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.
in strategic pose
sculpted from birth
Lady, lady please
a drachma for a sandwich,Good Easter.
on carpeted display
destitute path convey.
God bless you lady
a drachma for her milk,Good Easter.
Burly grizzled man with foreign designation seeks compensation
Suffered work place accident troubling hurt recalls healthy youth in village of birth
Life unfolds within the claws of legal and medical dispute his character in disrepute
Three members sit aloof listen peruse submissions scribble question direct interrupt deliberate
Why can’t they anglicise their names? A senior member berates
Time to do something for Australians too! Another sceptic asserts
If I were king for a day I’d grant to all!
The cynical majority considers him a shirker unlike the dissenter who affirms the injured worker
Fur encumbered women swing designer label bags
hold sprigs of silver wattle push into Caffé on Condotti
walls lined with burgundy damask wallpaper
settle at marble topped tables seated under ornate gilded mirrors and
framed memorabilia – Goethe Stendhal Milosz Liszt Keats Shelley Byron
heavy curtains cocoon grey suited man who fondles his young blonde lover
the resident artist Baccellieri sits alongside the espresso machine winks at the couple
he wears silver glasses shabby hat and a thick woolen coat draped with a long red scarf
swathed in stone gargantuan imposing blindfolded
she beckoned me through the University portals
into the quadrangle surrounded by the expansive portico and
erudite grey stone buildings
busts of male scholars her heirs
scientists doctors philosophers
serpent at her feet symbol of medicine
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.
Perched on hearth’s edge we sip mountain tea in silent companionship as flames sculpt the olive tree stump slowly reduced to charcoal like her black dress & scarf tied over her grey hair & pallid face mother in law Maria lived through poverty hunger wars miscarriages birthed six live infants laboured on the land harvesting grapes olives corn gathering wild vegetables cooking baking spinning weaving cleaning
Eau de Cologne a luxury Should widows wear perfume? she’d asked after I bathed her minimal primary education reliance on the spoken word unlike my pen that rekindles village experiences – the procession of goats that paused & stared at the stranger reading in the square disheveled farmers who asked Why do you write?