Poems by Thanasis Maskaleris

(Thanasis in Greece)

On this barren slope, incessantly besieged by winds,
I used to race the bouncing tumbleweeds, down to the pebbled shore.
Or, lying at the water’s edge, I would wait for them to descend
and then, with a soccer-trained kick, I would send them into the sea,
toward new, wave-tossed journeys…
Beyond this rugged hill, across Persephone’s meadow, they would
gather their shadow-growing bodies and roll on unchartered paths.
Here, on this sacred field, I first spun my growing dreams…

But now, in this troubled Spring, on the same Aegean shore,
I turn my back to the once magic slope,
trying to block off, as in a nightmare, the new tumbleweeds–
plastic bags, billowing in the wind, descending on the littered shore.

How much longer will Persephone return,
to bring her green Spring to our choking Earth?

costa rica animals and wildlife

You, peaceful children of this paradisiac land,
you stare at us, visitors, with the most amiable glances…
You, dogs at Lenny’s and Joan’s hacienda,
who accompany me to my morning wanderings—
you are the most devoted guides I ever had,
rejoicing in my appreciative response…
And you, caged and uncaged birds,
you look at us, puzzled by our human gestures,
as though you want to decipher us…

You are the barking, singing signal givers
initiating us to your terrestrial riches…
You are in harmony with everything around you,
even with us, the intruding strangers.
Here we, wanderers with dissonant psyches,
can attune to the harmony that Nature gives…
You can be our teachers of naturalness and peace,
toward co-existence with all—with Mother Earth and with all of humankind…

Thanasis in Costa Rica
(Thanasis in Costa Rica)

Walking on Polk Street I was stunned by the sign Quetzal Internet…
You, sacred symbol of freedom, how can you be outside your home in Nature?
You, who stopped singing after the Spanish Conquest of your holy land,
and in captivity you always died, how can you be tangled in this new maze of the Internet?
The sub-sign of the Café,Organic Coffee,and the neighboring alleys named ” Willow” and “Olive”
will do nothing to make your new habitat more natural…
here where the young of Francisco has become computer maniacs…

If you were lost in this temperate city, you should at least be
in the company of birds near the statue of St. Francis, in Golden Gate Park–
not in this concrete wasteland where the only birds are greedy pigeons–
their only rhythm the “click”-adjusted head movements…

-Thanasis Maskaleris

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