Saturday, January 26, 2008

Bill Wyatt: from CICADA IMMORTALS part 2

I arose earlier than the others, & made my way up to the old Genoese Castle in the morning light. Two Rock Nuthatches obliged after some waiting, with a dancing display. The Little Owl put in an appearance, looking more than bleary.

'Bringing news of spring
the nightingales love song'

After breakfast we drove out to Scala Kalonis. Walked along a dried out salt pan area, managed to see two much wanted birds- Whiskered Tern & Olivaceous Warbler. Plants were few & far between. We later found that the winter had been one of the driest on record.

A barefoot girl
the wind lifting her skirt
made me forget about myself

Just outside of Molivos, we stopped & found growing by the roadside a clump of Syrian Thistle (Notobasis syriaca) The purple-flushed Syrian Thistle, despite its wonderful colouring, comes from a Greek derogatory word meaning "donkey thistle".

It must have been
your lips that sent
your friends away

Plenty of Isabelline Wheatears, their Latin name, Oenanthe, meaning a bird that appears at the same time as the first shoot of the vine.

Down by the sea shore
all the world was shining –
just for you and me

It was getting late, so we headed for our "breakfast bar", no time for a wash & clean up. They were laying on the satellite Cup Final for us. Exciting match, especially as we had a "stuffed" eagle staring at us from the television set. The match 3-3 after extra time. Crystal Palace leading Manchester United 3-2 with 8 minutes of normal time left. Replay next Thursday, the day we get back home.

We finished up back at our digs with wine and listened to some blues and jazz tapes. One of those nights when dreams become immortal.Remembering Plato's words, just as I fell asleep, “Some say nine muses – but I count again, behold the tenth, Sappho of Lesbos.”

In the meadow
horses graze on
the flowers of spring

Lesbos, May 1990

by Bill Wyatt
Bexhill-on-Sea, Sussex, England
first published in Presence 33, Sept. 2007

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