poetry

We Have Not Long To Love


Photograph by Maria Fokas

We Have Not Long To Love By Tennessee Williams

We have not long to love.
Light does not stay.
The tender things are those
we fold away.
Coarse fabrics are the ones
for common wear.
In silence I have watched you
comb your hair.
Intimate the silence,
dim and warm.
I could but did not, reach
to touch your arm.
I could, but do not, break
that which is still.
(Almost the faintest whisper
would be shrill.)
So moments pass as though
they wished to stay.
We have not long to love.
A night. A day….
 
 

Scars Set in Stone


corfu 3

Scars Set in Stone by Maria Fokas

Just because you buried our journey
Does not make it disappear
Just because you have forsaken me
Does not mean you never loved me
That I have succumbed to defeat
Does not mean I wanted to leave
Your silence never depicted indifference
As my smile did not prove a trace of hope

Of stories which trouble the heart
In words which sicken the soul
Everywhere an abundance of woe:
A half-finished love affair bound to crucifixion
A misdeed triggered to destroy a kind gesture
A deserted dream to leverage false sense of balance
Courage disintegrates in glass boxes of loose ties
Day races by as night pricks through the cracks of dawn

Oh, but to deny one’s place in this world
That would be the greatest crime of all

© Maria Fokas 2015/All Rights Reserved/Photograph by Maria Fokas [Paleokastritsa – Corfu]

Somewhere only we know


Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.

Mary Elizabeth Frye (1905 – 2004) 

  Photographs by © Maria Fokas 29/7/2015/All Rights Reserved

Beneath the Waves


Brooke Shaden

Beneath the Waves by Maria Fokas

The greatest treasures are simple things
Few gestures that say; I love you!

Take a sip
Delight in a kiss
Turn the last page with me –

Blow out the candles
Say good night
Never regret the promises

Vulnerable to the Waves
Loyal to the rock
The windmill spins
The anchor pulls

Under the sea the treasure will be
Remember to embrace your dream

The waking hour may change your wants
But never your deepest needs –

 

Photo Credits: Brooke Shaden

Love After Love


Antonio Mora Photography

Antonio Mora Photography

Love After Love by Derek Walcott

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

My Heart’s Whisper


PHOTOGRAPH: Nadja Seale .Lily Bloom: éloge

My Heart’s Whisper by Maria Fokas

She caresses the strings of her burning thoughts,

Humming her secret in the midst of warm nights.

A note or two off beat of course – but unique in all its beauty.

Like the seasons’ cries,  she recounts her worries,

Searching for that one to keep.

She chants the letters of her lover’s name –

A few drops on autumn leaves.  

Then with time,

Fragile snowflakes – between the sky and me –

Descending – like expectations owed.

And with the final season,

She reclaims (the right) to love again.

And I ask her,  “Why so careless with your heart?”

A golden thread of hope appears –

Between the rhythm of blossomed hues.

She whispers in a voice of truth, “We only live once.”

 – A love affair with wings of freedom – has no choice but to fly.

 

 

Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep


The Chime

 

Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep By Mary Frye

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.

 

 

 

 

 

STILL I RISE


OuterBanks /2014

STILL I RISE by Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

O Me! O Life!


O Me! O Life!

O ME! O life!… of the questions of these recurring;
Of the endless trains of the faithless—of cities fill’d with the foolish;
Of myself forever reproaching myself,
Of eyes that vainly crave the light—of the objects mean—of the struggle ever renew’d;
Of the poor results of all—of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me;
Of the empty and useless years of the rest—with the rest me intertwined;
The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?

That you are here—that life exists, and identity;
That the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse.

Walt Whitman

The Road Not Taken


Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.