Efi Kalogeropoulou

Efi Kalogeropoulou

Efi Kalogeropoulou was born in Athens. She is a poet, specialist in physics and dramatics, and currently works as an educationist. Her poetry has been translated into tree languages: English, Italian and Spanish and her verse and theatrical critiques have appeared in various periodicals and e-books.

Efi Kalogeropoulou is the author of five books of poems:

  • “Travel Apparel”, 2007
  • “Sound of WATER”, 2010
  • “SAND”, 2013
  • “DESERT AS DESIRE”, 2015

When casting off

There is no sea
or fear
only when casting off
and from the deck
I see you lessening
a bird in my chest

With your eyes

The night is hanging on the rock
the saints are carrying on their shoulders
the roots of trees

God opens His palm
and awesome light drips
for men to bend forward
and wash their hands
and do away with evil

for me to see with your eyes
the water flowing along
memory’s white houses
with their blue windows
and stones to remain wide open
leaving the ages orphaned

for me to want only bread
and with it you giving me some sky

m.v. “Ioannis Theresia”


stop engines
I see no sea
ahead a tanker
cuts the passage
in half
you feel no wave
only the air smells
of cars
all plates in a row
and we, opposite, in the cars
a driver in front
is scratching the mirror with a left hand nail
on the deck
an empty plastic coffee cup
comes and goes
on grey,
fag ends, unshaved workers
women with plastic bags,
wet stray dogs
and we, opposite,
in the cars
a few metres
lower down.


We shan’t go.
I know.
On certain ones, yes. Two or three. Perhaps. At the very most.
On others, no. No for certain.
Trips I mean
those we plan every
evening laughing
and enjoying ourselves
and I still love you
and should we disagree when it comes to details
in the end we do agree
and I know as you know
that we won’t go on all
at least not all.
And this evening I’m looking forward
to make plans again
for our next voyage, our voyage
the one we’ll never make.

Efi Kalogeropoulou
From “Sound of Water”, 2010
© Translated from Greek by Yannis Goumas



Light, profuse, safe
fell right on the stones
gently carving their faces.

That’s as much as I have, it said
as love unfolded its whiteness.

And their warm hands on the lime
were ashamed of such silence.


The weather is a good fisherman
it mends the ripped net
and finds a way
of its enduring the sea again.

This wave, how many ages has it been travelling?


Not to lose you, I keep thinking
as I walk on the beach
for hours under the scorching sun
barefoot on the sand.
Not to lose you comes to my mind
and my dread leafs through waves
of a novel of a prolonged anguish
where the traveller changes rooms in the water
and the sea’s mirror captivates his look
and he plays with his life
and my life with its starfish here, again
and again
not to lose you
not to lose you.
And behind me I gather your traces
a river that I wrap up just anyhow
and roughly put it in my pocket
and I want to shout that you are my island
and my depth
and my summer for what summers are left
whose number we’ll never know
and the air, the earth and the sea smell of you
and I don’t know what to do with this memory
hiding in the bellies of these fishes
and glittering in the sun
like another aqueous labyrinth with its wisdom
so that I can sail towards you
on arriving
and you extending your hand before me
on leaving.


He casts a net
gathers the sea.

The old shipwreck took a sudden list
my dog became wiser by three years
and I leave behind me
the family of seabirds
and set sail for the open horizon.
I haven’t managed to solve the depth’s enigma
conches, sand, starfish
will be playing stormy games with the waves
deriding the depths
and I with salt and water will wash down a voyage
in the open seas, quitting the solution.
People I met
some with dugouts and others with rafts
will make their own voyage
captives in the nets of time
they too alike creatures of the deep and mullets.
And there in the open sea as if on an island
we’ll meet one day
what silence we swiped
from the depth of depths.

Efi Kalogeropoulou
From “SAND”, 2013
© Translated from Greek by Yannis Goumas



Then he folded his arms, dipped his wings,
and left his body to travel in the water.
A bright red river of blood
swept him seawards.
He sank into the depths, in the darkness, in forests
of blossoming cherry trees, there where red fish
brought him tender gifts,
covetous particles, for him findings
of a rare sea, small and unexplored.
A galloping horse was coming from afar,
its hooves hit the water and billows
shoved swarms of castaways;
and the seagull that had learned to travel
in their eyes, now felt that in his seas
there were no cherry trees. No. In his seas
bloomed shipwrecks; and insane, yes,
insane, a sky-high castaway, he remained
on the seabed for good, offering fish
his all-white wings.


It’s me again
going down
the water’s
rough path
the Sun and God
black roses of the deep, counting
seagulls’ wishes
where plural mirrors
immerse darkness in the eyes of fish
and fear
from yester shipwrecks
I continue in reverse
in nets of silence and weathervanes
the veins of wounded sand
on unknown
vertical and horizontal roads
floating between
a foaming wave
the sea’s white

Efi Kalogeropoulou
From “Desert as Desire”, 2015
© Translated from Greek by Yannis Goumas

Published with the permission of Efi Kalogeropoulou