e

Does this sound Greek to you, poweticklishly?

 

Greece

 

PANDORA DEFYING MYTH

like the tremors of your voice

running the scale of a guitar

the winds that swirl

around your limbs

waft pefumes in turn

delicate and pungent

reminding me of the high cliffs

of a Greek island

born out of the wrath of gods

was not Prometheus

the fire of your loins?

Santorini in whose footpaths

I believed an angel

stood at my elbow

as I walked, inhaling the salty

Mediterranean breeze

mixed with the fragrance of laurel

the taste of roasted almonds

still lingering in my palate

but when you begin to sing softly

‘tis amid the twirling butterflies

of Rhodes that my body is lifted

magic Petaloudès where humans

are stripped of their arrogance

asking themselves what they did

to deserve this garden of paradise

even if for the space of a dream

then I hear the twitter of birds

and see myself gamboling

over the moss of a forest

little boy chasing after

the ghost of Robin Hood

and you become so very English

then suddenly you reach a pitch

that propels me to the Orient

‘tis Bagdad this time

which greets me

no longer the enchanted one

but a beauty in tatters

and you finally turn to French

comme un enfant que

l’on prend par la main

in a parting lullaby

 


 

 

Greece

 

THE JEWISH HEART OF RHODES

 Island of roses

pink, yellow and white

from the sweet fragrance of petals

to the perfume of roasted almonds

Remember

the rosy cheeks of girls

the vigor of young men

bearing biblical names

They were the roots

of Sefarad, hailing from Iberia

like Torquemada

the Satanic Inquisitor

and Ferdinand and Isabel

the very Catholic,

very Treacherous

King and Queen of Spain

who forgot all about

Jesus’ Jewishness

and killed in his name

chasing his brethren

raping his sisters

cursing the

God of Abraham

of Sarah and of Moses

Island of roses

pink, yellow and crimson

from the sweet

fragrance of petals

and the perfume

of roasted almonds

to the spilt blood

of innocence

Half a millenium later

the nazis replayed

the same foul game

sending toddlers

and maidens

boys and mature men

as well as sages

to the crematoria

Rhodes, with all

your present charm

you have lost your

most precious jewel

And don’t ever forget it

lest this time you lose

your very heart and soul


f

Greece

 

CRETAN GLIMPSES

white and pink laurels

a bush of bougainvillea

between land and sea

sand so hot

your feet burn as if on embers

mocking waves

the turquoise expanse

merely twenty feet away

a hellish distance

wavelets roll into waves

then come the giant breakers

to the surfers’ delight

behind dark glasses

the sun plays its symphony

over the foam

Minoan goddess

handling a pair of snakes

while the dolphins fly

bull-headed satyr

sporting a mammoth erection

fabled Minotaur

a sip of Greek coffee

so strong and so very sweet

a taste that lingers on

old man playing

the bouzoukia, it’s at once

joyful and nostalgic


Greece

  

ANGEL FACE

I met a girl in Crete

she had such an enticing smile

gave such melodious greetings

that instead of saying

“hello, Maria,” each time

I came into her shop

– for that was her name –

I called her ‘angel face’

She wouldn’t let me

walk out without a small gift

be it a piece of Loukoum

– which on these shores

you had better not

call Turkish delight –

or honey drops

a local specialty

Then one evening

we talked about politics

and she told me

how she hated Americans

saying what gruff people

they were, so uncultured

and without history

I tried to convince her

that among the 280 million Yankees

there were many fine and delicate souls

but you had to see her reaction

she became green with fury

her angelic face contorting

into the ugliest grimace

I had ever witnessed

especially when she mentioned

the Jews, whom she called

a detestable lot the nazis

hadn’t succeeded in eradicating

for according to her

they were the ones

who had made the USA

such a greedy and corrupt nation

She never understood

why I fled her shop

I can still hear her call me

“Mr … Mr, you forgot to take your candy.”


Greece

 

CYCLADIC HAIKU

Clinging to the rock

a little Orthodox church

with its red dome

above it stand guard

the windmills of Mykonos

one without a cone

murmurs of the waves

swelling into rhapsody

mock cry of a seagull

taste of tatziki

scrumptious cream cheese and garlic

which lingers, lingers on

avgolemono

not just soup, a divine brew

o that lemon zest!

grape leaves filled with rice

delight dipped in olive oil

more, yearn the taste buds

splashes of white

blue of the window frames

deep blue sea, azure sky

‘tis closing time

for the hibiscus flowers

red and pink swabs

island-hopping ferries

a battleship looms afar

nets cover the sand

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