But it's my hazy head
That is about to tear apart



Maritime poetry's home port is the marine poets themselves
Maritime poetry's ports of call are the marine poets' imagination
Maritime poetry's ports of destination are either real or fictional


I am modestly overjoyed of being
An incessantly developing poet by increasing
The number of my genuine maritime triplets


Two matchess shores, one unparalleled sea
Two past-oriented countries, two historic communities
Two tense neighbors, three principal problems


An unexpected severe winter storm in North Atlantic asked me coldly
If I could serve as a go-between for changing its given name
I can’t help it if I’m a fortunate maritime buff


Inventive and magnetic San Francisco made me
Forget about underappreciated Lisbon
But not its peerless “pastel de nata”


A pretty pocket-liner from my first youth
Still cruises the Mediterranenan
But under a different flag


The refreshing “imbatto” changes its name into “imbat”
When it decides to blow from the Aegean
To the summer afternoon-beaten shores of İzmir


I’m eating my last portion of pancakes with apricot jam
At the Café Central in Wien before taking an Nightjet sleeper train
For Venice, the Adriatic and the Caffè Florian


Whoever chooses to oppose the possible sisterhood of
Ayvalık and Lesbos, Bodrum and Kos, Çeşme and Chios, Kuşadası and Samos
Should read Homer, Melville, Conrad, London over and over again


I’m aware of the sea rock-like jarring reality
That I’m not yet a category one poet in every respect
But my moving perseverance has no port limit


"Mother Nature has always been a capricious friend to my waters
For instance, how come I lost those chic Canary Islands to the Atlantic?"
"My dear Mediterranean, I'm afraid you're getting grumpy with age"


As a bicontinental megacity with uncertain boundaries
The astutely pragmatic İstanbul depends a lot
Both on its bridges and on its Şehir Hatları ferries


Haiku-like perfume of ecstasy in the cool autumn air
Hop on the newly built train ferry with your bride and
Head towards another cultural and gastronomic town


The iconic statue of Poseidon at Gotaplatsen in Gothenburg
Convinces me that the iconic Swedish city carries
Some iconic Mediterranean genes in its marine index


Provided it does not turn into a dish
On a kitchen or restaurant table
Each fish has a story to tell


The diligent village women prepare nets
For their mighty fishermen husbands
Some old customs survive on the Aegean coasts


Colliding dry bulkers and oil tankers
Dead and missing mariners
Bruised and bleeding seas


Now that I can read between the waves
It is so clear to me that the oceans are telling
A great deal of their story through cruise tourism


I'm on a impossible mission
To get over the exuberant memories of her
On the less crowded beaches of Corsica


The lighthouse’s red and white paint at the tip of the cape
Contrasts compatibly with the green and blue
Waters of the ocean in the background


Rewarded by a natural harbor, New York is a great walking city
And when your sturdy steps can no longer carry you
Don’t hesitate to hop on a subway train or a commuter ferry


The pure razzle-dazzle
Never completely quits
The smart and sunny Riviera shores


Half a glass of “Izarra Jaune” to her perfectly wavy hair
Half a glass of “Izarra Vert” to the brilliant beauty of her eyes
Half a glass of “Izarra 54” to forget that she is a 27-year- old islander


No doubt that all Mediterranean towns
Are part of a large cultural collage
Let us paint the darkness in our souls with their colors


Vibrant Genoa’s unclouded skies are partially filled
With the ship horns' hypnotic and ritualistic connotations
And you're trying to understand why you feel topsy-turvy on the quayside


I intented to head inland
And lost the dense train tracks
With a persistent, slight sea smell in my nose


Aegean plus Mediterranean Seas
Make an exceptional ocean effect
On my lonesome and lost being


There is only one authentic
City of Venice but there are many
"Venices of somewhere" all over the world


Her Aegean quince-colored silky hair
Her Aegean grape-colored sensuous eyes
And her Aegean cherry-colored lustful lips


Today’s many cruise ships are in the sumptuous mega-liner category
They’re larger and more eye-catching than any other passener ship
That has sailed in the world seas before them


The secret spirit of the Greek islands
Are frankly hard to discover without
Visiting the nearby Turkish coasts


During our long afternoon strolls on the beach
She was wearing dark glasses, polo shirt, cargo shorts
And her subtle fragrance mixed with the tangy smell of the Adriatic


As long as the weather is favorable
All barges and their supporting tugs
Are in favor of playing big in major waterways


Pilot whales in the Sea of Cortez
Keep on asking me if there are any new
Jacques Cousteaus and John Steinbecks in the area


Knidos, an impressive ancient city
At the furthest tip of the Datça Peninsula
Is where the Aegean and the Mediterranean meet or separate


Summer’s end is evident in the Seferihisar beaches
It’s time for us to go back home to İzmir and enjoy
The September evenings at the breezy coffeehouses


A grand salute to all seafarers of Planet Earth
Thank you for existing and doing
An essential and honorable work


In maritime poetry written with positive energy
It's evocative spring and autumn all the time
And the artistic temperament is warm-hearted


When I let my imagination go
A fleet of maritime verses will take me
To the process of creating a book

          © Güntürk Üstün-2018

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