Basil Rouskas


Revisiting Greek Scapes

Inside me
Images of dry summers
And suns exploding out of
Gold, blue and lavender circles.

Aegean waves in pelvic thrusts
Washing sand and pine needles
Working the craggy rocks into submission
One millennium at a time.

Inside me images of
White chapels perched on weathered cliffs
Old fishermen sailing blue-white boats back home
And silver olive groves
Bearing bitter fruit
Gold of taste
Gold of sun.

Images of seascapes
Framed by wind-bent pines
Barren yellow-red cliffs
Covered only with thyme
And memory.

Just Being
(Inspired by Zion National Park)

In the dimming sky
I look at desert birds
Gliding motionless
On thermals over orange sandstone cliffs
Four hundred million years old.

Without roles, worries
Future or past
Just in the moment….

Later, that evening
Sitting at Flannigan’s
I told her about it
Choosing carefully my words
Anxious to be understood.

“You were just being”
She said.

A New Life In The City

The dawn they left their village home
Trees held their breath
Mountaintops vanished in a fog
And villagers crossed themselves and shut their doors.

Loaded the mules
Looked back towards the threshing floors
Wiped the last tears off their cheeks,

And, never looked back again.

Years and harsh winters
Took care of the rest.

First the roof–
Nothing left over their heads.

Then the windows–
Birds flew in and out of the house.

The rotten steps gave out last.

They are now in the city
Living new lives…
And a city-wide loss of records
Wiped clean their past forever.

The Dance Confession

“Vivere”, the singer was singing
I raised the volume
And started singing along.

You, upstairs, I sensed it
And rushed to find you
Teary-eyed and silent.

You didn’t resist my offer to dance.

And off we went
Dancing, singing and crying
Dancing, singing and crying.

Until we could look at each other and
Acknowledge our tears
Without a word.

Later over a glass of wine
You told me
And I held your eyes
As we now cried with a publicly acknowledged reason
But not less love…

Basil Rouskas was born in Athens, Greece. His poetry has appeared in The New York Times, in several issues of the Hellenic Cultural Society of New Jersey magazine, and in various other poetry compilations and anthologies. He has read his poetry in a number of venues including the Greek American Writers Association readings at Cornelia Street Café in NYC. He writes in both English and Greek.

Published in: on April 5, 2007 at 9:37 am  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. These are so evocative & beautiful! Very moving. More!

  2. the muse loves him for his deep sight of soul
    I only respect him for he makes me feel more

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