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paxos3Ozias –

his plan for the afternoon.

 

Reluctant adventurers,

we try to enthuse,

skip, sing songs,

primary school ways.

 

Embark on

a long dry haul

seemingly to nowhere.

 

Our paths

peter out in olive groves.

Ankle-snatching terrace walls,

half-collapsed with tiredness,

grab at us and smirk.

 

paxos4The ancient hillslopes,

worked to death,

dried up and forlorn.

At last,

pick a way to the

headland.

 

Thorns take on the vendetta,

we pull ourselves

free from nature.

 

Torn and swearing,

involved, turned in

to the eternal bickering,

we emerge,

ordinary humans

confronted

with splendour,

into the sun.

 

Deserted,

except for our irreverence.

We are unexpectedly treated

to a view.

 

We have no words

to do it justice

but an unspoken truce

in silence.

 

Gradually

acclimatise to peace.

 

He is sparked,

a needle challenge

from the landscape

into further forays.

 

Explorer’s spirit in his veins,

he hiccups down hills

to a distant outcrop.

 

A certain sense of smugness,

we settle in the heat,

drinking in

these places the vicious

island sometimes sends us –

reward for endurance

of unfriendliness and rain.

 

paxos2Antipaxos across the sea,

misty, misleadingly beautiful,

is a big drowsing animal

floating on the surface.

The only sounds

water, flies,

a page crackle or sigh.

I watch a curious part of

the world

as I stretch out:

ants crawling,

the hairs on my arms against

blueness, earth, rock, grass.

 

A midday,

a sweet uncommon fruit,

tasted, slowly consumed.

We spit out the stone

in a moment,

drag ourselves away,

renew our private wars.

 

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