Five Poems for Ritsos

I first read your words in an Oklahoma
rainstorm in 1968
Now I am here with
Drifting birds in sea wind
Water jars of clay

Cretan knives
Small poems on the handles
And a photograph
Women in black holding
Their diminished dreams
In their aprons

A mauve light upon your weathered face
In the prison where
Your bowl of watered grains
Rotted under the windowed moon

Your resistance an ochre
Color of grace
Rises again
In this troubled time

As a tolling bell
Bursting upon the eternal sea wind
My brother
Nothing can defeat the human heart…
14 july 2009
Island of Crete

At the well of solitude

At the well of solitude
Where the dead and the living link hands
At the side of an abandoned road

We see when the clouds open and the sun
shines through

They are smiling….

Whispering of windows shuttered
On an unknown plain….

The ones with ghosted eyes

Within our dreamtime
to watch….

the bones melt on the window pane…

And the one song that has followed us
All this way…

Is playing….

Poem for not turning away
Bologna 14 apr 20


Found a thousand butterflies in the icicles 

A single tear in the willowed rain
Found a veterans broken whistle in the worn pocket of a sad refrain
Moved us beyond ourselves to this clearing place 

Where moonlight in our souls remain

Sing to us justice 
Sing to us peace….
Sing to us again….

Bologna 9.april.20