This poem was written in response to seeing the Caryatid on display at the British Museum and reflecting on Greece’s history.
Across all of Athens, we used to stand
Six sisters sculpted from alabastrine marble
and tinged with gold
bearing gifts to Artemis
To our West bloomed Athena’s favour
a tree drooping with olives
next to the altars of Erechtheus’s kin
where Athena’s snake roamed
Saltwater sprung where Poseidon’s trident struck
flanked by the bones of Athen’s founding kings
and to the East stood Athena Polias
tall and proud, protectress of all in the city
Until strangers came upon our land
First the Christians with their Theotokos,
Who fell by the hands of the Franks
Then the Ottomans flood the marbles red
Followed by the British, with their greedy hands
Prising me from my sisters
Under the cover of night
When I awoke from my uneasy slumber
I was trapped in a prison of glass
2000 miles away from all I know
How I yearn for the scent of oil burning in Athena’s golden lamp!
How I yearn to feel the Greek sun shining upon the temple from whence I came!
How I yearn to hear the ocean waves meeting Athen’s shores once again!
For centuries now I stand alone
in a strange country where the rain goes on and on