Senem Gökel: a poem



Portrait of a Cypriot Family Four generations. That thing that has never forgiven us

lay there the entire winter

like an undisturbed bed with a blanket made of an atlas.


The Greek bride's veil, an ancient heart,

waited for its owner

on the wall.

My gran waited for the son who had no grave.

My father for his father to be a father.

My mother for flowers for an anniversary.


We waited, expecting our mother to embrace us –

knowingly or unknowingly.

Unable to touch our parents

we have brought up God's children;

those who we cannot stop from kissing endlessly.


Translated by İncilay Egeli



Senem Gökel was born in 1982 in Nicosia, Cyprus. Her poems have been published in various magazines in Cyprus, Turkey and Greece, such as Varlık, Kitap-lık, Cadences and Mandragoras. In 2012, she received the Cyprus Writers Union Poetry Award. As a result of this award, a bilingual poetry collection (in Turkish and Greek) was published under the general title of Ποίηση / Şiirler. She also published a poetry pamphlet entitled Unutmabeni/Forget-Me-Not/Μη με λησμόνει (2018). She has been featured in several poetry anthologies and poetry events such as "Cypriot Poets: Transcending Conflict" at the National Poetry Library, London (2017).