Lena Safiropoulou

“Do not”, he said, “make nuptials and betrothals,

feasts and birthings anymore. The end of time is nigh.

Go wash and girdle up and wait

for the one great Feast.”

Then he was gone, upwards somewhere.


Then they all abandoned, inside the old city walls,

names and insignia.

A tall heap was made,

out of golden goblets and greaves, sceptres and scales.

Out they came unto the fields, like a herd of cattle.


The stars revolved above their heads

many times round. They saw them. “The skies”,

they said, “are twisted like a garment and are changed.

We belong to a new order.”


The wind dispersed all wisdom.


They marched away in a straight line, moving some mountains as they passed.

They would command and throw them into the sea.

“Above and Below”, they chortled, “have long been made defunct.”


Then, some saw Power in their dream again.

’Twas something perpendicular thrust deep into the meadow.

With one arm it pointed up High

and with the other down Below. As if it mattered.


Out of the new order of the Lambs

sprang the old budding family roots again.

In silence they moved towards the upper meadows of supremacy.

They spun their wool and called it silvery-white.

Their milk, they called it snow from peaks untrodden.

(The mountains did return to their original places, for good.)

They nurtured, they nurtured the new-old graft,

they pushed it out through their loins by the pangs of their labour,

a finely-grown creeping plant,

and called it Genius.

Then out of the meadows sprang some monuments of marble.

Upon them came to nestle those that did possess the seedling graft

and they would handle the flock from up high.

But it carried on its sensual walk

amongst the poppies and the wild mint.

It twisted

like a white wave round the monuments.

Leaving them behind,

it gained its linear course again.


[translated by Orfeas Apergis]