Loula S. Rodopoulos

chestnuts brood in embers of cynicism
hiss their anger

weeds engulf railway lines
supplanted by unfinished road works
lone cinema hotel closed
denuded shops plastered with yellow For Rents signs
hospital staff unpaid closure rumoured

decaying rural properties entice foreign takeover
austerity measures elderly recall famine
hooded masses protest politicians grovel to EU
youthful gloom lines coffee bars overlooking
the bay of Nafpaktos

scruffy males stake an intersection wash windscreens
to wipe destitution from their lives lounge on median strips
wait to jump a dalika [2] to their destiny
lives scuttled through crime and exploitation
across inhospitable borders

unease squelches underfoot
bitter orange fruits that litter pavements
in this layered country of poverty
rivulets of melting snow fan out from mountain peaks
endeavour to expunge despair

but chestnuts brood in embers of cynicism
hiss their anger

Loula S. Rodopoulos
written in Greece
May 2011
Received commendation in All Poetry Competition NSW 2011

Rodopoulos Loula S.

By Rodopoulos Loula S.

Formerly an adjunct professor with the School of Global Science, Social and Planning at RMIT University, Loula S. Rodopoulos was born in Australia, a descendant of Greek immigrants from Ithaca. Her grandfather, Spearos Raftopulos, migrated in 1895 and was one of the founders of the Greek Community in Melbourne.

Loula holds Bachelor of Arts and Master of Social Work degrees and has served various Commonwealth and State committees, boards and tribunals in the field of multiculturalism and administrative review. An extension of her professional writing, she commenced writing poetry and short stories in the Peloponnesian mountain village of Myrovrisi, Greece, her husband’s birthplace.

Her poems have been published/accepted in various formats and include the Australian Women’s Book Review, Poetrix, Positive Words, Famous Reporter, Poetica Christi Press, Poetry Matters, and the e-journal Transnational Literature. In 2004 she was the first prizewinner in the Antipodes poetry competition. In 2009 her short story, Perparim, was Equal Third place winner in The Community Press Magazine, Phoenix Park Neighbourhood House competition.

In 2010 she was short listed in the All Poetry Competition; commended in Eastwood Hills FAW Literary Competition and feature poet in POAM. In recent years she spends some months in Greece (also travelling to other parts of Europe) living in an apartment that overlooks the Corinthian Gulf – a source of inspiration :- 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 gulf until she finds herself perched on the cemetery rock where she penned her first poem.