Yannis Ritsos-Poems, Selected Books, Volume II

Yannis Ritsos-Poems, Selected Books, Volume II
ΙΣΜΗΝΗ///ISMENE

Έξω απ’ τα τείχη πληθαίναν οι νεκροί. Ήμουνα πάντα περίεργη
για τους νεκρούς· — όχι προσπάθεια εξοικείωσης με το θάνατο
ούτε και συμφιλίωσης. Κάποτε ξέφευγα την επιτήρηση
της μητέρας και των παιδαγωγών· σκαρφάλωνα στο φρούριο· κοίταζα
μέσ’ απ’ τις πολεμίστρες· — κουβαλούσαν τους νεκρούς σε χειραμάξια, σε φορεία, σε σκάλες·
άλλοι απομέναν πλαγιασμένοι κάτω στην πεδιάδα, σε όμορφες στάσεις,
ήσυχοι, νέοι, ωραίοι, πλάι στα σκοτωμένα άλογά τους. Τους έβλεπα
χωρίς καθόλου θλίψη, — ωραίοι, σαν ταγμένοι στον έρωτα.
Ώσπου ήρθαν οι δικοί μας νεκροί· και μεμιάς μεγαλώσαμε.

Είδα την αδελφή μου στην αυλή τα χαράματα —σημαδεμένη απ’ τη μοίρα—
κατάχλωμη. Τα χέρια της, το φόρεμά της, τα μαλλιά της όλο χώματα.
Τ’ αγιάζι το πρωινό μάς περόνιαζε. Τρέμαμε. Η μέρα κατέβαινε
απέραντα άσπρη, διάτρητη με μαύρα κοράκια.


 
The dead multiplied outside the walls. I was always curious about
the dead; not an effort to familiarize myself with death nor to
befriend him. Sometimes I escaped the watchful eyes of my mother
and the governess. I climbed up the fortress, looked through
the embrasures; they were carrying the dead on oxcarts, on
stretchers, on ladders; others were left laid on the grass of the valley
in various stances, serene, young, handsome, next to their dead horses.
I’d look at them without any distress — handsome, as if dedicated
to Eros; until our dead arrived when we came of age at once.
 
I saw my sister, marked by fate, pale, in the courtyard, at dawn.
Her hands, her dress, her hair full of dirt. The morning air
froze us; we shivered; the day was descending upon us
immensely white, pierced by black crow’s marks.

Swamped, a novel by Manolis Aligizakis

 
When Susan left, he refocused on work for the rest of the day, and as  time approached for the bell to announce the end of trading, he called Rebecca Horton and suggested they meet at Da Carlo’s, to which she agreed.
When they met Rebecca in the lounge of the restaurant, Eteo hugged her. Her body, firm and willing, excited him, and he remembered when Rebecca had told him about travelling to Crete the summer after her graduation and the great time she had had there with the Cretan lover she had met there and would never forget. Eteo had joked at the time that Cretan men knew how to make a woman happy and since then they had developed a relationship, a strange one since Rebecca was a married woman now, but her desire for a Cretan man had remained in her mind and Eteo was the only Cretan man around. That was their secret pact, and whenever the opportunity came along, they enjoyed each other in the fullest of ways.
She was hot today, with an obvious fire burning in her eyes, a flaming, dark red lipstick and a body that moved next to Eteo in an outrightly sensual way. As they talked, he couldn’t take his mind away from the desire to have her today. They sat close to each other and ordered a drink, but business had to take priority.
“Talk to me” Rebecca said.
“I have a small group I can use to raise a couple of hundred thousand dollars,” Eteo replied, “and I have a good property from George Beaton. He assures me it will go through very easily.”
“So you want to put together a new shell company.”
 “Yes, and I have the directors. You know my people.”
           Rebecca frowned at this.
“You think I shouldn’t use my regulars?” Eteo asked her.
“Well, investors keep an eye on who’s in there, and they tend to dislike the same people as directors, especially when they aren’t as qualified. Remember the article that came out lately?”
Rebecca had a valid point. Eteo remembered the article very well. It was by a well-known VSE critic, George Gains, and had appeared prominently in the business section of the Vancouver Sun. Gains was famous for reporting everything and anything he could learn about the low-lives that run around law firms and brokerages hatching shady deals. Then Eteo remembered another article that had referred to him and Mario Messini and suggested that they had pushed the shell company Redama through the regulators with a cook and a train engineer as directors. After that article, he and Mario had been the laughing stock of downtown Vancouver for a while.
“And there’s something else,” Rebecca added. “I have heard from reliable sources that the regulations are about to change. Things are going to get tougher very soon.”
She was interrupted by the server bringing their meals. Eteo clinked his glass against hers and they both took a sip of their wine.
 “Tell me more,” Eteo asked. “What exactly have you heard? What do you think might change?”
“Okay, they tell me the minimum requirements will get higher, the amounts needed as seed money, for instance. And the price of the prospectus stock might also have to go higher.”
         “We can comply with whatever changes they send down the chute. You know that.”
          Rebecca took another sip of her wine, looking at him carefully over the rim of her glass.
 “Put the wheels in motion,” Eteo added. “Register me a name.”
 “What name do you want?”
“I don’t care much,” Eteo replied. “Whatever you think sounds appropriate. Something regular, I suppose. Hey, why not Alexa Ventures,” he added, “just to follow the tradition we have already started?”
He was referring to the idea he and Mario and Robert had come up with years ago to name companies after their children, girls whenever possible, and since Eteo didn’t have a daughter, Alexa Ventures would have to do.
“What do you think of that, sweet Rebecca?” he asked and couldn’t help adding, “Come give me something, now that I want it.” He leaned closer to her, gazing deep in her eyes.

Γιάννης Υφαντής, Στίχοι

To Koskino

Ι
Κι έρχονται οι άξεστοι βουνίσιοι άνεμοι
ντυμένοι τα βαριά αρώματα της ρίγανης και του ελάτου
έχοντας άλλος στο μανίκι άλλος στο γόνατο
την ασημένια λάμψη απ’ τ΄άγγιγμά του σε μια κρύα πηγή

ΙΙ
Α γέμιση του φεγγαριού και δέση των νερών’
κρένοντας η κρυότερη μορφή σα ρέει στη στέρνα
έναρθρο το ανάστημα τρέμει των καλαμιών.

ΙΙΙ
Κ’ οι νέρινες γυναίκες του συντριβανιού
ωψώνουνε το δροσερό κορμί τους ρίχνοντας
η μια στην άλλη λόγια δροσερά
σαν το κορμί τους, σαν την όψη τους.

*Από τη συλλογή “Μανθρασπέντα” (εκδ. Τραμ, 1977) στον συλλογικό τόμο ¨Οι μεταμορφώσεις του μηδενός”, εκδ. Bibliotheque, 2019.

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