Posts Tagged ‘Ράσελ Τζον Ντεντ’

How Soon

June 7, 2009




How soon before my lovely days are gone?

How soon before I see this place no more,

and have no more time beneath the sun;

nor time beside this ever-whispering sea;

nor hear the wind whisper amongst the reeds;

nor see the tall plane trees upon the hills,

where soft-eyed goats call as they freely roam;

nor see the crimson hibiscus flowers you pick

each day and place in a vase on my desk

so I think of you as I write my tales

of shepherds piping their lost sheep to fold.


The flame of life burns quickly in the lamp;

passion and love and longing and hot tears

consume and all too soon a cold wind blows

upon our hearts and takes us far away

and we are found no more in this old world,

although the moon turns – searching every night

and the stars patiently shine on and on.


How Soon

© R J Dent (2009)

r j dent logo



May 26, 2009

crete house

One of my favourite memories

is of our summer afternoons

at our little white Cretan house;

its balcony, its walled terrace,

its olive trees and spiky palms,

that overlooked the turquoise sea,

and as evening diffused the light

to orange, purple, then to black,

how we would burn citrus candles

and sit and watch the moon careen

across the sky towards the south

and eat our olives, nuts and bread

and drink a glass of retsina

and make love in the warm sea air –

a memory with love in it.


by Ράσελ Τζον Ντεντ

Translation © R J Dent (2009)

r j dent logo

July Morning

May 25, 2009

july morning-sun

On this July morning

the world is again created

from the orange stare of the sun

On this July morning

the night becomes a brightly-lit room

and tiny leaves unfurl on their branches

On this July morning

the lakes take off their black cloaks

and reveal their island breasts, their lilies

On this July morning

I awaken aroused and turn to find you

looking at me and wanting me

On this July morning

I enter your soft warmth as sunlight

shines through the shutters and into our minds

July Morning

by Ράσελ Τζον Ντεντ

Translation © R J Dent (2009)

r j dent logo


May 25, 2009


The calendar page has been the same for months;

you used to pull them free like ripe fruit or autumn leaves.

I saw you implode beneath a tamarisk, accompanied

by cicadas trying to find words to explain your existence.

I lie here surrounded by papers, open books, half-

finished work – wishing it would at least rain.

I’ve also imploded many times – too many to calculate.

It’s my attempt to locate you through an act of emulation.

Immolation. If I’m you, I’ll find you. My hope

burns strong. At the moment I’m strong enough

to see you as you were. Eventually you’ll be

a few selected moments of a reshaped memory –

cherished and valued for an emotional intensity.


by Ράσελ Τζον Ντεντ

Translation © R J Dent (2009)

r j dent logo


May 2, 2009


Turquoise and emerald-eyed they

toe their way daintily into the dawn

to throstle and quark keeningly

to a new-minted world.

And they do this

even as the first tendrils of morning mist

encircle, envelope, enshroud, transforming

everything into indistinct shapes in the grey.


by Ράσελ Τζον Ντεντ

Translation © R J Dent (2009)


The Man from Lindos Tunes his Bouzouki

March 31, 2009


In the afternoon sun and stillness

I sit in delicious cool and shade

beneath this gnarled olive tree

and tune my bouzouki

One string I tune

to the goats grazing on the rock-strewn hills

One string I tune

to the lizard sunning itself on a hot grey rock

One string I tune

to the incessant chirruping of the cicadas

One string I tune

to the stonemasons rebuilding the temple of Diana

One string I tune

to the butterflies meandering towards the liquidambar tree

One string I tune

to the baby shark gliding through the turquoise shallows

One string I tune

to the eagle flying slow and low over the island

One string I tune

to the cats padding through the acropolis

All of the strings I tune

to the sudden fall of a deep-starred

warm and almond-scented night

for now it is time to play

The Man from Lindos Tunes his Bouzouki

by Ράσελ Τζον Ντεντ

Translation © R J Dent (2009)


Orange Tree

March 7, 2009



by R J Dent

The orange tree in the grove is your fear –

it bears the bright round emblems of the sun;

the leaves are your voice, curled up in your throat

and you spit syllables of chewed green pulp

to fertilize the soil it’s growing in.

And so you come to need to kill the tree;

to kill the branches, you must kill the roots,

but the branches are trailed over the roof

of the house named Hope you built just yesterday.

Children take your fruit, laugh and run away.

Orange Tree

Copyright © R J Dent (2009)


Post Mortem

March 4, 2009


sea view

by R J Dent

The silver of her olive tree

had spun a web around her heart

the blue of a cicada’s wings

had traced vein maps beneath her skin

and the pink of the figs she ate

had stained her lips a coral shade

The turquoise of the Aegean

had poured into her irises

and the yellow of retsina

had tinted her hair a fine gold

and the white of her courtyard walls

had lightened her palms and her soles

The brown of the surrounding hills

had deeply tanned her scented skin

and the juice of fat purple grapes

had painted and polished her nails

– the silver of her olive tree

had spun a web around her heart

Post Mortem

Copyright © R J Dent (2009)