Archives for posts with tag: islands

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

licensed atosan
Stories of the Past/Present
by Maria Nestorides

Before I came to live in Cyprus, my life had been quite nomadic: a year here, two years there, on loop. This small island in the middle of the Mediterranean gave me my first glimmer of hope of a stable home, but these roots began to form in a most unexpected way.

I knew next to nothing about my new city, Nicosia, and even less about its history. In an attempt to map it out in my mind, I explored. When I asked “How do I get to ‘X’?” the answer was an unvarying, “It’s next to/opposite [insert Landmark name].” I quickly discovered the important markers I needed in order to navigate the streets of the old quarter: the National Theatre, the Famagusta Gate, the Cyprus Museum, the Venetian walls, and the Liberty Monument, to name but a few. For the first time in my life, I felt like I was part of a bigger picture. My rusty Greek slowly improved, and I found myself gradually managing to speak the language, in more ways than one.

I belonged.

The more I explored, the more I realized that these landmarks told the stories of the ideals, the beliefs, and the way of life of the many men and women who had wandered these neighborhoods before me. The passion and creativity that had burned within them had breathed life into inanimate objects, transforming them into works of love which, in turn, whispered stories of our shared human experience to my soul.

Ultimately, I got much more than I bargained for in my search to know my way around my new home, because these landmarks not only taught me how to get to “X,” but they also welcomed me into their city and made me a part of their story.

PHOTO: Nicosia, Cyprus, by Atosan, used by permission.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Cyprus is an island country in the Eastern Mediterranean. The third largest and third most populous island in the Mediterranean, it is located south of Turkey and southeast of Greece. (Source: Wikipedia)


NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This prompt was a tough one for me. I’ve moved around quite a lot in my life, and found I couldn’t pinpoint one particular landmark I wanted to write about that had a little more depth to it than just an exciting visit. I spent a good few weeks mulling the theme over in my head trying to find a way to approach it that would be meaningful to me. I’m happy with what has come from my heart and I hope you enjoy reading it too.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: This photo was taken at the Kouris Dam, in the Limassol district of Cyprus, in 1994, the year I arrived.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Maria Nestorides lives in sunny Cyprus. She is married and has two adult children. She has an MA in Developmental Psychology from Columbia University and an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University. Her short stories have appeared in Silver Birch Press, The Story Shack, Red Fez and Inkitt. She also contributed a six-word memoir to the book Six-Word Memoirs on Love and Heartbreak: by Writers Famous and Obscure, by Larry Smith and Rachel Fershleiser (Jan 6, 2009). Find her on Facebook and Twitter.

crab pot (1280x851)
Elegy for a Small Island
    for JWP (1913-2006)
by Ann Howells

The blue crab sheds its pinching carapace,
and salty oysters breathe blue-grey water
in the exact spot where, in a one-room school,
you daydreamed waves. Your island,
less than one mile wide, three long, is gnawed,
silt spit into Great Shellfish Bay.

Cicadas drone a one-note dirge, dawn to dusk;
mosquitoes are roiling thunderheads.
Saltmarsh twitches with no-see-ums—ticks
and biting flies. It gulps down wanderers,
digests their bones. Archeologists
will someday find there was an island
beneath their shallow sea; they’ll display
primitive tools: dredge, seine, tongs,
ponder what forgotten deities you worshiped,
how you served them.

Nor’easters and hurricanes rage; waters rise.
You always knew water more powerful
than wind or fire, more powerful than man’s
tiny constructions. Nights are black molasses.
Days are beaded glass. The river is a polished
silver plate. And, this island is sand
that trickles from a flawed hourglass.

SOURCE: Originally published in Surrounded: Living with Islands (Write Wing Publishing, 2012).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The elegy was written for the island near the Chesapeake Bay where my father grew up. All of his children and grandchildren consider it their “ancestral home,” if such an unpretentious place can bear such a title. Our ties to the island are strong. But the tides are strong as well: erosion is stealing the land and environmentalists warn of rising oceans. We all understand that some day the entire island will vanish, and that only makes us cling harder. The poem is dedicated to my father, who lived and died there, who loved the land even more than we do. Though I no longer live there, the island is still my one and only home.

PHOTOGRAPH: “Island seen through crab pot” by Ann Howells.

Ann reads  for DPC 2

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ann Howells’s poetry appears in Crannog (Ire), Lunch Ticket, and Spillway, among others. She serves on the board of Dallas Poets Community, 501-c-3 non-profit, and has edited Illya’s Honey, since 1999. Her chapbooks are Black Crow in Flight, (Main Street Rag, 2007) and the Rosebud Diaries (Willet Press, 2012). She has been read on NPR, interviewed on Writers Around Annapolis television, and has four times been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.