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  Nr. 135 - April 2010
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The Swirling Kiss of Spring

by Christos Georgoussis
Spring, emerging from the sea, trumpets her arrival with sirens, and the desert dust that the Sirocco brought is blown far away by the sea-borne winds. Sikinos, Serifos, Naxos anchored next to us. All of the almond trees are blooming, and the bright yellow wild fennels are abundant this year, strewn everywhere. Creeks alive with water from hidden caves, and the many-coloured wild peas wasted no time sprinkling the green fields with their red. The scent of hyacinth, of the white iris that was tricked into bloom as were the Italian orchids that perfumed the entire north end of the monastery of Aghios Ioannis by the sea.

Maybe it’s the music of the four seasons of Vivaldi, “the song that flashed from the lightning bugs,” the hosanna of anticipation with flags and palms and banners, the tilting of the earth’s axis which gives strength to the smile of the unconquerable sun. Or maybe it’s the blackbird who perched in the eucalyptus tree gaping at the loquats that turned yellow ahead of time and was astonished, calling out unintelligible twittering, or other chatty migrant birds.

We left untrodden sea shores and river banks, avoided many people from fear or an unwillingness to go forward, we missed the chance to follow the stars that show the paths to God, and now we look for ways to bloom with Spring, opening wings, petals, sails, secret doors and roads.

Maybe it could be the rainbow which shone suddenly on 25 February, completely unexpectedly, without any previous rainfall, without scouts’ signals, and stretched from the hill of Aghioi Anargyroi as far as the sea of the bay. To realise one more time the meaning of “unhoped-for,” as the poet says.

It smells of dawns that haven’t risen yet, freesia in the flowerpots, pennyroyal in the wetlands, white irises that dared to come out early and the other spring inside you that asks for vindication. The setting sun reached its southern boundary in the seas of Sikinos and now follows a more northerly course, falling once again behind the hills of Antiparos. Io’s chariot changes course every day and, pulled by the horses of Ilios, it storms toward the chariot of Phobos and Dimos, the sons of Ares. The sounds of wheels with the “r” of a waterfall. Spring, Eros, iris. Joy and curses and Eris at war, Ahriman and Ahura Mazda. We grieve for the losses of war, fate chooses those winning moments to wound, we resist fear, the curse becomes Easter joy, Spring is sweet.

Springs unreaped, scythes in the hands of poets cut a path for threshing floors, wine stampers and clay jugs, wherever a precious seed is winnowed from the meaning of the life of a Sphinx, who always looks for answers in riddles. Raising anchors, the travellers show up. From the yellow breath of the dandelions, from the blue of the lupins, the rosiness of the lowly red lotuses, Spring is gestating inside us, searching for encouragement insistently. “Spring, a swirling kiss. Spring buzzing in the temples. Spring, an artisanal volcano.”

Searching for the heart of another, unselfish smiles, whatever we anticipate from love, all of the things that have yet to unfold in our life. Travellers in the chariot with the horses, in the boat, in the invisible train, in the cloud. We are ascending the spring equinox, gazing at the distant horizons of an unfading summer, praying for less fear, more beauty and more enduring light.

Christos Georgoussis, a Parian native, writes for Foni tis Parou, where this was first published in mid-March. Reprinted with the permission of the author and FTP. The title is from a poem by Odysseus Elytis.

Translation by Cynthia Cotts.
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