Saturday, 28 March 2015

The Seas Around Lemnos

 The Seas Around Lemnos
Love of the Sea

Takis and the Mediterranean Sea

Takis with grand children in sea at Lemnos
One of the things that drew Takis back to Greece was his memory of the Mediterranean when living by this sea in Alexandria, Egypt. Melbourne is by the sea and though Takis loves to go to the seashore here when he is homesick it never felt quite right, it was not the Mediterranean.
Mount Athos seen from Lemno

The Immigrant and the Sea
by Takis Stanton

My tangled thoughts long for a broken past.

Since the wilds of my youth
the Sea was part of me
never out of reach
the escort of my reverie.

Time to leave, drained of hope,
that dear port never to see again.
Ocean waves glide me south
to distant lands where I now belong.

The Sea’s beauty spreads her net
to catch my everlasting love.
A beauty that harbors fury and peril
for all who master not her pulse.

Where else to rest but by the Sea?
This huge expanse no eye can grasp
but a soul can cross, and find
same blue same tang of salt.

Melbourne has a large seaport, but situated in a large bay there are no huge tides and being so close to the Antarctic the sea here is usually cold. There is a group of swimmers that go swimming all year round but mostly you only find the populace in the sea on really hot days.

Julia and the Atlantic Sea

I was born on an island where one is never far from the sea. (a farm 70 miles from the sea is the furthest point.)Many of my favorite poems are about the sea but these poems describe a very different sea from the Mediterranean.  The seas around the British Isles are often wild and have strong tides.

Sea Fever 
by John Masefield

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way, where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.

My grandfather is long dead. I don’t remember asking him about John Masefield’s poem but nowadays it reminds me of him. He was at sea all his life. When a youth he sailed on the clipper ships that raced to Australia to collect wool and grain for the English markets. When he was older he was a pilot guiding ships up the River Thames, from Gravesend to the port of London. And when he retired he went to live on the Isle of Wight where he was the commodore of the local sailing club.

Lemnos in the Aegean


Sea views from Lemnos

The Mediterranean has a famously deep blue color. It is truly a deep turquoise blue; a color Homer referred to as  ‘wine-dark’. In summer the sea is usually still, and there is no tidal difference to speak of. In winter there are storms, but nothing like the storms of the Atlantic.

Sea views of Lemnos

When you are on a boat and look back to the island of Lemnos you see how rocky most of its shores are – rocks of different color. In some places you see goats on these cliffs, and in other bays there are boats in small harbors.


Time has Passed, Life Anew
by Takis Stanton

No mountain peak or human wiles
draw me as like the Sea.
Her locks unfold surfing to eternal thrills;
coral wonders and sunsets captured;
and dazing days of sailing winds.

Oh the Sea, mother be!
It is a lover of all life.
If not by rain or under-ground,
what living earth or ground fertile
can boast life without the sea?

Now my crew has gone, no toil I measure.
Creaking joints and aching muscles.
My ageing body only seeks comfort.
So, my final tack is to compass north
and the luring thought of sunken treasure.

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