Neo-Hellene Poets, an Anthology of Modern Greek Poetry 1750-2018

VII

                          South Wind

Westward the sea joins the mountain range.

From our left the south wind blows and maddens us

the kind of wind that strips the bones off the flesh.

Our home among the pines and the carob trees.

Large windows. Large tables

where we’ve been writing the letters destined for you

for so many months and dropping them

into our separation so that it may get filled up.

Star of dawn, when you lowered your eyes

our hours were sweeter than oil

over the wound, more joyful than cool water

to our palate, more peaceful than the plumes of the swan.

You held our lives in your palm.

After the bitter bread of exile

if we stand before a white wall at night

your voice nears us like a hope of fire

and again this wind sharpens

a razor against our nerves.

Each of us writes to you the same things

and each turns silent before the other

gazing, each of us, the same world separately

the light and darkness on the mountain range

and you.

Who will lift this sorrow from our hearts?

Last night heavy rain and today again

the cloudy sky weighs down on us. Our thoughts

like the pine needles of yesterday’s downpour

gathered up and useless by our front door

as though to build a tower that collapses.

Among these decimated villages

over this cape, open to the south wind

with the mountain range before us hiding you

who would estimate for us the sentence to oblivion?

Who will accept our offering at the end of this autumn?

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