Tasos Livaditis – Poems, Volume II

Long Listed for the Griffin Poetry Awards, 2023



Father Thomas, however, was distrusting so he had

his well ground coffee each afternoon  under

          the grapevine

while the bells tolled the evening matins etc etc.

Why should I care for the incomprehensible and

          rude world

I keep a piece of glass and know my punishment

as you solve a puzzle so you can stand in front of

           the mystery

and the big common charnel house where the bones

            of the poor were stored;

all those who suffered silently and anonymously

so God can remember them all together with

             one name.

I woke up a bit late, “stupidities it’s the booze”

I said seeing someone sleeping on the sofa

then I remembered “he must be the forest warden” since

once, in other times I was lovable. Of course, there

was always danger that the other could appear, the one

who was arriving in regular hours asking for his share;

when satiated he’d leave taking along some miserable

secret stories while I was still sweeping the blood

in the old school classroom and Mrs. Marcella,

the supervisor “it’s the wrong time for tears”, she said

to me until I started been bored since whatever we live

simply passes and only later it sinks inside of us. 



Griffin Poetry Awards, 2023

Η μετάφραση μου ποιημάτων Τάσου Λειβαδίτη, τόμος ΙΙ, μπήκε στην πρώτη λίστα των δέκα στα βραβεία Griffin Poetry Awards, 2023// My translation of poems by Tasos Livaditis made the long list of the Griffin Poetry Awards

Tasos Livaditis – Poems, Volume II


Oh, my good old comrades, hastily buried, as if one

          had only one more night to live:

the uninteresting Elias, Thomas with the stolen

fur and the most unfortunate, Amen, the over-religious;

when he died we sat next to him, his pants ballooned

           because of his hernia,

unfortunate Amen had never been with a woman since

            the years of our First Fathers.

My good old comrades you passed so simply like

the uneducated villager who repeats an indecipherable

           Oh Lord our Father

although the smoke still rises.

Sometimes I think that our true life is unfolding behind

            the wall

and the first killing was premeditated; the promise

wasn’t absent nor was the pale tenant, nor the silent

            road with the closed stores;

miserable people they’ll never find out what was written

            on that primeval seal

and that an umbrella is but a ghost that doesn’t ever


My friends with who I talked night after night about

            the fate of the world

and among the small interruptions of our talks was

what we left behind for the others, impossible to

            survive and so familiar

that you may pass by it without noticing.

Years passed this way. The sick waited for the opening

            of the old carpentry

I preferred to go up to the attic; the blind man with the

            threads stayed there

while the other tenants lived downstairs imagining that

            they truly lived;

“You may lay me”, the ugly woman said “but place a napkin

            on my face”

dark, impenetrable, moist from top to bottom like a

            great meaning and when

Chryssostomos smelled because of the gangrene

she stood at the door and scare away the dogs; one

night, in fact, but what can you call them “thieves”

            I yelled,

people passed by, cried, or made bets since there was

always a black horse where you couldn’t see anything

and alcohol has its stony wing too.


Wheat Ears – Selected Poems

Sixth Hour

A sudden emptiness in my gut

unexpected pain I taste

for the missed kiss desired and

the silence of the black shroud is

conferred unto the freshly dead

Trickling night forgets

the name of the first slayer when

in His capricious mania

Jehovah trowels ephemeral glitter

applying it with shining colors of

sun and afterglow of

lovemaking before raining it

down to the net strands of

virgin life when

shit hits the fan and new

concepts announce themselves with

appellations of rich-richer

hungry-hungrier unfortunate-less

orphan with

layers of fat under the skin

guiding He divides Earth

into lavish and dirt floor worlds

never daring to name exiles

whose homes are razed as a favor to allies

or filth in their hearts – those who have one

who never dare name multinationals

dark corridors of minds and agencies

commanding obedience preacher

commanding kneel obey

pay and counting as I cry in dismay

at the sight of full coffers and stomachs

before long the answer comes

from the lips of the faceless

corporation: who cares?


Constantine P. Cavafy – Poems



The aging of my body and my face

is a wound from a dreadful knife.

I have no perseverance at all.

I fall back on you, Art of Poetry,

that knows something about potions,

trying to dull the pain through Fantasy and Language…

It is a wound from a dreadful knife.—

Art of Poetry bring your potions,

that make—for a moment—the pain go away.


Πασχάλης Κατσίκας, Τρία ποιήματα

To Koskino


Δένουν με κάτι σύρματα τα χρόνια
εμπρός σ’ έναν καθρέφτη
με μαύρο μίνιο βάφουν τα μαλλιά
Όμως τα σύρματα σκουριάζουν
Μπαίνουν βαθιά στα μάγουλα
Δεν τριγυρνούν πια στο κρεβάτι τα φιλιά
Κ’ οι πεταλούδες που έσπρωχναν
τα σώματα στον έρωτα γίνονται νυχτερίδες
να σκεπάσουν το φεγγάρι



Με κάθε ρουφηξιά πυρώνει
το βλέμμα σου στα δάχτυλα
Το τραγούδι μου γλιστρά
Πίσω απ’ την ομίχλη γαντζώνεται
σε φτερούγες αποδημητικών πτηνών
Οι νεφέλες στενάζουν
Λικνίζουν τα νεκρά πλοία
Κι εσύ, σ΄ ένα λιμάνι χιονισμένο,
σφυρίζεις τον σκοπό
που πέφτει από τα δέντρα



Μια ζοφερή νύχτα ονειρεύτηκες κόκκινα πουλιά
μέσα σε παραλήρημα
σκέπασαν άξαφνα με κρότους έναν ακάνθινο ουρανό

Από τότε κοιμάμαι μ’ εκείνα τ’ αγκάθια
καρφωμένα στον φάρυγγα
ουρλιάζω στα φλαμίνγκο σου ν’ αποδημήσουν.

*Από τη συλλογή “Τα κόκκινα πουλιά”, εκδ Δρόμων, 2022.

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Έργο – μαμούθ από την μυκηναϊκή εποχή στην Κωπαϊδα


Δύο εκατομμύρια κυβικά μέτρα χώματος απομακρύνθηκαν από τη Βοιωτία προκειμένου να αποξηρανθεί η Κωπαΐδα, κατά μυκηναϊκή περίοδο! Ένα έργο που ακόμη και σήμερα θα χαρακτηριζόταν “μεγάλο” έχει αφήσει έκπληκτους τους αρχαιολόγους!

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

Poem by Miltos Sachtouris


The woman undressed and lied

on the bed

a kiss unfolded on the floor

wild faces with knives appeared

on the ceiling

a bird hanging by the wall

choked and vanished

a candle leaned over and fell

of the votive

sobs and sounds of running footsteps

were heard outside

They opened the windows

a hand appeared

then the moon invaded the room

hugged the woman and they slept together

all night long a voice was heard:

the days pass by

the snow stays


Κατερίνα Αγγελάκη-Ρουκ, Εκπατρισμός

To Koskino

Τούτα τα πουλιά
που κατεβαίνουν στις πλατείες
με δύο θάλασσες σκούρες
κάτω απ’ τις φτερούγες
κι οι ουρανοί που στάζουν
νύχτες σαν το μέλι
κι οι παλάμες σου
ολάνοιχτα μεσημεριάτικα παράθυρα…

Εκεί που η κορμοστασιά
φως εσπέρας και μέθη στ’ αλώνια
με δυο άστρα φτάνουν
εκεί που κλίνεις το κεφάλι
και δεν ξέρεις γιατί
γιασεμιά σε τράβηξαν ή μπιγκόνιες
και φοβάσαι το βήμα σου
μη σε ξελογιάσει στα χωράφια
και φοβάσαι την πλάτη σου
μην τρελαθεί κι αναλάβει το βάρος του κόσμου
κι αναριγάς
περιμένεις τα ηλιοτρόπια να σου φέξουν.

Η ανάσα σου διαστήματ’ αλλιώτικα
έχει διαλέξει
και τα μαλλιά σου ακολουθούν.
Κρασιά, παπαρούνες
δρόμοι φαντασμαγορικοί
μανίες, τέρατα
στάχυα και κρινομπούμπουκα
παρουσίες εφήβων
στη βασιλεία του ήλιου…
Βότανα, ψυχές πηγαδιών με πανσέληνο
δέντρα τόπων ιερών
δέντρα τρια, αυλής δικής μου…
Μαγγανείες γιορτές Αυγούστου
θάλασσες ολόστητες
ενδύματα σεπτεμβριάτικου ουρανού
χώμα που φωσφορίζει
που τρέμει
που απαντάει
που προτείνει
δίνεται, προστάζει…

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

Poem by Alexandra Bakonika


For a long time he had courted her
and when he found her on the beach
among acquaintances and friends
he spread his towel beside her
and as they lied very close, he touched her.
He got lucky
and was somehow surprised
by her immediate response
she stood up and led him
to a secluded remote beach
where they stopped
and from experience gained from former
love affairs
she knew the heat
she caused when she stood stark naked
and throwing off the final piece of her garments
she started going in and out of the water
many times and flamboyantly
as if to tell him

die wanting me