Monday, 25 March 2013

3 Poems by Basil P. Rouskas


"I leave my brush in the East and set forth on my journey.
I shall see the famous places in the Western Land.”

– Hiroshige Utagawa

I leave my poems 
on Black River's
southern bend

where winter sunlight
reflects into our 
bedroom window.

I am going east
to make peace 
with my brother –

We both grow old. 
He in our father’s village home,
I in my home by the river.


And I walk the path
along Black River
as I have most mornings
for twenty years.

In summer, the river feeds 
skunk cabbage in the marshlands. 
In winters fallen oaks and tulip trees 
slow the water through patches of ice
to soften the anger of  Pottersville Falls 
by the old Norwegian’s cabin.

And suddenly, unexpectedly,
in my walk I see father get up for work.
Half asleep, he splashes cold water  
on his face. My eyes are wet. 
I turn and gaze at the river bend.


The dress, a crudely colored green
on a black and white photograph.
The body at camera angle,
left side forward, hand on hip,
right forearm across the waist, relaxed.
Your eyes — still intense — look
at me square and call me to join you.
But I cannot do that, mother, until I
finish what you asked me to do.


Basil Rouskas has been writing poetry for over 30 years. His first poetry lines  in the Greek language were protests against the military Junta who took over Greece and ruled it until the mid 70's. He translated literature and theatre during his first years in the US and gradually his poetry became bilingual. He currently writes mainly in English. His first chapbook Redrawing Borders was published in 2010 by Finishing Line Press and drew favorable reviews in the Journal of Hellenic Diaspora in 2012. The book's main subject is the complex subject of transitions that take place as one leaves one country and builds roots in another. It is not the geographic borders, but the spiritual and psychological ones that establish the space of how the loss of the old weaves with the assimilation of the new and eventually becomes an integrated life: Past and present become seamless and borderless in their co-existence when the change has been completed! Basil's poetry has been featured in many poetry venues, including the New York Times, Princeton Public Library Podcast (2007 celebration of April as Poetry Month), Helix Magazine, Shot Glass Journal, and TIFERET: A Journal of Spiritual Literature. He has read his poetry in several libraries, bookstores, including venues such as Cornelia Street Cafe in NYC, Immigrant Festival Writing in NJ and the Tribute World Trade Center (Ground Zero Visitor Center) in 2009. Basil has worked in corporate and not-for-profit organizations in the roles of executive, entrepreneur, consultant and leadership coach. He has also taught at leading universities on leadership development, personal strength assessment and team effectiveness. His work is described partially in his firm's website

No comments:

Post a comment