Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Oblation by Kostas Karyotakis

Silver was the forehead. And beautiful
your eyes in blue they glowed.
As you were opening the piano
two new roses in the vases trembled
but now blooms were your temples beautiful.

Your hands were struggling, winning;
the buttons were retreating; the notes,
the melody as a trophy they gave.
We listened. And the feelings, captors
that their freedom were winning.

I don't remember well, it's been years,
but you had I say and sing;
except as if the nightingales trill.
Loud or silent your lip is a spring,
tired deers are my years.

The butterfly will always fly
leaving the pollen on the fingers.
A rustle as goodbye, your hand silk,
and you were gone. From the window
the butterfly will always fly…

Translated from Greek by yours truly.

The image was taken from here

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Where is my Beauty by Lili Zografou

Ungrateful heart, were all those years that I waited for you not enough? My love for you knew no boundaries. And I've treated my own people without mercy. I haven't even shed a tear when my mother passed away. Your heavy shadow kept me apart from everybody else. It was enormous, like the distances that divided us, like your almost constant silence which multiplied as the years went by to a-sort-of perpetual death. I have never loved you that much, not as much as your death hurt me. How many? Thirty? And the days three hundred and sixty five and the nights double that number. You became an eternity that was missing from my shining youth, which started deeming because of the sleepless nights that began to blur, since it could no longer illuminate the adoration of your gaze that unsettled my guilty walk as it slipped quietly into the half-darkness, while drums where beating in my heart, you fool, you fool, I quietly said to my myself, as if praying, the moment I got away from the conspiratorial whispers in my home that were no doubt plotting some act of sabotage assisted by the guerrilla that was hiding in the cellar, the short hero that would blow you to pieces. The last stab of the knife of my treason would stop my heart from beating the moment I saw the bronze medals of your uniform shining in the dark and as all of a sudden your arms were spread like wings I could only feel the sound of the oceans that encircled me, which delivered me into the wetness of your lips and everything turned to chaos. And truly that was the birth of the Lord and I'd get lost through His love and sing with my body hymns to the harp of the earth. Lord, Lord, blessed is your birth...

An excerpt from a somewhat difficult to translate book by the Greek author, Lili Zografou. Forgive me if this is not perfect but the text is quite poetic and it's not easy to do it justice. I will work on it more eventually.

The image is taken from here

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A Eulogy for Love - Chapter 1

And I'm still trying to

understand how can

a woman who's loved die

Kostas Karyotakis

You are dead now, my beloved, dead. Like my soul. Now life has lost its meaning for me. It's no life. There's no life. Why live a life that's not whole? The truth is that I was never afraid of death, though I got the chills at the idea that one day I would be gone forever leaving you behind. Forever, there's such finality in this word. But I stayed. You went instead and left me sitting all alone at the edges of a deathly fresh grave, whispering my I love you's to the dirt that covers you, and delivering oaths of undying love to the wind that blows away dreams and phantoms in its passing, and to whom you may lent your thoughts to shuttle to the moon; unless of course those thoughts were just moments ago splashed with pain, like mine, this cruelest of nights, are.

The cemetery is abandoned in the deep darkness of Hades, but the souls that have once loved shine like eternal lighthouses of deliverance, even when everything looks as black as tar. They remember, they forget, they laugh and they cry. Oh, the sad joy of loving you.

My life was always half-empty, full of non material shortages, and that's why I kept leaving; I was going away in search of you, Eleni, to the furthest corners of the earth, to the lands of dreams and long lost sunsets. I was looking for you at the places where I'd like you to be, where I'd like you to be with me. But, you were someplace else, and the wonderful sunsets looked weak and pale in my eyes, tired from the voracious glances of all the people, sad for those who loved but have never been loved in return.

Perfect is what you love with all your heart and is not yours. And you were never mine, except in some of my most crazy of dreams; dreams that make you wake up in the morning with an enormous smile painted on your lips and reflected on your soul, as you feel the happiness of existing in all your being.

You know, Eleni, you've always belonged to someone else and that gave me pain. But you were alive and that blessed me with joy. However, death, some people claim, tends to bind people together, and right now your presence in my soul has become a heartbreaking howl that makes me bleed. I am but a shadow that crawls in the dirt, a leaf that's lost its root and is carried away by the wind.

The silence that permeates this place is reassuring in a way. Here lie the living, in the outside world wander unsatisfied the dead. For those who are here have managed more or less to live somewhat, to perhaps walk the paths of wonder, while the others are more dead than the dead as they go on living, as a friend says.

I could never have imagined that a pile of fresh earth would be enough to sent my dreams packing to the other world, if such a world exists that is. But now as I see it I weep, I regret… I regret for all the tears I have not shed for you during the endless bleak nights of my solitude. Tears never came easy to me. Not then. The tears, I feared, would take away the sorrow and the pain I felt that we were not together, and truth be told, my sad, desperate self wanted to suffer. It needed it like a poison that doesn't kill you but only makes you stronger. Suffering for you meant loving you. But, how do you know, now all those tears that for such a long time I've kept caged deep within, in the destitute harbors of my soul, have rushed out and became a waterfall that drops violently in the abyss of the sea of pain.

I turn my look towards the neighboring graves. Some other people that have loved, hurt and wept, are sharing this big piece of earth with you.

Why do they bury the body, as if they don't know that the soul that lies within is a bird that longs to fly? The soul is a sister of the wind, a drop of rain, a grain of sand, a sparrow that lusts for travel. It doesn't want to rest. It wants to spread its wings and become the most beautiful runner in the skies of freedom and fantasy.

They've buried your body, Eleni, in order to rid the world of your memory, to erase their guilt. As if your grave is their deliverance, a signal of their secure lives, the mark of an end whose beginning they want to push at the back of their minds.

They must really hate us, the ones we left behind, I can hear the souls all around me whisper in my inner ear, and they seem to prepare their revenge. When the bodies of the living are asleep, the spirits of the dead are wide awake, and some nights, under a full moon, they visit the former in their dreams and remind them of all those things that they long to forget.

But, what are these thoughts that time and again keep creeping into my mind as I sit here? They never passed through my mind before this very night. Perhaps… Yes, that's it; my soul is now dressed in death and thus can only look at the macabre.

Excerpt from the first novella I've published in Greek in 2000.All the sentences written in Italian are taken from Maria Polydouri, a Greek poet.
The image is taken from here

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Journey

Every day I feel like I'm embarking on a journey

to whom I don't know.

My life has never been simple nor


It is as if I'm living it in bits and pieces

just like in a dream

or rather dreams that spread through the nights

like dark angels

observing my vain battle for wholeness.

I know what I'm missing but

I don't know where to find it.

My thoughts come in fragments

they stop me from seeing the full picture

and then they don't come at all

and for a moment I feel a breath of happiness.

Am I cursed?

I've asked myself this question many times

but I don't believe in curses;

besides my life is no better and no worse

from the lives of those around me.

The only difference is that they don't live

in their heads.

So, what is it that I'm looking for?

I guess that would be a new path a

way out of my own being

the other.

Will I ever find it?

Will it lead me to a redemption that

I hardly need?

I know not but the journey needs to carry on

so that hope will remain undead in

my soul

a soul that aches for change.

The image is taken from here

Monday, April 6, 2015

Don't Believe it's Love by Ana Zumani

I would never come to you, never, even though I know you're dying for me.

You've written that to me a thousand times, a thousand times I saw it in your macabre eyes.

In your eyes I saw how much you wanted me, but I had no reason to save you, none whatsoever.

I've abandoned you to your destiny, just likes thousands of men thousands of women they abandon to their own destiny.

But I finally came to you. The doctor told me that I had only one year left to live.

That's tragically too little for a woman that loves life so much.

All of a sudden I was able to see my whole being as it is and realized that only to you I'd like to give,

To give, to give, to give, like a fresh spring to the thirsty traveler.

Don't believe that this is Eros, or love, or something deeply personal.

It’s selfishness.

The pure selfishness of a dying organism wanting to become a memory in another.

Not to die for good, to vanish, to suddenly be erased, to be lost.

Today you've fully enjoyed the body that for years you longed for.

The more you enjoy me, the more you'll bring me back to life after my death, you'll rouse me.

You see, that will be my Resurrection, my Return.

Don't believe that this is love, I just want the most secure heart in which to go on living.

You are my monument, and that is all.

I've translated this from Greek. Image taken from here