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To those who think that Greece does not matter today, let me say that they could not make a bigger mistake. Today, like old Greece, is of the utmost importance for anyone looking to find himself.

Henry Miller, 1891-1980, American author

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Laurel-crowned Athens

Laurel-crowned Athens

15 Apr, 2024

Dedicated to Stephen J. Fry

As beautiful as anyone, without a flower in her hair

with heroes and Romanism you nurtured your children

you have spread democracy from end to end,

with your incomparable myths and wisdom

you have captivated peoples

and with your best, you captured them.

 

Cradle of culture! You were praised, you were glorified,

 you grew up, died and rose again!

They took you prisoner, the children grabbed you

from your warm embrace

and you stand proudly, steadfastly, with Faith

palpitating the tight moment

to hold your children again.

 

And those who uttered hymns in your name,

ATHENA, phew, they left you to your fate.

You fell, a helping hand,

but no one, next to you, he stayed to decorate 

your silky hair

that heroically wave eternal seas 

on your battered shoulders.

 

They sparkle under the blinding light

of your clear skies

no blue, dark clouds,

nor steel lightnings cast shadows.

 

Your mother's beautiful brooch

to fasten on your collar, 

no one tried to find your children

who grabbed you violently while sucking  

listening to your heartbeat.

 

 And when the fools were hanging from the gilt

 your dress and song sad you murmured

 dragging the broken wings,

 for your lost Caryatid children,

nobody cared.

 

No handkerchief spread the black tears to sponge

and yet, so many honored you and still honor you

multitudes sacrificed for Thee,

they wrote about your unique gifts,

the secrets you never hid 

but you spread generously to the ends of the earth

because You are the Mother of all, ATHENA!

 

Now, a cry comes from the bowels of the earth,

from the waves of the sea.

He seeks JUSTICE, not revenge

whatever they took away from you, the Soul 

they will never be able to touch her,

to tarnish your shine, your truth.

Your heart, in the hymns of Palamas

and the Sicilian echoes,

always in GREEK, for FREEDOM!

 

 

 

 

(From the "Anin Ixelas" collection, Athens 2017)

photo Leonhard_Niederwimmer / https://pixabay.com 

 

 

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