YEs : what a joyful word!

15 Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot poets, Nese Yasin, Filiz Naldoven, Lily Michailidou, Fikret Demirag, Elli Peonidou, Zeki Ali, Takis Hadjigeorgiou, Tamer Oncul, Feriha Altok, Neriman Cahit, M. Kansu, Stephanos Stephanides, Gur Genc, Jenan Selcuk, Michalis Papadopoulos, and Aydin Mehmet Ali came together to use their imagination and work on a common poem.

“We decided to work on a concept and we chose the concept ‘YES’ which is a very popular and also unpopular word today in our country. We had in mind that every YES is also a NO to something else and every NO has also a YES. We approached YES as a very affi rmative word. A word we learn fi rst in the other’s language, a word which is an opening rather than a closure, a word which can bring a change…
We wanted to make an intervention with the language of poetry to the area of politics which is in our houses every night through the TV screens. Which feels us with so much anxiety and negative energy with its confronting and often fearful attitude.
We found a big YES in our hearts for a better future and for a unifying Cyprus. We did not discuss about plans, about property, about  percentages… We looked at our own YES’es.”

Yes, to a bird with open wings
To the open sky, to the open sea
Yes, to lips open to a smile
To a wish, to hope
Magical words
The revenge of silenced hearts
against history
While kissing the wind of love
To share the same fl ame
Sing the same song
Be drunk with the same passion
Make love under the same moon
Let my heart my body be light
So that I can speak
What is Greek what is Turkish
Are they two houses exchanging
each other
Are they two lives filled to the brim
Emptying themselves
into sand bags
Yes, I said as though drawing a
beautiful bird
Nearing extinction
I am handing it over to you
So that you can add yet another
A bird hidden for so long in my heart
A YES bird; so close to bursting my
heart open
Take this joy
Attach it to the bird’s wing
As though planting new saplings
In a beautiful forest
I sit, sweating, breathless
So as to send a wave from deep
inside me
Look there, at the abyss of my heart
That thing amongst the fl ames is
Life will fall, like a star
And we will also change
Yes, a palm open to the other
To the different, to the unknown
I passed through the border
The rumble of thousands of migrating
butterfl ies
I know this day of May will be the
Oh wall
Your stones
We will burry
In the foundations of our common
The whole universe
Fits into a single word!
Yes: What a joyful word!
To sing the song of heavenly love
Say Yes! To your good neighbours in
Open the doors ajar with your hands
Say yes! Let’s come out onto the
Clean out our wounds
Kiss by kiss

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