Sunday, 25 October 2009


He stood to have a breather on the evening threshold.
His breath calm like the sky.
-- Remember, he had said, a house
is not just smoke and stone, nor
even dawn and dusk with invisible diagrams,
it is something else, like when we count
how many wells are hidden in the sea.

He remembered the Prince of lilies who was building
his house with chick-peas and cypress cones,
because he feared the stone’s revenge    
and he had treated us to gingerbread
by the royal fountain and his wife
had snakes twisted round her legs.
Because a house needn’t
be only stone but a door as well
and beggars are discreet in reminding us
that it is synthesis, sky and earth.
Because a house need be only
a chair or a plate-rack’s silence.
I know -- Knossos pointed to the door
and was annoyed that I held the cameo in my grasp.
The Prince of lilies has no hands,
God has called him to his eternal rest. 

Translated from the Greek by Yannis Goumas

No comments:

Post a Comment