Lonesome Steps

There exists, they say, a great adventure for each of us, but where

will we find it?

for now we leaf through the old calendars in case we save

something from the years –

truly, what goes on in reality? who remembers what happened

yesterday? everything hazy, confused

in the morning I walk over the rubble of two wars in order to get

to the kitchen for coffee

vagrants watch the trains departing and their eyes are orphaned

for a moment

and it is not rain on the glass-enclosed waiting rooms at the

stations but the unfulfilled journeys that are weeping

drunkards stagger under the weight of the infinite

outside the orphanages the persecuted folk tales fall silent

and the woman by the window is so sad that she is ready to depart

for the sky

everything hazy, confused – the others construct from us a face

for their own use

who are we? nobody knows and only sometimes in our nightmares

do we find part of our true self —

hands that crumbled in awkward gestures

violet-coloured compassion of the twilight which spreads a bit of

regal lace on homes for the aged

the divine right of the poor over the possessions of others

the lonesome steps of a passer-by which remind you of your entire


and my father, dead for so many years now, comes each night and gives

me advice in my sleep, “but father,” I tell him, “you forget that we

are the same age”

oh my lost generation – we took great roads, we remained in the


the hour of our death is written on all the clocks

childhood friends, where are you? with whom will I now continue

my wanderings in the infinite? the grown-ups are in the cafes

the crickets in the evening are attempting to pronounce the


mother would open the letters with her hairpin

our life is a mystery which we cannot portion out

a sorrow in the afternoons like the aroma from old books

and each time we pass by a pedestrian it is as though we are saying

“goodbye” to the whole of life —

do you remember our erotic moments, Anna? your sex like a half-

opened shell laid there by a distant tempest

your breasts two small heliotropes in unforgettable mornings —

revolutionaries are concerned about the future, lovers about the

past, poets have taken responsibility for both

someday I will commit suicide in dramatic fashion: with hushed

words from old conspiratorial days,

ah, life, a handshake with the infinite before you are lost for ever

children know well that the impossible is the best solution

while the two musicians with the accordion play now in

the depths of dusk for luck

and their hats swim,

shipwrecked in the music.


Tasos Leivaditis (1922-1988) is one of Greece’s most beloved poets. Born and raised in Athens, Leivaditis was imprisoned and persecuted for his political allegiances in the wake of WWII. After his release, he found a new voice in the form of prose-poetry. Leivaditis’ work attempts to move beyond old political and religious certainties, dwelling on loss, lament and doubt, yet he remains profoundly sensitive to beauty, goodness and our endless human search for meaning. Throughout his prose-poems, readers can also detect a Divine presence in conversation with the poet – an abiding voice of “the God who is a questioning of God” – speaking furtively, yet insistently, from within the text.

Lonesome Steps is translated by N.N. Trakakis in Violets for a Season. Northfield, MN: Red Dragonfly Press, 2017


Brian Rebholtz

Brian Rebholtz

Brian L. Rebholtz is the Rector of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Auburn, CA. (saintlukesauburn.org) He holds a B.A. in Religion and Anthropology from the University of New Hampshire, a M.A. in Christian Spirituality from the Graduate Theological Union, and a M.Div from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific. His interests include Bible design, homiletics, metaphysics and the spiritual aspirations of human beings. He is married to Catherine, a small animal veterinarian, and lives in a home filled with books, animals and children.

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