Haydarpaşa’s Cat

Haydarpaşa’s Cat

Young poets seek poetry in books; they read it in books, and they want to write of their own. They read; they write; they write; they read; they publish poems and books over and over again.

Then one day, they see a cat looking at the sky. Is it something unusual seeing a cat looking at the sky? Nope, it is not. However the first moment someone sees something is the moment that something is seen in the world for the first time. Because everyone sees it with his/her eyes, in his/her aspect and this makes it special for everyone. Then again, why is the cat standing in the middle of the street looking at the sky on an October evening while the sun was setting? A cat is supposed to look at trees, roofs, birds. Oh my god, what if?

What if this cat jumped out of a poem? Or is the cat looking at the sky to become a poem someday? Did the cat lose its balloon? Is the cat staring hopefully at the sky as if to say I wish I was a bird instead of being a cat and flap my wings in the blue sky? Hope… Maybe the mama cat told a story of a baby cat that stared at the sky so long that finally it got its wings and fly. Maybe the thought of this story made him imagine that someday it would have its own wings to explore the sky. Who says cats cannot dream? They dream the best dreams and there is nothing sweeter than watching a cat dream!

Today, for the first time, I saw a cat looking at the sky. I stopped and looked at the cat looking at the sky. I think we both ended up becoming a poem. So what if we don’t, who cares… It was a poetic moment for me; cat is already a poem; every moment of it is a poem; how it sleeps, stands, stretches, looks… A cat always reminds of another cat; the way a poem reminds of another. These all count as poems.

The cat that was staring at the sky reminded me of the cat that was riding the ferry. It was long years ago, as long as the fairy tales because then the trains were departing from Haydarpaşa. Urban trains used to arrive, ferries and boats used to port, passengers used to get on and off. Haydarpaşa used to work as if it was the heart of the city. As if it was life itself. Those who separate, unite, cry out of happiness or sadness, kiss the ground, run after the departing trains, keep waving their hands long after their loved ones disappear. Those who drink at the Gar Lokantası say ‘some drink out of happiness and some out of sadness’ and they long for their loved ones already.

Whenever I went to Haydarpaşa, I used to find myself in a novel, in a movie, in a poem. If there are two reasons for my train enthusiasm, one of them is Eskişehir and the other is Haydarpaşa. That is why I say, “Haydarpaşa is a terminal and this is how it will remain!” However, a terminal is not just a terminal. It has seen, experienced, everything from history to memories, from sorrows to revolutions, from love to freedom, from wars to peace and sometimes buried them deep down in its heart. That is why whenever Haydarpaşa is mentioned in one of my articles, it is transformed into a lyric praise.

I too used to seek poetry in books when I was young. I read books; I wrote books. Eventually, I realized that poetry was in the look of a cat who stares at the sky, in a cat’s crossing the blue waters, in a leaf’s becoming a lyric. Poetry was an encounter. Humans come to this world to encounter poetry. Train is among my favorite poems, so are the Haydarpaşa Terminal and Eskişehir; cats are already poems.

I remembered the cat that traveled between the two coasts continuously, when I was crossing to Kadıköy by ferry last week. Today, I looked at the cat who looked at the sky. I realized that I was longing for entrainment in Haydarpaşa. I set down and wrote this article.