The squirrel kept sniffing in the wet grass
Its busy tail irritated the peacocks
that strutted around screeching
among the flower-beds, on the verandas
Their claws stabbed at the stone slabs

The last king, Poniatowski, slept uneasily
Ryx, his trusted companion, lay awake next door
A humble barber from Flanders
personal guard, manager, at last a nobleman
his coat of arms, a Ring

The little Water Palace unsuspecting
bridged the lake
A few years hence the country would be torn in three
half a century a later, swiftly and soundlessly
arisen from their barracks at the Park's other end
the select young men of Archduke Konstantin, the Russian
would cross the pavements
Disguised as a woman, he fled

One more uprising got drowned in blood
and thirty three years later
the Kingdom of Poland
was erased

In black, the women sold
hid their jewels
They put on
iron chains

[This poem, translated from the Greek (in Polonia, Kastaniotis Editions, 2016) by Panayotis Ioannidis, was anthologised in Th. Chiotis' [ed.] Futures – Poetry of the Greek Crisis (Penned in the Margins, 2015). Photo by P.I., Łazienki, iv.2004]

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