Poems by Dr. Jeffrey Levett

Επιμέλεια: Εύα Πετροπούλου Λιανού

Professor Dr. Jeffrey Levett
International Gusi Peace Prize Laureate
Honorary President, World Philosophical Forum
Executive Director, Eurasian Bridges for Peace
Dean Emeritus, National School of Public Heath, Athens

Doomed Captain and Penelope unvaccinated

Lament with me as I lament with you
My worn-out ship begins to sink
Sails ripped like paper in gale force gusts
As it takes on raging inundating rains
Waves pouring into its deep hold
Flooding where provisions for the world are stored,
Wheat barley corn that never will be bread
Where migrants moan, mothers sob and babies cry
The deck gives way the mast no longer stands
Symbols, trappings of a captain’s life go down
Crew and migrant ballast too
In flight, fleeing from a place of dark despair
Where airborne cases rage of what?
With hope to reach another distant shore now gone
Corroded skins and faces shocking to behold
Bodies on fire and oozing blood
Their life span coming to a close
A captain with no remedy to keep his ship on course for home
No antidote to stem the blood and uncorrode the face
A leper’s bell no one can hear
No compass and no sextant and no sun
A captain on his fast sinking boat, in tears
Knowing he will never lift anchor on this last crossing home
Knowing all on board will never reach a promised land
Imagined of in some violent land
Knowing that never will he see his Penelope again
While she unknown to him in other troubled seas
Lies fading on a cot in darkness and receding time
Isolated, deserted, drug drowsed and all alone
Outside a room in which a fight for life goes on
Sometime ago she had refused a shot.
Captain and Penelope will die without goodbye.

Shoeshiner and Academicians with no pen

Long years ago, unsteady feet, shoes shined so I could see
As I glanced down a dull image of all things
The lustredoros with few teeth
He let me in to life unseen
The Unknown Soldier, parliament and changing of the guards
The Evzone’s foot, so steady poised
Raised for a moment then again and held up high
Unconcerned pigeons being fed with crumbs
It was my first time in Athens town
Eternal letters carved in bright white stone
A touch of pink at eventide
Outside the Academy and high above my head
Philosophers marble clad reached to the sky
Whispered words of wisdom and I too young to hear
I entered one large academic solemn room
Not knowing why or how
I don’t recall who I had come to see
The room was not for teaching I assumed, no student there
A library no, no shelves, no chair, no open book
An unused telephone sat solitary on a dusty windowsill
I thought I was in a mail room letters set to go
But no, envelopes unopened piled high
Unread the contents and from everywhere
One of them mine perhaps
Stacked high along the walls on all four sides
Hidden messages to which no one replied
I took this to be my New Greek guide
While decades on I know the Academy, reluctantly replies