Monthly Archives: December 2000



In Greece
I remember and meet
myself everywhere
I am Socrates questioning
I am the athlete striving
the architect planning
the builder building, the potter shaping
the sculptor seeking, the warrior dying
and the poet pointing

In Greece
I am all men and all gods as well
and I remember
How many times in this life alone
I have pushed the rock endlessly uphill
Carried the world on my shoulders

Had my liver eaten by the savage bird
How many times
I have fallen in love with my own
Reached out for the sweet grapes and
sweet water
to find them moving always beyond my
Been forced to echo only what others
have said
Tied myself to the mast to resist the
siren’s call
Fought in a thousand wars
full out on the open field or sea
or hidden in the belly of a wooden horse



We stand in the sunlight of Athens
birthplace of democracy, philosophy
theatre and reason

Here man first learned true freedom

Created gods
in the image of his vices and his virtues
and learned to embrace and best them all

Stores in Athens close for the parade
people gather from miles around

For hours past the viewing stand
soldiers and sailors march in step

Overhead the jets and choppers
roar by in strict formation

Thirty deep and more
people push and flow and smile on cue

I search the marchers and the crowd
Looking for that one toga, one book
One independent mind
One ancient Greek



In ancient Greece
the athlete was admired
statues raised in his honor

Olympic games every four years
the basis for the whole Greek calendar

Modern Olympics forget the Greek Ideal
of sound mind in sound body

Forget the many statues of the wise
Forget that Olympic games contained
display and competition
in poetry, in music, and in drama

In the modern Olympics every four years
a new sport is voted in
I vote to add the balance back



Artist Laureate of Mykanos

her adopted town floats above the canvas

Windmills dance on the hills
church domes and white houses
rebound light across the narrow lanes

Ships bob on the bluest water
watched by pink pelican and faithful dog

In her pictures, handsome Greek men
work the boats and bars

Forty years from Boston town
she knows too much of these men
but the island nights get cold

Her art raised their two children
it cost a lot

But to marry one of these
patriarchetypical sons of pirates
would have cost more soul
than this artist or her art would pay