VERSE
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INSPIRED BY MOMENTUM OF BODY, MIND AND SOUL

THE HOPLITE

No Persians, Romans, Vandals, Goths or any worthy foes

are left to cross my sword with an exchange of fatal blows.

No battle ground that would indulge my cuirassed chest and shield,

my sanguine tunic, crested helmet gleaming in the field.

No phalanx armed by worthy lads whose strides the ground would shake,

in disciplined vitality the enemy to rake.

Insidious hordes invade the land, as locusts they are spread;

in lieu of weapons ignorance wield, like cattle they are led.

Barbaric yelps the air infest, I shudder at the sight.

In waves they come and in their wake they lay the land to plight.

In vain I sing my warrior Paeans invoking Ares' hand,

for all three Fates have so ordained bereft that I should stand.

As not unlike th' Acropolis rock, I witness from up high

the blood-bathed land of heroes, gods, release her bitter sigh.

P.T. Zachariou      1987

      PENDULUM

It takes two millennia for the Pendulum to swing,

Propelled by human destiny and all that it may bring.

When its momentum ceases for another fateful run,

That instant marks destruction, making way for what's to come.

Its last stroke brought untimely death to the Archaic Age;

Rome and Athens both succumbed engulfed in Christian rage.

Midway through its former swing the pious era grew,

Its founding fathers unaware of what was to ensue.

A twentieth century man am I, who chanced to witness bear

A pendulum stroke come to an end; I wonder what may fare.

As I into the future look I shudder in dismay:

I dread what lurks beyond its turn and what's to come our way.

-1990-

DARE I?

Dare I seize the day?

Oh, dare I raise my height

to swiftly break away

and thus behold the sight?

The glorious sight, the world of bliss that beckons every soul

the truth to seek; its nature kiss, adhering to its goal.

Dare I grit my teeth?

Oh, dare I raise my fist

at all that lies beneath

decayed Convention's list?

The man-made list, the list of shame, that liars makes us all,

creation's stifling ball and chain that breaks one's stride and call.

Dare I make my move?

Oh, dare I break the bonds?

Dare I strive to prove

devout to all my gods?

My god of love, my god of life, those gods who reign within,

so deep within my soul in strife, who preordain its theme.

Dare I seize the light?

Oh, dare I fire set?

Dare I, Prometheus-like,

the universe upset?

Oh Titan, how I feel your pain immobilized to bear

the vulture's beak and bonds of chain. How I your burden share!

Dare I oblivion fill

And memory reinstate,

so that I may instill

the measure of the Great?

How blissful it would be for me to trek the world of dreams

to light the torch with all the glee that truth and beauty brings!

PEDIMENTS

Oriented East to West, Greek temples are my days,

both heart and soul are filled with light, Hyperion's streaming rays.

On mornings I'm a pediment that greets the rising sun

endowed with forms of heroes, gods who hail his chariot΄s run.

The generous beams caress the heart, rejuvenate the soul,

my aura frame in mirthful bliss as I embrace my goal

accompanied by images of youth's eternal light;

and life I praise in all its bloom as I behold the sight.

Hyperion΄s chariot travels west the Hesperides to greet

and fiery rays of purple light my inner world entreat.

The pediment that faces west encapsulates my mood

and I behold a different state on which I sadly brood.

The gods assume ferocious miens and juxtaposed they stand,

on metopes cast their fearsome shadows veiling all the land.

Ethereal light and darkness meet in their eternal strife,

foreboding chaos, withering age, the daily end of life!

The question posed by death of day does always man beset:

What might this cryptic intercourse of Time and Night beget?

-1995-

"THEEIN"

(DIVINE IMPETUS)

Oh, what the power, what the force controlled by cosmic reins!

A microcosm of all things is seething in my veins.

Everything around me thrives and palpitates with life.

This very planet moves in tune with Zeus's circular dance

Oh, what the power that ordains infinity's expanse!

And like a god, I am a part of this eternal flux.

My flesh is but a medium perpetuating space -

a particle of universe with which it keeps in pace.

This conduit of energy interpreting a soul

contributes all its entity to form a greater whole.

My thought is a libation to the impetus of things,

and bids my body follow in its all-inspiring wings.

In motion it is sculpted like Polycleitus's work

on Grecian earth so rich in light shed by Apollo's run,

where legendary heroes act and noblest thoughts are spun.

My body, mind, immortal soul all flourish in this light

their impetus contributing to feed the eternal flame.

As a Hellene, the universe in motion 'God' I name.

A RUNNER'S ODE TO GREECE

Oh, poignant, undulating land of myth,

you stir a yearning in me to return

into your timeless, bounteous embrace.

I strip my modern self, the bonds I break;

and into primal intercourse I plunge,

engulfed in pagan ecstasy - a faun.

I savour so my transcendental self

on venturing into lands that myths inspired!

As if a graceful painting I traverse,

a three dimensional, alluring scene,

whose theme unravels at my every pace.

In strides I run through ancient olive groves

and sense Athena's spirit in their wood

as gnarl-like eyes eternal witness bear

to change befalling Greeks in their domain.

They weep the loss of their archaic state:

when olive wreaths crowned athletes and not gold.

As I traverse steep gorges deeply cut

by thrusts and slashes in that vicious strife

between Olympians and their Titan kin,

before such grandeur less than dwarfed I feel

and yet I relish all that in me stirs.

I come to gushing springs that nymphs refresh,

while bathing naiads steal my voice away;

and as I douse my forehead, cool my lips,

a piercing cry does echo through the wood

accompanied by melody of flute.

I feel the lurking of that shepherd god,

goat-legged, panic-rendering, playful Pan!

With bursting lungs the mountain side I climb;

my pace and pulse in rhyme with the terrain.

From jagged rock-to-rock I deftly leap

until I reach a craggy mountain top.

From there I gaze in wonder at the land

proliferate in deities, muses, gods.

Elated, offer I my outstretched arms

to heaven's dome and feel Apollo's rays

profusely beaming down on Grecian earth.

Entranced, my hovering muse I loudly praise

for all the inspirations that release

encomiastic odes to mother Greece.

-1990-