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ECHO HILL STUDIOS
ARTIST: ANN KAHL






A LUNAR MONTH IN GREECE
by
Ann Kahl

Two mermaids,
and a scroll,
on a chest, washed up on a beach:
mermaids with hair of gold,
three scrolls on each side:
A chest of weatherworn teak,
a beach of rounded white stones,
and beyond, the sea,
and beyond, the sky.

All the way across the Atlantic,
the moon followed.
It shone on the clouds
below the wing,
and I wrote to Michael:
I said, "Thank you, Michael,
for sending Mr. Moon
to keep me company."

All over the table
the plates are placed.
We each take our fork
and stab what appeals the most.
Is it an olive?
Is it a tomato, or a bit of cheese?
Is it a tidbit of lamb, roasted and moist?

Eight forks poised in air;
each with a different morsel--
today the language is Greek.
There is oleander in bloom,
two cats hover at the edge of light.
Afterward they will have their share.
What do cafe cats eat in Greece?
Olives, tomatos and feta.

A stop sign flies by.
We hurry to pass through
before that car rushing toward us
can be there first.
It waits, instead.
How do they know, these drivers?
they are all trying to go
two ways at once
on a one lane street.

The hill with its wall of white.
an arch above,
wrought iron painted red,
against a blue sky,
oleander, jasmine,
and Nick,clipping the eucalyptus:
straw hat, long, slim pants'
and suspenders, forming an ex;
another kind of cross than the one
above him,
on the blue and white church on the hill.
Be careful, Nick. Don't fall into the sea
from your high place.
I love you too much for that.

Water so clear,
the rocks beneath so near.
I reach to touch them.
"How deep is it, Nick?"
Nicholas of Chios answers me:
"Much deeper than you think."
Can I fathom
this clear water,
this blue sky?
It is a dream.
I am wet, I am cool,
I am clear.
Only a dream
Can be this beautiful.

Pesto pasta, fragrant,
with fresh basil, picked this morning,
green beans, cool, with tomatos and rosemary,
olive oil, and olives with everything.
Sun on pink marble,
blue sea hard-dotted with crystal shard
white island, and whiter cove,
and hard, torn, brown bread,
so good

A swim, a nap, a walk,
a swim again.
The "Style-Council" plays
"with a black rap group from London."
The olives are black and green,
and bread dipped in eggplant and garlic
tastes good.
Seeds and cheese,
nuts and grapeleaves,
juices and wines,
ouzo, then a swim,
A nap, a walk.

Marigolds remind me of home:
a garden flower strange and foreign,
when planted in a marble garden,
where jasmine and oleander rule.
The air is so light.
The air is soft:
Pinkish glow hanging over blue sea,
boat-light diamonds,
pinkish, bluish silence hanging still;
a silent, lonely world,
alive with being only.

One question follows everywhere.
"Where do I put the olive pits?"
"Throw them over your shoulder."
Here in the garden
   of marble, pink
  of sparkling fish,
that's okay.
But later, when
the cats are hovering outside
in the town cafe.

(continued)



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