27 June 2011


Horsefield, acrylic, oil pastel, charcoal pencil

Forget the suffering
You caused others.
Forget the suffering
Others caused you.
The waters run and run,
Springs sparkle and are done,
You walk the earth you are forgetting.

Sometimes you hear a distant refrain.
What does it mean, you ask, who is singing?
A childlike sun grows warm.
A grandson and a great-grandson are born.
You are led by the hand once again.

The names of the rivers remain with you.
How endless those rivers seem!
Your fields lie fallow,
The city towers are not as they were.
You stand at the threshold mute.

Czeslaw Milosz

Και για μένα δεν προσεύχομαι μοναχά,
Αλλά για όλους, αυτούς που στάθηκαν μαζί μου στη σειρά
Στη ζέστα του Ιούλη, στο ψύχος του χειμώνα
Κάτω από τον τόσο κόκκινο, τον τοίχο, κι αθώρητο ακόμα.

Άννα Αχμάτοβα

26 June 2011


Καὶ θυμᾶμαι τὸν ἥλιο ποὺ γελοῦσε

Πού γελοῦσε καὶ δάκρυζε θυμᾶμαι

Γιῶργος Σαραντάρης

Pinetree, water colour

                           for Michael Longley

                           As a child, they could not keep me from wells
                           And old pumps with buckets and windlasses.
                           I loved the dark drop, the trapped sky, the smells
                           Of waterweed, fungus and dank moss.

                           One, in a brickyard, with a rotted board top.
                           I savoured the rich crash when a bucket
                           Plummeted down at the end of a rope.
                           So deep you saw no reflection in it.

                            A shallow one under a dry stone ditch
                            Fructified like any aquarium.
                            When you dragged out long roots from the soft mulch
                            A white face hovered over the bottom.

                            Others had echoes, gave back your own call
                            With a clean new music in it. And one
                            Was scaresome, for there, out of ferns and tall
                            Foxgloves, a rat slapped across my reflection.

                           Now, to pry into roots, to finger slime,
                           To stare, big-eyed Narcissus, into some spring
                           Is beneath all adult dignity. I rhyme
                           To see myself, to set the darkness echoing.

                          Seamus Heaney
                          Personal Helicon

Όποιος ποτέ του δεν αγάπησε, θ' αγαπήσει, στο φως...

Γιώργος Σεφέρης


25 June 2011


Δῶρο στὴν ἁγνή μας οὐσία

Γιῶργος Σαραντάρης

Bluehorse, (watercolour, charcoal pencil, ink, pastel)

Memory believes before knowing remembers.

William Faulkner

17 June 2011

ζωή life

 Δύναμις, σθένος, ορθοστασία, ζωή

Strength, vigour, standing still, life

on the move (Horses 5)
"on the move", ink drawing by fourteenth

8 June 2011

The Little Prince: Chapter 21


"Who are you?" asked the little prince, and added, "You are very pretty to look at."

"I am a fox," the fox said.

"Come and play with me," proposed the little prince. "I am so unhappy."

"I cannot play with you," the fox said. "I am not tamed."

"Ah! Please excuse me," said the little prince.

But, after some thought, he added:

"What does that mean--'tame'?"

"You do not live here," said the fox. "What is it that you are looking for?"

"I am looking for men," said the little prince. "What does that mean--'tame'?"

"Men," said the fox. "They have guns, and they hunt. It is very disturbing. They also raise chickens.

These are their only interests. Are you looking for chickens?"

"No," said the little prince. "I am looking for friends. What does that mean--'tame'?"

"It is an act too often neglected," said the fox. It means to establish ties."

"'To establish ties'?"

"Just that," said the fox. 

"To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. 

And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. 

To you, I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. 

But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. 

To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world . . ."


Antoine de Saint - Exupery

5 June 2011


                  The Parable Of The Old Men And The Young

                 So Abram rose, and clave the wood, and went,
                 And took the fire with him, and a knife.
                 And as they sojourned both of them together,
                 Isaac the first-born spake and said, My Father,
                 Behold the preparations, fire and iron,
                 But where the lamb for this burnt-offering?
                 Then Abram bound the youth with belts and straps,
                 And builded parapets and trenches there,
                 And stretchèd forth the knife to slay his son.
                 When lo! an Angel called him out of heaven,
                 Saying, Lay not thy hand upon the lad,
                 Neither do anything to him, thy son.
                 Behold! Caught in a thicket by its horns,
                 A Ram. Offer the Ram of Pride instead.

                 But the old man would not so, but slew his son,
                 And half the seed of Europe, one by one.

                 Wilfred Owen

3 June 2011

Poets utter great and wise things which they do not themselves understand. Plato

                              House On A Cliff

                              Indoors the tang of a tiny oil lamp. Outdoors
                              The winking signal on the waste of sea.
                              Indoors the sound of the wind. Outdoors the wind.
                              Indoors the locked heart and the lost key.
                              Outdoors the chill, the void, the siren. Indoors
                              The strong man pained to find his red blood cools,
                              While the blind clock grows louder, faster. Outdoors
                              The silent moon, the garrulous tides she rules.

                              Indoors ancestral curse-cum-blessing. Outdoors
                              The empty bowl of heaven, the empty deep.
                              Indoors a purposeful man who talks at cross
                              Purposes, to himself, in a broken sleep.

                               Louis MacNeice

Cy Twombly, Fifty Days at Iliam: The Fire that Consumes All before It, 1978


                         Sojourns in the Parallel World

                        We live our lives of human passions,
                        cruelties, dreams, concepts,
                        crimes and the exercise of virtue
                        in and beside a world devoid
                        of our preoccupations, free
                        from apprehension--though affected,
                        certainly, by our actions. A world
                        parallel to our own though overlapping.
                        We call it "Nature"; only reluctantly
                        admitting ourselves to be "Nature" too.
                        Whenever we lose track of our own obsessions,
                        our self-concerns, because we drift for a minute,
                        an hour even, of pure (almost pure)
                        response to that insouciant life:
                        cloud, bird, fox, the flow of light, the dancing
                        pilgrimage of water, vast stillness
                        of spellbound ephemerae on a lit windowpane,
                        animal voices, mineral hum, wind
                        conversing with rain, ocean with rock, stuttering
                        of fire to coal--then something tethered
                        in us, hobbled like a donkey on its patch
                        of gnawed grass and thistles, breaks free.
                        No one discovers
                        just where we've been, when we're caught up again
                        into our own sphere (where we must
                        return, indeed, to evolve our destinies)
                        --but we have changed, a little.

                        Denise Levertov

Pebbles by fourteenth

  St. Peter and the Angel

  Delivered out of raw continual pain,
  smell of darkness, groans of those others
  to whom he was chained--

  unchained, and led
  past the sleepers,
  door after door silently opening--
  And along a long street's
  majestic emptiness under the moon:

  one hand on the angel's shoulder, one
  feeling the air before him,
  eyes open but fixed . . .

  And not till he saw the angel had left him,
  alone and free to resume
  the ecstatic, dangerous, wearisome roads of
  what he had still to do,
  not till then did he recognize
  this was no dream. More frightening
  than arrest, than being chained to his warders:
  he could hear his own footsteps suddenly.
  Had the angel's feet
  made any sound? He could not recall.
  No one had missed him, no one was in pursuit.
  He himself must be
  the key, now, to the next door,
  the next terrors of freedom and joy.

  Denise Levertov

2 June 2011


              Between going and staying the day wavers,
              in love with its own transparency.
              The circular afternoon is now a bay
              where the world in stillness rocks.

              All is visible and all elusive,
              all is near and can't be touched.
              Paper, book, pencil, glass,
              rest in the shade of their names.

              Time throbbing in my temples repeats
              the same unchanging syllable of blood.
              The light turns the indifferent wall
              into a ghostly theater of reflections.

              I find myself in the middle of an eye,
              watching myself in its blank stare.

              The moment scatters. Motionless,
              I stay and go: I am a pause.

              Octavio Paz

Agora, Athens by Ben Hein


                          “And then my heart with pleasure fills, and dances with the daffodils.”
                            William Wordsworth

                          from I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud

Ben van den Bussche

              Interval of Joy

              We were happy all that morning

              God how happy.
              First the stones the leaves and the flowers shone

              and then the sun

              a huge sun all thorns but so very high in the heavens.

              A Nymph was gathering our cares and hanging them on the trees

              a forest of Judas trees.

              Cupids and satyrs were singing and playing
              and rosy limbs could be glimpsed amid black laurel

              the flesh of young children.

              We were happy all that morning;
              the abyss was a closed well

              in which the tender foot of a young faun stamped

              do you remember its laughter: how happy we were!

              And then clouds rain and the damp earth;

              you stopped laughing when you reclined in the hut,
              and opened your large eyes and gazed

              on the archangel wielding a fiery sword

              "We cannot explain it," you said, "We cannot explain it,
We find people impossible to understand

              however much they may play with colors

              they are all black".

              George Seferis
              translated by Kimon Friar

              Διάλειμμα Χαρᾶς

              Πεντέλη, ἄνοιξη

              Εἴμασταν χαρούμενοι ὅλοι ἐκεῖνο τὸ πρωὶ
              θεέ μου πόσο χαρούμενοι.
              Πρῶτα γυάλιζαν οἱ πέτρες τὰ φύλλα τὰ λουλούδια
              ἔπειτα ὁ ἥλιος
              ἕνας μεγάλος ἥλιος ὅλο ἀγκάθια μὰ τόσο ψηλὰ στὸν οὐρανό.
              Μιὰ νύμφη μάζευε τὶς ἔνοιές μας καὶ τὶς κρεμνοῦσε στὰ δέντρα
              ἕνα δάσος ἀπὸ δέντρα τοῦ Ἰούδα.
              Ἐρωτιδεῖς καὶ σάτυροι παῖζαν καὶ τραγουδοῦσαν
              κι ἔβλεπες ρόδινα μέλη μέσα στὶς μαῦρες δάφνες
              σάρκες μικρῶν παιδιῶν.

              Εἴμασταν χαρούμενοι ὅλο τὸ πρωΐ
              ἡ ἄβυσσο κλειστὸ πηγάδι
              ὅπου χτυποῦσε τὸ τρυφερὸ πόδι ἑνὸς ἀνήλικου φαύνου
              θυμᾶσαι τὸ γέλιο του: πόσο χαρούμενοι!

              Ἔπειτα σύννεφα βροχὴ καὶ τὸ νοτισμένο χῶμα
              ἔπαψες νὰ γελᾶς σὰν ἔγειρες μέσα στὴν καλύβα
              κι ἄνοιξες τὰ μεγάλα σου τὰ μάτια κοιτάζοντας
              τὸν ἀρχάγγελο νὰ γυμνάζεται μὲ μία πύρινη ρομφαία-
              «Ἀνεξήγητο» εἶπες «ἀνεξήγητο
              δὲν καταλαβαίνω τοὺς ἀνθρώπους
              ὅσο καὶ νὰ παίζουν μὲ τὰ χρώματα
              εἶναι ὅλοι τους μαῦροι».

              Γίωργος Σεφέρης

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