Olive grove at the edge of the world

  Fokas Nikos poetry

 I avoid the coastline like a shark.
When a bulge
           of land appears
           gaining depth and perspective
           like an embryo gradually forming
The details steadily multiplying until
           as in Creation
Man arrives at last, and human families
           start moving about
           endowed with cinematic quality,
Even before I discern an individual’s
           eyes, nose or mouth,
Though I too an anthropomorphic
I take to the open sea.

From a secure distance
           the mainland is just another cloud

Though looking back as I flee
           I glimpse the phases of Creation
           in retrograde, the closer
Lost inside the farther away
The more recent in the older
In this way escaping into distance
           becomes a flight into time
Until the signs of an antique age

     are all around me
           as if God had not yet gone
           beyond the horizon, a life
Still bearing the imprint
           of apocalyptic scripture:
When waves are low, inclined
           to final submission
           like scraps of paper hovering
           until held motionless by earth
Or when with uneven
           momentary peaks corresponding
to uneven degree of horror
           on a spiritual scale,
When the sea possesses the dimensions of heaven
Or fits wholly inside a flash of lightning,
I see fleeting fins
           tails emerging from water
           disappearing tentacles
Like limbs in museums, elliptical, unintelligible
           parts of an invisible whole.

 Translation: Nikos Fokas & Don Schofield and John Theocharis

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