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)


This is the ending of another
Exquisite and enchanting day
On the matchless Côte d’Azur
I’m drinking a small amount
Of orange flavored vodka
And eating a moderate amount
Of orange sorbet and cake
At a half-crowded coastal café
In the righteous and gracious company
Of a Russian-born French lover
Who reads in an almost ecstatic state
Some of my new marine-themed poems mostly
Written about her luscious and flawless body
With or without a stylish bikini
On remote beaches and seas
Hasty hours pass for sure
But neither illusion nor regret dominates
The power of the present moment
It’s getting dark around us
This is the beginning of another
Receptive and comforting night
On the matchless Côte d’Azur
Following a small amount of vodka
I’m having a big amount of black iced tea now
Without eating any more sorbet or cake
My gorgeous lover stops reading my poems
And tells me that an important portion of them
Are gloomier than a temperate existential angst
I look at her smoky and soothing emerald eyes
Yes, she’s right from her point of view
And I’m right from mine because after all
Each long or short life has an expiration
Every fearful and inevitable death too


“Dazzling, immense and prime blue
Is exactly where I’m heading for”
That’s what the sometimes flat
Sometimes rough Mediterranean
Disguised as an Aegean sea breeze
Murmured sweetly and refreshingly
Beneath my skull, inside my brain
As I swim in the depths of the subconscious

And with those clanging words
The Med did hypnotize me even more
During one of my mid-afternoon naps
In my small flat not so far away
From the Sea of Marmara with two straits
While the ship and train horns
Keep waltzing around and around

When this hypothetical dream
Will come to the end of a pier
So will my snooze, I presume
But in the meantime my much-beloved
And esteemed Mediterranean
Let me whisper silently to you these two lines
“Moratorium, relaxation and zest of life
Are precisely where I’m heading for”


The last few months in Vienna
Have been so difficult and painful
For your exemplary couple life
That could have survived
In spite of the fairly fierce life storms
First, a series of age-related
Annoying health problems
Then the unanticipated deaths
Of some of your dear relatives
But as the mellifluous Mediterranean
Is both a material and spiritual being
Chances are that you and your wife
Will eventually find yourselves
In a demons of unreason-free state of mind
After having had a long enough
Pleasurable and placating vacation
Either in Corsica or Sardinia
And when you get back home
Don’t hesitate to correct me if I’m wrong
About the crystal blue warm
Plus romantically lyric waters
Of those idyllic and inspiring islands


Sunrise, sunset
Departure, arrival
Wealth, poverty
Loyalty, betrayal
Murkiness, laughter
Passion, despair
Suicide, murder
Art, vandalism
And the the ever-unchanging
Human fatality
Even though
The apparently approachable
Mare Nostrum
Has seen them all
It still keeps
A dubious interest
To take a glance
At my triplets describing
Its ego and consciousness
In a novice manner
So, Mr. Poseidon
And Mr. Odysseus
Would you please
Help me to renew
My sailing poetic style
As soon as possible?


I know well that
Some of Europe’s
Few remaining precious
Passenger train ferries
Are still waiting for me
At Villa San Giovanni
In the Calabria region
To cross together
The Messina Strait
Day or night to reach
The largest island
In the largest enclosed sea
Belonging to planet Earth
But I no longer wish
To abandon the serenity
Of the Aegean coast
Now that both
Looking back often
And meeting nostalgia
Infused with wanderlust
In every sea breath
I quietly inhale seem
Progressively perilous
To my maturing
Mind and memory

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

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