2 poems @ drunkenboat

issue 19 of "drunken boat" hosts "the orchard" and "in summer, he":


Salt on his chest and sand on his back
the sun wedged in his eye
all day he wanders
and you have no rest
A sun with heavy eyelashes
animal gait
He goes out walking on his own
in the summer noon
Dogs stop in their tracks
turn round and curl up in the doorways
Men shut up in their bedrooms
sweat in their sleep
His steps melt the asphalt
Women hear him coming
and close the windows tight
Children stop their games
Run to the shutters
They only see his bare feet
The city swelters in the sun
the walls are peeling
Its only freshness, he
– taking alone to the streets
I first came upon him a full moon
at the end of a passage
between two whitewashed walls –
the quick-lime, his shirt
the moon hanging above
The second time I met him
at the opposite end of that passage
shirtless and
with the sun on his head
The wall curved behind him
a huge palm
pushed him towards me
The way was narrow
I pressed against the whitewash
– he didn’t even notice
Third time I saw him from afar
walk on the asphalt
barefoot –
in early morning’s yellow light
The road skirted the rock
above the sea
Suddenly he paused
and started down the slope
–almost vertical– running
without grabbing onto the bushes
He reached the water –
he stares, hands in his pockets
Now nothing’s wanting –
a precipitous thyme
the thickly flowing heatwave
the water’s scales
The sea swells like a face
that’s holding back its tears
He stands he won’t go in

- both from my first book of poems, The lifesaver [To sossivio], Kastaniotis Editions, 2008, and both translated by myself and Stephanos Basigkal.

[photo: p.i., viii.2008 - from my ongoing visual diary]