Markos Papadatos
Photo Credit: Daniel Mitchell

Recharged

Traveling on an airplane was lonesome and endless.

I was kept alive exclusively by watching the sunset through the

window from a cloud’s point of view;

the sun was a yellow grapefruit, squirting out its final drops of juice

for the day. I sent my heart out just in time, right before the sun became

seeds and peels.

My soul felt recharged.

Ocean: Best Medicine

In the midsummer of my European vacation I was suffering mosquito

bites and minor burns. I didn’t know whom to turn to. Every drug store

with a sign “on vacation.”

When I saw the ocean right next to me I realized how foolish I was…

with a single swim in the sea’s salty, iodine, basic, buffer, and acidic solutions the bites and

burns were easily minimized and lost their infections. I was cured by a natural source.

No chemicals added.

The ocean was available to me at all times. No restrictions. Very effective.

Drug store owners should sell their stores and open the ocean as a pharmacy.

DNA

DNA is Braille, a language hard to decode

DNA is a crossword puzzle, only the beholder’s mitochondria can solve.

DNA grants us an identity, making us special and who we are.

A threat to this fundamental code are clones, artificial impostors,

replicating other living forms.

They are potent enough to shift one minute into 59 seconds causing

mathematical confusion in the chronology of time.

Our DNA cracks.

Our identity loses its uniqueness.

The Earthquake

Five minutes prior:

the moon is red and full,

the sea is moving away from its coast,

dandelions are losing their sense of smell,

canines already sense it, they bark their lungs out.

Nobody hears their warning.

The Aftermath:

Tectonic plates rubbing against each other,

domiciles shaking like swiveling trees,

knocking human lives out of their branches,

mothers and friends grieving,

cemeteries filling up with the perished,

town reconstruction begins.

150 years later:

While everything seems forgotten,

Horror is inevitably awaiting to re-strike.

*Poem dedicated in Loving Memory of those who lost their lives in the 1995 Earthquake of Egio City, Greece.

Greece

My infatuation with you is salty:

Not a teaspoon of salt that you serve at your dinner table as spice-

Neither a five-pound sack of salt derived

from Aisle 5 of a Waldbaums Superstore–

An entire ocean of salt,

with the highest concentration of NaCl imaginable–

You allow me to swiftly float on its waters

sipping them stealthily when thirsty,

causing my blood cholesterol to rise–

I live in your dehydration.

Evolution (from a Boy to a Man)

I walked to preschool,

My Momma’s hand in mine,

Unaware of all the things I would find.

I brushed my teeth after every meal,

Realizing that it’s no big deal,

Combing the little hair I had on my head,

Saying nightly prayers before I went to bed.

Thinking about what kind of life is this…

This is the life

Of the Child

That my Momma raised me to be

If I were to trade places,

With any other person,

I’d always wanna be, a better me.

I started high school.

Rejecting nicotine and alcohol

I volunteered in a nursing home,

making the Elderly feel less alone.

I graduated from high school.

Unsure where my road would lead.

Wondering what kind of life is this…

This is the life

Of the Teen

That my Momma raised me to be

If I were to trade places,

With any other person,

I’ll proudly renew being me.

I graduated QC with my M.A. degree,

Everybody else take a note of me,

I teach innocent children in a school each day,

helping them find the right way someday,

and after each day and week is gone,

I bring bread to my wife and my child at home.

After searching for months and several years,

I think I finally found success…

Oh, I feel so blessed!

I know precisely what kind of life this is…

This is the life

Of the Man

That my Momma raised me to be

I would never trade places,

With any other being,

I’ll always stay true to being me.

 

The Fireman

He was a pillar of strength, courage, and hope

Never afraid to face a challenge alone

Yes, I’m talking about someone

who gained the respect he deserved

that infamous September day,

what else is left for a teen like me to say, nothing but…

 

He was a fireman

Way stronger than I am

The hero that I have never been

Oh, I looked up to him

cause he made me believe in me

Led me to succeed

He always supported me

Made a lasting memory

Now all that’s left is a cold melancholy

 

He was the buddy I always had,

I will miss him sad

Lord save the bold and brave risk-taking fireman.

 

He was aware, fully alert while giving first-aid to the injured and hurt

Alas, he might have tragically died,

He’s more than alive, in the survivor’s minds

He was a fireman

Way stronger than I am

The hero that I have yet to be

But he never lost his faith in me

Instead, he made me believe in me

Led me to succeed

He always supported me

Made a lasting memory

Now all that’s left is a dark melancholy

 

He was the brother I never had

I still miss him sad

Lord save the bold and brave risk-taking fireman.

 

He was a pillar of strength, courage, and hope!

*Dedicated to all the FDNY officers that lost their lives on September 11, 2001, in the line of duty.

 

Mom

A boy’s first leading lady,

A live-in Mary Poppins in a real-life Disney film

A badass miracle worker, the molder and welder of my future

An eloquent seamstress with a heart of gold

A perennial confidante, a lifelong educator,

A counselor and a personal shrink that listens but doesn’t critique.

A judge and the jury in any disagreement…

 

Without you, life is a dried oasis

A howling wilderness,

A sticker that lost its glue,

A concert without an encore,

A meal without dessert,

I am lost without you.

 

A Greek pillar of my family,

the foundation of my roots,

you are the epitome of grace, class, and love,

the spinach in the spanakopita,

the honey on my Greek yogurt.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Acrostic Poem on ‘The Bay on Amazon Prime’

Tumultuous times in Bay City

Havoc in the lives of the Garretts
E
xternal conflicts presented

Battles with inner demons
A
pprehensive decisions
Y
outhful daredevils seeking justice


O
ccasional defeats
N
emesis encounters tensen

Aesthetic beauties
M
ystical mischief
A
lternate realities
Z
est for alternative
O
ngoing messes
N
eurotic resolutions

Provoking characters
R
eturn of a kidnapped heroine
I
ntertwined relationships
M
anifested dreams
E
xciting thrills

Acrostic Poem on ‘Studio City’

Strange euphoria

Tumultuous decisions

Unacceptable morals
Dynamic moments

Intelligent conversations
Outstanding performances

Clandestine memories

Injustices addressed
Tempting offers
Youthful adventures

Acrostic Poem on ‘After Forever’

Affectionate moments

Fragile relationships
Tense conversations
Euphoric memories
Radiant personalities

Flaming temperaments
Overwhelming pathos
Radical movements
Extraordinary performances
Valuable life lessons
Emotional damages
Romantic involvements

Acrostic poem on ‘Misguided'(digital series)


M
ischievous adventures in the “City of Angels”

Intense storylines unfolding
S
uspenseful cliffhanger endings
G
enuine goals for achieving dreams
U
nfortunate circumstances
I
ntriguing and independent explorations
D
eceiving looks and characters
E
arthly friendships, extreme realities
D
elicate personalities, deep laughs

The golden aunt: Hristanthi

A bold and inspiring Greek woman,

Nearly a century of living, four years short

Bearing no children of her own her,

She became a mother to many, an aunt to some, a ‘yiayia’ to me.

 

As a kid, she taught me how to eat youvetsi

helping my little hands use bread to bring food closer to my work

Taught me how to boil eggs in a pan,

I could become the chef I always wanted to be.

 

She would reward us with a brand of Pavlidis dark chocolate

It may not have been the best-tasting chocolate in the world,

but it felt like a gold star coming from ‘Theia” Hrisanthi.

A theia that wore many hats:

A caregiver, nurse, neighbor, friend, confidante and a grandma to me by default.

Present at every family function, occasion or holiday,

Family was what she valued the most.

 

Her name translated into “golden flower,” showcasing her golden personality,

A saving grace in time of need

Her presence was the cure of solitude

She would give her blessing to any person in town that underwent ordeals,

“I am old, and my blessing always count,” she would say.

 

For Theia Hrisanthi, the simple farmer’s life suited her fine.

She never was a big fan of urban life,

Her hands were strong, yet gentle,

She would pray for rain, milk the cows, and she would fight the weeds

She worked in the fields of Mesovounia until the age of 89

until she reached a point she couldn’t work anymore.

 

A person that went above and above her job description as an aunt

and was able to redefine the meaning of it.

The epitome of grace, courage, and strength.

The yiayia I always wanted as a child, she took part in my raising,

Her words will live forever.

 

As Vince Gill once sang, “Go Rest High on That Mountain (theia),

your work on Earth is done, go to Heaven a’ shoutin’,

love for the father and the son.”

*In loving memory of “Aunt” Hristanthi Toumasatou (1914-2010)

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