Back Again

Just five years after Suez, twenty-one;
night-train to Venice and then sailing on
past the long island flotilla down to Greece;
sidling into Piraeus through the deep canal,
stars bright over the Saronic Gulf;
dining in white tuxedoes.

Here on the waterfront, a limousine
to sweep us to the Parthenon.

Our liner leaves tonight for the Levant.

Now after forty years I’m back again,
this time with boots and haversack,
climbing the narrow streets to the Acropolis,
baklavĂ¡ spooned from sticky paper bag.

And afterwards by metro to the port,
standing room only.

– David Morphet 2003