Kores or A Murmur of the Heart on the Embittered Marbles
Your limps and lyrics belong to me.
Out of my own sweat and breath
I weaved you.
Your thread is the ichor that always flows through the cracks of my mind.
the first to leap in the light
Look there: Labito, Izampo and Melano
slowly dragging the elegiac dance
around the embittered marbles.
And I threw myself into a crazy dance
that only the wind can recognize
whirling my long tresses
like a golden beetle
searching for honey.
And I kept hiding
behind the embittered marbles.
For every smile and tear of mine
a bitter grape on the lips of Melano and Ino.
out of seaweeds I sculpted you
and mineral essence of Parian marble.
With tears I anointed you
from the saltiness of the Aegean.
in my memory
I look for all of you
I, Penelope, Damon and Phidias.
With patience and faith I weave through time
the gentle web of memory.
With a murmur of the heart within me now I cry out:
“My Destiny is always to caw:
But, where has your beauty sunk?”
*Note: This poem was translated from the Greek into English in the frame of the Advanced Training of Greek Poetry Translation and Performance Workshop at Harvard.
A myriad of rays-needles
Meet at the point of the heart.
They bathe it with light
They infuse it with oxygen
They fill it with breath
They string it between two extremes
They measure its resistance
They pierce it
They fill it with anger
They knead it with
A dazzling, angelic, embittered
Notes in the Margins of Time
Follow your own rhythms, my reader, without a “take-give” measure at all.
There is no rush.
We are here restoring our memories of the past recalling our beauty, our youth, our life,
illustrated in an ancient marble statue, full of mystery.
I know many hidden thoughts in everyone’s mind intermingle with dreams and dust.
I know we get used to transforming our solitude in contemplation and convincing ourselves that l’amour est la seule realité, love is le seul espoir dans la vie, indeed, the only hope in one’s life my reader, my companion.
Hence we see l’harmonie des feuilles vertes dans le brouillard du printemps, the harmony of the green leaves in the spring mists, evoking happy memories of childhood while at moments of solitude we burn our illusory dreams, seeking blue nuances of serenity, asserting that man builds up his own destiny.
At times we admit we transform matter into spirit through agape, we reach heavens through love. That is why I used to ask you to draw above my brow small spots of signs
to correspond harmoniously with the stars to read in everything the sacred
Sometimes, like solitary beasts in hidden tender hearts we lack identity.
Again and again we whisper meaningless names to build up ourselves. Lost among crowds of people, absurdities, fears, habits, and a thousand of compromises, we are labeled “the modern men.”
At moments we utter “I am someone,” “I am no one,” “I am something,” or rather “I am nothing,” without surpassing the immanent dichotomy of the self. We claim: “Our purpose is to have no purpose. Our aim is to be given to Chance.”
Besides, is it accidental to live or to die? Let’s offer ourselves to chance, since, I remind you, man needs only a cup of wine and a small piece of
kindness. Because dreams never stop. They hiss and hit pitilessly at night, living testimonies of “elsewhere.”
I do believe it, when I think of some waves of wild flowers in prairies. We know intuitively we will soon wither longing for nostalgia. In such moments of weakness, I pray for salvation.
For Eleni of The Weeping Meadow by Theo Angelopoulos
The red thread spool
the thread of
your deep red guts
Denial of separation
A walking jombie within you
A vibrant corpse illuminates you for
ever till lost in the oceanic feeling of bliss.
My mo(u)rning play
« Train whistles … «
Over there, in Larissa at the goal post for Volos you marched between the train rails a summer afternoon playing with the unknown. Playing with the rails in search of equilibrium, traveling, going… Everyone a line … and you continued your own line when you started making movies.
Juggling on the same rails of your memory this time you would still regain your balance through the existential remorse of your characters. All together a skein … trails, tragic, broken souls in the aftermath of the train whistles. Losses, large and small, unbearable grief still hammers mercilessly.
And I myself, there I was, somewhere in between Volos and Larisa trailing mentally my own line. Over there I saw for the first time the rails of trains leaving and taking with them my father on the way to the factories of West Germany. There and our Kiki was, our elder sister, waving goodbye to our dad, without knowing (alas!) that just right ther, beside the future trains, she would leave her last breath. Just there, her own snoring would become one with the whistling of trains…
And now? And now there are only remaining the song and the sweet memory of their faces, of Panagiotis, Christos, Kiki , the other Christos … and as we are seeking them, another kind of longing empowers us with an inexplicable urge to tomorrow, with the sweet promise of another perspective.