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Tanaskidis G. Alexander

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Thessaloniki, Greece

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Mourning

by

Tanaskidis G. Alexander


She wakes again to a day
Where the air is spring-drenched with daffodils
And all the earth is rain-softened, flexible.
She envies it while she wonders where winter has gone
And when exactly the dark buds
Will begin to pierce through her white and deadened flesh.

Stretching now, she yawns
And feels her muscles groan,
Mourning the effort of another day, another life
In which nothing real can happen.
Nothing ever does.

So she waits for a moment before opening her eyes
And, in the flicker of time between sleeping and waking,
Strains her senses towards an unfamiliar sound,
Perhaps the sharp surprise of routine confounded.
But there is only silence
And she acknowledges instead
The cool caress of dank air on skin, the loneliness of blood,
Sunlight being hidden.
Although still she wonders

And is therefore almost unprepared
For the room’s stark revelation when her eyelids finally flutter open
And she sees then what she sees always:

A wardrobe filled only with dresses;
A half-empty shelf; a photograph.


Butterflyman

by

Tanaskidis G. Alexander

The dust settles slowly.
He watches the blue pickup
Until it disappears from sight.
The sky was as black as a witch's cloak,
The waves rolled over, the bay was soaked...
Childhood August
blurred stored memories
of hair silky among prickling grasses
and expert little thumbnails green
from piercing daisy stems
and leaping, racing, flying to catch a wish;
On sunny days he comes whistling down the lane,
heading for the meadow
and peacock, brimstone, orange tip.
He stays up late, growing intimate with his harem.
By candlelight, he labels, classifies,
re-arranges wings to a sort of satisfaction.

Greetings to everything surrounds you

by

Tanaskidis G. Alexander

How handsome is to participate in anything
encounters your past, your future, their nowadays...
It seems to me like an airoplane
has beeing landed
somewhere between your hips...
love, triste love of the mutual faith...
And afterwards,
you give your pulse,
in a beautiful martlet
to travel it all around the dreams...
How humiliative is to participate in anything
encounters with death...
You,
vulnerable King of the matress,
you,
can you cultivate a new pain
on behalf of the greeting of the Holy Ground?

My Sky

by

Tanaskidis G. Alexander

You are the ever changing artist;
On the ceiling of my world,
small dogs or battle ships,
laughing frogs I see,
or just my imagination...
Playing tricks on me,
you make the night so pretty,
with your many twinkling stars,
and now again you drop one...
So I can make a wish,
your fluffy bouncy clouds,
drifting past like dodgems,
going somewhere, nowhere...
Blocking out my sun,
metal birds making snowy roads,
on your endless highway,
clear foggy dark distant sky...
You cushion my moon
and hold my rainbows....

Perpetual silence

by

Tanaskidis G. Alexander

Shhhhh...
My mind is blowing away all the eyes
the world is wearing.
Shhhhh...
My words whisper some whistling songs
as the honey-ball rolls over air's body.
Shhhhh...
Your hands cry over my shoulder
and black birds fly over my song.
Shhhhh...
My eyes close when the air is
spring-drenched with daffodils
and all the earth is rain-softened,
flexible.
Shhhhh...
My bicycle balances on a branch.
A heartsick wind plays with a void feeling.
Shhhhh....
My perpetual silence,
is dedicated to you.

Personal Pronoun

by

Tanaskidis G. Alexander

I am the first person, singular,
A girder, an exclamation mark.
Nocturnal owls were hooting away,
Cats chased mice after sleeping all day.
Capitalised, in the Ionic style,
I have grown durable, the single column
That outlives the passing of empires.
I cannot paint this lily, the virid lines that hold
it in the shape of a crown, or paint its skin taut
with life, pulsed and shaded pink with power.
A digit, raised in admonition.
In the literature of every age
My fine-honed identity is indispensable.
My shadow stretches, like that of the Cross,
Into eternity.

Zebras in my mind

by

Tanaskidis G. Alexander

Some specific Autumns
I pass by...
Trying to stare my eyes above my feet,
flying here and there,
whispering my sunny poems,
wishing to kill my there-here-after...
Some terrestrial Winters
I hope you're safe,
singing your black and white zebra songs,
laying on the sand's hands,
gazing towards the future,
playing with clouds,
inside you...
But then,
comes the holly Spring,
with the tinny shadows,
beyond the God's windows...
With all my stars,
I'm moaning "good night"...

It was only a Day...

by

Tanaskidis G. Alexander

It was only a Day...
And...
Afterwards, collapse, demolished hearts, grief and lost efforts...
It was only a Day...
And...
Eleven round stars,
starring in my eyes,
were crying with all the round bleedings,
lowering the pain...
America's dominacy and sovereignty,
the America's fake face,
was now lost...
And...
Grief,
replaced the space,
between the hole in worlds Fall...
Cries surrounded the Mother-Earth...

Heroes

by

Tanaskidis G. Alexander


Someone called them "Heroes".
Odysseys, Hercules, Helen, Telemachus, Homer.
I used to call them," Monuments",
"Statues",
"Moments of Eternity",
"Hyperphysical Gods",
"Rivers and strong waves",
"Miracles of the Mother-Earth".

With their ability,
Their intelligence,
Their meteoric strength,
Their love compassion and perpetual space;
With the Myth almost spoken in their eyes,
And the windy songs in their veins,
Gave birth to what none has known,
Inspired the waves with new moves,
Embroidered menís dreams with spirituality.

I used to call them "Heroes",
With the Pegasusí flame on their wings,
And the mystery of the ancient Greek words
That my Initial Ground planted near to the stones,
With the planets that married Earth with the Sky.

I used to call them "Heroes".

But finally, I decided to honor them.
From now on, I call them "Myth"!

Lullaby

From the higher Holly Ground
To Heaven, the small fairies fly_

Herodotus claims that the dreams are autochthonous.

The Attic Pelasgic gems,
Shine in Phaetonís eyes,
And his sister Phathesousa,
Sings a happy Hellenic lullaby_

Once upon a decent,
Warriors signed Peace,
Grounds and huge amounts of love
Germinated in peopleís hearts.

A well-known sergeant,
Alexander the Great,
Decided to postpone all the wars and the battles.

People were all so pleased for,
So they dedicated a whole city,
In his Glorious Name.

Alexandria, a brilliant city,
Now came up in the light.

Sunshine landed on the silent lips of Zeus.
"Ethelokakeon" he then whispered.

"Peace, give peace on Earth.
I, I, I,
The vulnerable God,
I, I, I,
Have to sing the Myth!"

Acherontas

At the furthest edge of Ocean's stream,
Is a land to which all the mortals
Journey when they die.

In this land,
Their spirits endure a fleshless existence.
No one can talk.
They only breathe their last drops of blood.

Thereís a boat made of woods,
With two golden coins in it.
Every coin for every eye.

Both of them for the way.
The long road to perdition,
The biggest ever journey to the Elysian Fields.

At the end of the journey,
Friends and strangers wait the traveler.

Sing songs for the duty,
The Holly duty to fight for your country,
Sing preludes for their husbands and wives,
Pray for their "catechomenon" in their hearts.

After being their spirit assumpted from their flesh,
Thereís a Hole in the Sky waiting for them.

Hellenic tradition says,
There are the Elysian Fields,
The long-drawn-out love song.

At the furthest edge of Oceanís stream,
My spirit gives oneís world to the Eternity.

Swimming in Mount Olympus

From the day that the world acquired intelligence,
Went God a bit higher.

Mount Olympus and the backbone of mythology,
Gave off a delicate smell of a holy shining
And dusty memories for the Twelve Gods.

Uranus made love to the primordial Earth.
Greek palatals and phonemics,
Were just crawling and trying to spell their first Hymns.

The evanescent olive plantations
Were just oozing their first "doxasi".

"Doxasi", the Greek glory to Almighty!

Orpheus was murdered by Maenads,
As it was heard from Lakonís tomb and the utmost sense of "lakonizein".

"Lakonizein", speaking shortly, is saying clever things.

Maenads left his dead body, almost suffocated,
In the watery nebula of the suspending river Olympus.

Hera, heard his song,
Moments before he sailed to the Acherontasí boat.

"Son, oh my, Orpheus,
Didnít I know if their mind became latent
And hauled your dead body to the fire,
Not even putting two golden coins on your eyes.
By which Hymn of my heart will your death be paid?"

White doves

Hera, great bewitched goddess,
Sends white doves,
Who pass through the Sympligades Stones,
For the Argonauts_

Hera, shows to the nautiluses how to survey,
How to fly over the felonious stones,
Shows them the path to the incision of Saintliness,
Offers them the kedge anchor to swerve
And sail away from the death.

White doves, flying Hermes,
Bring important messages,
Bring the carbuncles in their beak,
Like the olive branches that "peace" means.

And Argonauts finally find the paths.
Fly to Heaven in a heavy wooden ship.
Fly to where the brilliants become illuminants.

Remindful Oedipus

Who, loving life,
Hath sought to outrun the appointed span,
Shall be arraigned before my thought
For an infatuate and unyielding man.

Since the added years entail
Much that is bitter; -- joy
Flies out of ken, desire doth fail,
The wished-for moments cloy.

But when the troublous life,
Be it less or more, is past,
With power to end the strife
Comes rescuing Death at last.

Lo!

The dark bridegroom waits!

No festal choir
Shall grace his destined hour,
No dance, and no lyre!

Thus to thine, Great Night

Fresh storms of Fate
Are bursting evermore
In thunderous billows,
Borne
Some from the waning light,
Some through mid-noon,
Some from the rising morn,
Some from the stars of Night.

The hypsometrical trebles and tenors stars,
Looked glamorous in the darkened sky,
Like a spontaneous clump of wishes
And libations to Bacchus and Iokasti_

A cuneiform tumulus of white star like bones,
Was still there above the nebulas of the Great Gods.

Orion was dancing on a rope,
Aphrodite was collecting pyracantha from the bushes,
Mars was squabbling with Poseidon,
Uranus was bursting into flowers his kisses on Earths lips.

Somewhere behind the piney slopes,
Artemis was chasing meteoric fawns, deers and stags_

This mysterious night,
Is dedicated to you,
My Glorious Vulnerable Princess,
Night of Nights.

Cyclopean love songs

One with eyes the fairest
Cometh from his dwelling,
Some one loves thee, rarest,
Bright beyond my telling.

In thy grace thou shiniest
Like some nymph divinest,
In her caverns dewy: --

All delights pursue thee,
Soon pied flowers, sweet breathing,
Shall thy head be wreathing?

Cassandraís Marriage

Add some red wine in our tumblers!
Add some more!
Add a sea!
The bridal torches' festal rays,
Till all the burning fane's ablaze!

Hymen! Hymenæan king!

A light!
Rise up, be swift;
Look there! Look there!
What blessings wait
Upon the bridegroom's nuptial state!

And I, how blest, who proudly ride
Through Argos' streets, a queenly bride!
Torches and trumpets,
Horns and songs,
Cassandra is married,
God bless them all!

The white sunny and snowy veil,
Waves and gambols from the hibiscuses to the oreganos.
I the while, in bridal glee,
Life the glowing, glittering fire.

Hymen! Hymen!
All to thee Flames the torch and rings the lyre!

Bless, O Hecate, the rite;
Send thy soft and holy light
To the virgin's nuptial bed.
Lightly lift the airy tread!
Evan! Evan! Dance along!
Holy are the dance and song.

Meetest they to celebrate
Her father Priam's blissful fate.

Dance, O Phoebus, dance and sing!

Pestilence

Lord of the Pythian treasure,
What meaneth the word thou hast spoken?

The strange and wondrous word,
Which Thebes has heard,
Oh!

It hath shaken our hearts to a faltering measure!

A token, O Paian, a token!
What is thy boon to us?

Shall it come soon to us?
Shall it be long e'er the circle bend
Full round to the fatal end?

Answer us, daughter of Hope,
Voice born Immortal of golden Hope!

Centaurs

Each new morn,
Sky cries with syllables made of horror.
And every ceil arc gives a light to the bad.

A bunch of strange forests,
Hides Centaurs who put stars
In a made of braided rope cenotaph.

Twelve same full circles,
Similar to the twelve full moons of Nausicaa,
When the ships sailed from the Island away.

Upon a crescent moon,
Hangs a clouded dream on an earthy night,
Singing a voiceless song in a lovelorn rhythm.

Birds in nests, stars in deep desert twilight,
Stones who laugh through the sea caves,
Oaks and cypress groves,
In a great domination of cynicism.

With a centripetal acceleration,
A newborn creature resembles animal and man.
A creative mingling, gives meaning in this night.

Look straight ahead!
Many of them come close to us!
Semi horse-like,
Semi men strong enough to carry on their shoulders
The hybridism of the next century.
The century of fairies and hyper Mythology.

World of woe

First therefore thou be entreated,
Divine unapproachable maiden_

And Artemis with thee, our aid to be,
In the mid mart of our city majestically seated,
And Phoebus the archer had death-laden!

By your affinity
Helpful lest trinity,
Help us. And as in the time gone by
Ye have bowed to our plaintive cry,
Bowed to our misery sore:

So come to us now as ye came before.

Ah me!

It is a world, a world of woe,
Plague upon the height and plague below!

And they mow us with murderous glaive,
And never a shield to save!

Nereides

Where did willowy mothers go?

They are fled, fled for their lives,
To the altars to pray.

There to lie, to sigh,
And to pray.

And to pray unattended,
With choir and cry.

Lamentation and litany blended.

And only,

O Maiden,

By thee may our marred estate be mended?

Zeus

O Zeus!

Father let him know thy wrath, thy wrath divine!

O God of light, from lightsome bow
Cast abroad thy fiery snow,
Like morsels cast thine arrowy, fiery snow!

And thou, O mountain maiden pure,
His sister, stand our champion sure,
Stand and strow
Arrows, as fire, below!

Thou too_

Thou art Theban_

O Bacchus_

In rosy bloom, elate and strong,
Lead thy madding train along.

Until thy fiery chase
Hunt the demon from the place_

Afar, afar!

Laertis

Arkeisius and Chalkomedousa,
Your son,
Have You seen him?

Is rumoured, heís crying for the unfair missing of his son.
Son in son bequeaths the fate.

Kefalos, brilliant and wise man spouse of Antikleia,
An Autolykousí affectionate daughter, Son of Hermes and Filonida,
Odysseus as it said is your own son?

Powerful king Laertis,
Over and under the flesh sentiment,
As the handhold, you think, itself,
That preamble it is, you believe, of naked silverís surface,
The naked blade,
That blood and more blood drunk
And it has refreshed its thirst,
And blood and other asks.

Thatís enough.

It reaches up to the skies.

In the expedition of Argonauts,
King and Man at the same time,
My beloved Laertis scorpion and fish, with Autolykous,
The grandfather of Odysseus,
The son of "No one",
You moved to walk.

And finally you were hurt.

Greeks and Kolches fought
And in that holocaust,
Mideia, woman who sacrificed her own children,
Offered a pleasant relief in your pain.

And later,
Years bissextile,
Elder man you came out of nowhere,
with alone shield of protection and company,
Your faithful servant, Dolius.

And later still,
Your juvenile hands,
With magic bath from Athena,
You grab the sword and eradicate other fathers,
Those of the men, who flirted the woman of your son,
The Odysseus,

And together the dearly hateful of yours,
The Benevolent and Obedient,
Eupithus, Father of Antinoos.

Oh ye blood Greek,
The liquid love.

Essences on the bones of history.

O ye blood of hymns,

In first arrival of Trojan sunset
And the last one.

Strymon

Now long and long from wintry Strymon,
Blew weary, hungry, anchor-straining blasts,
The mystery and sacred winds
that wandering seamen dearly rue.

Nor spared the cables worn and groaning masts;

And, lingering on, in indolent delay,
Slow wasted all the strength of Greece away.

But when the shrill-voiced prophet began to proclaim,
That remedy more dismal and more dread
Than the drear weather blackening overhead_

And spoke in Artemis' most awful name,
The sons of Atreus,
'mid their armed peers,
Their sceptres dashed to earth,
and each broke out in tears_

And thus the elder king began to say:
"Dire doom!
to disobey the gods' commands!

There was Iphigenia

Martlets and pigeons,
Flew over the river Strymon_

The prayers,
the mute appeal to her hard sire,
Her youth, her virgin beauty.

Naught heeded they,
the chiefs for war on fire.

So to the ministers of that dire duty
,First having prayed,
the father gave the sign,
Like some soft kid,
to lift her like a feather to the shrine.

There lay she prone,
Her graceful garments round her thrown;

But first her beauteous mouth around
Their violent bonds they wound,
With their rude inarticulate might,
Lest her dread curse
the fatal house should smite.

Tektons and Earthquake

Like a monster and a wild creature too,
They buried him in the heart of the Earth,
Between the huge amount of lava,
Beneath the worrying volcanoes and red water_

Earth now is rocking in space!

And the thunders crash up with a roar upon roar,
And the eddying lightning flashes fire in my face,
And the whirlwinds are whirling the dust round and round-

And the blasts of the winds universal leap free
And blow each other upon each, with a passion of sound,
And ether goes mingling in storm with the sea!

Such a curse on my head, in a manifest dread,
From the hand of your Zeus has been hurtled along!

O my mother's fair glory!

O ether, enraging
All eyes with the sweet common light of thy bringing,
Dost see how I suffer this wrong?

Peleus and Thetis in one body

Bride and groom,
Once were strangers,
No became husband and wife,
Two merits in one community_

Merrily rose the bridal strain,
With the paganistic pipe of reed and the wild harp ringing..

With the Libyan flute, and the dancers' train,
And the bright-haired Muses singing.

On the turf elastic treading,
Up Pelion's steep with an airy bound
Their golden sandals they struck on the ground,
While the mighty gods were feasting round,
As they sped to Peleus' wedding.

They left Pierea's fountain,
On the leaf-crowned hill they stood,
They breathed their softest, sweetest lays
In the bride's and bridegroom's praise.
Re-echoed the Centaur's mountain,
Re-echoed Pelion's wood.

Somewhere in Troy

The Centaur's tramp rang up the hill,
To feast with the gods they trooped in haste,
And at the board by Bacchus graced,
The purpling bowl to fill.

Grassy wreath and larch's bough
Twined around each shaggy brow.

Daughter of Nereus, loud to thee
Chanted the maids of Thessaly.

Their song was of a child unborn,
Whose light should beam like summer morn?
Whose praise by the Delian seer was sung,
And hymned by Chiron's tuneful tongue.

Alcestis

Daughters of Pelias, with farewell from me,
I' the house of Hades have thy unsunned home!

Let Hades know, the dark-haired deity,-
And he who sits to row and steer alike,
Old corpse-conductor let him know he bears
Over the Acherontian Lake this time,

I' the two-oared boat, the best, --oh, best by far
Of womankind!

For thee, Alcestis Queen,
Many a time those hunters of the Muse
Shall sing to thee the seven stringed mountain-shell,
And glorify in hymns that need no harp_

At Sparta when the cycle comes about,
And that Karneian month wherein the moon
Rises and never sets the whole night through:

So too at splendid and magnificent
Athena.

Such the spread of thy renown,
And such the lay that, dying, thou hast left
Singer.

Oh that I availed
Of my own might to send thee once again
From Hades' hall, Kokutos' stream, by help
O' the oar that dips the river, back to-day!

Elysian Fields

In heaven-high musings and many,
Far-seeking and deep debate,
Of strong things find I not any
That is as the strength of Fate.

Neither help nor healing is told
In soothsaying uttered of old,
In the Thracian runes, the verses
Engraved of Orpheusí pen;

No balm of virtue to save
Apollo a foretime gave,
Who stayed with tender mercies?

There lay the plagues of the children of men.

Song hated

Stand up and dry your fear!

Lift the song that mortals hate!

Once more sing for the Fate!

Tell what rights are ours on earth,
Over all of human birth.
Swift of foot to avenge are we!

He whose hands are clean and pure,
Naught our wrath to dread hath he;

Calm his cloudless days endure.
But the man that seeks to hide
Like him, his gore-bedewed hands_

Witnesses to them that died,
The blood avengers at his side,
The Furies' troop forever stands.

Borrow the death from those,
Who, in pain, embroidered him with their hands_

What is a mortal?

For light our footsteps are,
And perfect is our might_

Awful remembrances of guilt and crime,
Implacable to mortal prayer.

Far from the gods, unhonored, and heaven's light,
We hold our voiceless dwellings dread,
All unapproached by living or by dead.

Many waters cannot quench love,
Message of the passed days comes,
Cease fire,
Catch your breath,
The thinking is chased,
Behind the song_

Many waters cannot quench love,
Neither can the floods drawn it_

What on earth is a Greek mortal thing?

A fairy made of velvet

Prescient and years descent more,
Our antiquity proved_.
It remains to be shown
That Love is our author and master alone;

Like him we can ramble, and gambol and fly
O'er ocean and earth, and aloft to the sky;

And all the world over, we're friends to the lover,
And when other means fail, we are found to prevail,
When a Peacock or Pheasant is sent as a present.

All lessons of primary daily concern
You have learnt from the Birds, and continue to learn,
Your best benefactors and early instructors;

We give you the warning of seasons returning.

When the Cranes are arranged, and muster afloat
In the middle air, with a creaking note,
Steering away to the Libyan sands,
Then careful farmers sow their lands;

The crazy vessel is hauled ashore,
The sail, the ropes, the rudder and oar
Are all unshipped and housed in store.

Therefore have I come to see_

Therefore have I come to see?
And breathe and inhale the smells of the victory_

From the small islands to the grand caves
And from there down at the seas bottom_

To count with a measure the depth,
To exaggerate and to loose my mind for_

O land of Homer!

By the scarlet cherry tree,
Or when sent by you in Santoriniís vineyard_

In Alonissos,
I see the young peaches hanging green_

And the swallow comes from afar,
Telling tales while building his house on my walls.

Then,
O Ionia,
I dream of you,
in the days of May under the stars.

Therefore I have come,
The older and young islands, to see you . . .

With the wine

With a red, like the blood that pigeons of love have,
Wine, come to me_

And leave me then alone,
To whisper sunsets and rainbows,
To lull ornaments and columns,
To build waves and oceans,
To demonstrate you, my love_

With a red, like my veinsí blood,
Wine, caress me and hug my thunders_

After wave, in splendour, and the earth
Attires itself and then comes joy_

As after the kiss,
Arrives in his sandals,
God Erotas,
God Love_

A supreme, tuneful joy,
Setting the work to rights_

With wine red,
Full of rhymes,
Comes to the lips,
the poem_

Hellas means light

Helen, you Great and tremendous,
Helen_

Some of us,
May not even know you,
Helen,
Made of Eden,
Sculptured by winds_

Helen,
Greek goddess,
Marionette of Hellenic charity,
Many your goods to be,
Many the words we speak for your trial_

Greece,
Hellas,
Wherever Iíve been,
I spoke for your Glory,
Wherever I travelled,
You ruined the remains of my grief_

Of Greece,
That walks the sea with surety..

Of Greece,
Which takes me on voyages always_

From Alexander the Great,
To my last and first dreams_

From Greece,
To Acropolis and the golden and ivory statue of Athena_

The light that olive oil has
And shines in front of the Sunset_

Hellas means light

by

Tanaskidis G. Alexander


Helen, you Great and tremendous,
Helen_

Some of us,
May not even know you,
Helen,
Made of Eden,
Sculptured by winds_

Helen,
Greek goddess,
Marionette of Hellenic charity,
Many your goods to be,
Many the words we speak for your trial_

Greece,
Hellas,
Wherever Iíve been,
I spoke for your Glory,
Wherever I travelled,
You ruined the remains of my grief_

Of Greece,
That walks the sea with surety..

Of Greece,
Which takes me on voyages always_

From Alexander the Great,
To my last and first dreams_

From Greece,
To Acropolis and the golden and ivory statue of Athena_

The light that olive oil has
And shines in front of the Sunset_