A woman’s body is never entirely her own.

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Credit: NME

Since making her first extraordinary appearance in the music industry, Adele has become our inspiring queen. “Her voice is one of the few voices that we’ve got worldwide where she’s got that huge range that is incredible,” said CeCe Sammy. Her songs make us want to sing and dance. She has created a unique way of creative performance. We feel each tone in her songs. Adele’s voice “is once-in-a-lifetime” in the words of Jennifer Lawrence.

But, the mainstream media often ignored her talent and focused on her weight instead. The discourse surrounding Adele was always about her physical appearance.

Western society is cruel. We can accept this fact, can’t we? This culture wants to label people based on their looks. And it is the media that has made young girls hate themselves, struggle with eating disorders, and become depressed. …

The sensual harmony between erotica and design

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Kama Sutra A-Z

The French illustrator Malika Favre aims for sex positivity with her extremely aesthetical book Kama Sutra A-Z. She first designed this art project in 2013 for Penguin’s reissue of the Kama Sutra, and she has now developed it to 26 letters combined with sex positions.

Favre designs each letter with an extreme balance created with couples’ movements. Bodies are intertwined into each other, and their union speaks of letters. There is a sense of ecstasy that each letter attempts to convey.

It’s challenging to create something animalistic with a touch of aestheticism. Indeed, Favre says that she tried not to cross “that line between sexuality and vulgarity.” She perfectly manages to maintain that line with the letter of E “The Erotic Monkey,” wherein she illustrates the harmonious and sensual merger of two individuals. …

The passenger on the airplane caused fear and panic to everyone in three hours.

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Photo by Farshad Rezvanian on Unsplash

Traveling is a challenging task during a pandemic. You are getting to the airport earlier than usual, waiting in the queue with lots of people, trying not to touch anything, not even peeing, and irritating your hands owing to excessive use of hand sanitizers. Oh, while all these are happening, you can’t even take fresh air out of your mask.

What a nightmare.

On my flight from Turkey to Italy, there was an Italian lady in my plane, sitting across me. I realized she didn’t have a mask when I met the cabin crew’s shocking eyes.

The hostess was in a panic, trying to warn the passenger and maintaining her distance. Her hands were shaky and…

Who is it?

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Photo by Vince Fleming on Unsplash

Who am I,
Apart from a body, some organs, and cells?

Who am I really?
Thinking about everything, but
Fucking it all up.

Who am I,
Without my ideas, feelings, ambitions, purposes?

Who am I?
What do I want?

I feel consumed as if everyone in my life ate me up
Whenever they shared something with me.

Each memory turned into toxic waste that
I don’t want to hold on
They burn me within my heart
And, I can’t make it stop.

The more I want to be the writer of my life,
The more control I’m losing.
Control, alongside with people.

Who am I?
Where do I belong?
Whom do I love?

Do I love myself enough
To create a kind and loving person?
Do I value myself enough
To let things go?

Cultural Prompt: “Learning to tame your grays between the dark and the fake…”

Sleeping to numbness with her fading balls of yarn in her arms

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Photo by Jeremy Wong on Unsplash

Orange was the scarf that my grandmother knitted for me
While waiting for her husband to arrive.
It had some red bits because she couldn’t afford another yarn,
Could ask him, neither, out of her embarrassment.

Yellow walls their living room had,
Surrounding all the family.
We waited for midnight every year
While playing tambola together.

Blue sky was smiling down at us
When she picked me up from school,
Holding my orange scarf and hand to buy an ice-cream
To celebrate our happiness.

Dark eyes she had out of grief
When she lost her son to the deep water of the sea of Marmara.
She stopped talking and started to wear headscarves then,
Hiding her golden, curly, vibrant hair. …

A poem arising from the ashes

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Photo by Christopher Campbell on Unsplash

Two eyes
Tiny, big; bright or gloomy
A line at the bottom of the face
Uttering letters to make sense of the world.

Cheeks — red or pale
Bouncing up and down
When the laughter comes to the scene,
Creating a harmonious echo on the planet.

It all came to an end
When the enemy pulled the trigger
And cut women into words:
Black, brown, and white, never blue.

Black, brown, and white.
Such artificial concepts — where is the authenticity?
Did you kill it, too?
Ignoring the unique experiences that each check went through.

I’m a woman,
You’re a woman,
We’re all made women,
Killed by the silent weapons even before being born.

Are you in, sis?
With me — us.
Will we be at the forefront
For our rebirth and dismantlement of the system?

I promise.
It’ll be fun.

A poem about the hopeless (maybe not) waiting

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Photo by Ümit Bulut on Unsplash

The sun fizzles out again,
Winking at me hopelessly and
Leaving its reddish shades
To create the sunset out of despair.

“I’d like to look at you,” I think,
Watching the sparks within your eyes and
The way your lip dances sensuously
To appreciate the love we’ve formed.

Perhaps a cup of coffee would crown the moment?
Or a glass of bourbon with ice cubes
That you’d pour so affettuoso
To kiss me with the tones of citrus.

The moon slides through the sky so sedately,
You’re nowhere to be found.
The stars glance at one another helplessly
I drift into sleep, instead of kissing you.

Rising out of the body

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Photo by Hanna Postova on Unsplash

I cry today but,
Will smile tomorrow.
The sun
Will rise up again,
We’ll cherish love and
Nature as we
Write, create, and feel.

Two gems that will
Illuminate our lives and
Spark our creativity:
Our body,
Our mistakes.

Hold onto them as much
As you’d to your beloved.
You’ll grow
You’ll shine.

May your imagination
Be the guide
You’ve been seeking for.

A poem about the mother and daughter

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Photo by Mateus Campos Felipe on Unsplash

In my mother’s womb,
I existed
Silent, still, fluid, tenacious
Getting down to life, I was the
Only protagonist.

In my mother’s womb,
I didn’t have to compete
With bones, flesh, and language.
No symbolic order existed.
Only feelings; pure and harmless.

In my mother’s womb,
I merely listened to lullabies,
No minacious threats.
Often interrupted my father’s cackles,
Only in harmony, never detrimental.

In my mother’s womb,
I was in love with her bright hair;
Curly, blonde, shading in browns.
Blue eyes brimming with hope
Only the souls merged into joy.

With its new shade ‘Period,’ Pantone encourages period positivity

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Pantone ‘Period’

My period cramps often exceeded the physical pain and left me with mental disturbances.

In school, a stupid guy pretended to bleed out of his penis while demonstrating my sanitary pad. And, I was ashamed, instead of him.

Every time I had my period, I whispered the holy girl code, checking carefully that nobody (the male species) wasn’t around: “Sis, can you check my back?”

When I went to a store to buy pads, the shopkeeper sealed it in black plastic bags as if I asked for a drug.

Although billions of people experience menstruation, our cultures have seen the topic as disturbing, polluting, and rude — that periods shouldn’t be seen, heard or talked publicly. Like in my experience during a critical time in my development as a young girl, many girls feel shame and lack of confidence due to derogatory jokes related to vagina and bleeding. …


Buse Umur

M.A. Student, Writer, Human Being

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