SIXTEEN OF ME

To Giorgos

by Lefcothea-Maria Golgaki  

The Promise

The girl was told hapless creatures cannot march
Finite their choices
The girl was told woebegone bodies can only trudge
Rasping sound their voices

Should they adjust to a haphazard manner
Curtailed their liberties
Should they act on a dare
Enslaved their will – Is it ever safe in captivity?

With scant regard to what they said
Austere her countenance and wild
Doomed to die on a cross
Tarnished her reputation, defiled

A fleeting glimpse of what she craved
Caterpillars morph into butterflies
Certain of the propriety of her request
To lead a different way of life

She then decided on a whim
Soggy the afternoon
To spurn their charlatan generosity
Be ostracized she no longer would

What must be reinstated?
What must be cast out?
What must be released?
The conventions she would flout

Lofty, high her aspirations
Unspoken thoughts dominated her mind
To protect her sense of self she coveted
Heaved her chest, endeavoring to metamorphose her sullen sky

A trickle of sweat ran through her forehead
Daunted by the enormity of the challenge
Beholden to no one but herself
Binding forces kept her safe from the ravage

The rain eventually subsided
The vague promise was fulfilled
Feats not words attest the truth
Infamous for her deviance she would be

That being the nature of her story
Compelling, heart-rending or bizarre
Looters of her celestial body
Nonentities evermore vie for their star

Pristine Souls

To write about such an enveloping warmth 
I find it perplexing; it troubles me the most
For some uncomfortable, for others queasy
And sundry others deem it uneasy

Embrace the idea it primes your muddled brain
Withstand to that, be racked with searing pain
This soft yet deep and pleasing sound
Cacophony it becomes when wights stamp out

Is it my disposition to exaggerate?
Am I enthralled, elated, elevated?
Is it your duty to veer off the road?
I hold you culpable of mistreating your thoughts

Clean the entire gunk from the inside
Pristine souls depart untied
The incubation period denatures your state
This labyrinthine reasoning I cannot venerate

Be vigilant; be wakeful, rueful you will be
Contagious the hosts of hearts that mind not skip a beat
Overstep the boundaries, redraw them while you can
Beyond redress intransigent a madman as you are

Moment of Truth

My desperate need – need dire and driving
My greatest angst – the recipient I name you
My irremediable attachment – eternal is always eternal
My idea of bliss – embedded in my psyche

I sanction the invasion – claim ultimate victory over me
I shed no tear – encapsulate my essence
I make a pledge to you – in the midst of a terrible life
I face the scathing indictment – my dormancy allowed me to hide

Daunted by the vastness of my nothingness
Banished to oblivion, memories disturbing
Arid years that have elapsed
Consigned to interment, parched my land and empty

In my moment of truth, in my moment of yearning
You are the one whose coming was foretold
My downcast eyes I hesitantly raise
My frailty leaves me, last-minute reprieve I have won

Nobody Else but Me

Worming its way into the shadows
Hiding behind the fences
The undertow once drowned it
Leaving it blank and empty

Worming its way into my affection
Its services no longer required
Regarded by others as an abomination
God, it is not your creation!

Remember the night it came to my dreams
Caressed me with gentle words
Welcomed me with a kiss
Full I was to believe it would someday leave me in peace

Still, it gains ground while coming
Calling my name waits not
My dreams nightmares became
My life was claimed, oh please, untie the knot

Writhed in absolute agony
Tantalized by its power over me
Leave me hunt me no more
Disturbing nights I neither wanted nor sought

The desperate appeal has been made
Honor the agreement you must
Release the grasp of my mind
Let me rest I will close my eyes

But it keeps coming and coming
Threatening every bit of my soul
Try as I might to keep it away
Disquieting, sobering become my thoughts

Thus, one night I resolve I must kill it
Remove the burden for once and for all
The answer is kept underneath my pillow
The final act awaits to be performed

Hush, it has come, I must feign
Deep sleep has taken me again
Sharp is the knife I take out
The blow is hard not in vain

Such scream, such wail, such howl,
How can I stand any of these?
I open my eyes to discover
It is nowhere around to be seen

It died, yes, I admit it
Victorious the action indeed
Yet the body which lies on the ground
Is nobody else but me

Sweet Marianthi

Well, is this a fitting end?
Is this what you’ve become?
The autopsy of yesteryear
A poem as simple as that

An anamnesis of the unseeable in the fragments of memory you inhabit
A safe berth to recline when dreams live in lull
A luminous zone to be sought, sweet Marianthi
A break in the clouds as the day falls apart

At one time you solemnly asseverated,
“Be hard like a stone, my child, you must”
The message was imparted so graciously
We humans can survive any black night

Withal, you couldn’t endure the lines on your face
A million of heartaches compressed in a wan smile
When you couldn’t identify yourself in the mirror
You decided it was time to give up

If only I had a million silences for you to hear
A sanctuary built to store your haze away
And with my chariot to bring you near
Maim the heinous spirits including Fate

Prior to your planned closure
A semblance of order
What happens when we go?
Many a time I wonder

Exposed

The not so prudent things he does
The perilous people he will not avoid
The accoutrements of a lifestyle he worships
Exposed as he stands, he celebrates

To be relegated in obscurity; never an attractive option
Disinclined to bow to the dominion of others
Inescapably, desolation, in a time to come, he must face
In a myriad of ways

His will; fortified by a sovereign sentiment of a bounden duty
In line with the over-high expectations he has formed
Still, obviating the need for mentorship
A poignant moment adamant as he remains

This autonomous yet precarious existence – tragic –
Like a gravid mosquito that has taken a blood meal
Asking for more…
Then, exterminated before having the time to deposit its bad eggs

Another ignis fatuus, another terse fascination shall blind him
Again and again, enticed by the lure of free flying
A mellow tune and a strained voice echo in his weedy Garden of Eden
Cutting through the silence, whispered words warn him

Subdued lights are suspended from his leaden sky
This soul crushing weight of the uncompromising shall ruin him
One last thing before winter comes upon him
Remember: “Try not to lose any moral foundation”

The King

From my tower I can see
Acres of land, manors and fiefs
From my tower I espy
Nobles and surfs, jousts and knights

Blacksmiths, merchants, barons and lords
Orders I give them, I rule them all
Decrees I issue, my puppets work
A powerful feeling to coil the rope

The coronation oath I have sworn
Take your dispute to the court
Inspire fear, cause distress
I am your King, I bear the crest

Lead my armies into battles
Wage bloody wars, lay siege to castles
Justice is in the hands of me
You call me a monarch, you will see

Destroy cities, raze them to the ground
Fortresses I take, my role is to astound
Kneel to me servants, I am your God
Transcend all reasoning, I think I can

Dismantle empires mighty though they are
Conquer new territories, triumphs I have
Exalt my name, do as I bid
Defy my wishes, my lance you will feel

Obliterate villages, defenseless they are
Should that concern the King? – Their faces blank masks –
Chafe at the laws laid down by me
Resent my authority; do not surmise you will win

Devise a plan to dethrone me, wise decision is not
The Magna Carta I disregard, contrive no assassination plot
The underground chambers, your burial holes
The dungeon is there for you, I shall throw you to the dogs

Now, bring the jester, your King needs a good laugh
Amuse my highness, boost my morale
Regale my wit, face the formidable task
Sing bawdy songs – leap, juggle and dance

The costume colored brightly, the shaved head, the ears of an ass
The hairy mole so grotesque; something repels me about the hat
“What is this that you are holding? Is that a dagger in your hands?”
My demise early as it is; an action tit-for-tap

The wound in my chest deep; the reason I cannot breathe
“My faithful servants I humbly request for your succor; why do you recede?”
To choke on my blood, this is my end, the irony I see in this
The fool, the jester, the buffoon has come to kill the King

About the Author:

Lefcothea-Maria Golgaki has been involved in the field of ELT for the past 22 years working as a teacher at English Language Schools and at the same time as a freelance writer for English, American and Greek Publishing Houses writing English language books and teaching material. Her publishing credits include: Picture Tenses (Book 1, 2, 3): The Iguana Project e-ASY STUDY: The Iguana Project; 4U ALL Adults Course (Levels 1, 2, 3): SO EASY ; World Wonders 3 Companion: New Editions/Heinle ELT. These poems are her first published poetry.

*The complete selection of Maria’s poetry you can read in our printed edition.

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