Ariadne’s Notes: The World Poetry Cafe, CFRO 100.5 FM on July 11 at 1 pm PST were honoured to welcome the poetry of the Greek poet Ilias Foukis with the reading of two poems and a special dedication to his friend Maria and his sister Sofia. Thanks to the World Poetry Cafe radio show team of Ariadne Sawyer,host and producer, Super tech, Victor Shartzman and special volunteer, Sharon.
The Greek poet ILIAS FOUKIS , was born on 20 August 1969 in Epirus in northwestern Greece. He began to write poetry since 1988 when he was student in the Lyceum. Published volume of poetry THE TESTAMENT OF A LESSER GOD , which has been translated into ten languages including English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, etc.. Has won literary awards – OSCAR DE DOS OURO VENCEDORES, Brazil 2012 – MASSIMO D’AZEGLIO, Italy, 2012, 2013 , 2016. – CITA DEL GALATEO, Italy in 2013. His poem titled YOUNG GREEK SOLITARY was included in Poetry Anthology – U.S. Library of Congress. Works and lives in Athens.
Here are the two poems that were read on the air:
IN TIMES OF PEACE
Good called on the tempests of Zeus
to declare war
Like a wild beast it rose up
to kill evil
and from the heights of the Heavens
to exterminate it…
to flatten it
with the roar and power of thunderbolts.
Evil died…entered the ground
the garbage of earth
gave it a soul.
It raised its head…stood up straight
reentered the world in a driving rain.
Those were you see , the times of peace.
Good lived on intoxicated
wearing the laurels of triumph
and the tuxedo of justice.
It gave evil a pardon
in the name of the coexistence of nations and ideas.
Wars and tempests were forgotten
and the thunderbolts
and as in the beginning
lived together again in the name of peace
so in a while war
starts all over again from the beginning.
By Ilias Foukis (C) All rights reserved.
Translation by PHILIP RAMP
YOUNG GREEK SOLITARY
If such be
the will of the God on Earth
without needing to sing the praises of Zeus
will walk all day on the Earth.
And more importantly
as soon as I glimpse the secure distance
I’ve kept from death…
praise be to Apollo…
I will not be disturbed
by the demon of Self-Destruct
If such not be
the will of the God of the Heavens
then my dreams
which lay siege to the essence of Existence
will like Sisyphus
be caught in the nightmare of pointless labor
so not even one meter of heaven will be granted…
and do you know where these Dreams
for a better World
and a Beautiful Greece will end?
Unobserved and slowly
they will be eaten by the rust
and the dust of forgetfulness.
If such be
the will of the God of the Sea
my own specters which are armed
with gravity of conscience and forgiveness
will then have the rare opportunity
of washing away the living sins of Troy
which have become the most dangerous Olympus
with their cynical anticipation
be the Eternal Greece before the eyes of the world.
If such not be
the will of the God of Fire
then I who know better the fatal bond
of Greece with Flames
will lose my last
to show mercy
and the Cities will continue
to quietly burn.
And indeed… if such not be
the will of the God of Love
because of this horrifying alienation
which human emotions have undergone
no one will love me at all.
The worst thing though is that this Tragedy
will not simply end here…
This God of Love
has come highly touted by Olympus…
A good deal more than your usual Idols
and different from them
usurper of all longings
and with many possibilities for immortality.
And all the departing travelers
will testify that no matter where they went
they saw none of this incredible love anywhere
which in itself would be enough to convince
the easily deceived world
that the Summit had been worth the effort.
Few people love each other in this World.
And these few
love each other only as much as they are permitted
by the thought that you can never ascend into the Great Sky
because there… there has truly evolved
an anthropic History
but one that’s been lived by the Gods alone…
And for us to stay in the life which endures
more or less but for a single Season
we in any case my dear Apollo
were in no quandary…
felt no mystery…
because we never expressed any interest
in being Gods.
The problem is very simple…
We are not wanted
on this Earth…
Utterly paralyzed and directionless
we have moved about in the world
without being observed by anyone…
Perhaps we should get organised
we the Great Anonymous mass
to bring this madness with false
Heroes to an end
those who only the Gods with their
own wretchedness know how to erect…
And as if Troy wasn’t enough
to tyrannize Greece
then Olympus went and committed a crime
of its own as well.
The brain of the World has become stupefied
flinging at their hollow heads
its ferocious desire
to be God.
By these Gods
which will control everything from on high
and even more appalling
us who Will and Chance in tandem have
wanted to keep down here…
despite the fact we roamed the Earth backwards and forwards