MONA SAVVIDOU-THEODOULOU

As published in In Focus, Vol. 9, No. 4, Dec. 2012
A PROTEST AGAINST THE MASSACRE OF REFUGEES
War steals the words from poets
A study of execution
Dust of death
Eloquent speakers stay speechless
The mould of love is broken.

Plant trees on the bodies.
Eight thousand trees
to cancel the rigidity,
to whisper the unspeakable,
eight thousand people dead to become
eight thousand birds’ nests,
eight thousand beehives.
Eight thousand trees
to pray for rain
to come down scented to wash the limbs,
to let soul-destroying weapons rust,
to roll the stone
from the minds’ veins
so that clouded thought
may look on unarmed.
Eight thousand children to be born in their shade
to plant their own tree

So that with the memory of the miracle
life may return
a grove of trees whole and sound.

Translated by Lia Vickers

KYRENIA II
In a dream’s crossing
I sail
in an ancient ship
come upon Byzantine trophies
at sweet-bay seashores
in prehistoric urns fetuses
yet unborn
vertical enclosing walls
of Renaissance castles
I swim with dolphins
ridden by gods
I follow bulls and roes
that swim
with lineage in Asia Minor
from East to East
from North to North

I travel, a navigator
of winds that promise
with the thrust of rancor
not to unleash themselves again
from their satchels

With cloaks like mountain sides
patriarchs bless
the seashores that have left
the seashores left to come

In a dream’s crossing
a traveling cartographer
like a newborn geographer
or an ancient Anaximandros
I record imaginary blessing of blind poets

in the shape of a fish
in the shape of an island, of my island

A ceremony is a journey sailed well
but left unfinished
as I wake up
a hymnody that loses the voice
and a liturgy that turns to stone
as I wake up
I, the helmsman of dream,
the fugitive
the migrant
the refugee
on half my island.

THE FOREST WITH THE COLUMNS
Cross the garden with the orange trees
first
Do not neglect the footpath of the myrtle
to be enchanted 
to fall in love
to purify yourself
The forest with the columns awaits you
Do bring the birds
along with the blossoms
in your bosom or in your hair
The dance of the soul awaits you
It awaits you in the forest

AGE OF MATURITY
Without roam
Without room or land
and without a window
As long as your body
resists the endless journeys
in captivity
in the homeland’s semi occupation
As long as you suffice and are sufficed
residing within the poem
that states claim on the land
of your ancestors and of your children
on the land of the centuries
inhabited by truth and by memory
by visions
and by our prayers

Translated by Irena Joannides
*********************************************************************************

As published in Volume 8, N0. 3, Sept 2011

From the collection NINE POEMS               
                To Axiothea and every Cypriot woman
III
I know  it’s not enough, it’s of no use
to dispel my illusions, I have 
to dispel the illusions of others

it’s I who ignite the fire
it’s I who become prey to the flames

and my Action shapes life and death
and the Dome of my heart a candelabrum in an eternal edifice

The doves’ messages are always welcome

I only wish my homeland lives 
on either my Love or my Blood
Long live my homeland
the bitter rock 
of my soul and body

I don’t suggest any style
How can you reveal the truth 
unless you are slaughtered
unless the omen 
from your intestines 
is revealed
sacrifice to your faith
I don’t impose an era

I only become an inflamed seal 
on the forehead of Day
a mark on the perforated poet
the other aspect of your identity
My name is Axiothea and I am a woman from Cyprus.

I wonder if any wounds from my suffering
have  persevered in Time?

VI
Talk to me about Perseas
talk to me in verses
talk to me even with the names  human beings use for 
trees. With the name of the poplar and the palm tree
the names of Antigone, Paleologos, Sigglitiki
Afxentiou.
Don’t talk to me in strange languages.
Don’t talk to me of power. It is an equivalent of plunder.

In the lake of Immortality
eagles deposit their wings
in the lake of Immortality
– myth and place have met –
only eagles  can be reborn.

I was born here on the island of Cyprus
A place belonging to the world
Dating back thousands of years 
In the shape of the cross
Copper-plated.

Here the refrain of the sea
sees to the transfer of  excessive feeling 
by rescuing dolphins
the ones which brought beauty.
Here the refrain of the winds
ceaselessly return home.

Time protector lies awake
It has not forgotten

VII
I heard you in the doxology of Silence
in the voice of Christ
as close as pain
the unpaid debt
of purity
or
fantasy
or
the immense beauty
of your ejection.

I heard you 
during  the euphoric hours of the firstborn daughter
your pangs of labour ending in a tide of voices
similar to rhythmic prayer
voices of liberation
delivery of truth.

Greetings. I trust you. Greetings to you woman.

The constellations are in orbit
recording their mythical birth in the universe
voiceless soul mates.
You turned your head Eastwards.

Loneliness has its own pulse
and you vibrated. You led the dance in its course.

Pain is still divine.

Translated by Maria Georghiou

 

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