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Jon Michael Willey

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Bosporus, Duty Strait ?
by Jon Michael Willey
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Rated "G" by the Author.
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Recent poems by Jon Michael Willey
•  Promises Not Kept
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           >> View all 288

Dedicated to my friend, Ahmet Aktas, citizen of Istanbul. With much thanks to my friend, John Flanagan for his aid and patience.


Bosporus, Duty Strait? 

shadows fall upon Blue Mosque’ minarets

soon the Bosporus ripples whispers

ancient figures kneel in candlelit murmurs

Byzantium, Constantinople departed, Istanbul lingers



basilica cistern remains below listening

footsteps in and out of time are muffled observers

saffron tea taints impressions cloudy with orange

hashish infused lore more than deeds captures reality

history never knew or marked in stained glass windows

nor left artistically rendered on ceilings, walled mosaics



journeys civil, religious, battle scarred mark time here

when today merges into yesteryear tomorrow emerges

tainted red and blue washed ’til faded with destiny’s tears

millenniums dance barefooted in this place, east and west

divide, meld flow and ebb joyfully anticipating only change

expecting nothing new or unique, never astonished

gypsy belly dancers still hold sway over wide eyed men



lore the diary replete has already witnessed all there is to note

certain that the Bosporus will peacefully abut the Black Sea

the Sea of Marmara as baharat and balik bazaar sunuculan

call an order to morning’s proceedings initiating day’s duties

faces come and go old to new the tales they repeat remain

let them feast on menus of strong tea and breakfast cheese

beg only they leave the Bosporus duty bound to east and west



Jon Michael Willey







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Reviewed by Axilea MU 8/11/2011
There are many things to say about this poem. First of all, it's a great feeling for me to recognize the city: its presence, its silhouette, its details and facets. I like the fluidity, the movement in this piece that both contrasts and complements the timelessness. A perspective different from mine, because you seem to catch the more "exotic" side too. For me, it's more about familiarity. But there is definitely something in common too, the idea of a link, so tenuous and powerful at the same time. Great writing, Jon!

Reviewed by Victoria's Poetry & Voices of Muse 7/5/2010
I LOVE LOVE LOVE!! ALL the beautiful words
& outstanding phrases you have used here Jon
it is always such a pleasure to read poetry
but also even moreso poetic literature as you have here
embracing my attention
Love & Gypsy Belly Dancers!!
Reviewed by Andy Turner 6/27/2010
Into the mind-scape of your mind do we travel.
A very well thought-out and well rounded poem.
Peace, a place of peace; understanding, where egos are forbidden.
Reviewed by MaryGrace Patterson 6/24/2010
Strong images in this prolific poem. I have read about Constantinopile and the Byzentine Empire, ! You took me to the mosques and sites of those places..Well said Jon....M
Reviewed by Abdi-Noor Mohamed (Eagle Of Hope) 6/15/2010
passing through my nostrils is an air of civilization sprinkled with flakes of modernization. Am I smelling Istanbul? Oh yes! Great work my friend I have been to this wonderful city in 1988, stayed few days then flew back to my home country Somalia, the lost paradise.
Reviewed by m j hollingshead 6/15/2010
enjoyed the rule
Reviewed by Kate Burnside 6/14/2010
Timeless and yet a sense of sands shifting with uncertainty and possible change hanging heavily scented in the air. So much meticulous craft and workmanship has gone into this accomplished write, Jon, and you have wrought a worthy tribute to a much esteemed and dignified friend. The imagery is intoxicating and heady with its sense of mystery and sensual infusions. You really take us within these foreign gates and bestow upon us poetic citizenship. A majestic piece, thank you!
Reviewed by Dawn Anderson 6/14/2010
Jon, the imagery.....incredible! Well written poem
Reviewed by Sheri Uy 6/13/2010
I've never been to those places Jon, but you brought me right there through your poem with such fine details and vivid imagery. A very engaging write indeed. Peace and love in Christ.

Reviewed by Regis Auffray 6/13/2010
Your vivid imagery has brought the place to life, Jon. A fine gift well-shared. Love and peace to you,

Reviewed by Sheila Roy 6/13/2010
Amazing attention to detail in this poem, Jon. I need to read it again. I'm sure I'll catch something new:)
Reviewed by Christine Alwin 6/13/2010
Jon, you took me there, the imagery and thought process is incredible to say the least...a moment in history that lasts forever.
Love and Blessings,
Reviewed by Kathy Armijo 6/11/2010
Amidst all the hustle and bustle, there is a certain peacefullness. It is accentuated by your phrase "faces come and go old to new the tales they repeat remain" This is an incredible view into a realm with which I am unfamiliar, but enjoyed!

God bless you,
Reviewed by Ronald Hull 6/11/2010
Struck me like the heart of the cusp of civilization.. and an old friend from there with a heart of gold.

Reviewed by La Belle Rouge Poetess Of The Heart 6/11/2010
What an amazing picture you have painted with words Jon! Masterful.
Reviewed by C. McGovern-Bowen 6/11/2010
ah, how my cherished memories of istanbul stir while reading this engaging write, jon! you've captured the taste of that magical place straddling the exquisite waters of the bosporus. no city compairs to it's captivating vib. thanks for the trip down memory lane.
beautiflly scribed.
Reviewed by Paul Judges 6/11/2010
Brilliantly done, Jon
Reviewed by Liana Margiva 6/11/2010
EXCELLENT!!!!!!!!!!!! Liana Margiva
Reviewed by John Flanagan 6/10/2010
What I admire in particular about this poem, Jon, is how you allow it to flow with minimal punctuation, reflecting the movement and bustle, how past and present 'meld' and how you convey effortlessly that special atmosphere and strategic significance the city has.

Reviewed by Karen Palumbo 6/10/2010
Wow Jon, can visualize every detail down to the call to morning prayers. A masterpeice for your friend...

Be always safe,
Reviewed by JASMIN HORST SEILER 6/10/2010
The Derwishes fly around my mind, the music of your poetry Jon, I am saving this beautiful piece of art! Love and peace! Jasmin Horst
Reviewed by Gene Williamson 6/10/2010
Jon, your friend Ahmet Aktas should be delighted on reading
this marvelous tribute to Bosporus. I know I was. -gene.
Reviewed by Felix Perry 6/10/2010
Very well done can almost smell and hear the sights and sounds of the eastern lands.
Reviewed by Elisabeth Barstowe 6/10/2010
I love this!
Reviewed by Christine Tsen 6/10/2010
A superior poem!

The part about the barefoot dancing, that's my favorite part.
I'm walking away with that delicious strong tea and breakfast cheese~
I'm a moron with my comments (sigh)
But your poem is perfection.
Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 6/10/2010
Excellent write, Jon. Well done.

(((HUGS))) and love, Karla.
Reviewed by D Johnson 6/10/2010
I had to google 'Bosporus' to understand more clearly what you were so beautifully describing. It is somewhat surprising that there are only two bridges allowing access to either side. I had not thought or realized that there were two Istanbul's...why not, there are two Kansas City's. Very nice writing.


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