A Breath of Air


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Marmaris Rüzgar



Marmaris Rüzgar 2


Air is still free,

but we don’t know for how long

Today was the first time in two weeks

I could take a fresh breath

instead of the re-cycled mass from the AC

I’ve been dreaming of a cool breeze,

it wasn’t quite so

though refreshing

Opening the doors and the windows,

and with the help of ceiling fans,

I brought life into my surrounding.

My geraniums, coral plants are dead,

my house plants sad,

they couldn’t cope with the furnace winds

blowing fire into the atmosphere

but my young pines are flourishing,

since they chose to grace me with their existence

after sowing their seeds into my potted plants

where I laid their cones for decoration

I’m from the North,

The Bosphorus is my hometown,

now I live on the border of the Aegean and the Mediterranean,

and still haven’t figured out

how they put boundaries

on the vast waters

Something to think about

while I’m getting used to

my not so new surroundings

Life has brought me to this port,

like my young pine trees,

our home for the time being




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Watching movies to pass time,

Benjamin Button, Up in the Air and Babel

butterfly effect with the underlying theme of loneliness,

feeling the empathy for the love and loss,

of youth, dreams and purpose

It’s easy to analyse the past,

to death, sometimes,

but analysing the present is hard,

why we have become who we are,

without dissecting the contributing factors

How did I get here?

Can I time-travel and put it right,

or am I just a casualty of the past,

in my loneliness among the crowds?

Will I age backwards like Benjamin Button

in complete memory loss,

from diapers to diapers

in the reverse order?

Or will I continue existing Up in the Air

with free miles on my card I won’t be able to spend?

Token miles for life expire within a set time,

no longer valid in this act of the play,

intermission, suspense,

and the anticipation for the grand finale,

which we’ll only know when the play ends.



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I wandered into the field along the dirt road to explore the flora and the fauna. A kaleidoscope of spring flowers, dotted with herds of cattle, sheep, horses, and donkeys. The hyper goats and their babies preferred the rocky terrain, on its edge, climbing and leaping from the heights, and feasting on fresh herbs and blooms. The aroma of sage, rosemary, and oregano filled the air. No humans around, though. It seemed the fauna had the scene for their own amusement.

I was not to complain, as I trod on the young grass, taking care not to harm the beauties of early spring along my path.

Settled on a rock, I watched the vibrant scene as the animals shared nature’s bounty. I took photos, viewed them on my camera, and shot some more to capture the ambiance. At the end of the field, the dirt road snaked towards the village on the hills, after passing through a closed gate. The farmers had herded their livestock into the meadow for grazing till sunset.

In this part of the world, Spring is brief, fleeting like our youth. Hot summer sun burns the grass. The only plants that survive are the trees and thorny bushes. Flowers fade and the green becomes yellow.

I left the meadow with the villagers who came to gather their animals and lead them into the sheds. They offered me coffee at the coffee shop where men smoked and played backgammon. They were dressed in their all year round outfits, jackets worn over shirts, and trousers   The sound of rolling dice against the wooden board mixed with the background noise from the TV on the wall. Noisy, but not disturbing. Not that these people cared about what was happening in the world or in the country. Their world was their village. They had lived that way for centuries, despite devastating events that changed the lives of many. It was their way of survival, like the thorny bushes.

The village head, an old man swinging his worry beads around his wrist, sat next to me and spoke.

“Photographer lady, will you make us famous?”

“I take pictures for my own pleasure. If I publish or sell them, I rarely mention the place. Would you like me to?”

“Yes and no,” he said, taking a big slurp from his coffee. “This is still a protected site, but we don’t know how long it will last.” He pointed to the TV and folded his arms. “The developers are viewing the land, taking photos and measuring. We may not be able to live this way for long.”

I knew what he was talking about. Land profiteers, vultures that thrive on virgin soil. They were everywhere, digging mines, shaving off mountains, building hotel complexes, marinas, and power plants.

“What they do is against nature,” I said. “Yet, they have supporters in the government.”

“Isn’t it always so?”

“I came here to photograph Spring on these ancient lands. I witnessed it once before, but never managed to visit at the right time again when the combination of the animals and nature exist in such harmony.”

“Once harvest is over, the animals graze in the fields on the other side of the gate. Crop rotation, a four-hundred-year-old tradition.” He pointed to the area, peeking from beyond the houses.

“Spring is transient,” I said.

“Isn’t life?” he answered with a smile, tipping the brim of his flat cap.


I loaded my bags containing herbs, honey, and almonds from the local shop into the car, and left the village. Driving through magnificent scenery washed in the colours of sunset, I pondered whether I was spring grass, a thorny bush or an evergreen. Grass renews itself and dies, then comes back again. A thorny bush survives all circumstances. Nature is resilient. Bougainvillea bloom, pine trees grow into forests, from the tiny seeds hidden in their cones.

I decided not to publish any of the photos on my website. Let it be a well-kept secret, on my part. Perhaps I could post them as historical documents in the future.





Photos from Google



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Blood Moon photo by Side Antalya on Facebook

 Photo of last night’s Blood Moon taken by Side Antalya Turkey on Facebook



Taking a right turn from the highway, Tim steered the car into a dust road that meandered towards the coast.  After parking at a dead end in the middle of nowhere, he unloaded his camera bags and tripod.  Carrying the picnic basket, I followed him to the top of a hill, facing the sea. Away from traffic and city lights, the night sky resembled a star-studded umbrella in complete darkness. The cicadas sang as we waited for the moon to appear, and the eclipse due in a couple of hours.

“What’s special about a lunar eclipse?” I asked.

“The moon plays hide and seek with us.”

“And a blood moon?”

“It happens a few times a year. This one is rare because it will be one of the longest. Instead of going dark, she becomes red. I believe it carries a message for the blood spilled on earth.”

“You’re making this up,” I chuckled and sipped the red wine.

“I am, but I it could be true. Eclipses always bring out the truth, like your mood today.”

“What mood?”  I asked, knowing he was right.

“You’re hiding something, playing games with me.”

I lit a cigarette, inhaled and exhaled the smoke. I looked at his face in the moonlight and stared into his eyes.

“Tim, you know, this is not right. I’m too old for you.”

“You love me, don’t you?”

“Of course, I do, but that doesn’t change anything. A fact is a fact. This won’t work.”

“You’ve been with an older man before. Did that work?”

“It didn’t, but this has nothing to do with that.”

“You’re biased. If this relationship were between a woman and a man ten years older than her, you wouldn’t question it.”


“Then, you’re contradicting yourself,” he said, pouring more wine into my glass.

“Maybe.”  I raked my fingers through his sun-streaked hair and touched his face. “I’m scared. This might lead to a heartache I won’t be able to cope with. They get worse as one gets older.”

“I won’t break your heart. I promise. I’ve been with younger women, some around my age, but none of those relationships worked. It has nothing to do with age. I’ve never loved anyone like you. Why won’t you accept that?” He held my chin and kissed me, and wrapped me in his arms.

I stroked his back, clinging to his big frame. Opening my eyes, I saw a shade of darkness on the outer edge of the moon. “Quick, it’s happening now.”

I watched him taking pictures behind his camera. He swapped lenses, and shot from different angles, as the moon went dark. Then, as if through magic, a rosy colour appeared from its edge, and gradually covered the entire sphere, frame by frame, until it became a red ball flaunting its beauty in the night sky.

I wondered whether the rosy colour hinted at a good omen or a bloodbath for my future disappointments, disillusionments. There was only one way to find out.

After one hour and forty-three minutes, the duration of the eclipse, everything went back to normal. Normal as we know it. The full moon slowly returned to its familiar appearance of a white sphere, as though nothing had happened. It was an illusion. Something had happened, but it would only be revealed in time.

My Flash Story Exodus is at The Rye Whiskey Review


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The Drinking Duck

The drinking duck is the AVI of The Rye Whiskey Review.



Many thanks to The Rye Whiskey Review for including my flash fiction story, Exodus. So now I’m officially a Whiskey person! Cheers!  🙂

As the website is on Blogspot,  I can’t re-blog it. So, I’ll just post the first paragraph here and then the link to the story.


Exodus by Sebnem E. Sanders


He walked into the bar, and set the room on fire. A magnet that pulled me into his dark eyes. I tried to look away, but his gaze held me captive and stripped me bare. A force I could not resist. A friend mouthed something, yet I had become deaf and blind to anything except his presence. Surrendering to the magical glow and the current that washed me to his shore, I became his satellite.


Continue reading here:




Ripples in Sweden- A Time-travel Story – Part I


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Varmdö collage


Recently, Ray Not Bradbury https://raynotbradbury.com posted a review on Ripples on the Pond    https://raynotbradbury.com/2018/06/25/book-review-ripples-on-the-pond-sebnem-e-sanders/ .

I was pleasantly surprised to receive this review which she kindly posted on Goodreads, as well. I loved the photo of the book Ray took, which she used on her blog and on Instagram, and asked her if I might use it for a future post for Ripples.

Scrolling through her blog, I discovered Ran Not Bradbury is a pen name for Victoria Ohlsson who lives in Sweden. So the picture was taken in Sweden by a Swedish reviewer. Well, this brought back some memories from many years ago, to be exact, fifty years ago, from 1968 .

So, I time-travelled to the summer of 1968, when I spent about six weeks in Sweden, and a few days in Copenhagen.

I was one of the Turkish students invited to attend an International Lions Youth Camp in Sweden. It was my first trip abroad and the Sterling Airways flight took me to Copenhagen where I boarded a train to Stockholm after making sure I was in the right car labelled Stockholm.  When we reached the sea, the Stockholm labelled car slipped onboard a ferry. After arriving at the Swedish shores, the car was attached to a Swedish train. It was dark when we reached Stockholm.

I entered the terminal in apprehension. How was the Swedish family I was to spend a week with before the Camp going to find me? Then I heard an announcement in English on the loudspeaker, calling my name and asking me to come to the Information Desk. A very blonde and blue eyed Swedish lady , Mrs  Bernstrand, accompanied by two young boys with corn silk hair, greeted me with a smile. After dropping my small suitcase into the trunk of her car, she drove away to a destination unknown to me.

I was very tired. I hadn’t slept since the early hours of the previous morning when my flight took off from Istanbul. The stress of finding the Copenhagen train station, buying the ticket, and making sure I was in the right car added to the tension. But the good thing was everyone in Copenhagen spoke English, even the dustman who guided me to the ticket booth.  Although I had relaxed a bit on the train, the American sailors who boarded at the next station and tried to chat me up, gave me the creeps. As soon as I told them where I was from, they asked me if I had “Hash”. I was terrified. I clung to my handbag and my suitcase, praying they won’t steal my travel allowance of about 200 dollars in my wallet. I stopped talking to them, and luckily they went away.

So trying to keep my eyes open and answer politely to Mrs Bernstrand’s questions was a hard task. I kept drifting off and waking up, thinking this is very rude. At the end of the journey, sprinkled with polite conversation, we came to a jetty and parked. A very tall and well-built gentleman, Mr Bernstrand, came to the car, and after greeting me, carried my suitcase and guided me to a motor-boat waiting at the jetty.

About ten minutes later, we arrived at another jetty, where he tied the boat and we disembarked. Mrs Bernstrand took me to a wooden cabin and introduced me to a teenager, about my age, saying, “This is your bedroom. Chloe will help you settle and she’ll show you the way to the main house in the morning. “

Chloe was an Au Pair,  taking care of the young boys in the summer. I think she was French, but spoke English. Kindly she offered me the bottom bed of the bunker. I collapsed and fell into deep sleep. I hadn’t slept for twenty-four hours.

The cabin was equipped with a bathroom and shower. After the morning ablutions, it was time for breakfast.

I emerged from the cabin and found myself  in the middle of a pine forest. Birdsong filled the air, and the red house we were heading to was perched upon a hill facing the sea.

We entered the kitchen with a magnificent sea view and sat at the generous breakfast table. Pickled herring  Eww… No, I can’t have that for breakfast. It’s sweet too.  I love the cheese though, and the crackers. And that little instrument that shaves the cheese. Ham, no problem. Coffee or tea, I can’t remember. Probably tea, I wasn’t a coffee addict, then, just acquiring new tastes. I loved the strawberries, though I couldn’t understand why they were pouring milk on them. Later I found out this was cream, not milk, though I still love my strawberries plain.

I was at Varmdö, the biggest island in the Stockholm archipelago, where Swedish families spend their summers. An array of colourful wooden cottages sprinkled inside a pine forest where strawberries and raspberries grow wild, under the shade of the trees. No borders or hedges between the houses, a lifestyle without borders.

I was lucky. The summer of 1968  was one the hottest summers in Sweden in thirty years. So, I took my first dip into the Baltic Sea and had a great time.


Photos: The book picture is taken by Ray Not Bradbury

The photos of Varmdö, from Google, exactly as I remember this gorgeous island.

The photo at bottom right, is one of me and friends at Varmdö, after playing croquet


To be continued….





Book Review ‘Ripples on the pond’, Sebnem E. Sanders


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Featured Image -- 1724


Many thanks to RayNotBradbury for reviewing Ripples on the Pond on her blog. I love her comments on the stories she chose to feature and analyze.

Thank you, RayNotBradbury. I’m most grateful. 🙂


“A story is a letter that the author writes to himself, to tell himself things that he would be unable to discover otherwise.” Carlos Ruiz Zafron

Sebnem E. Sanders… tells the story to you, or – stories – where the plot changes direction all the time, the heroes expands the surfaces of the real world and all that, in turn, transforms YOU. 

Here’s the blog of the author – Sebnem Sanders
But it was one of my followers, Jeanne, who introduced me to this book. 

‘Ripples on the pond’ is the collection of 71 short stories, which portray war, love, hate, greed, betrayal, future and much more. I guess the name of the book is reflecting to ‘the ripples’ we are making in our everyday’s Pond called Earth. 

IMG_319471 stories – is way too much to share on my blog, that’s why I’ve picked only a…

View original post 599 more words

Virginia Creeper from Ripples on the Pond is in the July Issue of the Bosphorus Review


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Virginia Creeper


Dear friends, followers and fellow writers,

I know I have been absent for a while, due to pre-election stress and anticipation, and post-election trauma and disappointment. Though hopes for a better future have almost diminished, life continues somehow. There is always something that puts a smile on our faces, despite the odds.  This makes me think, perhaps, we tend to take life too seriously. At least, I do.

My story, Virginia Creeper, from my anthology of flash fiction and short stories, Ripples on the Pond is in the July issue of the  Bosphorus Review of Books . This story was fist published by Spelk Fiction last year: Virginia Creeper

Here’s the link to the Bosphorus Review:

Bosphorus Review Virginia Creeper.


Bosphorus Rreview of Books Logo


Bosphorus Review July Issue



I promise, I’ll be  in touch more often,  soon.

Fondest wishes,





Ripples Thumbnail smaller

Ripples on the Pond 


Ripples in the Pond by Sebnem Sanders







Book Trailer for Ripples on the Pond


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I’m unable to share the book trailer I made for Ripples on the Pond on WordPress unless I upgrade my membership and pay a monthly fee. So, I’m going to share the photos in the trailer and a link to my Instagram post where I uploaded the video. I hope it works.

Most stories in Ripples on the Pond don’t have a specific setting. This is deliberate on my part, as a writer, because I want to make them universal. They can happen anywhere in the world. They depict echoes of the human experience, our strengths, weaknesses, failures, achievements, and observations. We are the sum total of everything in our lives, in our search for happiness.

Yet, some stories have specific settings, due to a memory, life experience, a public figure or a work of art that inspired me. So here’s a summary of a few titles from Ripples on the Pond set at various locations around the world.


The Southern Aegean and The Mediterranean

Ripples at Gemiler 2

Gemiler Adası, St Nicholas Island, Fethiye, Muğla, Turkey


Laurel Island Textifier_20180531170334


Ripples in Dalyan Kaunos


Fear of Falling Textifier_20180531171537


Strawberry Moon Textifier_20180531171903


Selma of Söğüt Textifier_20180531173819

Ripples in Söğüt



Behind a Cloud Textifier_20180531173645

The Naked Street Lamp Textifier_20180531192428


The Lady of the Clock Tower Textifier_20180531165951



A tribute to Florida

Ripples in Florida 7

Florida Textifier_20180531150148


New York

Sunlight in a Cafeteria Textifier_20180531132559

Ripples in New York

The Typewriter Textifier_20180531174512



Ripples in London 5



The Journey Textifier_20180531172131

Riples in London 8


Costa Rica

The X Factor 1 Textifier_20180531182951

X Factor 2 Textifier_20180531183339



Aurora Australis Textifier_20180531165547

Aurora Australis 2 Textifier_20180531183915


Delhi, India 

The Oracle of Delhi Textifier_20180531185443


Bali, Indonesia

Bali Textifier_20180531144445



Time to put that book in the bag,

Ripples in My Handbag


and begin to read, anywhere, any time, when you have a moment. Bite-size stories, lunchtime stories …

Ripples with Aydın


Instagram link:



Thank you very much for reading. 🙂

Three Drops from a Cauldron: Issue 22 (The Return!)


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Angel’s Cove, a story from Ripples on the Pond, is on p.51. 🙂

Angel's Cove Enlarged


Three Drops from a Cauldron

Hello there readers, writers, cauldron stirrers (in the nicest possible way), and assorted magical beings. We’re back with our first new web journal issue in 6 months! (Yes, I had a lovely maternity leave, thank you! – Kate)

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