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 24 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 logistics/transport news websites [Lojiport, Deniz Bülten]. 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)


There are skillful specialists
And there are cheating charlatans

There are frantic facts
And there are logical lies

There are murky myths
And there are carefree chances

There are hollow hopes
And there are extreme expectations

In the enigmatic waters of the docks
Called “Anti-Aging Therapeutics”

“If you intend or plan to visit us”
Hiss those arcane harbor waters

“You’d better leave your false
Fantasies and fears on land

And never give up believing
In your poetic medicine man mind

We hope we have made ourselves
Utterly clear on the very sensitive issue

And we cordially welcome you beforehand
About your potential stay here

Of course, there’s no need to rush
But please do not make us wait too long!”


It’s mid-August at the seaside
And it’s half past midnight
I’m still sitting out on the balcony
And trying to absorb the unusually rough breeze
Like a thin quilt on my warm and sleepy face
As life moves forward fast
Fearing to miss an invisible ferry

The full moon’s gently beating beams
Fully open my half-tired eyes
For a late night attempt of writing poetry
About the constant and soothing hum
Of crashing waves and singing cicadas

But tonight I’m going to keep in my memory
The verses that may arise from my imagination
In order to benefit better the telltale signs
Of this trance-like particular moment
That I’ve been waiting for patiently

Any solitary sojourn at the seaside
Can be an unique teaching experience
For any tenacious lone wolf like me
Since both the solitude and the sea are among
The best essential tools for literary creativity
As time moves forward fast
Fearing to miss an unseen ferry


My dear and loving
Trieste of today
You who are luckily
Located at the intersection
Of the intense shipping routes
And seafarer-related languages
Why do you seem
Pretty sad and lost
From time to time
Beneath your enchanting skies?
I guess I know
The real reason
Behind that haunting
Maritime mystery
Don’t you comprehend
You can’t outshine Venice?
Venice can overshadow
Most of the peerless port cities
In our sea-adoring planet
And that’s why
You’d better accept
The honor of being
The unanimously approved
Hard-working laborer
Innovative troubadour
And master interpreter
Of the entirely expressive
Adriatic coastline
So just relax, get out of your
Harbor and gulf and look
How carefree, calm and content
Ancona and Birindisi are


Here begins a brief story
Of tastes, smells and memories

Dessert trio
All fresh and homemade
With my woman’s inimitable
Adoration and ambition
Skill and sophistication

Cake trio
With apple, dark chocolate and pear
To consume with brandy
But always carefully

Flan trio
With apricot, cherry and prune
To devour with cognac
But always intelligently

Ice cream trio
With banana, pistachio and vanilla
To finish with liquor
But always moderately

Mousse trio
With chestnut, raspberry and white chocolate
To ingest with rum
But always reasonably

Sorbet trio
With pomegranate, strawberry and watermelon
To swallow with sherry
But always thoughtfully

Soufflé trio
With blackberry, lemon and orange
To test with vermouth
But always wisely

Dessert trio
All on the kitchen table
Next to a window overlooking the Mediterranean
For her, for me, for our mutual passion
And for our adult children yet unborn

Here ends a short tale
Of tastes, smells and memories


With the inestimable support of the Ionian Sea
The appealing Adriatic flows into the magnetic Mediterranean
The magnetic Mediterranean cuddles the appealing Adriatic

As we past the historic breakwater
With the aged harbor lighthouses
Blinking at their both ends
And leave behind all that hectic
Commuter ferry traffic
One of the port’s pilot boats
Quickly arrived and nestled
Against our cruise ship’s huge hull
While the harbor pilot
Disembarked cautiously
Then greeted our captain
With his gloved left hand
Now, we’re getting closer
To the final dwarf navigation light
Deployed outside the harbor entrance
Soon, we’ll be on our own lonely way
To the mildly turbulent
Slightly melancholic Adriatic Sea at dusk
No other vessel, no hungry seagulls
No worrisome clouds in sight
It’s high time that I should
Whisper “Buonasera”, “Bon voyage”
And “Welcome to the adventure” to myself

With the invaluable support of the Ionian Sea
The attractive Adriatic flows into the mesmerizing Mediterranean
The mesmerizing Mediterranean embraces the attractive Adriatic


Over the long-lived Mediterranean
In the enduring pan-European skies

Passenger jets have not much
In common with cruise liners

They lack of patience and splendor
And continue to grunt and roar while flying high

Their foam-like whitish contrails remind me
Of cruise ships’ albescent foamy tracks behind their stern

Whether they are mighty Boeing or Airbus
They seem to feel so confident and energetic

But they also carry an invisible, ill-fated autumn fragility
Mysteriously penetrated into their wide bodies

It is no colossal surprise that they always draw
The attention and envy of hawks and falcons

On the other hand, neither seagulls nor gannets
Care about those planes’ rapid and elegant presence

They are really ready to sacrifice a significant amount
Of their feathers for the cruise liners’ dear camaraderie

Over the long-lived Mediterranean
In the enduring pan-European skies

Hawks and falcons have very little
In common with seagulls and gannets

For other contributions by Güntürk Üstün, please follow the links below:

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