Tasos Leivaditis, The Tortoises

Translated by N. N. Trakakis

Upon deeper reflection, of course, one could excuse him, it was something I had provoked all on my own, I was born with that hideous condition, even though I always tried to hide it. But people are not so easily deceived, they observe you with a thousand eyes, from a thousand angles, until they have discovered your secret. And then you’re finished. Believe me, not even I understood how it happened, it all came about unexpectedly. The tortoise was so big, gentlemen of the jury, that it could not but kill him.

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A dive in the dirt

By Antonia Gounaropoulou
Translated by Panagiotis Tourikis

Vassilis Selimas, Hypnos, Acrylics on paper, 80x60, 2016-2017

“Who’ll get there first!”

They’d find themselves low at Makedonomahon Street, at the height of Gioura’s place, and her cousin had lagged behind, stooping at the edge of the dirt road and gathering cyclamens that sprout among pine needles beneath the trees. It was then that she decided to shout:

“Who’ll get there first! Come on, who’ll get there first!” And she started racing towards the house before little Panos could catch on to what she meant.

“Hold it, that won’t do!” shouted the kid all taken aback, and he sprung up clutching a bunch of cyclamens in his left hand. “That won’t do!”

The girl, however, kept running as she teased him:

“Whoever gets there last is a dummy, a dummy, a dummy!”

And suddenly, just as she’d pass by the sand pile in front of the headmaster’s place, a very loud boohoo burst out behind her, a howling not of the sort kids use to communicate between them, but meant to urgently call on the adults. She froze. Continue reading "A dive in the dirt"

The fox

Paul Gauguin, Πρωινό ξύπνημα, 1891
Paul Gauguin, Πρωινό ξύπνημα, 1891

By Antonia Gounaropoulou
Translated by Panagiotis Tourikis

Whenever she’d come down to the gate along Makedonomahon Street, as when she stood on the balcony, the little girl would be faced by the uphill road. As if that road had never had a name, it always being the “uphill” – even though, were one to ask Gogo and her brothers, they’d straight away rattle out its name, just as she’d do with Makedonomahon Street. Each kid and its own street. Continue reading "The fox"

Missive to friends

By Antonia Gounaropoulou
Translated by Panagiotis Tourikis

Now that we meet deeper in the track
Now that the foregone are shadows, pits in the ground
And it is on us that the loggers advance
To paint red circles on our trunks
Please hide explosions deep in your foliage
And when the blade touches the bark – explode
Blast off the bird nests
The dried leaves
The blanketed green eyes that shan’t bud in spring
Blast high near far and low
To the trunks that grew in your time
And which loggers have stamped next in line
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“Ana Grise”

“Ana Grise” By Antonia Gounaropoulou Translated by Panagiotis Tourikis
Copyright Ανδρέας Μαράτος, «Ερημιά», κάρβουνο και κόκκινο παστέλ σε χαρτί, 2006

By Antonia Gounaropoulou

Translated by Panagiotis Tourikis


We translate hospitals
their gates
the dusty trees in parking lots
the wide marble steps of entrances
where gypsies drag their sweeping skirts
and the belated strike their feet
in haste, as when you hope to reach the harbor
just in time to catch the eye
of him on deck, departing.

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Copyright Vassilis Selimas, "The Pins", pencil on paper, 2017

By Antonia Gounaropoulou

Translated by Panagiotis Tourikis


 “The horses! The horses! Kids, come see the horses!”

The kids abandoned their bikes, dropped their stones, marbles and chalks, scurrying to be the first to climb the stairs – and reached the road, there where the wide iron gate would soon be placed and where parents, aunties and uncles had all flocked. Two horses, one white and the other brown, were descending the slope in a light gallop right before their eyes, while a thin ugly boy was running behind in a sweat, cursing with words that kids ought not to hear – though they already had. Continue reading "“Geese”"

“The hunter and the wolf”

The hunter and the wolf

By Antonia Gounaropoulou

Translated by Panagiotis Tourikis


There was once a hunter who lived in the wild forests all alone. He didn’t care for the company of humans, he found them all liars, and so had withdrawn from the world. But he also didn’t care for the company of animals, for these he found dumb, and so wouldn’t spend his time with animals either, unless he went hunting.

One afternoon, while the hunter was working his way through dense foliage at the back ridge of the mountain, he found himself directly facing two large, dark eyes staring at him. He dug his feet on the ground and remained still. Right before him there was a wild wolf, the size of a horse, his snout reaching up to the hunter’s face. They stood there for a while eyeing one another, both surprised by the other’s presence, but finally the hunter said: Continue reading "“The hunter and the wolf”"

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