the sea be rosewater

the sea be rosewater
in memoriam of Manos, patron of the arts,
you shared your
laughter, sail in peace

beijing july 2009

Manos Pazianos, owner of the Aegean Arthouse Cafe in Beijing died suddenly two weeks ago; his dream of a white mediterranean square in this dusty circle is gone. These words are my tribute to the man I can hardly say I knew, but knew he was far from his island home we’d sometimes speak of:

in a word
it’s there
in the bay of your ear
in the turn of the page
of a newspaper
worse news on the other side

i heard of your death, friend,
a remark aside from someone
you knew, like a punch
over the heart,
remembered the last time
we met in the wide,
white upstairs of
your aegean café,
greece on the walls
you’d probably shared
a wine with the painters
congratulated them all
on the light coagulate
there on canvas,
we embraced, kissed
to raise a laugh
from those here
who don’t know
men are unafraid of men
like this in your land
you were, of course,
just acting the man
you were

i wish you a
stern wind to take you
back there from
this city trapped in
its own heat
you’re on the deck
mytilene off the bow
the line of mountains
the first thing that
comes clearer
in the light
the silver of the waves
like the turning over
of deep blue
olive leaves

you find
the door
of your
mother’s house
and the final
star of dawn

τόλμησες να πλέυσεις στο όνειρό σου
ναυάγησες στην ξηρά
σου εύχομαι μια θάλασσα
που να μοιάζει ελαιώνα,
εναν γαλάζιο ελιαιώνα
you dared to sail your dream
were shipwrecked on dry land
i wish you a sea
that mirrors an olive grove,
a blue olive grove

lesvos elies


Copyright ©2009 Peter Le Baige.  All Rights Reserved


2 thoughts on “the sea be rosewater”

    1. Thanks for reading. I remember going past the place a couple of months later at night with the bilboard sign still there at the foot of the stairs smothered in dust and windblown newspapers. Made for sad ‘reading’.


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