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Sunday, September 04, 2011

LAMENT FOR THE OLD ONES

Note: Another poem from my collection "Songs for Erato".  I used to live in the Plaka, Athens and spend a lot of time there each time I am back in the city.  It used to be a place where my friends and I partied and for us women, there was no end of attention from all the handsome Adonis who hung out or worked at the tavernas there.  I wrote this poem one day while sitting at a souvlaki ship reminiscing about the old times.

The Plaka, Athens Greece


LAMENT FOR THE OLD ONES

 What has happened to those
beautiful Greek boys,
those Adonis who used to
captivate us with their sweet talk?

Where are the Zorbas
who danced with passion
on broken plates
and later broke our hearts?

 Are they these
bald, grey-haired, unshaven men
who laze away their days at kafeneions
bemoaning the state of the economy,
reminiscing of the days
they sailed boldly into foreign ports
like pirates,
seducing the local girls?

They used to loll in Plaka Square,
kamakis poised,
enough of them
to make a girl’s head dizzy,
oozing their Mediterranean charm.

Today I see only tired old men,
ancient as their myths.
Where are those beautiful gods?
Where is Eros
who struck our hearts with
his golden arrows?

 Now they work in tavernas
on hot summer days
slogging beer and souvlaki to tourists
while I sit and watch
remembering those golden days
when Plaka Square was filled
with laughter and love.

 Written in Plaka Square,  Athens.

(note: a kamaki is a 3-pronged fishing spear.  The guys who go out 'fishing' for women are nicknamed Kamakis) 

The Plaka at Night

My friend Aris who I have known since my first trip to Greece in 1979.  He's retired now and gone to live in Patras.  I miss him!

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