Cleopatra’s Island

Something from the past to celebrate an eternal kiss. 🙂

sebnemsanders

sedir-adsicleopatra-island-map

Cedar Island, Cedrae Island, Sedir Adası, Marmaris, Muğla, Turkey

The features of the sand is that each grain is equally 1 mm in diameter, burns when thrown in fire, multiples by itself in soda water, and shows spontaneous proliferation when you look at it under the magnifying glass. Indeed, the only other region of the world where this sand can be found is in the Red Sea.

https://keremkaraer.wordpress.com/places-visit/cedar-island/

The sands of Cleopatra’s Beach
glitter like gold
under the rays of the amber sun
Each grain, a perfect sphere,
Antony shipped all the way from
Egypt to Cedar Island in the Aegean
for their honeymoon
The specks of her Tiger’s Eye gaze,
reflecting the shimmer,
she beams and hints her approval

Yellow mimosa buds peeking between
the delicate leaves of the acacia trees on the hills
recall the scene under the cerulean sky,
and how she listened to the songs
of…

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The Dark Knight

A blast from the past…
Happy Summer Solstice! 🙂

sebnemsanders

 

Whisper

Whisper by Burak Ulker, from Deviantart

(Please click on the photo to see more of his work)

On midsummer’s eve dance, under the moonlight,

I met a dark man who stole my heart,

he held my hand to his lips,

and on the dance floor gave me a kiss.

A raven perched upon his shoulder, and said until daylight.

His black costume fitted like a glove,

at first look I’d fallen in love,

mesmerizing dark eyes held me captive,

the way he spoke was so attractive.

The raven came by and said lovers should not part.

He poured summer wine from the flask,

and told me stories from strange lands.

When he asked me to go there with him,

I accepted on a whim.

The raven flew over us and said now it’s time to depart.

I said, one moment, to bid farewell to my hosts,

when I…

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Strawberry Moon

I didn’t realize this full moon was Strawberry Moon, again. No wonder it looked a lovely pink. The photos I took early this morning don’t do any justice to its beauty., but here they are.

So I thought, I’d share my story Strawberry Moon, from Ripples on the Pond , again, to celebrate this rare celestial wonder.

sebnemsanders

I didn’t realize this full moon was Strawberry Moon, again. No wonder it looked a lovely pink. The photos I took early this morning don’t do any justice to its beauty., but here they are:

Strawberry Moon 17 18 JUN 2019Strawberry Moon, 17-18 June, 2019, Marmaris

So I thought, I’d share my story Strawberry Moon, from Ripples on the Pond , again, to celebrate this rare celestial wonder.

3580A6F600000578-0-image-a-18_1466484034498

 Photos by courtesy of Daily Mail, i.dailymail.co.uk

It’s strawberry picking time. As the longest day flows into the evening and the sunset paints the sky with strokes of peach and apricot hues, we settle into our viewing spot on top of the hill. Munching on berries, washed down with wine, we wait for the full moon to appear on the eve of the solstice. A rare, natural combination, some say last took place on the Summer of Love in 1967.

You and I were so young…

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A Trip to Remember

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Athens Temple of the Olympian Zeus
The Temple of the Olympian Zeus, Athens, with Acropolis in the background (From left to right, Sebnem, David, Michelle, and Joanne)

 

 

Dear Friends, Fellow Authors, and Followers,

 

Sorry I have been away for a while. It wasn’t intentional. I meant to post a story before I left on holiday, but failed to do so while trying to get organized for the trip. So, here’s a true story about our adventures, meeting with fellow writers at various locations, and how this journey evolved.

David J. Meyers, from Melbourne, Australia, and I, first met at the now defunct Harper Collins writer’s website, Authonomy, in 2013. I had joined Authonomy back in 2012 and posted my manuscript The Child of Heaven which David read and edited while I read many of his books, including The Maia Calendar, Lost in Authonomy, The Gargoyle Chronicles, and To See the Sun. This was before David established himself as an historical fiction writer and his genre was more fantasy orientated. Meanwhile, that year I also met the American author, Joanne J. Kendrick who wrote paranormal fantasy and romance. I read her books, Music of Souls and Chance Inheritance, and her sequel to Music, Eternity’s Opus.

The beginning of David’s Maia Calendar takes place at the Sultanahmet Square, the Hippodrome, in the old town of Istanbul. In the summer of 2013, David and Michelle decided to visit Istanbul. At that time, I was no longer living in Istanbul, my hometown, but in Marmaris, on the Southern Aegean coast.  So, I made sure I was in Istanbul during their short stay and the virtual friendship became real when I met David and his lovely wife, Michelle, in person, at their hotel in the Sultanahmet area and we had lunch at the historical Sultanahmet Köftecisi.

Joanne had a life change a couple of years ago, and was working and living on her own. She wanted to travel to places she had never been, and had never flown across the Atlantic. I invited her to stay with me in Marmaris, and said we can also go to the Greek islands from here. Last year it didn’t happen, for one reason or another. This year in early January, Joanne asked if we could plan a trip together from Turkey to Greece. This coincided with the time I was diagnosed with hernia in my lower back and was having treatments. I thought, why not, life is too short, and perhaps, I might not be able to do this in the future. Who knows? Not that I can afford to pay anything in Euros with the state of the Turkish economy these days, but what’s money for if you can’t enjoy it in good health. I said, “Let’s do it,” and we began to plan our journey.

Meanwhile, David and Michelle were celebrating their 25th year together and he wanted to do something special for her. Once David heard our plans, he discussed it with Michelle and they decided to fly to Santorini for a romantic break before meeting us in Athens on the 21st of May. For four nights and three days we stayed in a flat with 3 bedrooms and bathrooms, in the Plaka district, which Joanne found from Airbnb.

It was the first time David, Michelle and I met Joanne in person. She turned out to be exactly as I imagined her. Then, thinking perhaps my Facebook friend, the lovely American painter and writer, Pamela Jane Rogers, who has lived in Poros for the last 30 years, could join us for lunch during our stay, I messaged her, and she kindly agreed. So we all  met for lunch in Athens, 4 writers, two from the US, one from Oz, and one from Turkey, together with Michelle Meyers and Francis Broun, a professor of History of Art from Princeton, and Pamela’s husband.

 

Athens Writers Meeting
Lunch in Athens, from left to right, Joanne, Francis, Pamela, Sebnem, David and Michelle

 

David was the tour leader in Athens as we covered all the historical sites, from Hadrians’s Library, The Athenian Agora, Roman Agora, The Temple of The Winds, The Acropolis, The Temple of the Olympian Zeus, to the Acropolis Museum. Although it was a challenging task for my back, I did manage to climb to the Acropolis, with help from my friends, while trying to cope with the treacherous spiral Greek steps and stairs, and hills that were an inescapable feature of our daily excursions.

 

Athens Hadrşan's Library
Hadrian’s Library, Athens
Athens The Athenian Agora
The Athenian Agora, Athens
Athens The Roman Agora
The Roman Agora, Athens (Sebnem, David and Joanne)
Athens The Temple of the Winds
The Temple of the Winds, Athens
Athens Acropolis
Acropolis, Athens (Joanne and Michelle)
Athens Acropolis 3
Acropolis, Athens (The statues here are reproductions. The originals are at the Acropolis Museum, as seen in the below photo)
Athens Acropolis Museum
Acropolis Museum, Athens (The original statues from the Acropolis have been restored and now kept at the museum.)
Athens Acropolis Museum 2
Joanne, David and Michelle at the Acropolis Museum, Athens
Athens Acropolis Museum 3
Acropolis Museum, Athens

 

Joanne and I parted with David and Michelle on the 25th of May. They left for Australia as we boarded a propeller plane to Kefalonia from Athens. We took a ferry to Ithaca, Penelope’s Island, where we stayed with a very good friend of mine. Our week in Ithaca was pure serenity as we marvelled at the unspoiled nature and exquisite  beauty of Ulysses’ Kingdom.  A population of 2000 and full of Greeks born is Oz with Aussie accents, who have returned home to claim their heritage from their ancestors. It seems back in the early 50’s there was a devastating earthquake in the Peloponnese Islands and most of the inhabitants of Kefalonia, Ithaca and other islands immigrated to Australia, South Africa, the UK, and the US to begin new lives.

 

Ithaca view from Exoghi
View from Exoghi, Ithaca
Ithaca view from Exoghi 2
View from Exoghi, Ithaca
Ithaca Vathy
Vathy, Ithaca
Lunch at Kioni, Ithaca with our host, Michele Neale, and Joanne.
Itaca, Vathy
Vathy, Ithaca
Ithaca, Ulysses
Ulysses Statue, Vathy, Ithaca
Ithaca, Homer
Homer Statue, Vathy, Ithaca
Ripples on Yaya Beach, Ithaca
Ferry from Ithaca to Kefalonia

After our magical stay in Ithaca, we flew to Rhodes via Kefalonia and Athens on the 2nd of June. Another 4 days of explorations on the lovely island and a ferry ride to Marmaris on the 6th of June brought me back home with Joanne. Jo stayed with me for 5 nights and 4 days and had a brief tour of  Marmaris and the surrounding villages. When she left Marmaris and flew back to the US via Dalaman and Istanbul, on the 11th of June, we had been together for 21 days.

 

Rhodes Old Town Gates
Joanne by the Fountain, Rhodes Old Town
Anthony Quinn Bay, Rhodes
Stegna Beach, Rhodes
Acropolis at Lindos, Rhodes
Waiting for Jo to climb to the top of Lindos in Rhodes before she got lost in the maze of shops on the way down.
Marmaris Marina and the Fortress
View of Marmaris from the Fortress
Frozen Lavender Lemonade, Marmaris
Piano Bar, Selimiye, Marmaris
Kızkumu, Orhaniye, Marmaris
Marmaris Bay

 

It was definitely a trip to remember, with great company and wonderful memories. I hope we’ll have the chance get together again, in the near future.

And there’s a story brewing, in my head. It starts with, “Penelope sat on the pebble beach in Ithaca and combed her hair …” and I don’t know where she’ll take me …

Sebnem xxx


Amazon Author pages:

Joanne J Kendrick

David J. Meyers

Pamela Jane Rogers

Sebnem E. Sanders





Fiction: Désirée by Sebnem Sanders

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This happened so fast, I didn’t have the chance to write an introduction. Many thanks to author Paul D. Brazill  and Punk Noir Magazine for accepting my story, which ıs both “Punk” and “Noir” but I did not know how to submit it. So, I asked my friend, author Mick Rose, and he lead me. Thank you Mick Rose .

Desirée is a fragment of my imagination. I never know where these characters come from. I guess their stories need to be told.

Thank you very much for reading. 🙂

 

 

Punk Noir Magazine

deseree

I met my old friend Tom at an all-night bar I’d never been to before. He’d said, “Come before midnight on Friday, and we’ll drink and talk till we drop dead.” I found him sitting at a table for two, opposite the mahogany long-bar. Relishing an expensive malt, we chatted about work, women, and adventures since we last saw each other a year ago. The place was packed with trendy women and men, all eyeing each other and looking for a good catch.

Shortly after midnight, a rare beauty walked in and the spotlight of every eye lit her like an actress on stage. The other women disappeared into the void, as her stilettos clacked against the wooden floor in tune with the beat of the soft music. Dressed in black, fishnet tights, a leather mini-skirt, and a shawl wrapped around her, she strolled towards the only empty seat at…

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Behind a Cloud

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Obelisk%20of%20Theodosius

This story from Ripples on the Pond, inspired by a true story,  is dedicated to the memory of  innocent people killed in Christchurch, New Zealand, today, and to many others in Europe, in France, England, and Germany, in The United States, and all over the world, as victims of terrorist attacks in the name of religion, nationality or race.

 

Behind a Cloud 

 

In the old town of Istanbul, the light of a sunny morning in January bathed The Hippodrome. Under the clear blue sky, the ancient monuments groomed themselves for the important day. A warm breeze blowing across the Bosphorus dried the night dew accumulated on the domes and restored freshness to their aging surfaces.

A thin, young man clad in a long jacket and faded jeans, entered the square from the Divanyolu Street. Dark eyes, set on his bearded face, scanned the structures as he strolled towards the centre. When he arrived at the Egyptian Obelisk, he sat on a bench, facing the Blue Mosque. He took a newspaper out of his pocket, unfolded it, and continued to monitor the surroundings behind his shield.

The green lawns decorated with flower beds and the ancient structures conjured a quaint sense of tranquillity, calming his nerves. A sparrow landed by the bench and daintily skipped along, searching for crumbs.

****

The Blue Mosque spotted the red tourist buses arriving at their allocated parking area. Hey guys, it’s Tuesday, get ready for our new fans. Obelisks, German Fountain, museums and the palaces, shake off the slumber. Rise and shine.

Hagia Sophia winked at the Basilica Cistern entrance while the Topkapı Palace alerted its guards. The Archaeological Museum, along with Hagia Irine on the Palace grounds, prepared for their show.

The buses unloaded the passengers as groups circled their guides and dispersed in different directions over the historical grounds. A small party approached the German Fountain and took photos as they listened to the guide. The chit-chat of many languages, music to the ears of the ancient structures, filled The Hippodrome. Kings, Queens, Presidents, Heads of Religion, politicians, important businessmen and celebrities, as well as ordinary people, had been its guests over many centuries.

The Blue Mosque watched the dark man as he folded his paper and shifted in his seat. Something about his body seemed odd. His chest appeared too large for a man of such slender frame. Take off your jacket, my child. Too warm on such a glorious morning. Enjoy the sunshine.

The young man whispered a prayer towards the mosque, as he watched a group approaching the Obelisk. The strange figures etched on the tall marble structure intensified his passion. Heathens, non-believers, infidels. You and your idols should be erased from the surface of the world.

Hearing his thoughts, The Blue Mosque frowned and tried to bring reason to his wild ramblings. Son, the Obelisk before you is from Ancient Egypt, the other one, from Ancient Greece, the churches from the Byzantine times. The synagogues around the corner have endured since the Ottoman Empire. We represent all religions and beliefs here, and we get along fine. There is no need for hostility. We don’t only belong to this country, but to the entire world.

A spark of anger flashed in the young man’s eyes as the tourist group neared the Obelisk. His gaze on the Blue Mosque, he hissed, In the name of God.

What in the name of God? Destruction? What are you hiding inside that jacket? Don’t do this, my child. God will not forgive you. Taking your own life is a sin against God, but taking the lives of innocent others is a bigger sin. Don’t do it! Go back to your country, stop killing people of your own faith, as well as those of other beliefs. Stop the cruelty against your own people.

The young man rose and slowly approached the crowd by the Obelisk. Too late now, I am a soldier of God. I will go to Heaven and find peace.

You will not go to Heaven. You will go to Hell and burn. Don’t pull that thing, just leave. In the name of God.

He stopped by the group and noticed the sun retreat behind a cloud. A last glance at the Blue Mosque and he pushed the trigger.

A roaring blast rocked The Hippodrome and a great ball of fire rose by the Obelisk. The explosion reverberated through the city. As coffee cups rattled on tables, and windows shook with the shock,  a large pit burrowed through the surface of the square. The Obelisk remained intact, but woeful remains of human bodies were scattered around it.

After a brief moment of silence as the fumes dispersed, the mayhem of police and ambulance sirens deafened the ears. Blood and tears permeated the air as people in shock gathered around the square.

***

Dusk fell upon the ancient monuments. Now separated from the old town, behind a barricade of tape. An eerie stillness lingered as the men in forensic suits returned to their cars. A team of special forces policemen, in tactical gear, guarded the area.

Despite the golden lights illuminating their splendour, the aged structures could not hide their sorrow. They retreated into the night, looking for dark shadows to shed their tears.

A song of lament rose from Hagia Irine, and floated down on the evening breeze towards The Hippodrome and Hagia Sophia, and descended below the Basilica Cistern. It travelled through its chambers and passed underneath the Golden Horn, reaching Galata. Echoing on the walls of the synagogues, and landing in the heart of the city, it crossed the Bosphorus and arrived at the Asian side. Along the channel into the Black Sea, in the north, and to the Sea of Marmara, in the south.

At the old Galata Lodge, the dervishes whirled, the swish of their skirts in rhythm with the holy melody coming from the reed pipe. The sound followed the night and reached The Hippodrome to console the mourners and to bring peace to the souls of the departed

 

 

Selma of Soghut from Ripples on the Pond is in the March Edition of The Bosphorus Review of Books

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sogut-3

:

My story, Selma of Soghut, from Ripples on the Pond , is in the March Edition of The Bosphorus Review of Books. 

Many thanks to the Editor Luke Frostick. 😍

Here’s the link:

https://bosphorusreview.com/selma-of-soghut?fbclid=IwAR2oSDslYHeTNtczCvY8LQ8bcHw7WFGRcR49-JHL3BhY3DDzbl4dKgTJ_HU

 

Thank you for reading. 🙂 Selma of Söğüt Textifier_20180531173819

 

Bosphorus Rreview of Books Logo

 

 

Quote

Cat on a Window Sill by Sebnem Sanders

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via Cat on a Window Sill by Sebnem Sanders

 

Window ©bayram salamovCat on a Windowsill

Window ©bayram salamov

 

My story, Cat on a Window Sill, inspired by Bayram Salamov’s painting, Window, is in the new issue of the lovely CarpeArte Journal. Many thanks to the Editor, Eva Wong Nava for including my story.

 

https://carpearte.wordpress.com/2019/02/27/cat-on-a-window-sill-by-sebnem-sanders/?fbclid=IwAR1MixV1-5dyluHD0o18tzkazadY4518ja3xLtvsXZRgFOY7FSRfJJVAC8E

 

 

 

Shards of Glass, from Ripples on the Pond, is up at Yellow Mama Webzine’s Valentine’s Day Issue #72

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shards AnneMarie

Painting by the talented artist Ann Marie Rhiel

 

My story, Shards of Glass, from Ripples on the Pond, is in the Valentine’s Day Issue #72 of Yellow Mama Webzine, with a lovely illustration from the talented artist, Ann Marie Rhiel. Many thanks to the Editor, Cindy Rosmus. 😍

Here’s the link:
http://blackpetalsks.tripod.com/yellowmama/id1975.html

 

Here’s also the link to the homepage of this issue where you’ll find some familiar names and great stories:
http://blackpetalsks.tripod.com/yellowmama/

 

Thank you very much for reading. 🙂

 

Earth

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Earth 3

 

I’m sorry I’m leaving your topsoil,

but I must

They’re spraying chemtrails

above us,

poisoning our food, water, and air.

I must take the children to the depths of your bosom

where there’s no sunshine, a blue or a starry sky.

Our leaders have made a tunnel, you see,

I never thought I’d be buried in you before my time.

How will I teach the children about the stars and the planets,

sunshine, moonlight, a breeze, a storm or the sea?

Can these be learned as abstract notions?

I have my worries about food too,

What will we eat?

Will vegetables grow without sunshine and rain?

The scientists tell us we can survive,

they have the seeds and the means to cultivate them,

but I need to see this before I believe in their theories.

How about the sun rays my children need to absorb

for a healthy growth?

Will they fade and whither like cut blooms in a vase?

I worry about  so many things,

Have I made the right decision,

is it better to die here or underground?

I’m not sure, dear Earth,

but here we come,

to escape the population control above you,

yet no one knows what will happen

when we’re deep down towards your core.

 

Earth