A Storm in Izmir

 The sky behind the bluff catches fire and burns
Down the clouds, spreads to the peaks
Above the bay; the wind changes and turns
The waves into dolphins racing to break
The headland toward the open sea.
The squall breaks over us, not from sky or hill,
But out of black crashing ocean spilled
Over sprits and masts of the fishing fleet,
Water grapples mooring posts and clambers
Paylines, spuming into the streets.
The dwindling wick of sun is pinched,
Fury reels keening on the pitchblende wind that roils
Among the palms, fronds flicking verdant fire,
Savage swords in the caverned dark.

Izmir, 1963

Zambak

Patrick sent this story to me, along with several others, on 25 Dec 2013. This one tells the story of the Zambak, chronicled elsewhere indirectly.

Billy Bielmeyer and I were sailing in the Bay of Izmir in his tiny Pirate dinghy. The hills of Izmir rising up on all sides from the deep blue sea bristled with minarets. It was the hour when the muezzins called the faithful to prayer, but you could not hear them out where we fizzed along on the sea, the main and jib flaphappy in the stiff breeze coming off the land. The wind was hot on my cheeks, and I felt Continue reading “Zambak”

Lost at Sea and Supposed Dead

Here’s a photo of the Zambak, a newspaper clipping (incomplete) about the episode with a picture of Mari on the cover, and some e-mail exchanges explaining more of what happened.

There is a fuller story he sent me on 25 Dec 2013 that you might enjoy.

The Zambak

Patrick wrote the following back-story:

Here is the boat I bought for 500 dollars in Izmir.  The first day out, after getting her fixed up, a storm tore up the mainsail and blew us onto a sand reef.  The captain of the fishing boat who pulled us off lost a finger in the winch.  We (bandmaster Billy Bielmeir and I) spent the night in the bar of a safe harbor, while helicopters and rescue people searched after the storm cleared. The next day we tied up what was left of the mains’l and using that and the jib, we limped back to the yacht club in Izmir.  Meanwhile the newspaper AKSAM had reported us lost at sea and supposed dead.  The photo shows Mari receiving the news.  Continue reading “Lost at Sea and Supposed Dead”

Beside the Dardanelles

The Black and Marmara seas breed gypsy souls
Among the Turks.  The brown and umber shoals
Of shade, beneath the parrot green or blue
Feathered waves, shivering to spew
Onto land with raucous breakers, flicker dark
And light like wrinkled, laughing eyes.  The blades
Of sun in slashing arcs like Dervish swords
Go mad in colors that the nomad hordes
Had never dreamed in barren hills by Bor;
Here by Troy each man becomes a song
Of red and yellow like the single birds
Whistling in the open air as they  soar
Toward the pines at Hissarlik where goatherds
meet at dusk, a dusty harlequin throng.

Izmir, 1962