I AM LISTENING TO ISTANBUL.. (Zişan KARAYILAN)

I AM LISTENING TO ISTANBUL

I am listening to Istanbul intent my eyes closed;
At first there blows a gentle breeze
And the leaves on the trees
Softly flutter or sway;
Out there far away
The bells of water carriers incessantly ring;
I am listening to Istanbul intent my eyes closed.

I am listening to Istanbul intent my eyes closed;
Then suddenly birds fly by
Flocks of birds high up in a hue and cry
While nets are drawn in the fishing grounds
And a woman’s feet begin to dabble in the water.
I am listening to Istanbul intent my eyes closed.

I am listening to Istanbul intent my eyes closed.
The Grand Bazaar is serene and cool
A hubbub at the hub of the market
Mosque yards are brimful of pigeons
At the docks while hammers bang and clang
Spring winds bear the smell of sweat;
I am listening to Istanbul intent my eyes closed.

I am listening to Istanbul intent my eyes closed;
Still giddy since bygone bacchanals
A seaside mansion with dingy boathouses is fast asleep
Amid the din and drone of southern winds reposed
I am listening to Istanbul intent my eyes closed.

I am listening to Istanbul intent my eyes closed.
Now a dainty girl walks by on the sidewalk:
Cusswords tunes and songs malapert remarks;
Something falls on the ground out of her hand
It’s a rose I guess.
I am listening to Istanbul intent my eyes closed.

I am listening to Istanbul intent my eyes closed;
A bird flutters round your skirt;
I know your brow is moist with sweat
And your lips are wet.
A silver moon rises beyond the pine trees:
I can sense it all in your heart’s throbbing.
I am listening to Istanbul intent my eyes…

-ORHAN VELİ KANIK

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