Autobiographic Poetic Diary

Dedicated to my dear sister Olcay Ünver and my immediate Family in Istanbul…

One half of me is from Turkey
The other half America
My country of birth – my roots and the first half of my life rests in Turkey
The second half of my life – almost thirty-years-long following it rests in America

Bircan ÜNVER

For the original format of this, please click on here>

These are the places where many valuable things 
 have emerged from me
and the life that has been rapidly passing by…
Thousands of seeds may have been planted
A lot of effort may have been exerted and put forth…

The core matter of my life has been dedicated to ideals
With the aspiration of living in peace and dignity,
altogether with everyone in my surrounding
in a better world which is free from any kind of 
fear and superiority complex…

With my mind – spirit – feelings – my thoughts – ideals
My rapidly marching age on one side
Decreasing time-left on the other side…
With the awareness that not as many years are left
As those lived…
While feeling deep within
The pressure of the short life span left ahead…

While under such an immense pressure by this thought
just thinking about how I can achieve my ideals…
The thought that frequently leaves me panicking
in a race with myself most of the time

Suddenly, the nature, as if wanting to remind us about its own rules
While the duality which has been lasting for almost three decades within me
The time demonstrates over and over again
that I can neither leave Turkey behind
nor America,
where the second half of my life is passing by,
where those that I gave birth have set roots in…

Geographically, it is impossible to bring side by side
two countries from two different continents
even though they were separated only in ancient times…
and, there has been NO prediction even in science-fiction
towards a possibility of merging the continents in the distant future!
A flight from the edge of Europe over the Atlantic Ocean alone takes eight hours

Just living in this dilemma for too long already
To top it off, especially in this period
When less than two weeks had passed by
since my return from Istanbul to New York
that I received the shocking and upsetting news about my dear sister Olcay
World’s beauty, with seaweed green eyes…

While the feeling of entrapment under the dizzying pressure since then
of not knowing what to do for her
how to support her and my immediate family there
the feeling was magnified many fold by the long distance between us…

Not being able to figure out where one belongs to at this point in time…
Not being able to rest, feel fully settled or fit in any one place…
As if life kept revolving around me like an empty space,
without knowing where I might land on eventually!

Sometimes making it till morning without any sleep,
Sometimes I could sleep but wake up early
feeling no desire to start the day
a soreness in me – a brokenness
not being able to focus on anything, let alone an idea – an ideal or a project…

Last night about 5:00 am, before I had fallen asleep
And thinking once more as most of you might have heard,
the couples or people who love each other so much say during their life-time
about each other or one for the other
My other half” …
In a similar approach; not to a person but to a country
I frequently could identify myself as:
One half of me is Turkey and the other half is America.”
Perhaps, I may add onto this a more illustrative expression
As if each human being symbolizes a tree in life,
My roots are in Turkey, and my branches in America…

Maybe for years, while lost in deep thoughts
on how to unite these two halves of me in emotion – thought –
love – effort – sharing – producing ideas for existence and the future…
several decades had already gone by…
In one of those sleepless nights almost at dawn
I thought of that endless space and planets that are light years away

Although it is not known and is still being scientifically argued
if the space has a ground of its own to be landed upon…
Besides any known or not yet discovered planets and star systems,
galaxies, asteroid and comets…
I thought mostly of the unforeseen
Undefined emptiness, depth and width
which is forcing the perception limits of mankind’s mind

The continuous expansion which had gained speed
Distances of light years
Black holes and those “dark matters
Starbursts occurring during the births and deaths of the stars
and the rays of those starbursts which could reach us
millions of years later…

I thought of the unescapable magnetic force that
cannot be opposed by any power including that of
the suns, stars and planets…

Then all of a sudden, my heart was filled with an inner light…
I felt my face glowing
so I smiled all by myself
in the wee hours of the morning…

Like the orbits of the planets which are rotating around the sun
but cannot be observed by the human eye even through a telescope
and like the invisible strong magnetic fields of the COSMOS,
as well as the visible ones…
Like Saturn’s ‘beautiful unique rings among the planets’
which are made up with ‘billions–and–billions’ of years old asteroids…

With all these deep thoughts occupying my mind
I imagined that the COSMOS enfolds and unites
Not just Turkey and America
But the whole earth with all living things and ‘the entire human race’ in it…
With its invisible arms and wings and with its immeasurable massive energy
Which would not exclude anyone nor would let anyone escape from its dense magnetic field
By opening its enormous wings throughout the Cosmos
Embraces and hugs us all within our tiny planet Earth!
This is what I dreamed of and am still dreaming about…

Turkey and the United States,
In other words, Eastern Europe and North America
A life spread in between two continents
My body–mind–and–spirit
United into completeness and unification both in my thoughts and imagination…
Our earth which is hugged by the enormous wings of the endless space
which wraps us all inside,
from the one who is at the furthest distance to the closest one
The Cosmos hugged and united all of us with its beautiful, forceful and powerful wings…

I too, hang on tightly to the vast wings of that immeasurable Cosmos
I clutched tightly on its wings
not once,
thousand times, may be even hundreds of thousands of times

I loved my swing much more than all the previous times
The swing that has been stretching in time and space for thirty years
in between two countries – two continents.
The invisible space, enormous wings of the Cosmos
Brought us all together in my imagination,
irrespective of space – time – geography or – location…

So, it might be that

All physical distances, separations and departures
might also initiate through our imaginations
and, might end up in there as well…
As if starting with a; “ONCE UPON A TIME”…

For the original format of this poem, please click on here>

Translated from Turkish by Fatma SARIKAYA

Image credits:
NASA’s Swift Mission Maps a Star’s ‘Death Spiral’ into a Black Hole
Image Credits: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center
Olcay Ünver’s “eyes”, cropped out of a photo from June 2017 by Bircan Ünver.

• Disclosure: Above “Poetic Diary” is an adaptation from its Turkish originally written-and-eprinted version, “TUTUNDUM UZAY’IN KANATLARINA…” in the “YERELCE based in Belgium on January 19, 2018. This is NOT a verbatim translation.  – #BircanUnver #IşıkYollarında @IşıkYollarında

Special Thanks to: Fatma Sarıkaya for her contribution to making this available in English as well.

• Otobiyografik Şiirsel Günce (in Turkish, also available on ÜLKECE)

Bircan Ünver’s other Poetic Diaries in TurkishLibrary.Us:





Posted on 13 March 2018Turkish Library Museum, which is under the umbrella of The Light Millennium Organization. Officially formed based in New York in 2001. NGO Associated with the
United Nations Department of Public Information since 2005.

© 2018, Bircan Ünver, http://www.turkishlibrary.us – http://www.lightmillennium.org