A Greek Island
Ancient Lady, Santorini,
Daughter of Violence and Heat,
Millions of years ago, you slowly beat
Your way through boiling sea
And greeted air and sun.
You won the hot fight,
Rolling layer upon layer, building land,
Taking a stand for deliberate living.
Legends whisper your dark past
When 3,600 years ago
Atlantis was buried and burned
By volcanic blasts.
Yet today, although you serenely speak,
Nothing is meek about your freedom cry.
You are Greek.
Now the warm, wet embrace
Of a soft-fingered Aegean Ocean
Traces the edge of your firm, chaste body,
Washing you forever clean.
Evenings brought the shimmering gleam
Of a glassy ocean
When far to the west
A slipping sun melted commotion
And started the red horizon burning.
White houses, randomly rectangular,
With celestial-blue roofs and shutters,
Pressed against one another
Like comrades at a party.
People shuffled through narrow streets
With enough time on their hands
To know where they were going.
Some sat loosely on docile donkeys,
Shifting their bodies with the sway,
Living in a land
Where clocks are put away,
Never needed to plan one’s day.
Brown, rocky Santorini,
When my own clocks slowly chime,
I will come a second time
And stay with my wife.
Then after eating and watching the sunset,
We will act the part of loving Greeks
In a perfectly white, blue-roofed hotel.
© Allen Hackworth 2000