To the Reader II

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Dimitris Tsaloumas
(translated by Philip Grundy)

If when you walk through the mist you notice birds
ablaze like pomegranates
in the window and on the bearded roof of winter,
if sometimes the dark tunnels
let you out onto the balconies of the Amazon
to see without fear flesh-eating leaves
swallowing alive the straying beams of the sun,
and if your rights are trampled
or for your country’s sake you’re led away
to gaol and see how blood sets fire
to the wilderness in the people’s eyes,
then know that you’re indebted to me, that if you doff
the music I clothed you in, the shudder will crack you,
the mists will flood you, and you’ll perish.

© Dimitris Tsaloumas
The Observatory, p. 167
the original in Greek is here

An afternoon with Dimitris Tsaloumas