December 5, 2022

Cyprus Adio

By Ismail Veli

I would like to invite people to share any poems related to Cyprus. I appreciate that if it’s in Greek or Turkish perhaps the translation will not rhyme the same, but some can have fun explaining the stories for us. I have started with one below and hopefully others will share their own. For Facebook users, please visit “Frozen Cypriots” page where you will see many pictures plus a growing number of poems click here.

Cyprus Adio

Farewell, dear Island
where the carob
scents the air
and com wears
blood-red poppies
in her hair.

Farewell, you roaming herds
of goats and sheep
your shepherds piping
mourn fully—
I must not weep.

Your mountain tops
and golden shores
I will remember.
verdant valleys
where the swift torrent roars.

Sun-baked Mesa’oria plain,
parched lips thirsting
for winter’s cool rain,
Adio !

I shall no longer
pluck the grape
from off the vine
and crush its sweetness
into Cyprus wine,
nor listen to soovlakia
chuckling on the spit,
beside some wayside cafe
where the wit
of priest and peasant
liven the daily toil
with anecdotes from Scripture
and the earthy soil.

My footsteps echo
through the village street.
I pass to where the sky
and mountain meet
One backward glance
and in the dusk
the Island’s gone
and I move on
to meet my Destiny alone.


Sunday Mail. July 16, 1950.


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