To Fos Stin Elláda

Monday, October 4, 2010

That clichéd light does not know
of its predicament. Halving
buildings and streets, shifting

how the world sees. Don’t mock,
therefore, the postcard, the photographer
wanting to get it right. I’ll build my poems

with your life. This trip that alters you,
halved somewhere in your past.
You might not recall as the light forces

you forward and then stops you, as it does
the fishermen at the edge of horizon.
You spot them while scanning

the line of sky and sea. The cove
will shade soon. Light an illusion /
allusion. You know both. That’s why

you watch when a plane takes off and
crosses ocean. When the fishing boats
rock at dusk, you feel your body

rock with them, the light diffuse and
red as it goes down. No one truly
wants to drown. The island is as self-

absorbed as metaphor—tourists lying
on the beach, exposed, then wandering
the streets. Have you ever wondered

why the women wear garments to absorb
the light, in mourning? They too know
the tragedy of the light’s broken promise.

Donna J. Gelagotis Lee

Donna J. Gelagotis Lee’s book, On the Altar of Greece, winner of the Gival Press Poetry Award, received a 2007 Eric Hoffer Book Award: Notable for Art Category and was nominated for a Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Her poetry has appeared in journals internationally. Donna lived in Greece for many years. Her website is

Comments are closed.

In memory of Kurt Brown

Please consider donating to /One/