The Greek who arrived in a boat
wished he had arrived in a plane
or with a little bit of cash at least;
he had no choice but to arrive in a boat
he had to take a month off his life over the waves. Read more Diasporic Literature »
He pushes the heavy iron gate open by the bars, flakes of peeling paint chafing his cold palms. The soles of his shoes scrunch against the grainy soil the pouring rain had carried this afternoon from the garden down the marble stairs, landing in small, grungy pools on the dirt road. He can feel the wet weather in his bones as he climbs up the steep, narrow steps, the night air heavy and cool on his cheeks. Read more Diasporic Literature »
I have always loved pets, particularly cats. I have, really. It is true that when my dear husband died I set my mind on buying a feline to keep me company. A quiet, good-mannered Persian one I had spotted in the shop window of the big pet shop downtown. Until I heard from the shop assistant there that it would need to be groomed daily. That put me off buying it. Too much trouble, I thought and figured I could do without a companion for a while. Read more Diasporic Literature »
Eleni Alexiou My love the loom has been worn away. Widows suitors the child gathered yesterday and wandered “how long still?” I replied: “I count the years no more. The fingers have finished. After ten I do not know, I will get lost. Read more Diasporic Literature »
Just days are left
wrinkles a barren beset haze
a single thought, his only worry
to sit quietly and not to get
in anyone's hurried uttered phrase
restrained in silence to stay. Read more Diasporic Literature »
Breeze laughed amid his limping footsteps nature’s unforgiving mistake struggled out of the sea eyes full of kindness irises of a saint a brave man’s graceful stature in his unbalanced steps the balance of the Universe searched for justice pain of the different in vain danced in the expression of the man who limped out of the light waves Read more Diasporic Literature »
A little further from the light cast by the lamp there begins another world, an unknown world - who has ever gone there? who has every returned from there? - and then there are nights - ah! how many adventures there are dreams, so many that you life becomes insignificant (and hence dangerous) - Read more Diasporic Literature »
ΤΟ ΠΟΥΛΙ ΜΕ ΤΙΣ ΑΛΗΘΕΙΕΣ Η λήθη σκέπασε το παρελθόν, το άγνωστο πολιορκεί το σπίτι φαντάσματα πραγμάτων που αγαπήσαμε και χάθηκαν και τώρα μόνον οι αράχμες γνωρίζουν τη συνέχεια — αλλά η νοσταλγία για το άγνωστο μας είχε κερδίσει από παιδιά κι η μοναξιά μας είχε υποσχεθεί τις μακρινές αποστάσεις. Ώ το παιδί που υπήρ- ξαμε μ’ εκείνο τον τεράστιο λαιμοδέτη Read more Diasporic Literature »
Strategoula’s square jaw tightened as I pulled her messy, straw-blonde hair hard at the back, like plucking a dead chicken off its feathers. Her head bounced back and forth as if joined with her shoulders by bed springs. She reiterated by kicking me hard in the stomach and then I felt her pincers-firm grip on my left wrist. Read more Diasporic Literature »
You know what struck me the most when I saw you lying flat on the hospital bed? I realized I’d never seen you without your impeccable false teeth. You looked older, defenseless, robbed from authority. A catatonic man with cheeks sunken along the gums that framed a wide dark cave of a mouth, a forehead jutting out of the white pillow, wet wisps of hair drowning underneath.
Read more Diasporic Literature »
Athenas street looks abandoned, still, like a dusty street before a duel in a western. Shop windows dim, like the dirty spectacles of a myopic child; cardboard boxes scattered over shabby floors, like presents that have been left unwrapped; dust blanketing the window displays, like stale icing on a cake. On the pavements, in flaky flower stands, yucca leaves cower over brittle trunks, like rusty, weary swords.
The economic depression has gravely affected retail sales all over Greece. Chopped salaries mean less money to spend on consumer goods. How do all these redundant people earn a living now, I wonder. Something has to be done soon or lots of people will starve. Read more Diasporic Literature »
The skin of my yiayia’s hands dry, like peeling garlic; blanketing a tangle of frustrated veins. Eyes round, tinged with terror, mouth agape, pale legs grappling with the white sheets in an effort to revolt against stagnation.
I want so much to comfort her, ease her pain. ‘I’m here for you. I’ll always be,’ I think but never utter the actual words. We’ve always shied away from exchanging soppy phrases such as ‘I care for you’, or ‘I love you’. Read more Diasporic Literature »
Aliki Beach in autumn hues,
just sandy footprints left by you
mystically adored, a dream
in colours rare and supreme.
On Sunday wintertime set in.
Your hands held cloudy skies within.
We are with you present in mind,
our mortal selves, though, left behind. Read more Diasporic Literature »
Here books and bookshops
have a distinct fragrance
like incense rising
to a venerable pious congregation.
Here people and palaces
have an ancient architecture
Roman and Romanesque at once
not led astray by flights of abstraction
only trusting in the everyday and concrete
joyfully signing in the underground
at peak hour
or biting their lips to not let in
the winter Read more Diasporic Literature »
A little out from Athens there is
the Hotel “HOPE”. Each night
in this Hotel, at midnight,
two ghosts cry. This bad luck
drives the hotel manager to despair,
for as you might appreciate
these goings-on drive customers away Read more Diasporic Literature »
The Persian poet Sadi once in his spiritual ecstasy, found himself walking among the burgeon gardens of Elysian Fields (paradise), brimming with exotic blooms and rare perfumed heavenly flowers.
He thought to gather a few in his apron for friends at home, but the exquisite fragrances intoxicated him so much that he dropped the apron together with the flowers. Endeavouring to tell his friends of the wonderful sight and the rare aromatic scents of paradise on his return, he found it impossible, because the human tongue was too poor for such heavenly description. Read more Diasporic Literature »
Sometimes past midnight the rhythmic hooves of horses
are heard from down the road of a delayed carriage as if
from a mourning matinee of some rundown neighborhood
with its plaster fallen off the ceiling, with the peeling walls
with a huge discolored red curtain drawn
that has shrunk from so many washings and in the gap
it leaves under it
you could see the bare feet of the stage manager or the
who perhaps rolls up a paper forest to turn off the lights. Read more Diasporic Literature »