Lily Michaelides

 
               
ENGLISH

Mediterranean

Gazing across the coast, to the very point where the land becomes sea and the sea horizon. The Mediterranean surges in my lips. I’m trying to define it with metaphors of sun, wind, sand and water, with images reformed into myths, to envision it with the ingredients of life, in the language of each country that swims across its coasts, amidst the sound of unforgettable songs traveling through its waters: “... it gave birth to Gods, Christ himself; the summer there has no fear of time… in the Mediterranean …”.

The afternoon brought closer the bow of the sky with all its colors. After the waves had recoiled toward the sea, the moon’s halo mirrored itself into the troubled waters amidst clusters of stars. On the horizon, within the span of moving time, the ships followed the age-long trajectory of the winds from Egypt and Phoenicia to the ports of Cyprus and Greece, carrying civilizations, submitting to the present an everlasting collateral.

I dig beneath the steps of Poseidon to unbury the universe of this moment. But the sand is delusive and dominant like love, enclosing devoutness within. And after thousands of years, through the fingers of times, emerge naked bodies and statues, old ships, amphorae, masts, robes, hulls and trawls, collecting the ashes of floating life before it evaporates, and rises like a cloud in the air.

But what is the Mediterranean? What are the waves, the sun, the wind and its whims? Amidst carved rocks I listen to the echo of the sea surfacing across its estuaries, grasping onto the land. It is an erotic, imperishable echo that reverberates without ending…the subconscious relation of the water with earth. Grasping and holding onto the land. Because the Mediterranean is a lake in the belly of the Earth; its very loneliness, ever so immense and humid…


translation: Despina Pirketti

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I will take with me the drizzle of the lips

I will strike root in the crags, flowering landscapes
acting ruthlessly in the waters
rending the days
flashing potently the nights
reanimated and expected
in red in white

Translated by Vasilis Papageorgiou

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Dream Land

You want to cross over
to the land immersed in beauty
with eyes of a mistress
where the blade of desire lurks

They say it is built on the foundations of a dream
and happiness there is just that – no embellishment –
composed like an aroma
that you slide over the hidden parts
dragging in your wake stories
and myths of men

They also say that the moon
spreads over her tenderly
and its kiss excites her savagely and sensually
a symbol of vastness
recurring by nightfall
transforming her into a tempest

You are overwhelmed by desire, curiosity.
What lies hidden behind the saffron rays
of the twilight?
And spite incites you – a ceaseless expectance
for how and when?

You see through the transparent voile of imagination
doors wide open
bigger than your expectations

Yet, to cross over
to walk outside the emblem of solitude
to relieve the burden of time

you should first – forsaking aberrations –
pass through what lies within you…

Translated by Despina Pirketti

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Self-Delusion

He went
over my body
with his eyes
carefully
as a child
its first steps

He was lost somewhere amid the hair

I saw him move away
I made out
the white cane in the dark
leaning on
the screen of night

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SOMETIMES the sky narrows
the stairs come down low

So low
that I touch them
without even lifting a finger

that low

that in the evenings
I go up and down
like a breath

like longing...

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I STIR YOU
like coffee

Trickle of cream
on the palate

Slowly
the taste flags
dries up
till the next coffee

Outside the wind flays
the summer
that peeped out...

Translated by Philip Ramp

 

 

 

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