Archives for posts with tag: Greece

licensed freesurf69
by Aida Bode

I heard one of the peasants say
he saw the birth of blue right here
inside this island,
below the knee-prints of Saint John’s prayers,
across the archway of lightnings
at the peak of the wind’s chanting

I stood tall; arms stretched, tracing the bay
and threw the net of my soul where
all was a gland, of a forgotten eternity
when it was as little as a day
a joyful offspring of time and air
a jewel in god’s hands.

Then, I dipped my finger in the mouth of the Aegean,
and then put it in my mouth;

the peasant didn’t lie,
Patmos gave birth to the sky.

PHOTO: The island of Patmos, Greece, showing the village of Skala and the Aegian Sea by Freesurf, used by permission.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I visited Patmos in the summer of 1998 and stayed there for two months. I went there as a live-in babysitter and was able to work and enjoy the  summer. The island holds a special place to me because of the way I was able to enjoy the simple pleasures of swimming, bathing in the sun, walking under the dusk sky…my heart expanded and filled with a different kind of calm that stayed with me to this day. The poem fully embodies what I feel when I think about Patmos, the island where the book of Revelation was written by the Apostle John.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Aida Bode is a poet and writer, whose works have been published in a variety of online and print magazines, including Dime Show Review, Prelude, 34th Parallel, Allegro, Transcendent Zero Press, Silver Birch Press, West Texas Literary Review, Three Line Poetry, The Raven’s Perch, Vayavya, and more. She’s the author of the novel David and Bathsheba, two poetry volumes, Rated and True Cheese, and a quotes collection, A Commuter’s Eye View. She holds a MA in English and Creative Writing from Southern New Hampshire University, and in 2017 was nominated by West Texas Literary Review as a Pushcart nominee. For more, visit

Small theater in Ephesus, Turkey
The Great Theatre in Ephesus
by Joan Leotta

We stood together,
my daughter, Jennie, and I
leaning one upon the other,
heads touching,
conspirators in travel hijinks,
impatient as our friend
fiddled with the camera.
Before we left home, we’d
found a photo of my mother
with my forty-year-younger self
in this same place.
Afterward, looking at the
pictures, I noticed,
our heads were touching,
lovingly mine and my Mom’s
mine and Jennie’s
connecting then to now.
We had replicated
more than just the pose—
we had joined my mother,
(departed in Jennie’s childhood)
to a moment with us—
three women who loved travel:
grandmother, mother, daughter,
impatient with the photographer,
but forever grateful to have
these paper mementos
to remind how we three
are pressed together always
into each other’s hearts.

PHOTO: The Great Theatre in Ephesus by Bloodua, used by permission.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Great Theatre was built in Ephesus, Greece, during the third century BC, with a seating capacity of 25,000. Ephesus was once considered the most important Greek city and the most important trading center in the Mediterranean region. Throughout history, Ephesus survived multiple attacks and changed hands many times between conquerors. The city’s well-preserved ruins are located in modern-day Turkey.  (Source:

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: It was hard for me to pick a specific landmark—for 30 years I lived in a city full of landmarks, Washington, DC, where many landmarks have personal significance for our family. In the end, after taking a look at a few of our family albums, it came down to choosing between the trip that introduced my husband and daughter to my favorite place in Spain (where I studied my senior year of university) or the trip to Ephesus where my daughter Jennie and I recreated as best we could, a moment I had shared with my mom, Jennie’s grandma, 40 years earlier. My dear mom passed twenty years ago, so stepping once again into the Great Theatre at Ephesus gave us a connection to her as we tried to recreate the photo taken so long ago.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Joan Leotta is a writer and story performer. Her poems have appeared in Silver Birch, When Women Write, Verse Visual, Verse Virtual, The Ekphrastic Review, Yassou, Stanzaic Stylings, read at the Ashmolean, and have won an award at the Wilda Morris Challenge. Her first chapbook, Languid Lusciousness with Lemon, is available from Finishing Line Press. Her essays, articles, and stories are also widely published. On stage, she presents folk and personal tales of food, family, and strong women. She loves to walk the beach, cook, and browse through her many travel photos. Visit her at and on Facebook.


by Sofia Kioroglou

Swathed in silky aquamarine waters, far-flung, butterfly-shaped. Astypalea, the bank of Gods, is my ultimate escape from the scurry and scramble of bustling Athens. With a frozen piña colada, I behold the rugged beach fringed in gas-blue waters, not holding out much hope of sighting a mermaid. While snorkeling, I discover an idyllic watery chest laden with sea anemones, shells and barnacles on some boat’s hull. I can also see some sea urchins conversing with each other, their spines threatening to inflict pain on the unsuspecting wader.

Under the scorching sun, hilltop Hora, is now a hazy tumble of bleached-white houses that cascade amphitheatrically down from the medieval fortress to the fishing port of Skala where I find myself beachbumming with Peter and our little cute poodle barking elegantly at the gentle lap of the sea against its paws, wagging its tail impishly with eyes glinting in the glare of the sun, silently beckoning us to cut short our little trip to heaven before the sun’s rays blow their finest, and the turquoise blue of the sea turns into violet mauves and ethereal purples shrouding us in some tribal mystery with the sound of the water like yodeling voices as they swell begging me to dip into it again!

PHOTO: The Greek island Astypalea.

sofia peter

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sofia Kioroglou is an award-winning poet, writer and prolific blogger residing in Athens, Greece, with her husband Peter. She remembers herself born with a quill in her hand writing poems and painting beautiful pictures. Her poems are included in many anthologies, including the Poetry Against Terror Anthology, the Poetry Against Inequality anthology, and a number of literary journals that include Verse-Virtual, Writink Page, Silver Birch Press, Halkyon Days, Ashvamegh,, and Winamop. She was one of the winners of the Panhellenic Poetry Competition of Bonsaistories this June with her poem “Solidarity” She is a member of the Poets Unite Worldwide. Bonsaistories this June with her poem “Solidarity”. She is a member of the Poets Unite Worldwide. She has recently published her first poetry chapbook which you can download for free by clicking this link.  To learn more about her work, visit

PHOTO: The author and her husband Peter while on holiday in 2013.

Silver Birch Press--Brad Rose Photo1

Bull-Leaping to Bach Cantata No. 54 (Stand Firm Against Sin)
by Brad Rose

I once knew a girl who sang in her sleep — hummed Bach cantatas. So pretty, the sleep-soaked notes, levitating above her pillow, her musical murmur, beckoning the night to draw closer. She was Danish, charming, traveling the Mediterranean. What did I know about music? A brash American, barely 21, flotsam in the blue latitudes where once, the minotaur lived and naked boys tumbled over the heads of bulls. In Heraklion, Bettina whispered the hot, still night to sleep, while in my tossing restlessness, all I could dream about was a rhythm section. And horns.

SOURCE: Originally published in The Molotov Cocktail (June 1, 2011).

PHOTOGRAPH: “Bull-Leaping to Bach Cantata No. 54” is set in the Mediterranean, on the Island of Crete, when the author was 21.  Pictured here, he is vacationing in Kauai, where the surf is much better than on Crete.  The photo was taken in the 20th century.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This prose poem is based on my vacation travels in Greece and Crete many, many years ago. It is a true story.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Brad Rose was born and raised in Los Angeles, and lives in Boston. He is the author of Pink X-Ray (Big Table Publishing, 2015). His poetry and fiction have appeared in The Los Angeles Times, The Baltimore Review, Posit, decomP, San Pedro River Review, Off the Coast, Third Wednesday, Boston Literary Magazine, Right Hand Pointing and other publications. His chapbook of poetry, Democracy of Secrets, from Right Hand Pointing, can be read at  His chapbook of micro fiction Coyotes Circle the Party Store, can be read at this link. Links to Brad’s published poetry and fiction can be found at Audio recordings of a selection of Brad’s published poetry can be heard at

Heraklion, Crete – 1992
by Sarah Russell

“I hope for nothing. I fear nothing. I am free.”
       – Kazantzakis’ epitaph

We weren’t married yet, that day
we left the marketplace
where butchers and lace makers
share cramped alleyways
to climb to Kazantzakis’ grave,
a pilgrimage of sorts, to honor the man
whose writing cast him from the Church
to be buried alone on Martinego Bastion.

The cross is wooden, stark, bound
with leather thongs; the stonework rough,
unyielding as the man. We decided
he got the best deal after all —
a view of Heraklion and the sea, a breeze
even on an August day, a grave as singular,
as elemental as his thought.

Unlike Kazantzakis, we came to Crete
caught in convention, hoping for everything,
fearing failure. We had loved before.
But, certain the author would approve,
we kissed there, rested our feet
on the Venetian wall, shared
a candy bar, practiced being free.

AUTHOR’S NOTE ON THE PHOTO:  Resting our feet on the Venetian wall near Kazantzakis’ gravesite on Martinego Bastion, Heraklion, Crete (1992).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: After traveling in Crete and Greece, we married that year on New Years Eve. Twenty-three years later, that day and the picture I included remain our favorite vacation memories.

Russell bio pic

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sarah Russell has returned to her first love after a career teaching, writing and editing academic prose. Her poetry has appeared in Red River Review, Misfit Magazine, The Houseboat, Shot Glass Journal, Bijou Poetry Review, Silver Birch Press, and Poppy Road Review, among others. Visit to see more of her poems.


Dolphins by Chris Catton, a companion book to the PBS-TV special, Dolphinsis an illustrated survey of the history and behavior of dolphins — exploring their unique forms of communication, their relationships with humans, and the manifold threats to their survival. Find copies of this 160-page, illustrated book for just one cent (plus shipping) at

This book also offers insights into how dolphins were viewed and depicted in ancient mythology. Read a fascinating excerpt from Dolphins by Chris Catton at

Here is a passage:

The image of dolphins rescuing sailors or carrying humans recurs again and again in myth and folklore. According to Plutarch, for example, a native of the Greek island of Paros once found some fishermen about to kill some dolphins they had caught, and bargained for their release. Some time later, while sailing between Paros and the neighbouring island of Naxos, his boat overturned in a storm. Of the crew, he alone survived, rescued by a dolphin that carried him on its back to the nearby shore…the dolphin…is set above other animals not only because it is friendly with humans, but because it has a sense of morality and honor.