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.
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.