Autumn – Ftinoporo

When a damp veil drapes itself over the landscape
Enfolding faraway mountaintops in mysterious light,
As though they were not part of the island of Lesvos
But part of far far-off poetic China.

When the purple-pink cyclamen with their frail turned-down petals
Massively and shamelessly change green slopes in another colour,
Their existence, a danger to pregnant women
But besides the bed, an encouragement to libido.

When monumental planes lose leaves like falling tears
Who knows for what punishment they have to spend the winter naked,
Leaving village squares unprotected under their titanic branches
That, in whimsical curves, bow to the high heaven.

When the bees buzz loud, partying like Dionysus
in the seductive scented ivy, full of nectar
That winds round trees in some places thick as vines,
Always thinking they are immortal.

When the pink heather coyly opens its buds
So that her sweet fragrance can invade the hills
Doing everything to lure all useful insects
For a contribution to a jar of honey or some royal jelly.

When the pokeweed has her bunches of stunning berries hanging
With such an intense colour but such awful poison,
Tempting daredevils who think it might bring about a cure
If prepared according to the book or when the plant is young.

When the shy grey fig trees crumple their large yellow leaves
Setting them free because their work has been done,
Their nutty fruit patiently dried as a winter sweet
Syrup pots empty, bottles filled, just leaving a delicious scent.

When ceps, milk-caps and other mushrooms awaken
Pushing their way up through the moist earth
Hastening to unfold their parasol heads
under layers of pine needles or the naked blue sky.

When the small red blushing apples of Agiasos
Have fallen from the wild trees and collected in green groves,
Gardeners with curved spines, both selling and praising them
As the mythical golden apples from the garden of Hesperides.

When the pomegranates with a colour tending to pink
Some stubbornly aiming to survive till Christmas
Offer their uncountable blood-red seeds to all lovers
Like Persephone, kept in Hades because she ate too much of them.

When the corpulent quinces have finally ripened
And their velvet golden skin waits to be scratched off
So that their hard yellow flesh can be put in pots and pans
To make a winter stock of cough syrup, jelly and liquor

When the irresistible, cheerful strawberry trees
With long straight boles like enormous cinnamon sticks
Show their fruit, as red as bright Christmas balls
Allowing but only one to eat.

When the prickly husks of the proud chestnut trees
Once brought to Greece by Alexander the Great
Tear open to show their Sardian nuts
Plopping down with soft thuds onto the tapestry of fallen leaves.

When the sunbeams keep on bringing warmth
Their light wandering over all these natural miracles
In the evenings adding more orange to the already colourful land
Looking for their bedstead each day a little earlier

When these warm colours and crackling leaves
Sweet fruit and flowering plants with their perfume overpower the island
When even the sea has to say goodbye to its summery swimmers
And this colourful season is finally here.

Then it is autumn again, or ftinoporo
And there are no more words to fully describe
How the Greek gods of Olympos again and again
Make a party of this crying world.