Paradise Lost

Black and White

©Yucel Basoglu

Black & White by Maria Fokas

 The grandest love story ever told;

Born out of each other; into every form.

Disguised to prevail against each other:

A hidden compass in my heart for your voyage –

Your waking choices, and your sleeping adventures;

And in this world; connected by the mask of time –

He seeks the reflection of all things in majestic balance.

He refers to the ice-burg as a wasted truth;

A mountain that touches the sky; upside down, he claims –

And that same sky on the other side,

Will never touch the sands beneath the oceans of you.

And though you are bound to change,

With every change of every moment –

You are still the same, my Love.

Oh, and how the Sun loved the Moon:

Forever devoted to crossing paths, but never to touch.

And some day I will know; some day in the ink of your thoughts –

And you will paint the darkness in my eyes with the light in yours.

Some day, the pauses between our notes will be soothed by your smile.

For what is music without rest between the melodies of notes?

Oh, how selfish must love become before it turns into hate;

And back into love again . . . but I have nothing to declare.

Some day I will know all the things that were left unsaid.

In laughter, and in cries –

In caress, and in vice –

You are the center of all things.

But in the end,

I may doubt all but one; you were my spark, and I your darkest joy –

– How our world would have been different,

If we could have agreed; at least on that.


© Maria Fokas/April 27th 2016/All Rights Reserved – Photograph by ©Yucel Basoglu



Earth Day

Hamartia by Maria Fokas

An eternity of holding onto the edge of her thoughts –

She leads me into her sorrows beneath her celebrated joys.

We play in the waves of her mood with the changing of her seasons.

I lose myself in her cries, when old scars hinder her needs.

Those gestures that delay her sleep, I can never change.

“What burns inside your heart today?” she whispers in the morning bask.

And I am grateful for her generous touch;

In all the memories of my todays,

Knowing she will never miss me –

In the chaos of her tomorrows.


Dedicated to the Earth Day

PicMonkey Collage TREE and DAD

At the foot of my father's birth place stands a one thousand-year old Tree. 

© Maria Fokas/April 25th 2016/All Rights Reserved –

Anticipated Memories

 Anticipated memories IM

Anticipated Memories by Maria Fokas

The wickedness of collapse, is that it comes in idle whispers.

It takes you in its arms; numbing the yearning to dream.

In quiet steps, it alters the world you thought was real.

The present is misplaced, and in the depths of darkness you descend.

You see a glimpse of truth in your attempt to trust.

A faint spark of memory keeps coming back;

There it is; nearest to your heart, that little thing called love.

My muse had a charming way of bringing back the dead.

   – In all its imperfections, it was a perfect World.

Anticipated Memories; love remembered never goes astray.

Like notes of a forgotten melody; of a luring hidden moonlight –

In quiet steps, it takes back every moment you called love.

Within empty spaces of time, a struggle to recall.

The wickedness of collapse, is that it comes in idle whispers.

[Dedication to Robin M. Williams]

© Maria Fokas/March 14th 2016/All Rights Reserved – Picture Credits: source/ –



House of Pain

 House of Pain by Maria Fokas

 In the house of pain the music plays softly.

There are books scattered in every corner of each room.

The lights are always dimmed but the scented candles never lit.

There is writing on the walls: Beware things could be Worse –

In the house of pain no one complains about silly things like the taste of food.

A stormy day is one when we do not listen,

The hour of fun is one when we do not speak.

In the house of pain there are no cries in the middle of the night –

No one gets down on their knees and we all forgive our enemies.

In the house of pain we have many visitors but no one stays too long –

But there was one I recall; he said,

“Let me in, and kiss me” – And he stayed for the whole day.

© Maria Fokas 2014 /All Rights Reserved

Scars So Deep


Scars So Deep by Maria Fokas

Scars running so deep –  roaring in an endless flow

Hush, no need for such upheaval for a flaw so weak

And so, I count my fortunes; breed gratefulness indeed 


I count the wonderful people in my life, my accomplishments; my discoveries

I count, the times defeat was woven into me

I misplace my tears, and the smiles that broke me

Look! A sinner’s cross –  abolished by love


I notice all those who have worse misfortunes

Yes they are many, but what am I to do?

Maybe a friendly hand, through the darkest of nights

But with a few pennies of my time, I will always come up short

To think I could change a life;

What engaging deceit to ponder in 


But I saved a black puppy on a rainy day, at the age of 12

Caught struggling, in an open sewer, on a cold deserted road

You may think – so what!

But that which does not speak in words,

Was always a constant faze, unless it was a cat, of course 

And in the end, the scars remained 


A boundless burden again – to sustain you,

 I should not have thought twice; so many doubts

What lonely place, one creates confused by disbelief 

No harmony – No muse in sight – No substance of time;

Only a weak shadow, standing between excellence and me

Was it all just a figment of the mind,

Or were there truths, in the lies they told?

Regardless, I cannot forgive – all those choices denied to me 

Particularly the one when you said, I cannot love thee


So, let the fall be gentle – let the fall be winged

And above all,

Let it not be – A bottomless pit


© Maria Fokas 2014/All Rights Reserved

Location: Delaware Street/OLD NEW CASTLE





Chapter One : The Charity of Thieves  (excerpt)

The world was stolen right from under our noses and now the thieves sit mocking us with a glimpse of what might have been. And as any good thief will tell you, the best way to steal something is by slight of hand. First they entertained us, then they teased our senses; we’re such a great audience after all. And they’d studied us for they knew we’re always searching, searching for another yellow brick road. You see there’s a very simple reason why we were naked when paradise was lost; we’d already fallen for the charity of thieves. 

Dedication: To all those innocents who have, who presently are and, who will lose their lives in other people’s wars.

© all rights reserved Martin Hanley July 28 2014




EMMA and her Sister

Emma and her SisterEMMA and her Sister by Maria Fokas

She watched me as I took pictures of the castle of St John in the old town of Rhodes. Dressed in a white dress-like costume, and white powdered make-up covering her face, she sat before the gates, waiting for the tourists to flip a few coins in her brown cardboard box. I could not but notice the way she looked at me, and then she spoke:








–          You can take a picture of me if you’d like.

–          What’s your name?

–          Emma, she said with a smile.

–          What are you dressed as?

–          An angel.

–          Take a picture of me, she said again.

–          Are you sure.

–          Of course I’m sure.

–          And what would you like in return, money?

–          No, not money, I want something for me.

–          I’m listening…

–          I want something to eat.

–          Any preferences?

–          Two gyros and two cokes.

And I headed for the nearest  food shop, I could find. When I got back, she seemed surprised to see me.

–          You came back, she confirmed.

–          Why wouldn’t I?

–          It’s common not to.

–          You think you have enough room for all this food?

She lifted her head and looked behind me in the distance.

–          You see that girl across the street playing her xylophone?

I turned around and saw a fragile little girl staring at us.

–          That’s my sister, you can give her one of the gyros and a coke.

And I did.

–          How old are you? I asked.

–          11

–          And your sister?

–          13

I don’t know why I asked, but for some reason, I felt the need to know.  I watched her take her food out of the bag, and begin to devour it. Her sister didn’t touch her food.  She just continued playing  her instrument. And then I felt the urge for more meaningless questions.

–          Where are your parents?

–          Around.

–          Do you go to school?

–          No, we don’t do stuff like that.

–          Why?

–          My dad says school serves no purpose.

–          No purpose? It helps you think.

–          Thinking brings about sorrow.

–          And dreams?

–          I dream every night.

I felt numb, and all the knowledge in my head could not help me make sense to her. I knew I had said too much, hoping that it meant something;  knowing that it did not. Two little girls sat across each other in a reality different from mine,….and, bystanders, observing them as  merely part of the landscape being photographed. I looked into her eyes and smiled, hiding the pain only failure brings on. And then she broke the silence.

–          What are you afraid of?

–          The list is long, I said.

–          Then I’m luckier than you, she giggled.

–          Aren’t you afraid of anything?

–          Only the cold, and hunger.

With a handshake we said goodbye. I felt a sadness knowing I will never see her again. What a peculiar thing to feel.

At the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights, two little girls sit opposite each other hoping for kindness…and millions more elsewhere – In a presence of a fate they cannot escape;

I hope for change – but I fear, it will never come.

© 2014 Maria Fokas

13 Paradise Lost Close


Paradise Lost 1313 Paradise Lost Close by Martin Hanley

What if she told you a story but you soon realized, it was in your blood. Would you patiently still listen, then add a little extra, create a little wonder; some shock and awe? What if her story was more of a figment than a well placed fig leaf, would you still kneel or raise your fist; shout out, oh my lord? What if her garden was your well-tended little refuge, with an ornamental peacock sitting upon a well-appointed dividing wall.

What if a tree that never blossoms, still bears fruit long after the fall. Why keep a law that only you created when the seeded apple was yours by law. Wasn’t it much better to blame her shadow and his teasing tongue, than your hidden flaw. What if her story was more a ribbing than a rib once taken; as you began to leave and soon withdraw. Who was the other woman, was she maybe, your next door neighbor? Were you ashamed to admit it or was it just the same old story that began to gnaw? When is your garden of good and evil, a roll of the dice; or just the eventual luck of the draw.  


Copyright © Martin Hanley 3/24/2014

Photograph Dina Dova

The Mannequin VII

 The Mannequin The Mannequin VII by Maria Fokas

“You will never know what freedom is,” he said, as he switched off the lights. I think I felt the cold that night.

And then I noticed that little girl, who keeps coming round with her mother; holding an ice cream cone in her hand.

The little girl smiled, and pushed her mother’s hand away.

Her ice cream dripped on her white shoelace.

Her mother said, “No.”

She said, “I don’t care.”

I don’t care…Is that what will set me free?