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Tag Archives bougainvillea

THE TOMBS OF THE KINGS, PAPHOS

The kings were interred within the city walls.

This necropolis – lying between the sea

and the newly finished dual carriageway,

The Avenue of the Kings – is a field

full of flowers this early April morning:

curry plants, sea lavender, hibiscus.

Carved deep into the limestone – a simple niche

or a house with courtyard and doric columns –

these were courtiers’ tombs. They were looted

aeons ago. Some were quarried for dwellings,

others used by squatters, outcasts. Mimosa

bougainvillea,

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CONCRETE MYTHS

We have explained about Knossos in the car,
so she is keen to see the palace.
(We have not mentioned the Minotaur
or Daedalus and Icarus). She likes
the cats, the peacock and the cicadas
and appears not disappointed at all
by Arthur Evans’ concrete. Maybe
she knows the concerns of grown-ups are
more illusionary than substantial –
and a young woman, posing like Betty Boop
in high heels and sharp yellow dress
by an amphora, would prove her point.

Knossos is on the edge of Heraklion’s
southern suburbs.

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KRITI

Eating olives then calimari and frites,
quaffing a Mythos then sipping a raki –
while watching the swifts and the swallows
swooping over the gently shifting caïques,
listening to the plangent bouzouki
and hearing the cicadas’ percussive song
from bougainvillea, frangipani
and the olive grove behind the taverna –
how to imagine the mountain out of sight
with its summit still so deeply snow-capped
and its echoing cypress slopes patrolled
by eagles and vultures, and its sparse clefts
of rosemary foraged by goats that
nudge the bones of heroes!

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