Fragments From Crete
Anemones and cyclamen grow wild on Kríti,
fine-veined, blue, pink and mauve.
A house hangs on the cliff face with bright blue shutters
thrown back against lime-washed walls.
Scarlet geraniums tumble down small steps
and bare feet brush terracotta tiles.
On a table a silver necklace, spiralled and shining,
is set with smooth turquoise beads.
The sapphire sea-horizon stretches into history
as the wind whispers the story of Pasiphaë
and a snow-white bull. A sensual stirring
—a memory drifting in the abyss.
Shadowy trees dapple the damp ground.
Empty tables surrounded by rickety chairs
wait for men who gather every evening with
hooded eyes, harsh laughter, a hoarse cry
as gnarled fingers flourish a scrap of coloured card.
Boats, each painted with an eternal eye, line up
on the slumbering, rain-rinsed, empty beach.
Three black-cowled ancient women, sisters of
Sthena, Euryale and Medusa, with rusty stockings
straggling down scrawny legs and their thin lips
twisting in foreboding, slither down narrow streets
—Night’s daughters concealing the elusive thread.
Vine leaves thrust through the trellis
as the dreamer reaches to pull down bewitched fruit,
her tongue tantalised by the rich purple juice
plunging between her breasts, staining
soft untouched skin. Caressing the mark,
she weaves a spell and is unseen in the darkness.
The midnight air is hot and fleshy.
Shimmering streaks sear the aching sky and
bruised clouds gasp, surging over Lévka Óri.
The wind screams as the plunging, pulsing sea,
crimson-carnage stained, violates the shore while
the Minotaur ravishes her in the deepest labyrinth.