Thursday, September 01, 2011


Kouros (pl: Kouroi):  a representation of male youths which first appeared in the Archaic period in Greece.  It was used to represent the god Apollo and typically used as a memorial for victors in the Games.

Kouros, museum at Samos


In the museum
the marble kouros
stands erect
Long locks brushing his shoulders,
eyes gazing into
an unknown future.

I see them, today’s kouroi,
standing on a street corners,
holding machine guns
in clenched fists.

Are these guns the new kamakis?
Is the broken glass they tread on
From shattered windows?
Instead of plundering hearts
in foreign ports
do arrest they roving marauders
who plunder their city?

They look young enough to be my
grandson, barely out of college
Perhaps recruited from army duties.

Is this what has become of
the young men
who once lolled in Plaka Square
chatting up tourist girls,
stealing hearts?

Do they, like their fathers,
dance like Zorbas on broken plates,
aim their golden arrows
Into the hearts of tourist girls?

Like the museum kouros
these boys face an unknown future
These beautiful
bronze-skinned kouroi
are the new
protectors of Athens

They are today's Greeks
survivors, resilient, daring,
the heroes of a new generation.
Peaceful protestors, Syntagma Square, Athens

Kouros in situ, Naxos Greece

(kamaki: a three-pronged fishing spear;  a term used for the young men who were out looking for girls in Greece)

No comments: