Lily Michaelides

Lily Michaelides

Lily Michaelides lives and works in Nicosia. She attended a course on Secretarial Studies and Public Relations.

She has published four collections of poetry. The Alchemy of Time (Govostis, 2001), Shapes and Roads in Relief… (Govostis, 2003), Remembrance of a Dawn (Govostis, 2004 – bilingual edition), Innuendos (Ypenigmoi) (Melani 2007) and the prose The city needs no introduction (Melani 2011).

Her poems have been published in newspapers, and literary magazines in Cyprus and abroad and have been translated into English, French, Turkish, Italian, Serbian, Swedish and Bulgarian.

Lily is a key member of the non-profit organisation Ideogramma organising cultural events, mainly literary.

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Gazing across the coast, to the very point where the land becomes sea and the sea horizon. The Mediterranean surges in my lips. I’m trying to define it with metaphors of sun, wind, sand and water, with images reformed into myths, to envision it with the ingredients of life, in the language of each country that swims across its coasts, amidst the sound of unforgettable songs traveling through its waters: “… it gave birth to Gods, Christ himself; the summer there has no fear of time … in the Mediterranean …”

The afternoon brought closer the bow of the sky with all its colors. After the waves had recoiled toward the sea, the moon’s halo mirrored itself into the troubled waters amidst clusters of stars. On the horizon, within the span of moving time, the ships followed the age-long trajectory of the winds from Egypt and Phoenicia to the ports of Cyprus and Greece, carrying civilizations, submitting to the present an everlasting collateral.

I dig beneath the steps of Poseidon to unbury the universe of this moment. But the sand is delusive and dominant like love, enclosing devoutness within. And after thousands of years, through the fingers of times, emerge naked bodies and statues, old ships, amphorae, masts, robes, hulls and trawls, collecting the ashes of floating life before it evaporates, and rises like a cloud in the air.

But what is the Mediterranean? What are the waves, the sun, the wind and its whims? Amidst carved rocks I listen to the echo of the sea surfacing across its estuaries, grasping onto the land. It is an erotic, imperishable echo that reverberates without ending…the subconscious relation of the water with earth. Grasping and holding onto the land. Because the Mediterranean is a lake in the belly of the Earth; its very loneliness, ever so immense and humid…

Lily Michaelides
© translation: Despina Pirketti

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Published with the permission of Lily Michaelides