Vicky Tsaconas: Six Poems

ακοιμητο καντηλι *

……….after Ελια-καντηλι [Olive tree lamp]
……….by Christos Th. Bokoros

ancient
sacred fruit
black
winter-deep
hand-picked
one by one

put away
like memory
in cellar
………………………..pitch-dark
……………………………………………………….immaterial

in time,
……..gold-green
……..offering
……………extracted

……………………………………..tree-heart flame
…………………………………….keeps vigil
…………………………………………………………in ash-hued mountains

………………………………………………………………………………………………………..illuminates all

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………..without end

* vigilant lamp – the lamp that never sleeps.
Refers to the lamp that is always lit in front of
Christ on the cross in the Greek Orthodox church

 

**……..**

 

η μητερα μου γερνει
…………my mother stoops

Γερασαμε we’ve grown old, she says to me, noticing my grey hair, as we stand in her concrete back-yard where she eats her lunch alone. The same lunch every Wednesday and Friday since her husband died fourteen years ago. Bread. olives. .tomato. Next to hydrangeas, seventies eye shadow blue.

In a photograph I took in the seventies, she is smiling. My father (smiling too) helps her make κουλουρια Easter biscuits. This was before she stopped dancing with him. They used to dance ταγκο slow dance at γιορτες name-day celebrations. Before the grief could not be scrubbed.  polished . wiped away any longer.

A few years later, when I was in my teens, she started complaining of a pulling in her stomach κατι με τραβαει. She believed (wanted to) that it was cancer, even though the tests x-rays . scans.  MRI’s.  ultrasounds were negative.

In my graduation photo in the eighties, her cheeks and upper arms are fleshy. Now she is shrunken.  her spine bends.  her torso twists.  her bones brittle . her vagina atrophied.

Her seventy-eighth birthday two weeks ago − unmarked again except for a hurried call from me, her only (living) child.

Δεν εχω ορεξη has no appetite. Νot in the mood for making spanakopita for Easter.
She used to do it lovingly. Maybe there’s no love left.

…………Tρεχει η ζωη σαν το νερο.

……………….Life, she says to me, runs like water

 

**……..**

 

encased

after Block flowers set of nine
by Azuma Makoto

nine flowers
float

cosmos
japonica
primula
viola
…………..five more

nine acrylic boxes

life frozen

**……..**……..**……..**

 

immaterial

after The Other Side, transcendent by Lindy Lee

you burn
a hole
to get to the other side

more than one
irregular perforations
scorched in steel

alight.in
shadow

swim minute pools
pause
at the edges
...
written with fire

.still here
……yet beyond

 

**……..**……..**……..**

 

infinite

after Web by Tammy Kanat

strands
radiate silk
from centre pure
indigo russet
chartreuse
fuchsia white
the whole: up-ended drop
or earring about to sway
the eye
separates
and entwines

 

**……..**……..**……..**

 

pause

after The Space Within by Jennifer Conroy-Smith

ribbons
unglazed white
pendent
.
in the glow
recollect
time before
folds
drapes
.
light shadow
interweave:
asymmetric
cut-outs
interlace

come to be

 ————————————————————

Vicky Tsaconas lives in Melbourne. Her poetry and prose have been published in the anthologies Southern Sun, Aegean Light and Mothers from the Edge, in Stylus Lit, the Australian Multicultural Writing Project,Transnational Literature, Australian Poetry Journal, Azuria, Hobo Poetry Magazine, & (ampersand) and Unusual Work. Her articles have been published in Australia, Greece and online. Vicky was one of the founding members of Διφωνιες (Difonies) Journal of Greek Australian Thought.  

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