Poetry Shelf Monday Poem: Vana Manasiadis ‘Skylla draws the planet as three lippy women’

from one spark:
Skylla draws the planet as three lippy women



the planet as Klytaemnestra

 don’t shove you everywhere the tail yours        don’t
sear you the fish to the lips my                like the fish out
 of water                               δεν τρέμω         the fish stinks
 from the head             like the fish     σαν     out of water                
won’t cut I the throat my            το ψάρι     won’t lower
I the tail my           won’t shake like the fish I    


the planet as Medea

              show I the teeth my               
 squeeze I the teeth my
armed until the teeth  fight I
       with nails and with teeth   
 talk I inside from the teeth
talk I outside from
                                    the teeth                                   
  if don’t you have teeth
                   can’t you to bite
you can’t dodge this
    δράκου δόντι να’χεις δεν γλιτώνεις
not even with a dragon’s tooth


the planet as Antigone

from one spark grows a bushfire
 put I the hand           to the fire
     from one spark
είμαι                grows a bushfire
am I lava                     and fire
 the eyes my         throw sparks
                      fall I        
                  φωτιά     to the fire
the eyes                   my
                                     throw sparks
grab I the fire              και
                              put I the hand
   λάβρα                   to the fire
grab I the fire                  am I lava             
 lava                           am I and fire
and fire                   

Vana Manasiadis

Vana Manasiadis is a Greek-New Zealand poet and translator born in Te Whanganui-a-Tara and based in Tāmaki Makaurau after many years living in Kirihi Greece.  She is 2021 Ursula Bethell Writer-in-Residence at Te Whare Wanaga o Waitaha Canterbury University. Her most recent book was The Grief Almanac: A Sequel (Seraph Press).

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