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Showing posts from 2013

Settling in...

It's been a while, but I've been trying to get my bearings and didn't make time for writing. The city of Baton Rouge stretches out in all directions, seemingly unconcerned about space, trees, time or money. On the outside, it looks like a business town: signs everywhere, large hotels, a few casinos, restaurants and shopping malls. It is also home to Louisiana State University, and the LSU colours of gold and purple seem to be everywhere, from people's t-shirts, to large advertising signs to LSU-themed cupcakes and purple-gold tortilla chips. People here are incredibly proud of their college football team, and on football day the whole city seems to unite in a warm, friendly and celebratory way to cheer on "the Tigers" - it is a feeling quite unlike the one that exists before our football (or soccer) matches, which are neither warm nor friendly. Baton Rouge is not that big of a city, and while I still wouldn't be able to tell you how to get from point A to…

Louisiana Love

So I have found myself on the road and in new adventures again! I can't begin to describe how excited I am, but you all probably know that already.
I am currently living in Port Allen, Louisiana, a town on the west bank of the Mississippi in Baton Rouge, with the love of my life, in his house which is attached to his parents' funeral home. Most people will find this a bit creepy, but I assure you it is far from being a creepy place. Port Allen is a slow-paced kinda place, with a refreshing openness - found in both the space and the people - that I have been yearning for for a long time now. The houses are small and spread out, people sit outside on their porches in the humid afternoon and kids ride their bikes around the neighborhood, which has no pavement, just a grassy side of a road, and tall, spreading Cypress trees. It is so quiet you can almost hear the wind blowing through the tall corn fields that stretch out beyond the last row of houses before the large and mighty r…

Who is this woman...

And why am I only just hearing about her?



How I feel about waking up on a different continent in two weeks exactly

Not sure I have anything worthwhile to say, but I am back

Long-distance

I flare
mean as a lionfish
hang up phone

Day and night
you wait -
I miss you

Man

Man, when earth was crumbling under my feet,
you were there.

My sanity hung from the phone line,
ready to kick the bucket.

Don't hang up, I said.
Let's talk until the morning hours.

Man, rock and anchor.
When we hug, your body is roots,
mine is tree.

To be a bluesman

"...to be a bluesman you must be a man, you must have been the son of a slave, you must have sung the gospel in church, you must have collected cotton in a Mississippi  plantation and you must have done some time in prison, preferably for having killed a white man who insulted you. This is why there are no more new authentic blues singers. As there are no more "rebetes" in Greece ! How can you sing rebetica songs if you are not  a "rebetis" ?"

Today I finally watched Robert Manthoulis's film "Le blues entre les dents" ("Blues under the skin"), released in 1972. I had previously watched a documentary on ERT about Manthoulis, and found him very interesting and intriguing, so I decided to find this film and hopefully others, and see some of his work. Here is an interview of his, though written in bad English (perhaps because it is a translation from Greek?), the points he makes are still interesting: http://blues.gr/profiles/blogs/an-…

To the world

All I have to offer:  a gentle, quiet, piercing poem.

When going through a rough patch

When going through a rough patch in life,
when you have doubts
and fears for the future,
when nothing seems to be going right
and you are sad,
put on some high heels
and a glass of wine,
and dance to Nancy
in your living room.




Come on life, give yourself to me

Revelation

And then, suddenly,  out of dirt and shit and nothing, my identity emerged:
I am a Poetess!

Άτε, ήρτεν!

This is a poem from back in 2010, when I still attempted to write poetry in Greek. More than ever, I needed to find this and read it, and remind myself that being young (at heart) means being willing, ready and excited to change the world.

Αναδύομαι μέσα απο τα χρώματα
και τις μυρωδιές της νιότης. Το δέρμα μου. Τα χέρια μου ζωντάνια, μύες που πάλλονται και αγάπη. Πατώ με δύναμη και σαλτάρω πάνω απο τους φράκτες και τα κάγκελα΄ το χώμα διαλύεται κάτω απ'τα πόδια μου η σκόνη σηκώνεται, διαλύεται γύρω μου χτυπώ τα χέρια και φωνάζω. Τινάζω το κεφάλι άλογο νεύρο περήφανο ζηλέψτε, εγώ που ζώ τώρα ακούτε εμένα! Οι φωνές μου, τα τραγούδια φτάνουν και σας βρίσκουν από μακριά, κι εδώ κάνω θρύψαλα τα φτωχά τύμπανά σας τώρα εγώ σα ζωή, γυρίζω σαν Γκοντζίλα στην πόλη σας και σπέρνω πεταλούδες. Καταπίνω τις γραμμές και φτύνω ιδέες τραβώ απ'τη γή το ουράνιο τόξο μαζί και τζίτζικες και το τεντώνω απο άκρη σε όμορφη άκρη αερογέφυρα να περνούν οι πεζοί. Χτυπώ τα σύννεφα το ένα με το άλλο σαν θεό…

Lost Rainbows

Where, where, where have all the rainbows gone?
What cloud has hid them,
what nasty twist of fate has shunned the light away from them,
what hopeless particle of dust has dulled their shine,

what God has gone depressed and lost the plot,
sitting atop his creation with his head in his palm,
weeping.

Or is it that our eyes have glued together
or our heads bowed down forever
or we forgot that rain, then sun, can signal hope?

Jacaranda

The jacarandas look more beautiful on an overcast day.
As if anything could look more beautiful than it already is.

Their delicate but deep violet penetrates my heart.
I wish that I could take their flowers and melt them into a cloud
and float away with it on the white and dusty sky.

I would travel to a distant land of wild roses,
of no time.
I would lay under the bare sky and sleep under the stars,
honeydew dreams attracting moths around my young and curly head.

I'd wake up to the gentle rays of a gentle sun on a gentle morning.
Everywhere: quiet, but the dawn chorus.
Foraging for apples and berries, I would stop to consider the weeds under my feet
and their smiling purple, white, yellow faces looking up at me.

The wild horses would kick up dust in the distance behind me
as I'd approach the edge of a cliff opening up to a valley:
a river running away from a waterfall, a butterfly teasing a light speck.

I'd breathe in, and breathe out: I'm still here.

For the rest of time (this is it)

Breathe in and realise this is as good as it gets.

The honey-stained sheets,
the long embraces,
the kissing lips like copulating slugs
this is it.

You might fool yourself and think:
more sunny days will come,
I will enjoy another cool drink
under the shade of the loving oak tree,
gazing towards the swift-dotted sky.

You might say:
I will wake up to a pair of juicy thighs
and lay my eyes on the intense greens and blues
outside my window
tomorrow.
I will live again tomorrow, and for years to
come.

But sadly, this is untrue.

Or perhaps- happily, this is untrue,
for how lifeless would those long-drawn love-lorn
gazes
into each others' eyes seem,
how cheap would our youthful bodies wrapped
around each other be,
how valueless the colours
and the scents
and the feeling of cold, clear water running
painlessly down our elastic throats be,
if they were to exist again tomorrow,
and the day after tomorrow,
and for the rest of time.

There will be an answer...

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Do they make songs like this any more? Or singers like this?

The Huey Show

It's Monday, and I have many thoughts clanking around in my head, and I'm overwhelmed and overflowing with emotions, which means....it's time for another music break.

My friend Christian introduced me to The Huey Show a while back, and I am forever grateful. I usually listen to it when cooking, and it always leads to delicious food. It must be the voice.

This is the link..enjoy http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01sfhhx

Grass must grow after a storm

Once again, you are bridging the distance between us, as we speak.
Others seem surprised at the summer storm today. Only yesterday they were sunbathing at the beach, bodies strewn in the sun and sweating tanning oil and salt.
Today there is hail and rain and a great black cloud covering the island. Why?
Because you are coming. Because there is no black without white, because there is no joy in one's heart without pouring rain on one's face.
Because this year I have been thrown violently from one extreme to another like a slingshot or a pinball.
Because there is no relief without guilt.
I don't even get up from my chair to follow the others outside. Sitting at my desk I open the window next to me and breathe in the wet earth. Deeply. I wonder if the wreaths at my mother's grave have wilted, I wonder if it's raining on the mountains, if grass will grow at the mound of dirt covering her body, if the breeding birds have found shelter in the thick branches of the pine …

This is true growth, Womanhood.

I miss writing love poems about you.
You need to come here and inspire me
touch me in a million different ways
feed me cherries
talk to me with your lips touching my skin.

But innocence will never be without a touch of grief
love will never be without a touch of loss
life will never be without a touch of death
ever again.

Maybe when I have kids, and I watch them play,
maybe then I will forget about mortality for a second there
and believe in my second childhood.

The Dawn Chorus

It’s all still too raw, I haven’t found it in myself to deal with this loss yet. I feel this cigarette burn on my soul combusting and burning larger and larger; I fear it will consume me. What’s left of oneself then? The body that gave flesh to mine is buried under the earth and I saw it. I saw the body and my brain wanted so much for it to be my mother sleeping. And then they took it away and I picked clothes for it. And then I saw it again at the funeral, and it was all made up – so much so that it didn’t look like my mother, it looked like a doll, so I believed it. My brother found it funny that we were crying for a doll and my dad reprimanded him during service. And when they lowered the body down into the ground we stood there looking with our arms around each other and thought it was an empty casket they were lowering down and smiled again, while dad walked away and stood in a corner under a tree. And at night we slept next to each other but my brother was throwing up and we ca…

Funeral blues by W. H. Auden

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone.
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling in the sky the message He is Dead,
Put crêpe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever, I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun.
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good

Today i'm 25, and I miss my mum

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My mother didn't know if she would make it till my birthday. She has. She's here, I had a 'birthday' coffee with her by her bedside this morning. I'm heading back there now to hold her hand and feel her warmth. Twenty five years ago, she was giving birth to me! She will never truly know the gift she gave me today, which I will carry my whole life.


Life is not all fun and games.

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Life is not all fun and games. It's not all spintops and lollipops and lazy Sunday mornings.

Sometimes you gotta be a child in an adult world.

Or a woman in a man's world.

Or a god in a human world.

Or love in a meaningless world.

Sometimes you gotta live and sometimes you gotta die.
Life is not all fun and games.

An attempt to look at the bright side

Read my rather nostalgic article on the garden birds of spring at the BirdLife Cyprus website here. It's also available in Greek on the Greek version of the website under the news section.
Ofcourse I have been 'trapped' in the office or hospital room for the past couple months so I didn't get the chance to see the transformation of nature into a spring boom! this year. But I still dream and write about it so that maybe some of you will be inspired to go out there - Go...GO! GET OUT OF THE HOUSE!! Appreciate the sweet weather and beautiful smells and colours for me...while they last.
I made the love of my life promise me he'd take me cloud-watching when he comes. Just lying on our backs somewhere making up stories, watching the sky, being lazy! Now I'm waiting for that day like a schoolkid waiting for summer - oh boy clouds here I come!

Let's all take a break from reality...

...and listen to the coolest DJ in Cyprus for a while


*DJ Magos* by %U03a0%U0391%U03c1%U03ac%U03b4%U03b9%U03bf on Mixcloud

These weeks

This hospital room has become our house.
They gave us a bed, a chair and two cupboards for your things.
A curtain separates us from the patient next door
and her relatives,
who crowd her space and encroach ours
speaking about daily things with loud voices.

I have to be angry at someone
so I’m angry at them.
They exaggerate about the symptoms,
wail and cry over a little fever,
pray loudly to their god
while passing around fried potatoes and
pastries from the bakery,
pace up and down in our room
With megatons of fat on their asses
a family of obese, loud, obnoxious elephants
from the village.
They talk about the crisis, their kids, gossip,
and expect me to feel sorry for them and their daughter
recovering from a surgery.

I’m angry at them, I’m furious, because they don’t understand,
they don’t respect
the severity of our situation,
the seriousness of impending death:
Their daughter WILL get better.
She WILL go home.

For us, even this hope is strained
and unpalpable.

This hospital r…

Just the drip

Sometimes silence hides growth.
The way the universe slowly expands silently,
so does my soul.

It is slowly occupying new space,
it fills the void with its own dark matter.

Don't be impatient, reader.
My words are just busy re-inventing their own shape.
They are measuring their own depth anew,
preparing their vessels for the rich grape harvest
that will be thrown in them aplenty,
their fibres ready to soak up the burgundy
their vowels hollow to let the wail through.

Welcome to the cruel world

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I love this album - Ben Harper's 'Welcome to the Cruel World' is so underrated. I think it was his first album. It's so powerful, I was obsessed with it as a teen maybe cause it's so bittersweet, soulful and empowering.

Anyhow, I was reminded of it today. This video is random but it doesn't matter cause he's damn sexy!



Just beautiful.




Tribute to the Kings and Maya Angelou's 'Still I rise'

The Bearer of the Knife - II

Hi Bearer,

your smile is like an eruption of blossoming almond trees all over this barren land.

I think you're happier than when I last saw you.

Your knife was safely kept away in its sheath, tied on your belt.
I could no longer see its deadly shine reflected in your eyes.

Nah, they looked clear and bright, so much so that I wished for a moment
that I could swim in them and forget my adult self,
splashing like a newborn dolphin in the clear blue waters of their dark brown.

Like an enchanted forest, they drew me in.
And I could have given in, only to face the same entangling misery at its dark and woody depths.

Only I looked away from you in time and laughed with my heart, bearer.

I'm glad to see you happy, I know you'll be alright.

Some wise words from a wise friend

Listen, anything in your life that is worth it
will come in the form of a question mark.
You know? It won't come easy if it's good,
nothing good comes as a fullstop.

Sometimes you may come across
a comma, letting you draw breath before
you get back into life.

Take deep breaths, take deep breaths
and keep hope. Be patient.

I love lazy Saturdays with my peeps

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Valentine's anti-poem by my other half

Roses are red
Cocaine is white
If i didnt have work I'd head to cy on a flight

Roses are red
Your body is hot
If I could see you right now
I'd jump your bones on the spot

Roses are red
Your coffee date is boring
Hurry up and talk to me
Or I'll be snoring

Seasons

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The Promise

Hi Mark,

I'm at work and it's one of those days
when I should be working hard to meet the deadlines
but I'm sitting on a space-rock orbiting the earth
instead.

It's cool up here - there's a stillness you can't find down in Earth.
It's so quiet and peaceful I can see my thoughts coming out of my head in colourful processions,
floating in front of me, letters wriggling and stretching and blinking at their sudden birth.

It's great- some come out with an explosion,
and I have to reach out and grab them before they shoot away in space forever.
Some need pushing out of my head like a stubborn baby
that doesnt want to be born;

some even bite on their way out, bringing a sting and a tear to my eyes.

And then again, some of them come out dancing, letters almost prancing and skipping like some happy princess,
or proudly, on some ancient greek warrior's goodwinded ship
riding the sea to battle.

And some yet tiptoe, not to upset
the status quo
and order,
as if …

The Starling Dance

Just when you are ready to give up
when you believe what they tell you that life isn't beautiful anymore,
when you start mourning for your birth and your death
and everything in between,
when you cry out in anger for the state of this country
which has been uglified by the people living in it

you turn your eyes to the purple sunset
and realise that someone is still here despite the chemicals and the concrete,
resisting destruction and
loneliness.

They are performing their dance in concert
for noone. Silently, among the houses and the sounds of the motorway.
Just like you are.




Birdies from pyrishoya on Vimeo.

*video of the Starlings in Latsia, Nicosia by Christiana.

Against the odds

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Alright, alright, here's another go at life. Yeah, let's try something new.

First thing on my list: Start by dodging as much of the shit thrown at you as possible.

Any other suggestions, dear reader?

Draft

We'd drained our brains
of words and ideas.

We'd drank the dreams
and saved our drowning worries
that lay there catching breath
and stealing ours.

.

Silence, take my fears away,
they feed on me like hungry dogs.
Look, my flesh and tendons
are hanging from my bones.

Skin shredded, I try to shrug them away
but they feed on me still.

Tears, let me drink you
and quench my loneliness.
My patience is leaving me
she said I was cheating on her.

Happiness is struggling to cope with me,
and struggling I, I plead to some god inside me
to wake up and carry on climbing.

This mountain is made of thyme and snakes,
I inhale deeply and take the bites with every step.

Love me, I scream, someone love me,
the sky is too broad,
and heaven is too much of a hoax to let myself believe in.

Safe flight, dream

And so my boy is gone again.
He came and went so fast
I think I only caught the back of his head
as I waved goodbye at the airport.

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At first we lay on the same bed, sleeping,
and dreams came parading like satyrs
whirling and dancing and clicking their hooves above our heads
around the room,
penetrating the night with their green-orange auras
and whistling panpipes.

And we were sleeping.
We slept long
and deeply at the world,
while our brains tuned in to the same wavelength
and whispered to each other under the sheets.

They caught up, discussing childhood,
politics, fears, religion, the weather.

While all the time we slept long
and deeply at the world.

And then our bodies woke up from their torpor
and clashed like Titans.
They fought and fought for hours
finding each other's weaknesses,
assessing each other's strengths.

And all the while we slept long
and deeply at the world.

When …

just one of those

2013 started off as shit as no other year. With chemo and a blocked toilet and freezing weather and dry skin. Will I ever be happy again?

Nina Simone Antibes 1965

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Powerful performance by one of my favourite artists in the whole wide world. Many more gems like this on youtube. Dedicated to my neighbour who plays his piano beautifully to the early hours of the morning, even over the Christmas holidays and New Year's Eve...I hope you pass your music school exams, stranger!

Happy New Year

Death's stinky breath is on our house
and at night, I dream of horse-drawn carriages sunk into swamps,
and violent reverse big-bangs
that burn us into nothingness.

And yet, we cling onto life with bared fangs and barred doors,
protecting the only thing that's left.

Sometimes those rays of daily life the way we knew them
shine through and hit us on the head with their simplicity and
foreign air of some long-gone and innocent time
when we didn't think about the moments so much.

And sometimes I find myself half-wishing that those moments were still mine
to float like a cork on.
But noone can hide from the deep waters too long. Sooner or later we will all be forced to sink in them,
and i'd rather dive head-on that drown in the waves.

Do you know what I mean?

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I mean, really, Life is funny.
Though I'm a believer in luck and no such thing as fate,
It would have me bel…