Five poems of Manolis (Emmanuel Aligizakis)

15 November 2019
Author :  

Manolis (Emmanuel Aligizakis) is a Greek-Canadian poet, author and translator. He’s the most prolific writer-poet of the Greek diaspora. At the age of eleven he transcribed the nearly 500 year old romantic poem Erotokritos, now released in a limited edition of 100 numbered copies and made available for collectors of such rare books at 5,000 dollars Canadian: the most expensive book of its kind to this day. He’s recognized for his ability to convey images and thoughts in a rich and evocative way that tugs at something deep within the reader. He has written three novels and numerous collections of poetry, which are steadily being released as published works. His articles, poems and short stories in both Greek and English have appeared in various magazines and newspapers in Canada, United States, Sweden, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Australia, Brazil, and Greece. His poetry has been translated into Spanish, Romanian, Swedish, Turkish, German, Hungarian, Serbian, Russian, Arabic, Punjabi, Urdu, Portuguese languages and has been published in book form or in magazines in various countries.




Long and narrow rusted table

hardly stands motionless

bleached out tablecloth as though

thrown in debts of river for a long time

cloth faded like her eyes gazing the sea’s

agony that reaches the foreign land

where her son has vanished


shade of grapevine thick like a sin

and harsh like a thought pounding

her memory that light may be reborn


and he brings two plates

trembling hands pour wine in two glasses

small plate with olives, piece of feta


and the sigh expertly camouflaged by a smile

the lone cicada that insists to disturb

monologue of their loneliness


finally he sits next to her when

above them the grapevine laughs

as his calloused fingers touch

her wrinkled hand and the sun

somewhere higher than everybody

roars with laughter when the old man says

to her…you forgot to make the salad



In memory of my parents

in their late years of life in the village






He put his bag on the floor,

laid next to me

he raised one leg and

leaned it against the wall

as if to leave on it

a fleshy mark

a faint human trace

the other leg was resting

on the cool cement


suddenly as though he remembered

something very important


he got up

walked to the table

leaned down and smelt

the last bloomed rose

then he let a sigh float

in the darkened room

as if to release

burden of his last breath

and without any word

on the cool cement he collapsed





Even this solemn remnant

of the ancient temple standing

like an anchorite in meditation

by the slope of the tired hill

even this they shall defile


remember it — I said


half-breed men with wide shoulder-blades

and hierodules with exquisite cheekbones

swaying their provocative buttocks

for the amusement of the winds

and for the sea’s virgin salinity

even this they shall defile


remember it — I said


aimlessly before the innocent statues

they shall desecrate and life the whore

they shall call and with stamina

and unyielding persistence they shall

bury the primeval beauty and after

they exhume the ancestral hatred

and guilt, the pneuma they shall imprison

to be guarded by Herculean arms

and theirs the wealth

of the valley and my kin’s reward

bloodshed in streets and neighborhoods

where you and I once roamed and played

making plans for exploits and deeds


and you said —


it would have been better if we stayed

obedient to the holy and venerable

half-truths brought to our lands by easterners

at least they promised a gleaming Paradise





Ancient fires still burning

inside the temples


outside the porticos

center of the agora


where an eloquent poet once

orated verses before


the paranoid oligarchy

expelled him from the city


images that come to us

and nothing has really


changed over the eons

except the invention


of bullets to speed

the process of apathy






Before I entered the uterus

I was there

smoke of a fire slowly extinguishing

wind hitting your blue window

crack of your being, a tight grip


song of the funeral procession

before I took the shape of life

before I choose my name


I was there

scent of a red rose

the bird’s first flutter

before I entered the trap of flesh

the softest wave of the sea I was


lone eagle on rocky promontory

from high up watching over you

before I was born I was

the shapeless freedom

companion of the infinite

a simple sigh destined

to scar your lips


there I was

the joyous chime of a bell

there I was

the indeterminable


Literary Editor

লেখা পাঠাবার নিয়ম

মৌলিক লেখা হতে হবে।

নির্ভুল বানান ও ইউনিকোড বাংলায় টাইপকৃত হতে হবে।

অনুবাদ এর ক্ষেত্রে মুল লেখকের নাম ও সংক্ষিপ্ত লেখক পরিচিতি দিতে হবে।

আরো দিতে পারেন

লেখকের ছবি।

সংক্ষিপ্ত লেখক পরিচিতি।

বিষয় বস্তুর সাথে সামঞ্জস্যপূর্ণ অঙ্কন চিত্র বা ছবি। 

সম্পাদক | Editor

তারিক সামিন

Tareq Samin

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লেখা পাঠাবার জন্য


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