white cross on sea

          white cross on sea*

για ο,τι μου δόθηκε απο την καρδιά αυτο του λαού,
απο τον ήλιο τους, άσπρη
  καρδιά της θάλασσας
for what was given to me by the heart of this people,
by their sun, white heart of the sea

had it hard
as any land’s lot
ever was
forced to mouth
an unaccepted peace
for centuries under
another’s sword
the ottoman yoke
to fight hand-to-hand
scuffling in snow
with mussolini’s merry
men ‘blood brothers’
he said of the olive
and grape*
when any hatred had
frozen hard and spent
as emptied cartridges
dropping away down
the goat-steps of
winter mountains
the killing just a job
known to the ancients
that had to be done
signed now to the
brutalist enemy of all
under strict agreement
and empty purse*
yet the worn heart of
any one man or woman
of them will show you
a sun that can split
marble histories
apart and
their church
of wine and island
flower a flag
that shall ever
be white cross
on sea
white cross
on summer

ware place, pakuranga heights
20 september 2015
*the greek flag
*the Italian invasion of Greece via Albania; w
hat Mussolini actually said was “Una faccia, una razza”, meaning ‘one face, one people’, a saying in Italy that expresses the shared origin of the mediterannean peoples
*reference to the german dictated agreement to the so-called economic ‘bail-out’


      dancing crazy

in the supermarket
carpark he had the
radio up to the roof
the car door open
and was dancing
hasapiko, zembekiko,
tsifteteli* beside
the car whatever
the greek rhythm was
the staggered beat
he danced to that
in the dusk cooling
off like a stone
in a westerly sydney
suburb he danced like
this was the earth of
his possession to
stamp upon to
stamp his heel
mark upon the
gazes of the shoppers
fluttered toward
him like grey
moths around a
summer evening
bulb yet their bodies
never budged
an inch from
their trundlers to
tip the everyday
garbage out
shove it
to the

20 may 2015

*various types of greek dance

        on andros

            to Keith & Rachel, let the retsina flow in honour
            of good meetings on the road

on andros
a village
of the basics
coffee burnt meat
and cross
stakes it out
on the hill
stakes it all
on the hill
turning its back
to that long fall
to the sea
that long fall
of wind of
low walls of
stone dividing
stones into
grazing fields
for stones
the wind
the white towers
the doves swing
around in flight
the sea is always
taking a piece
of the view
you stand
silently afar
in storm
paved in
dashed in
sun scoured
under the wind
there except
when closed off
in the valleys of
night the leaves
of the olive
freezing the
air in silver
the sea
a hard pillow
of dream
yet to lay
our heads

november, 2014


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