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the goddess my ancestors once worshipped
still sits perched upon the columns of the Acropolis
make no mistake

The circling bird that would sit on Socrates’ shoulder
whisper into the ear of Pythagoras
and who wiped the tears from my
great, great, great, great, grandmother’s face


She came to me
right after my Trojan War
as I laid upon the ocean floor
covered by the weight of my own tears

By a crevice of brothers
who I’ve lost who should now be men
a shipwreck of another I may never trust again
and that barnacle-encrusted rubble of a love that should have never come to an end
she came to me


She loomed as large as my own pain
spread her wings to be the size of my own faith
and motioned me to take from her
that which would now be used to inscribe my own name


She closed her eyes as I grasped the feather
and hardly quivered as I ripped the quill from her chest
“Take it” she said
and as I did
I saw the millions of ships that she’d witnessed
thick with my fellow countrymen
soldiers and pirates
all writing notes home to their wives on lines of papyrus


I saw
Homer writing The Iliad and Οδύσσεια
Προφήτης Ηλίας writing love letters to Medea
Αχιλλέας reading scrolls to the minions
and Plato just taking a note
before he voiced an opinion

I saw them all


And at that moment
Apollo stood forth
took the quill from my hand
took the black sticky ink from the most ancient squid and filled it
and said:

“May this ink come to your defence
as it has for this old squid against every fisherman
who has ever lived,
as it has for every anarchist
freedom fighter and activist
they’ll tell you ‘actions speak louder than words’
until your words make people


And at that moment
King Κωνσταντίνος stood forth and sang:


<<Χριστὸς Ανέστη εκ νεκρών, θανάτω θάνατον πατήσας, και τοις εν τοις μνήμασι, ζωὴν χαρισάμενος>>


<<Λουκάς Χαραλάμπος>> he said

“Your name means ‘light, joy, illuminated
your first name is the same name as the first saint who painted the first icons that line our churches and are worshipped every day
You shall not be afraid!”


And at that moment
the ocean began to fall
the waves crashing above me began to look like clouds again

and I began to feel something like
proud again


All of my ancestors stood forth and said to me:

“Luka, write with this quill
so that when your great, great, great, great granddaughter
is in pain and needs to be freed
may you then come and stand with us
so we all can give her
exactly what she needs

May our air
in your lungs
speak new words
with your tongue

<<Σήκω πάνω>>
stand up son!

You have only