Crete

Where the known world gets smaller
and exploration becomes
a valid career choice.

Where the surrounding islands
silhouette a mysterious calling
to make this feel like the mainland.

Where mountains peek
Monroe heights and Sahara heats
merely a fathom from the shore,
rocky and peppered with olive groves.

Where the black sands
of the southern beach
of Preveli scald your soles
and the pink-white shells
of the deserted Chrissi Island
draw breathe in stark contrast.

Where the green hew of northern rocks,
outlined with clean salty foam
are surrounded by the depths
of transparency and turquoise.

Where the raki is freely given
to oil the joints of the evening
and ease the passing to tomorrow.

Where the country lanes
smell like sour goats
whose bells chime a native melody
to echo across scorched hills.

Where gracious attitudes
let time pass at its own pace,
leaving rich tourists uneasily
glancing at expensive watches.

Where narrow streets are
populated with playful cats
who feed from the pity of
the taverna's daily customers.

Where the Heraklion taxis ignore
the architecture of concentrated history
and rush from lights to lights.

Where our passports were not checked
as we entered Grecian soil,
and no one was there to care
if we had anything to declare.

Where moments are measured in waves,
in shrimps and swordfish,
in raki and wine,
in olives and cheese,
and the slow steps of cliff top strolls,
and the centuries have passed as such.


In September I married my beautiful Silje. We went to Crete for our Honeymoon and tried to experience as much of the Island as possible. We had the time of our lives! The Island is so beautiful and there is such a relaxed and appreciative atmosphere there. The food is so wonderful we had to ask several people how they make everything so good. Every answer was related to olives, or olive oil. 

I began writing this poem while in a small crevice of a cliff of the northern coast of Crete, near Agia Pelagia (a small town with the highest concentration of beachside seafood restaurants I have ever seen!) while Silje was taking photographs of the ocean and the cliffs. I have tried to express the different aspects Crete that we love so much. 

The poem doesn't do the Island justice. 

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