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- Το σβηστό Λυχνάρι
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- Αποκριάτικο επισκεπτήριο
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- Final Agreement
- Η Ουσία της Αγάπης
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From Dusk to Dawn
"Το Νησί και το Αθάνατο Νερό"
"Before the Silence"
Archival News Reports of the Christian Holocaust that Begs to be Remembered
«160... παλμοί Χαϊκού»
The Mountains Couldn't Walk Away
50 Χαϊκού με τίτλο
The Maiden of the Isle
"Πού είναι το μέρος για ένα χωριό;"
Η Θάλασσα που μας Ενώνει
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By Dr Dimitri Karalis
The Persian poet Saadi 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.
Dr Dimitri Karalis
Education is useful when the student is taught how to think liberally and not just to copy academic literature. Excess of forced education, often produces lower intellect, intolerant and Calvinistic attitudes (teachers, lawyers, politicians, religious clerks and so forth are often common example). It was never meant for humans to study a lot in order to find the right work in their life. All humans where born with certain talents to follow in their life, which lead them to a unmistakable happier life with intellectual and spiritual maturity.
Loula S. Rodopoulos
‘We stink! Only hot water can wash the dirt off,’ Bekim says to Artan, dusting down his work clothes. Artan is sipping water from a communal tap outside the shower and toilet block in the park.
The park is situated on the highest point of the town overlooking the Corinthian Gulf. A multicoloured bed of roses lines one perimeter and tall conifers and fir trees are scattered over the grass. Asphalt paths, edged with wooden benches, lead to the ornamental iron gates located on each side of its four perimeters. A small bridge stretches across a lake hidden by pampas grass and shrubs. The townsfolk, who live in the surrounding high rise apartments, gather in the park to walk, talk and relax. The boys find an empty bench and Artan twists off the caps of two bottles of beer and offers one to Bekim. They take long gulps and wipe their mouths with the sleeves of their work clothes.
I feel a great attachment to the photograph. It is like looking at a still from a movie as I take a peek into the story of their lives. They are all dressed in high fashion of the day and are posed in the garden having a tea party.
Grace looks to be the eldest and sits at a small table with a cloth draped over it. She looks very poised with her eyes lowered to the teapot raised in her hand. She wears a beautiful wide brimmed hat, a sash around her waist and a dress high to the neck with puffed sleeves. Louie stands to the left of her facing the camera and holds a tray of sandwiches in her hands. She wears a similar dress but looks more severe in a black hat. They remind me of Russian Tsarinas. George sits on a cane chair to the left of her and side on to the camera. He is very suave and must be about twenty years old. He wears a boater straw hat jauntily on the back of his head showing off his thick black hair. He looks assured leaning back in his chair with his legs crossed, teacup in hand and neat black moustache. To the right of Grace stands Fred, Ida and May. Pretty young Ella sits in a chair smiling at the camera. A big thick sheepskin rug is in front of the table where the two younger children sit, Marie with a bonnet and Percy with a straw boater.
I have never met my Grandfather George, he died before I was born. I only have this family photograph and the stories my mother has told me about her father to imagine how he would have been. He died at the young age of thirty eight.
I think how important the photograph is to me to have captured that day when the family was gathered together, documented for me to see two generations later. I have been told the story of their lives and have that knowledge as I look at the photograph. It is as though I know more about what is to happen to them than they do. Even though I have never met anyone in the photo the connection is strong. Their blood runs in my veins.
Graciously they lived, each having their own story to tell, all caught in the history of time.
By Dr Dimitri Karalis
(Message for doctors and patients)
The father of medicine, Hippocrates, set primarily in each new doctor a definition along with the standard oath, that: “You cannot be good a doctor without being a philosopher at the same time.” We know that the philosopher besides the reflective, observant and intellectual learning is also a strict naturalist, which rightly so that the ancient Greeks used to call them Iatrophilosophers.
For this reason I would like to expand a bit on this definition for the ordinary person with a slight variation: “You can never be cured completely by a physician when he is unable to explain to you in simple language, the cause of your illness.”
There are three. They mark the period leading up to Lent. Today is the last − forty days before Easter.
I wait for my mother and her sister outside church. They go to every ψυχοσαββατο. To commemorate our dead. The night before, Mum prepares κολυβα a mix of boiled wheat, bread crumbs, walnuts, sesame seeds and sultanas covered by a layer of icing sugar and decorated with slivered almonds, puts the προσφορο she has bought from the bakery next to her bag so as not to forget it and writes a list of the dead.
Yesterday, she added the name Γεωργια, her oldest sister. Γεωργια died on Wednesday. She had been bed-bound for the last two years, bound by her atrophied brain for many before that. Unable to speak, comprehend, eat, see from one eye, control bladder and bowels. We heard from people who returned to Βρονταµα that her bones had perforated, that she was given nourishment through a syringe, that she lay on her bed σαν κουβαρακι − like a little ball of string.
Poetry & Prose (Essay) by N.N. Trakakis – 2012
“FROM DUSK TO DAWN”
Poetry and essay collection by N.N. Trakakis, 2012 edition
At Diasporic Literature Spot, being a literary website, from time to time we receive books from established as well as aspiring writers. I would say that in most cases these books can be a hassle to read and an even bigger problem to write about. However there are those certain books, by certain emerging or inspiring and aspiring writers that we feel privileged to receive, to hold in our hand and to read deepest thoughts in creamy or white colour pages. These specific books are the reason why Diasporic Literature is in existence. Continue reading
Dr Dimitri Karalis
In my early youth, I became aware of the effect of thinking upon human destiny. I was wondering though, why parents, schools and societies were not aware of this vital issue. How is it possible I was asking myself, such a conspicuous effect of the mind upon our life to remain entirely unnoticeable?
Nothing in life arrives by luck or accident without first being planted by our own thoughts and deeds? Wealth, poverty, happiness, unhappiness, success, failure and what else, are all part of our thinking process. We become what our thoughts and deeds are -and harvesting exactly what we have planted there. Good luck, co-incidence and external opportunities for success in life, are only random voices of ignorance and superstition. They resemble the hooting of the owls in the night, which only the daylight will calm and silence.
‘Honest friendship is a better choice than emotional love for a steady diet, says an American thinker. Suspicion, jealousy, prejudice, and strife follow in the wake of passionate love; and disgrace murder and suicide lurk just around the corner from where lovers cooing like mating pigeons. Emotional love is a matter of proximity; it makes demands, asks for proofs and wants frequent reassurance. Friendship seeks no ownership –it only hopes to serve, and it grows by giving even from a distance. Unfortunately, this does not apply the same with passionate love. Love bestows only that it may receive, and a one-sided passion turns to hate in a night, and then demands vengeance as its right and proportion. Friendship asks no foolish vows, it is strong in absence and most loyal when needed. It lends ballast to life and gives steadily to every venture’.
By Dr Dimitri Karalis
‘How delightful it will be to converse intimately with someone of the same mind, sharing together the pleasure of uninhibited conversation on the amusing and boring things of this world; but such a friend is hard to find. If we must take care that, our opinions do not differ in the least from those we are conversing with, we might just as well be alone”. It will be more pleasant sit alone in a reclining chair and with a book in our hands to read the thoughts of a distant friend silently without arguments and quarrels. Great thinkers love to be alone; they are willing to give their hands into society but they prefer to keep their thoughts private’.
To listen often into senseless arguments and unripe views of the intolerant crowd, are not only unpleasant and unbeneficial, but intellectually harmful too. Men differ from other men insofar as they keep, or not keep their eyes on the goal for truth; or as they set, or not set, their hearts on reaching it. Most toddlers on their way amuse themselves with hedonistic pleasures that soon turn to pain. The spiritual mountaineer should be free and caring a light load as possible, if he wants to reach the summit faster without obstacles.
Dr Dimitri Karalis
There is no difference between a precious stone and a common stone in their building structure, except only in the rearrangement of their particles. The carbon in the charcoal and diamond, for instance, is the same, except for the different arrangement of their molecules, namely the crystallization. Yet… how far apart are they in beauty and value compared to each other. The pearl and the seashell have also identical structural synthesis; yet the pearl is superior in beauty and as cosmetic value. Similar situations we observe also in human beings. Two humans have the same ideas and words to speak and write, yet one produces literature and the other platitude. Why does this happen? What element made them differ so widely?
Loula S. Rodopoulos
Torrential rains and winds thrash us as we alight from the bus and negotiate oncoming traffic. Cars – windscreen wipers on full speed, headlights full beam, begrudgingly slow down to allow us to cross to the hospital. There are no traffic lights or pedestrian crossings. As we reach the other side of the road and step on to walkway, the umbrellas snap in our hands. We wade through spreading puddles of mud, splashed by water from the footsteps of other commuters. I fear slipping so, head down and bags tucked under my left arm, I tread warily. By the time the warmth of the hospital heating hits us our clothes are dripping wet. It is 8.45 am. We left home from a nearby township at 7.40 am.
We resolutely stride down the corridor to the Oncology Unit situated in a major, University linked, public hospital, determined to secure our position in the inevitable queue. I drop the health insurance book and latest blood test results on the nurse’s counter. I then hurry down the corridor, around the corner and grab a hand scrawled numbered pink prescription ticket, left in a makeshift holder outside Office 1, to secure a place in the prescription queue.
I walked under the old elm trees. It was a cold winter’s day and the air was sharp. There was no one to break the stillness. I was conscious only of the dank smell of wet leaves underfoot and the sheep and cattle grazing peacefully in the paddock across the creek.
At last it was possible to be myself, away from people. My thoughts were in emotional turmoil. Watching death creep insidiously through my mother’s body as cancer claimed her was hard to bear. I tried to grasp the inevitability of losing her. She was noble in her dying, never complained. “Andy’s randy today,” was all she would say when beset with pain.
by Dr. Dimitri Karalis
same article in Greek here
Myths or mythos for the ancient people was an allegoric vehicle to awaken the soul from its forgetful past for those who were spiritual and sensitive enough to recognise the veiled truth behind it. The Greek word μύθος= myth, derives from the sound‘mou’=murmur, which we produce when our lips are closed and the word Μυστήριο=mystery= inexplicable, adjoins with it. Together they form a secret communicating organ for every soul who is ready to recollect the forgotten experience from their previous incarnations.
by Yiorgos Veis
Over a career of fifty-five years, Kostas Paniaras has developed a rich code of media and moves from painting to sculpture and special installations, freely adopting various materials through which he gains access to the illusion of the new image.
In the process of his quest for the truth, artistic acts/reflections of an undefined inner self and memories resurfacing from a remote past take part in the constant game of the alternating presence and absence of ‘subject’ as well as in the various possibilities for the final verdict of his temporally-and above all spatially-displaced work.
Costas Montis, the man and his poetry that touched my life like no other, the undercelebrated and overshadowed Greek-Cypriot poet of the 20th century is hereby offered a minor compensation by Diasporic Literature. So minor that a history of his remembrance should never really mention it. For his memory should remain pure like the words in his verse, unbiased like the letter in his thoughts, benevolent like his love for virtue. Poetry loves a placid existence.
“Mortals call him fluttering love,
But the immortals call him winged one,
Because the growing of wings is a necessity to him.”
by Edward Spence
Apollo dates Aphrodite?
Tinafto pou to lene agape Socrate, what is this thing called love Socrates, asks Diotima, the mystery woman from Mantinea? I haven’t got a clue, is Socrates’ reply. If the man declared by the oracle of Delphi as the wisest among mortals doesn’t know, what chance do the rest of us have in answering that question?
One way to approach this stubbornly difficult question is to look at it from two seemingly opposed and irreconcilable perspectives that we’ve inherited from Greek Mythology: that of Aphrodite and Apollo – the two extreme ends of the spectrum or should we say, kaleidoscope of love.
Part 2 of “The Truth about loneliness“
Let us consider this little story: The man asks his wife whether she cooked dinner in order for him to come into the house and have his meal (considering that the woman is a housewife and their relationship is normal). His wife tells him “the meal will be ready in 5 minutes”. So he keeps at his job for a further 5 minutes and then goes into the house to find that his meal is still not ready. Was his wife a liar or was she merely stating the fact that the meal will be ready soon? Even though good intentions were there on the part of his wife, she did not realise how quickly five minutes went and didn’t have the meal ready on time. In fact the man had to wait a further 10 minutes for the meal to be finally prepared. He lost 10 minutes from the work he was doing and became a little agitated, affecting his relationship and his work for the rest of the day. Are the negative thoughts going through the man’s mind a result of his wife’s miscalculation of time, or were they a result of his impatience and hence inadequacy in toleration.
Something has been upsetting me lately. Something that crept into my philosophical thoughts without warning and left me sleepless at night, when the moon shines high outside of my window and the wind that visits me cannot take away feelings of helplessness. Something has come as an uninvited guest into my night to shed light where there was darkness and shade where the light was blinding me; an aide to help me deal with the pain of emptiness.
Loula S. Rodopoulos
They sit at the table on the balcony, stripping virgin vine stems of leaves, buds and stringy bits. Their voices, with the rustling of the sprouting pine needles, echo in the breeze across the platiea – until the final stem is stripped. Then the aromas of the boiling saucepan – aniseed, garlic, spring onion, olive oil dressing – that blends with the breeze.
She walks down the slope. A rugged vista of vineyards, wild grasses, yellow sparti, pine and conifer trees engulf her – lift her to the horizon where she floats over mountain peaks and sea until she finds herself perched on the cemetery rock where she penned her first poem.
In a time when words are wasted. Repeatedly. In a time when one must struggle against becoming yet another living platitude. Defiantly. When everyone has depression, and pills will help you find yourself. Predictably. I look up at the skies of the infinite winter, attempting to read God’s handwriting. Confusedly. Standing at the edge of the night, I notice that the worst is yet to come. Fatefully. The smell of darkness encircling me, I remain still, pondering the silence. More and more.
The Ptolemies, like philosopher kings, endowed Alexandria, with the Royal Library and the Mouseion. They also supported gifted men and women bursting with curiosity and ambition to conduct research in the fields assigned to the nine Muses over three hundred years.
Ferdinand Gregorovius (1821–91) the renowned historian of that era documented the importance of the pioneering work undertaken in Alexandria.
“The Royal Library and Mouseion of Alexandria,” he wrote, “diffused a splendor over the civilized world which lasted longer than any other university, whetherParis, Bologna, or Padua. Long after the creative power of Greek genius was exhausted, encyclopedic knowledge and Greek sophistry were to be found in the Mouseion of Alexandria.”
The late Professor Carl Sagan (1943–96), was more specific.
– A colloquial philosophical exploration
Before writing this philosophical exploration, my third year political philosophy Professor asked us (his students) a question which to me, at first, seemed to be one of the easiest questions one can ever be asked: What is happiness? Naturally, some students were throwing answers and theories such as ‘happiness is the absence of worries’, or ‘the absence of pain and hardship’. When pressed, we may even be tempted to say that happiness is really when one has a ‘loving relationship, flourishing children, or even to go as far as to say when one has great measures of wealth’. True this may be to the logical yet simple mind, however when we stop to think of what notion lies behind these very simple, justifiable and obvious theories, we may come to the conclusion that the answer to what is happiness is certainly more deep. I state this as it would be fair to say that a person can be happy without some or even all of the above, and it may therefore seem that happiness is more of a subjective matter. If logic prevails, we see in everyday life that some people find happiness in some things, while others in other things. I therefore ask you: if what I am saying is correct, can one provide a general characterisation of happiness?
By Gabrielle Morgan
A sense of peace prevailed among the people who seemed to be relaxed and happy after the pre-Christmas rush. They waited expectantly for Mass to begin which was to be celebrated by a visiting priest from Rome.
Annie, our organist, had not arrived. I was told she wasn’t well and we must proceed without her. With a full church congregation, I realised how much we depended on Annie. She travelled miles by car each Sunday, after already attending Mass at her own Church, to play the organ for us. Now it was up to me to choose an Entrance Hymn appropriate for Christmas morning, one which everyone might know by heart. I thought quickly and chose the carol ‘Silent Night’. Without accompaniment, a cappella style, a chorus of voices filled the Church – The Mass became alive.
By Gabrielle Morgan
Among the many books on my bookshelves there are some more treasured than others, especially the ones which have been signed by the authors themselves. I often come across newspaper clippings of reviews that I had slipped between the pages and sometimes I find a lovely card still hides in the jacket with the sentiments expressed by the person who gave me the book as a present. Now, years later, I find endless delight in coming across these bits of nostalgia which never cease to move me as memories crowd my mind.
This fictional story was inspired by Michael Morgan’s painting “Bonjour!”
Alain Durand missed his native France. Overcome with nostalgia, he walked along the path in the gardens which were an oasis in the city. Wistfully, he watched the people passing by and cherished the hope that he might chance to hear the intonation of his own language pass their lips.
It was a crisp day in late autumn. The sun shone brightly, but there was no heat in it. Alain was grateful for his coat which he clasped tightly around himself. He liked to dress well as befits a Frenchman. He wore a bowler hat which offset his deep red coat with its black lapels. An onlooker could quickly perceive he was a man of style and expensive taste.
By Michael Morgan
I still see the images as though projected on a wall screen or a plasma T.V. set, super clear and detailed, the single gold fish in a bowl leaving an iridescent slick as it moved, the white screens around my bed. I can still smell the coal tar disinfectant permeating the air, the matron all in white, large in stature. I compare her now to a Spanish Galleon in full sail. I remember her name, Sister Pump. I was seven years old, my tonsils had been removed. A fashionable operation at that time.
I was in “Airlie” Private Hospital, Ivanhoe, Melbourne, a few minutes walk from my home.
It is now 64 years later, and as I write I have in my hands a series of recently obtained documents, one of them being my original certificate of birth. It is an old scrunched up photo copy. I see the name of the Sister in attendance at my birth, Sister Pump. I see my birth mother’s name(s). She was twenty seven years of age and she lived in another State.
I was named after the hospital.
AIRLIE —- was my name!
So it was to be. I was kept in the hospital under the control of a lawyer who acted on my mother’s behalf. And then Mr. And Mrs. Morgan came along. I was the chosen one. Airlie (I gather Airlie was a Scottish place name) became Michael. I then lived a life in a gilded cage.
Paper clipped to the tattered birth data are the documents and affidavits that explain “the social” reasons for my mother having her baby away from her home town. She stated that she had a child about eight years old and that she would start up a fund for my upkeep until after I was adopted or placed in care.
I recently traced my birth mother’s movements until I was the age of nine, then all documentation seems to stop. No new marriage certificates, no death certificates, no change of name certificates, it seems to be a void. My birth father, because of his position, refuses to give information and here I continue to muse. There is a lot more to tell, I may do so.
Some question why I bother with this so-called “baggage, it’s just a form of psychoneurosis they say.” Such sophistry does not bother me. Rightly or wrongly a simple word is the key to my searches. Lies. They seem to dominate life and more and more I seek the truth. I have experienced loss, redemption, and discovered riches beyond my wildest dreams. I will continue the quest.
I have chosen to speak.
Michael Morgan (c)
By Michael Morgan
Common speech, (if you can call speech common) whatever that may mean, often uses the name of a creature or an animal to describe a human quality, and generally as a class they are warm, active, sensitive, and have redeeming features – but not always. How often you have an intuitive gut feeling that some one or something is a bit “off.” Such is the case with someone I met in my late teens. One of the few people that I could say disturbed me from the first introduction was Henry Snape Jukes (a pseudonym). I still shudder when I think of him.
Henry had a passion for Snails. He was deaf, more like a bird than a human, or the molluscs that he omnivorously devoted his time to. If you saw Henry in the day, his darting, jerking movements would draw your attention to him for an instant then you would forget him in about the same time, but a shadow image of him would surface back into your mind at the most importune moments. A presence kept returning like a dream image never to be erased. Henry, if you ever met him at night, seemed to change. Gone was the spasmodic twitch, the dry lips and the visually obvious dry, raspy tongue. The best way to illustrate this change would be to say that Henry “became moist.” A strange way to describe a person, I suppose, but the best way to convey the truth. He researched gastropods, drawing spiral shells, flat shells, rounded shells into one of his hundreds of notebooks. This he did every evening and then he would go wandering into the wetlands. He was secretly thrilled that one area was called Helix Park, such apt synchronisation. This haunt gave him order and contentment. A box hedge coiling to the right. Dextral, that was when talking about shells. Sinistral when going counter clockwise. Such terms made Henry feel important. He knew what they meant, he had his own agenda.
by Iakovos Garivaldis
Towards the end of the final decade of the 20th century, I met a very interesting man in his late 60s in Melbourne who became a dear friend in later years and during my involvement with the Hellenic Writers’ Association of Australia.
His name was Lawrence (Larry) Darrell, or Solon Papadopoulos before he changed it, when he first arrived to Australia. Lawrence was a lonely man all the time I knew him and as the story of my life goes, I did like to talk and associate with men older than me (he was about 20 years my senior) and usually lonely.
The way we met was quite bizarre since he contacted me in 1999 when we were having our first Book Exhibition of books by writers of Greek origin in Melbourne in co-operation with the Archives Museum of RMIT University and AHEPA Victoria (a Hellenic cultural organisation).
by Angela Costi
I’m being violated by smelly armpits, aftershave and perfume. The queue has turned into a mess of shirt sleeves, wailing children, hot faces, luggage and more luggage. A male voice yells out in Greek, “What the hell is going on!”
No answer from the green uniforms behind the high counter. No answer but there’s a rumour that’s been swelling among the ears and mouths and clenched fists – “It’s a bomb scare … the Turks are at it again … they’re checking the plane … they’ve caught a Turk with no passport.”
I scan the faces bobbing around me. All of them coloured from birth by the Mediterranean with dark eyes and curly hair. Faces that look as Turkish as they do Greek. How can they tell among each other which one has the Turkish blood? But I bet they can. There are those give away signs that only they can pick up.