In the Old City

sun on the battlements,
a medieval passageway
in the fortress
of the Knights of St. John,
room for two lovers, hand in hand,
stone arched doorways,
wooden shuttered windows,
deep shade,
a baritone sax player
practices unseen,
pure sound—
searching, feeling,
a humorous riff—
for the soul


Approaching Kalymnos

Kalymnos mountain — photo: Pam Campbell

brown barren mountains,
a few small harbors
edged into rock

steep slopes,
high plateaus,
covered with thyme,
sage, oregano,
wild goats surviving
on salt water,
a million bees
ascending, descending
in the sunny air,
Kalymnos honey


Georgio at his restaurant — photo: Pam Campbell

“Seattle—yes—Juan de Fuca,
he was a Greek, Ioannis Phokas,
navigating on Spanish ships—
Cape Flattery,
Strait of Juan de Fuca—
Port of Everett—Seattle—
fourteen fathoms of chain
to anchor in Seattle

“ah, this is your home,
your little world, blue—
the color of confusion:
can be dreamy,
can be melancholy, joyful—
Greek blue—the Greek spirit—
mad, ha, ha, thirty-five years
I work on the ships.”


An Old Monk

Islands in the Aegean,
lions stretched to rest,
turned to stone

riding high on the back of Patmos,
the Monastery of St. John,
fortress refuge a thousand years

late morning chants,
an old monk black robed,
sits upright by the gate

he waits,
gray eyes level as the sea,
calm today


First Day in Athens

The Parthenon — photo: Pam Campbell


On the metro from the airport, crowded,
central city stop, Monasterakis,
people pushing to get on,
commotion, voices raised,
shoving, off and up three escalators
to the street—
sun, vendors, reach in my pocket,
nothing, empty, my wallet
is a memory, a celebration
for someone else. There has been
a transfer of wealth.


Late afternoon sunlight
on the Acropolis,
the Eractheon temple,
high, golden
in a bright blue sky,
two thousand years old,
the cleanly minted dream
of truth.