Ah, Greece!

Ah, Greece!

The Party’s Over


Athens
four o’clock in the morning…
Early white
     bright  sunlight
     creeping over the
     Parthenon:  the city
asleep, the ancients
awake, as always,
     mentally sinewed,
     nodding knowingly
at their modern counterparts
     whose muscle only
     has softened--
hard cunning, irresistible
     charm adamantine--
taxiing home
     from Plaka

 

 

Ah, Greece!

 

As though looking for the Nativity beneath the neon lights of Christmas hawkers, we searched Greece and found sicca flourishing beneath the bare-boned ruins of our own beginnings.  If Odysseus’ shores are now thick with bikinied beautiful people, the sun that bakes their flesh is the same as the one poor Elpenor saw before his fated, foolish fall.  And if the yachts, flying the brilliant flags of too much diversity, leave no room now for Odysseus’ single-purposed craft, well, that cave—the one we scanned at Aegina, the cool waters echoing its secret chambers—that cave was always there.  We said the shriek of Western rock was harsh, yet knew it did not drown the softer strains of weeping native instruments—of Hecuba bemoaning sons and grandson torn at Troy.  And it was enough—oh, yes, enough!—to find but one perfect, surf-smoothed shard,, frail black etching speaking still of dark-haired youths and maidens tending musky casks for Dionysus’ sake.

 

— by Velma Jean Reeb

 

Velma Jean Reeb completed her undergraduate studies at the Pennsylvania State University and City College of New York.

She earned her graduate degree in Classics at Columbia University.  She has taught and tutored Latin Language and Literature, Advanced Reading and Writing, and English as a Foreign Language in New York City as well as in Athens,Greece.  A few years ago, she began studying and writing poetry.  Her Sonnets of Love was published in Nicosia, Cyprus; her poems have appeared in the 2004-2008 Anthologies of the Wild AngelsPoets and Writers, published at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine; and her work has been published in several issues of Sensations Magazine, 2004-2007.   She lives in Manhattan.

 

Copyright ©2009, by Velma Jean Reeb. All Rights Reserved.

 

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