NCFP Poetry | In Search of a Kocan

I wrote this poem, or rather story, inspired by what I heard and read about the property situation here, sometime ago.   It was published elsewhere but as a light hearted look at the issue, it may entertain some who have not read it.

In search of a Kocan

I put on me Deerstalker
Grabbed me stick.
Whistled the dog
Shouldered the net.
Donned my hat
Sarnies in pocket.
And went in search
Of the elusive Kocan

Is it a bird
I thought, or.
A  card game
Many want it as I read.
So  high value indeed
Find and capture.
But where to start
The Lapta strip?

Conjures up image
Of scantily clad woman.
Adorning my computer
But no it’s a road.
Watch out they will
Run us down.
Bloody clown
Mobile phone.

Card game to start
Into bar, water the dog.
No cards here
But plenty of beer.
Ex pats abound
I ask is there a game.
Of Kocan around
‘Cor blimey Gov’.

‘No but Jack will sell you
Anything you want’.
‘He knows every one
But yer ain’t seen me right’.
‘Jack old chap’ I say
To a shaven head.
‘You got Kocan?’
‘Naw mate’, not yet.

Waiting for the game
Of Kocan to begin.
‘Meharba’ says a chap
Good gracious what is that?
Well I am puzzled
But know I am on the scent.
As they talk of ins and outs
So I have another beer.

I ask my question
He tells me ‘just down the road’.
A bar where they play cards
Watered the dog.
Still thinking who is Merharba
Probably for boats.
Ask my question of fat man.
‘Eh up’ he says ‘wanna buy a pie?’

‘No, I am looking for a Kocan’
He says ‘so am I’.
I must be quick, quaff my beer
Unsteadily retire.
More than me looking
A prize in deed.
Another bar
No cards.

But more boaters
When I say ‘hello’.
Five of them, ‘Merharba’
All looking for a Kocan.
Another beer
Listening for clues.
‘Residency’ they say, ‘ups and downs’
Time to go because now I know.

It’s a bird!
Outside I gaze at the mountains.
Dog pulls me into a ditch
Crossing the road taxi driver.
Gets hand stuck in me net
Dragged for 1km but no fare.
I ask him ‘you have kocan’
He laughs and says.

Something that I do not understand
But I can see his eyes.
Have changed.
Yes he wants one too.
I feel sick and sit down
The dog gives me a grin.
And noses the hole in me net
Balefully, eying superior man.

Weaving across the road
Builders van brand new.
Skids to halt from 70mph
‘You silly old b—-r’.
Or ‘silly old t—t’
‘You got Kocan’ I hic.
‘Don’t need one
Cos I only half build them’.

No help there, dog gives a yelp
Sit down again, water the dog.
Yes it must be a relative
Of the Toucan.
Guinness says the sign
‘Why not’ I says to the dog.
I ask the barman
‘You seen a Kocan’.

He says ‘not got mine yet’
Puzzled I look for a cage.
‘Barman’ I say, ‘ where are the birds?’
‘Casino’ he says, wiping froth away.
Mmm, this is odd
Card games again.
‘No’ I says, feathers and fly
He jerked his thumb up and away.

I exit secretly looking out for boaters
None here, not followed.
Dart back in, comfort break
‘Loo’ I says,’ no, Fatima’ the wife says.
‘Meharba’ she says, doing my head in
Take solace that cheese sarnies.
Packed this morning are sweating away
Two for me and one for the dog.

Feeling light headed, Nonchalantly
Look around pretending to admire.
The builders rubbish heap
Can’t see secret harbour nor boat.
But know they are here some where
Not my quest – the Kocan.
Dog sits down and gives a wine
I sit down and mends me net.

I show sarnies, dog gets up
We reach the road head.
Following barman’s thumb
Ilgaz says the blue sign.
I give a little fart
Ill gas, I giggle and laugh.
Dog gives a little yelp and sniffs
His nose no longer seeking the net.

I look up, Cor I say to my self
Mountains of the moon.
Surely the Kocan resides up there
Perhaps they eat it I thought.
And trips over road hump
Banging me chin.
Little old lady she stops
You ok? want a lift.

Wiping blood from chin I get in
Dog sniffs my exposed rear.
And is consigned to the back
‘Do you have Kocan’ I say.
‘Yes, Turkish Title’, right on track
But ‘Pasha’ what’s that about.
I cogitate this and think of eunuchs
And tightly close my legs in fear.

Up, up and away, she drives
Like a banshee, honking her horn.
She ask ‘what do you do?’
‘I’m a policeman’, I lie quick as I can.
It’s easy ‘cos I really am
Retired with private brief.
To investigate property scam
And find the elusive kocan.

‘Where are you going’ she says
As high as you can.
‘Where did you find it’ I ask
Our Bank, builder, Developer.
And estate agent and our lawyer.
‘My husband’, in a posh voice, she says.
‘Is an esteemed, retired High Court Judge’
Esteemed I think, must have been painful.

Dropped at Ilgaz village,’ goodbye’
We say and I adjust my underwear.
Turkish title Pasha, well I don’t know?
Pausing to admire the builders dump.
Dog surrounded by village dogs
Isn’t it strange how they sniff?
Checking sphincters so sublime
‘Come on’ I say, through the village.

‘Merharba’ they all say
But I don’t fall for it.
And grandly proceed
Around the corner to a track.
Followed by eight other dogs.
Looking over walls.
For hidden boats
Oars and life jackets, this and that.

Merharba, what can it be
No where can I find it.
In my pocket dictionary
I meet a man at the last house.
‘Merharba’ and something like ‘nasal’
I blow my nose in case.
I have a dangler
‘Hello old chap’ I say.

You got Kocan
‘Yes’, he says, ‘exchange’.
I give him a cheese sarny
He gives me a funny look.
And gives me nowt back
But a smile.
The village dogs go home
My bloodhound and I go on.

We sit down and admire
The view, dog licks my chin,
I think of earlier in the village.
Sarnies out, one for me, one for him.
Water dog, water me
Merharba I puzzle, nasal thingy?
Anagram, no, they must bury
The boats under the builders rubbish.

Up we get quite refreshed
Dog cocks leg.
And I, well you know
Strange, we both shake our leg.
I watch him grin and walk
It’s funny, my pace is short
But his does not shorten
4 x 4?   God is a clever chap.

Higher and higher up we go
We meet a shepherd with his flock.
‘Meharba’ he says, offering a bottle
I sit down, ‘Raki’ he says.
I take a swig and give a cough
‘Nice sheep’ I say, ‘no, goats’.
‘You’re kidding’ I say,
‘You are right, they just have’.

‘You seen a Kocan’ I ask
He says ‘I don’t need a Kocan’.
‘Up here we are free’
‘Free as a bird’.
He told me what a Kocan was
And why they were so scarce.
‘What’s a Merharba’, ‘Hello’ he says
I take another swig and say ‘goodbye’.

‘Hoshchacal’, he says
‘What’s a Turkish title and exchange’?
Ah!  so that is it
My quest is solved or was it wasted.
Going down we meet the same man
‘Merharba, nasal’ I say, ‘OK mate’.
He says, giving me a bag of almonds
‘Horse charcoal’ I say, he grins.

Descending through the village
We all chorused our Merhabas.
But nasal was not used at all
No hidden boats.
The dog he laughed
I laughed.
Time for another beer
We had had a good day.

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