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As I Leave Ellaada

As I leave Ellaada

I am leaving and taking.

Leaving a multi faceted culture

A land where gods reigned.

Where the sun shows his true self

Sparing no rays for himself.

 

I am leaving a part of my heart

With young Calliope of  Vravrona

Who took my bodily aches away

With her healing hands and loving voice.

 

With the simple store keeper at Aelios, Plaka

Whose interest in spirituality 

Bereft of dogma

Was a surprise to me.

 

With G. Kambanis  from Elefsina 

Who patiently listened to all my spiritual prattle

His daughter Magda, whose maidenly eagerness 

For California was so infectious.


 

Sitting under a shady neem tree

Watching school girls praying with fervor

The smell of burning candles and resin

In the small church, Agios Zakarias.

Devotion seen here, humble and simple.

 

With polyglot, Manolis, the self sacrificing Rethymnonian

Twelve hours with this guide.

They passed so quickly.

For he pointed such sights, shared much knowledge

Of  Greek people and their history.

A remarkable Ellinaas indeed.

 

Mother Bassiliki and her two daughters

Who laid before me, a gourmet fare 

Food cooked on a wood stove

Served with a dash of sweet love

In the cozy Moschovolies taverna.

 

With Kostas, the efficient tour planner

With Ilyas of much patience 

Waiting hours for the delayed flight

With Georgios, whose vehicle

Transformed into an Ekklisia

Where the Agios, many came to be.


 

A greater and am sure a deeper part

With sweet Niko and his sweeter dad,

My Professor*, a term I had already been using

Which now has been imbued with vitality.

I am taking with me a treasure

One that was vaguely imagined

Through words via email to me.

Now that voice of his, via mp3

That uttered those dynamic praises

More than 50 indeed

To Demeter, Mother of us all

                

                       " ΔΗΜΗΤΗΡ  ΠΑΝΤΩΝ ΗΜΩΝ  

                         ΜΗΤΗΡ  Η ΕΤΕΚΕΝ  ΕΘΡΕΨΕΝ 

                       ΚΑΙ  ΑΝΕΖΗΤΗΣΕΝ ΗΜΑΣ  ΑΙΝΟΙΤΟ " **

 

Is alive for me.

Each time I speak or think of him

A figure rises of a true sage

Disguised so cleverly

In modern toggery.

Vasanti Jayaswal

 

Oct. 25 2017. In the plane enroute, LON - SFO.

* Prof. Dr. Apostolos Athanassakis, Guggenheim Fellowship classical scholar and head of Argyropoulos Chair in Hellenic Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB).Retired and now in Athens continuing to research and write more books. Some of his books are the  Homeric Hymns, Orphic hymns, Hesiod, Life of St. George of Chozeba and Life of St. Anthony.

** From " Praises to Demeter" composed by Professor as per the English ones I had composed. 

lectures.

CONTACT

Vasanti Jayaswal

EMAIL: vasanti.jayaswal@gmail.com

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