History And Cookery

 

Pyrofani Poems

Roger Green

Wales & Hydra

10, 11, 18 & 23/5/17

Copyright Studio Viriditas Productions, 2017

 

Roger Green, first reading of HISTORY AND COOKERY, Pyrofani Poems, at the Pirofani Restaurant, Hydra Island, 24th May 2017. Roger Green, first reading of HISTORY AND COOKERY, Pyrofani Poems, at the Pirofani Restaurant, Hydra Island, 24th May 2017

 

Fifty years ago in April

On the 21st of April

Papadopoulos took over

With a gang of fellow-colonels

Thought that they could save the country

Make the people pay their taxes

Bring some order to the chaos

(Didn’t realise that the chaos

Was the necessary order)

Treat the country like a patient

Place her broken limbs in plaster

Till those broken limbs were mended

Till Elladha, like a phoenix

Rose again from immolation.

 

Fifty years ago on Kriti

On the famous Mighty Island

A young Hellene from Brahami

Sent to do his national service

At the bidding of the colonels

Helped good folk to sleep more soundly

By patrolling the nightclubs

On the lookout for subversion

His toufeki at the ready

Finger twitching on the trigger.

 

Fifty years ago on Kriti

While that young Greek was patrolling

In Iraklion, the capital

In the famed Negalo Kastro

A young Englishman was teaching

Teaching Cretan children English

Learning more than he was teaching

Learning life and learning language

History does not reveal

Whether teacher and fandaros

Ever passed each other blindly

Ever passed like ships in darkness

As they went about their business.

 

The colonels fell, their venture failed

Came the turn of politicians

None of them could do much better

People still did not pay taxes

While the European Union

Bred new levels of corruption

Fostered economic crisis

All of which led up to Tsipras

And his henchman Varoukakis.

 

Varoufakis soon deserted

Following a path of hubris

Now he writes books and gives lectures 

Telling such as May and Merkel

How he thinks they ought to run things

Even though his empty theories

Helped Greece to the brink of ruin.

 

Politicians do not matter

Left or Right they’re soon forgotten

Likewise crises and disasters

Those colonels saw one thing correctly

(They saw many things correctly

More correctly than their critics)

Saw one thing correctly, namely

That, whoever lights the bonfire

The phoenix rises from the ashes.

 

Meanwhile on a rocky island

In the gulf that’s called Saronic

Now that English teacher’s living

Living but no longer teaching

Being taught, is always learning

Writing prose and penning verses

Keen to provoke controversy

Sometimes very irritating.

 

On this selfsame rocky island

The handsome soldier for Brahami

(Qualified in electronics

And in many varied fields)

Runs a restaurant, Pyrofani

Runs this restaurant, Pyrofani

Which has seen its share of history

Share of memorable dinners

When the dinners were history

Where at last the dashing soldier

Meets up with the former teacher.

 

The soldier serves his unique dishes

The teacher reads his stumbling poems

Everybody goes home happy

(Almost everybody, anyway)

What’s the moral of this story

Story spanning half a century?

The best way to help a country

Is by welcoming the chaos

Not by trying to impose order

Is through cooking or through writing

Not through economic theories

Plaster casts or referenda -

 

When the tables have been gathered

When the lamp has been extinguished

Then the only taste that lingers

Then the only taste that matters

Is the taste of Pyrofani,

 

Roger Green

Wales & Hydra

10, 11, 18 & 23/5/17

Copyright Studio Viriditas Productions, 2017

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