My friend Ponos has been at war with the earth

ever since Peloponnesos 

opened its uncompromising mouth 

in an earthquake

and swallowed two children

that were clinging to him for their lives.

Although they were taken

from his Herculean hands

he refused to let them go

and so now he lives 

in the ubiquity of trauma.

Is it any wonder then

that he has spent his life

building bridges

and that he must always take what is his

by force.

The earth opens up 

whenever he hugs his children

and they find it hard to break free

from his embrace.

When he dances rebetika

he tempts fate 

by stomping his black boots

on tectonic plates

and when he kneels

for the painful chorus

he jars his knee between the cracks

reaches into the earths core

for something more than his unanswered prayer

and all I give him

is a glass full of rocks

and ouzo. 

One night in the early hours of the morning

he hung with Christ on the cross

and cried out to the Father 

to spare the lives of two innocent children

and then walked away

in darkness 

aided only by the faint light

of a half moon

hiding behind clouds. 

Invisible hands reached out to him

as he buckled himself in,

as he drove home up High Street

and as he combed his fingers

through his wife’s hair in bed

because he could not sleep.

He could not see the invisible hands,

-at least it appeared that way to him-

because he was preoccupied with his own hands,

but it is through the invisible holes in those bleeding hands

that he was looking at his own.

And it is through these bleeding hands

that he, you and I

must see

the ubiquity of love.