Kreta

Memories of life on the isle of Crete, Greece, circa 1975-77 … 

A crystalline expanse
of blue-green intensity
absorbs heat cast off
by the tropical sun
in my mind’s
eye.

Cool, frothy whiteness
soothes sands of
oil-dotted hotness,
my brown feet blackened
by shoeless days.

Seaweed scares sea urchins
swimming out past
the buoys, and yet
still afraid of
the under-toad.

Days spent, wandering,
exploring Venetian ruins,
magical, mysterious courtyards,
dark and sentient olive groves
and narrow, dusty streets
wending high
into mountainous splendor
and the unknown.

A landscape blooms
brilliant with floral delight,
verdant and plush in
rocky splendor, confronting
young eyes with anomalous
beauty.

Faint cries and laughter
echo in memories of
mythical days lived in
a distant land.

The cobbled stone of
Agios Nikolaos, cool
beneath the youthful tread
of sandaled legs,
echoing the passage of
Ages.

In Hersonnissos,
layered abodes of
alabaster and stone
crown rocky promontories,
box-like, reflecting sunlight

in shimmering waves
of heat, while
the Octopus man
sleeps.

Black-clad matrons pace;
Monoli carts sputter and
the spires of Greek Orthodoxy
challenge the mountains
for supremacy.

Iraklion bustles
and beautiful young women
stare at the American
interlopers,
smiling and friendly.

Beyond the eyes of adults
children toil – hard at play –
in the gardens
beneath ancient cypress trees,
learning the hidden lessons
of brooks babbling secret lore
to inquiring ears.

Sparrow’s eggs reveal the
vagaries of love and boy
meets girl at the crossroad
of innocence and
nascent desire.

Beneath immeasurable stars
the land remains, hosting
the drama of humanity’s
turning upon the axis
of stellar constellations.

Knossos beckons ever,
ancient and silent,
throne rooms and colonnades
of faded glory reawaken
in the imagination of childhood
as the Minotaur
pursues Theseus eternally,
lost in the Labyrinth
of Life.

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