On Their Heavenly Vault
You stretch your hand towards the night sky
Shifting around the heavenly bodies with your fingertips
One by one, on their celestial vault
Rearranging the order of ancient maps,
Sowing confusion in astrolabes and the human eyes
that seek a hidden meaning
From lights in the darkness.
As for me, always bound to your side,
Once again, I wonder
Which out of all the suns
You will choose to remove from tonight’s sky.
What happens when one light observes another?
Which notes are transmitted through mysterious connections
Like a guitar string articulating the melody of time?
As you grow there comes a moment you long for the instants that you spent
Without purchasing anything from the emporium of your dreams.
And yet it was there, available like a lover giving itself completely
But you always choose something less intense
A halfmoon, rather than a full moon,
One color only, rather than the whole rainbow.
What happens when one moon meets another moon?
What myths will night’s throbbing heart divert from their slumber?
Even dragons sooner or later grow old and become tame
Yet you are still out there seeking that castle
That insecurities and procrastinations never allowed you to conquer.
And yet its gate was always open,
Like a pupil that is dilated to its full extent
So that the desired image can remain impressed on it.
But you always choose that slightly ajar window,
A hairline crack rather than the deep crevice,
The tearing of the veil rather than the naked sculpted body.
What happens when one light cannot stand to look at another light?
When one gaze is averted from another?
When the pentagram is emptied of its notes,
Where does all the disappearing music end up?
I yelled at you when
Trapped in the ocean’s net
Sirius’ sea eagle lies drenched and trembling
The rainmaking Hyades drip their ink
In the ancestral code of the night.
Don’t run away!
My soul has not yet echoed
The morning light signs of the mountains
And my spirit
Has not tied yet the monster of memory
To the mast of the morning dusk.
But you did flee.
In the heart of the cedar tree hiding behind scented fragrances,
Incense in the sacred psalm of the fir,
In the palm of God’ hand like a thread
Captured by a herd of stars
That embroider the shining helix of the galaxy.
Early hopes, flashing visions,
You have abandoned me:
Now that I am mature
And my heart cannot withstand
The transparent weight of the lightning bolt
In its abode.
Show me your treasure,
Navigating the sterile Delta of memory,
Show me on a secret map
Where I can find Thebes,
so that I too may bury
what is left of my soul.
Before clouds wake up
before the desert is devoured by the forest
and the spirit of its saints
ascend to heaven in eternity.
An Empty Fire
As the wind withdraws
Trees reveal their intrinsic movement.
They get inside of you, bringing along their ancient, flexible nature.
An invasion of black, snaps of memories,
moments you experienced and then forgot,
when your life was still suspended between sea and land,
between Paradise and Hell
ghosts of ascending or descending archetypes.
Woman or dark spark like an unfinished thought,
Fire vacated of its burning Being.
Could they be the bodies that you never touched
Or- even if you touched them- perhaps they never surrendered to the rhythm of your impulses?
They shall leave and once again you will fall into oblivion.
A tale that found no words to be told,
Nor stone to be embedded forever and ever
Fleeing figures suspended at the limit of the moment,
Unexpressed potential like a tear of joy or pain,
Lost on the path between soul and cheek,
The multiple trunk of Time that no one noticed flowing.
Stavros Girgenis was was born in 1972. He lives in Salonicco, Greece, where he works as a high school teacher of Greek literature. He holds a PhD in Classics from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. He has published more than 15 books of ancient Greek texts translated into the modern Greek language. He has also translated and published numerous books of foreign poetry. Currently he is working on several anthologies of modern Greek poetry and an anthology of Italian hermetic poetry. He has published four poetry collections since 2011. Since 2017 he is the editor of the print Journal Noima (Meaning) and the co-editor of the print journal Erato. Many of his poems, translations and essays have been published in various digital and print journals. An anthology of his poems under the title “Tinta, la luz” has been translated into Spanish by the poet and Hellenist José Antonio Moreno Jurado, Sevilla, Padilla Libros, 2019. Some of his poems have been translated into German, Italian and English.