Dimitris is not dead

Another poet wrote, unpacking myths
And colors for dying days, of meeting him,
That special feeling, and published
To confirm undying admiration.

Last night, though, Dimitris was at dinner,
Wearing his old, aqua beach trousers,
Comparing recipes for home-made bread—
“Two parts wholemeal, one of plain …”

“The tasteless olives, promising to look at,
Should be jarred in vinegar, water, a little oil.”
“And Greek bishops—the word for them
Is despot—have reigned a thousand, stable years.”

Who knows if he will live that long, taking his pipe
Out to the porch, smoking under a quiet April?
A little thin, perhaps, but as for ‘death’—
He has thought of it, and then thought better.

Originally published in Quadrant, December 1989. Dimitris Tsaloumas died in February 2016 on Leros in Greece where he was born.