The Lyrical Story


Samsara The Muse

Samsara by Maria Fokas

With a torch in one hand and a key in the other, she stands alone before a crossroad. The paths are glowing below the full-moonlight sky; with her first step she opens her eyes, again. She cries between lives, and dances between deaths. She claims that nothing is ever lost – but that is never the case. She recalls three forms – past, present, and future; as blessed souls, return to the other side.

Her travels are spread across the continents, with no care in the world, searching for a friendly face, but they have become so scarce. With time, she fears to stay; a broken heart cannot mourn. With the wings of her horse she will disappear; a word or a gesture, nothing more than a grain of hope.

And in the end, when she wakes from all her travels, she will recall those few who tried to save her from darkness, hidden behind her subtle smile. A sadness will fill her eyes, for all the lost time – empty time; left a trace as it slipped away, all those times before it.

But there are no regrets, for she bore two gifts. She tells stories just to witness their laugh; many, of a past life; of a muse that carried the seed of sunlight, enchanting dark souls – listening to the secrets in their dreams – feeling the hunger in their hearts – leaving spells in the night, hoping they will seize time.

And when she’s gone, one memory, she will keep. Not the souls she touched,  not the stories she told, but that one love; the whisper of his promise. He said, she was genuine  – she smiled with disbelief. Such a long time ago; a thousand years ago. He promised to protect her; he asked her to remember – and she did.

And as she stands below the moonlight, she hears the soft whisper of her lover, bidding her good night. In her dreams, he waits beneath a willow, surrounded by the sweet scent of spring, and captivating memories of delight in his touch; a glimpse of bits and pieces through the circle of time –

In a remote existence far from mortal ways, better to be feared than to be handled with restraints. I still remember the pain. No, that cannot be my life again; this time around I will stay clear of love. There is comfort in the certainty that death can set you free. So, if words have power to craft my fate, I hope this to be my last wandering through – for my soul is dying, and my faith is gone.

© Maria Fokas 2014




She knew no other way to live her life before him. Conservative was safe but an underestimated sin. Maybe she was damaged to remember things others could forget. In an unexpected scene devotion became deliverance. He was welcomed by her eagerness to embrace his captivating ways.

But the day she believed she could rest her head on him – his broken words whispered; there is no truth to such a dream. And with his silence he disclaimed all the promises he ever made. And bit by bit, the future he had once uttered, faded away. A sinner she claims to be for believing but harbors no traces of remorse. She keeps her promise to him.

Fractured memories now bring about a peaceful place. She still recalls a time he had charmed her with his generous sage. Regardless of what is lost along the way – something will always remain – and that is her only prayer. She now lives her life indifferent to pleasure and, waits for the wounds of his touch to heal.

For she would rather give up on love than give in to prey. . . destined to give up on him than give in to hate.


© 2014 Maria Fokas

Pictures in the Attic


Isabella and Rose

Pictures in the Attic by Maria Fokas 

Rose Do you feel the shadows that lurk beneath your skin when you lay yourself down to sleep? I feel them every night. Sometimes I am petrified that it is because I choose to be an imitation of what I truly am. Could that be it?

Isabella I don’t know. It could be misery keeping you awake. The kind of misery that awaits in the pitch dark of the night. Or maybe you just gave up.

Rose Is that what you think? 

Isabella It is nice to have discovered that the darkness can hide the mistakes of man; to help us survive, even eternity regardless of them.

Rose What a sham to pretend that eternity matters to anyone without the faintest  idea where they will find the resources to survive the very next day.

Isabella And why do you walk  with a smile on your face when everywhere you look it’s all coming down?

Rose Is it because Faith is dead?

Isabella It is because love is dying – life is shrinking. Can’t you feel it?  

Rose Do you think I’m dead?

Isabella Sometimes.

Rose We are only human Isabella. We have no aptitude to bear boredom, to feel nothing and survive it. That is why relationships end.

Isabella No, Rose. That is why hedonism prevails. We feel the end closer each day and fathom that we were meant for more than what we have now – and that mask you are wearing – take it off! 

Rose Why am I fake Isabella?

Isabella Would you rather I be the fake because I choose not to live in a world where I am bought and sold each day to greed but instead I create my own where I can be free?

Rose And what does this world of yours look like? How is it more real than mine?

Isabella You don’t see past the anger you feel for a world that you believe has failed you. So you criticize a reality you cannot change but in the end accept it as the only way. When you do not find answers in the light you resent God for the promises they claim he made. You look for a villain to blame for all the wrong; as if life was ever meant to be easy and hardships merely malfunctions.

Rose How can you discard reality with such ease?  You are selfish Isabella. You live a life by your own rules with no regard for authority. How can you care only about pleasure and not consider there are more meaningful things in this life we have to consider?

Isabella Is it pleasure you think I only crave? I come into a world that has no meaning. It is me that must provide it. I amuse myself with the beauty because it is so rare. I devour delight because it comes in drops and not in gush. I know life is a tragedy waiting to happen moment by moment. I don’t dwell on the things I cannot change. I create things that will make my brief stay meaningful. May I be fortunate enough to meet someone who feels the same way.

Rose I put my faith in beauty too Isabella; and on kindness. I am not dead – I am fighting for the same mark you are.

Isabella But the difference is that I see your world of misery and prefer not to be part of it. You see mine and condemn it. You resent me for choosing my life over the vision of your daily death.

Rose How did we get here?

Isabella We grew up believing in a lie.

Rose You mean accepted a dream that was doomed from the start.

Isabella And then again, maybe we never had a choice.

Rose If I ever needed a safe world to stay, would you let me into yours?

Isabella Let you in? I don’t have a world without you.

Rose Sometimes I think you are right about me being dead.

Isabella No Rose, that is the one thing I’m always wrong about.

 © 2014 Maria Fokas

Innocence Dazed

Innocence Dazed by Maria Fokas

The woman knows she is seducing

It is even a sin in most religions

To tempt such youth

With powers of soft scented skin  

The boys are excited …

Their faces glowing

Naïve and pristine

As not yet touched

By a woman with such skill

To kiss and spell

Unaware of the dangers

Not having once tasted…

Sweet to the tongue

Bitter to the longing

The need to be satisfied

By a ghost in their heads

They merely plunge in thought

Sexuality intoxicating to the touch

The idea of throbbing is not yet painful

For the tease they desire

Purely to relish the need…

The story unfolds in the darkness of the night

They lie in bed with the woman’s image

Feeling her under their sheets…

As they close their eyes

With their finger – tips

Their ships sail for the deepest oceans . . .


 © 2013 Maria Fokas / Innocence Dazed

Danger in the Waiting

 Danger in the Waiting by Maria Fokas

Helena packed a carry on and her friend Katherine drove her to the bus station.

“I’ll see you in a couple of months”, Katherine shouted sticking her head out of the window of her tiny blue car as Helena waved goodbye. She then headed for the ticket office.

“32 Euros”, said the young lady politely behind the counter. Helena handed her the money and got her ticket. She continued to platform 9 with no haste though the bus was about to pull out of the platform – no rush necessary was her motto. She didn’t believe in rushing and then wasting time waiting at any departure arena. In her mind too many people were rushing through life missing out on all the in-between, as too many were waiting too long for their journey to begin, and she was not going to be one of those people.

On the bus she relaxed back into the maroon velvet seat, took out her iPod from her bag, shut her eyes and the melody of the music carried her back in time. She began to recall their first words. It was all so long ago and though it had ended so abruptly, there was a comfort in her remembering his face. Submerged into the music she soon fell asleep and took no notice of the time passing. After three hours she woke to their song (Song for the Waiting).  It was the first song she had ever sent him – three weeks after they met – she remembered him telling her that he had listened to it ten times that day.

She arrived at her destination now eager to see him. She got off the bus grabbed her carry on and headed for a taxi.

“River Front Bay” she said keenly.

The taxi driver looked at her smile as she finished her sentence.

“Where are you from?” he asked in a flirtatious manner.

“Thessaloniki”, she replied.

‘I knew it!”

“You knew what?” she asked.

“Only girls from your city have such a sweet smile”.

She said nothing being too engaged in what she was to endure at the first sight of him. The taxi driver followed her eyes from the rearview mirror.

“Will we be long?” she asked.

“No, not long Miss. Your first time here?”

“First time to this address.”, she said and laid back into her seat to enjoy the port they were driving by, known for its ancient legend in time.

He watched her intensely. “Our port is almost as beautiful as yours, don’t you agree?”

She gestured with a smile as she had no interest in small talk at a time like this.

Twenty minutes later he pulled up in front of a charming two-floor villa. He swiftly got out of the taxi, opened the trunk of the car and got her carry on out. She on the other hand seemed to be moving in slow motion. She took her time getting out of the car, got her purse out of her bag and paid him. He gazed at her for a moment and then handed her his business card.

“Here, take it just in case you’d like to see the rest of the city during your stay”.

She took his card and tossed it in her bag.

“I don’t think I’ll be doing much sightseeing while I’m here”, she said indifferent to his offer.

“One never knows about urges”, he replied.

And then she heard the front door of the villa open and turned instinctively.  A man came out with a backpack, walked down the three steps meeting to the sidewalk, and stood a breath away from her. She smiled at his sight but no words to break the ice. He took her hand in his and she remembered the first time he had touched her.  A warm sensation rushed through her body like a feeling of coming home after a long cold journey.

“This was not part of the plan – remember what we had said?” he whispered in her ear.

“I wish there was another way” she replied.

He held her hand tightly but for a moment and then looked over to the taxi driver.

“Ready for another costumer?” he asked rhetorically with such confidence as if he owned the whole city.

“Of course, Sir”, the driver replied.

The man got into the taxi with hesitation as she thanked him over his shoulder.

“No need to thank me”, he said getting comfortable in the back seat of the taxi.

He then rolled down the window.

“Ok, don’t strain yourself, taking it into all hours of the night”, he chuckled.

“You have to stop worrying about me my love”, she replied playfully taking him back in time.

And as the taxi drove off, she captured a glimpse of his smile disappearing.

She stood silently for a moment to take it all in, A knot in her throat emerged as her heart began to ache with the distance increasing between them. The autumn breeze welcomed her, and with it brought back all the promises they had made to each other; one by one fading in and then, fading out of her mind as she made an effort to freeze those thoughts.

She took a quick glance at her wrist watch forcing herself to recall the reason she got on the bus in the first place. It was 2pm. She walked up the three steps and unlocked the door with the key he had given her. She pushed the heavy wooden double doors open and the scent of his cologne went through her like a tempter. She had forgotten her iPod on and as she pulled her carry on into the villa, the first notes of their song came on again. 

To be continued –

© 2014 Maria Fokas