Friday, April 22, 2005

THE SACRED WAY

This poem by Angelos Sikelianos sat me right down; and, opened my mind right up.

Through the new wound that fate opened in me
I felt the setting sun piercing my heart,
like the sudden surge of the wave
entering through a gash
in a ship rapidly sinking
or at last that evening,
like a man long sick who first comes out
to milk life from the outside world,
I was a solitary walker on the road
that starts from Athens,
and has Eleusis as its sacred goal,
for this road always was for me
Like the road of the soul…flowing
like a great manifest river:
wagons slowly drawn by oxen,
full of haystacks or logs, and other
carriages quickly passing
with the people inside them like shadow
but farther on, as if the world were lost
and nature alone were left, little by little
a stillness settled…and the rock
I saw rooted at the edge,
appeared like a throne the centuries
had destined for me. And, as I sat,
I crossed my hands around my knees,
forgetting whether I had started that day
or whether I had taken
this same road centuries ago…