On Poetry and Daffodils

Piraeus, Greece

My poetry is neither the chronicle of my sufferings nor the chronicle of my loves as many seem to believe. It does not contain the description of my marital status nor that of my accomplishments. It does not record my joys or my passions with the precision of a timeclock. It does not dwell in my sadness. Sadness is the place where I dwell when I write the word sea and I cannot understand its meaning the way Elytis understood it. I was not born in Hellada. I can use that as an excuse for my poetic inadequacies.

My poetry is that which comes from the realm of the unfulfilled.  It is the echo of the waves that you can guess but cannot see because they are not born yet. It is the voice of the blood that dries on the feet of the prophets. It is the dream of my cheeks that you will never touch.  My poetry is the body of a Sunday that forgot to put walnuts and cinnamon in its baklava. It is the promise of tomorrow.

Three years ago I bought a silver icon at an auction. The icon belonged to the M. family. They used to be one of the most preeminent families on the island of Crete. Hellada was tattooed in my non-Hellenistic soul by the will of my parents, not by mine. You cannot stage a coup against your own baptism when you are four months old.

I was in love in Hellada. So much for “Let’s fall in love in Spain.” Every time the church bells tolled, he, the one who loved me, used to bring me daffodils.  One daffodil for each bell toll.  When the church bells stopped tolling I had so many daffodils that I could not carry them anymore. I had to let them fall on the ground.

 I ran and I took the first ship out of Piraeus.

Until this day he – the one who loves me – still waits for the girl that will keep his daffodils and marry him.

 Of course, he does. There is always the promise of tomorrow.  There is always my poetry and there is always one more night of passion.

My poetry collection Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings is available on Amazon here .
Passions featured in San Francisco Book Review
Passions featured in Manhattan Book Review.

@Gabriela Marie Milton

147 thoughts on “On Poetry and Daffodils

  1. How incredibly beautiful your words are Gabriela and an insight into the very reason you are destined to write line after descriptive, wondrous line.
    “It is the voice of the blood that dries on the feet of the prophets.”
    “It is the dream of my cheeks that you will never touch. My poetry is the body of a Sunday that forgot to put walnuts and cinnamon in its baklava. It is the promise of tomorrow.”
    Thank you for this gift this Sunday morning as the world needs more beauty and for the music that is stunningly blended by the two talented artists. Have a blessed Sabbath beautiful Button. Love (J) honeybun

    1. My Dearest Honeybun,
      Thank you for your splendid comment. You are a sweetheart. You kind words and your praise brightened my morning.
      I am glad you liked the music 🙂
      Honeybun, I saw you posted, and I will be there soon.
      Sending you plenty of hugs and love. Have a blessed Sunday.
      G(button)

    1. Diana, your words humble me beyond. Thank you! I don’t know what else to say.
      Sending you plenty of love.
      xoxo

  2. We are writers. We make things up. I learned a while ago I don’t need to justify myself in my writing.

    Ftr, you’re baklava with lots of walnuts.
    And yes, Hellada is tattooed in my soul too.

    (How are you feeling, dear?)

    1. Bo, thank you so much for your beautiful words. You are a gem. I am not ok but I am hanging in here. Thank you for asking sweetheart. I hope everyone is ok. Sending love. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

  3. And must I say how my respect for your words just deepens with this piece? I cannot believe how beautifully this is put. There is such a wonderful sense of freshness, of zest, of ebullience in those lines. There’s a gentle breeze of passion. There is a rocking boat of decisions. But more importantly, there is a promise of words. Of your words that you value so much.
    The world can praise every poem of ours, but true appreciation comes from within. And nothing is more heart warming, even heart touching than those intimate moments with our words.
    I do not know if this makes sense, but know that this is not one of your best works, but the best. It might not be symbolic or deep deep masked in allegory, but it is pure honesty. And sometimes, it is way more precious.
    Dear G, you have got me smitten. Beautiful is a severe understatement. Man!
    I cannot stop the praise, but being a poet myself, I felt these words way deep. Really really really good.

    1. My Dearest Shanyu,
      How could I found words to thank you for your beautiful comment? You took my breath away. I read and I ask “Are they for me?”
      My darling friend, you are so generous, and so good to me. Thank you ten thousand times. From my side of the world to yours love and hugs. Your words will always stay with me.
      You have my heart.
      xoxoxo

    1. Aw.. thank you so much Brad. I’ll be happy to receive them with all my heart.
      Sending love. Take care.
      xoxo

  4. OHHHHH and AHHHHHH! BEAUTIFUL Gabriela! You just gifted a ginourmous smile to my entire Being. I LOVE this all sooooo very much! Still smiling! I’m sending You huge hugs and hopes that You’re having a most wonderful Sunday!!! 💖🤗🥂💕😊🌀💖

    1. Your just gifted me a big smile and filled my heart with love.
      THANK YOU. THAK YOU. THANK YOU.
      sending flowers and hugs.
      Have a magical evening!
      xoxoxo

      1. I know. I felt it. Please feel my gratitude. It comes straight from my heart ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

    1. Merci beaucoup du compliment, Louise. Merci également de tes belles paroles. Une soirée agréable.
      à bientôt 🙂

    1. Thank you so much Joseph. You know how much your words mean to me. I hope everything is well with you.

      1. I hope you are doing well. As for me I fired my friend who was doing the editing of my book. She only did 40 pages of over 300 pages of the manuscript. In just over a year the manuscript was in her possession. She screamed bloody murder when I fired her. On to the next.

      2. I am sorry to hear that Joseph. 40 pages in one year? I don’t even know how to qualify that. I know you can find a better editor. Please keep me posted. Enjoy your evening.
        G.

  5. My darling Gabriela. How do you do this??? You write words for that place the rest of us can not describe, you sweep us up in the wind of your hair and your arms filled with daffodils that you drop and gift to us as you write each word. I am in love with this piece

    “My poetry is that which comes from the realm of the unfulfilled. It is the echo of the waves that you can guess but cannot see because they are not born yet. It is the voice of the blood that dries on the feet of the prophets. It is the dream of my cheeks that you will never touch. My poetry is the body of a Sunday that forgot to put walnuts and cinnamon in its baklava. It is the promise of tomorrow.”

    This, is just heavenly. I hold my breath as I read it.

    Sweetheart, tell me how you are? I miss you. I haven’t sent you chocolates for a long time, I’ve been off my game. Here goes …,
    🍫💝💝💝💝💝💝. I know it’s still not enough, I’ll try harder, I promise xxxoooxxx

    1. This line in particular rocked me-

      It is the voice of the blood that dries on the feet of the prophets.

      It’s SO tantalizing to the imagination.

      I can tell you as somebody who wears sandals ALL the time, living here in Jerusalem, that my skin does sometimes get dry and cracked, and -yes- bloody. (I have to use skin lotion more often than I do)

      But – my second thought was… what if the blood is the prophets’ blood? What if… they’ve walked through somebody else’s blood… or -wow- ground others to death with their feet in God’s name?

      I just… WOW!

      1. Ben, thank you so much for your comment. Your words mean the world to me.

        Wow. It’s deep. Where should I begin? I don’t wear sandals, but let’s say I read a lot. The image of the prophet left a deep mark on my soul: wearing sandals, walking, preaching, wisdom, most of the time a wisdom that nobody wants to listen to. Perhaps I am idealizing. But that image is too close to my soul to try to change it. I can’t right now.
        “what if the blood is the prophets’ blood? ” That is the image I wanted to create. You said it. It’s difficult to wear sandals in Jerusalem.
        ” they’ve walked through somebody else’s blood” They probably did.

        “ground others to death with their feet in God’s name?” It happened and it happens almost every day. You know it. Terrifying crimes were/are committed in the name of God.

        Ben, humanity did not prove to me that it can be human. Not yet. You know what I mean.

        Yet, I don’t want to be dark. There is no wedding in sight but let’s toast to life: L’Chaim !
        Have a great evening!

    2. Rchel, I wrote you a long answered to this comment and it disappeared. I don’t know what happened.

  6. My fabulous Rachel, it’s so good to hear from you. You made me happy. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the praise and for your beautiful words. I am humbled beyond.
    Rachel, I miss you and your wonderful poems. I miss reading you. I miss knowing how you are. Thank you for taking the time to read and to be here for me.

    A week ago I sprained one of my angles and I ruptured a ligament: the left ankle,. I did the same to the right one, as you know, but that was several years ago. What can I say? I am an achiever 🙂 I spent my time in bed. It will take a while to heal. The other ankle took a year. I just hope that by some miracle this one will take less.

    Tell me that you are ok, sweetheart. I think of you: beautiful, talented, intelligent. I hope one day you decide to write again (I understand you need to take your time- and that’s fine)

    Thank you for the chocolate. Sending a boat filled with love.
    xoxoxo…

  7. Oh honey, your ankle!!! I’m so sorry, I wish I were there to fuss over you and bring you tea and chocolates and macaroons…. “What can I say? I am an achiever” – you most certainly are. It would not have been fair I guess to right ankle if you did not do left as well 😉.

    Sweetheart, I have written, I have poems, I just have this block to posting them. I always had it but it’s just gotten so much more intense. I can’t explain it really. I keep thinking ‘this week I’ll do it.’ And then I don’t. I think I feel like I won’t be able to keep up with reading and responding like I used to. That’s part of it anyway. This year has been a pretty awful one. I have not been myself really, but I think I’m getting closer to getting there. Sending you boats of love and chocolate too Xxoo xxooxx

    1. Rachel, sweetheart, I thought so and I am sorry. It wasn’t a good year for me either.
      “I have written, I have poems, I just have this block to posting them. I always had it but it’s just gotten so much more intense. I can’t explain it really.” Rachal, I am so glad you wrote. That is great. Now, you know better than anyone that fear is only in your mind. Your followers love your writings. They love you. I probably should not advise you because I don’t have proper training. Yet, I am going to say this. When some of my students are afraid to present in public i will always tell them:: Do not think about the audience. Speak to one person only. Fix your attention on that person and speak to her/ him. Rachel, do not think that you are posting. Just press Publish.
      Keeping up with your followers posts and commenting is demanding indeed. I don’t know what to say about this.

      “I have not been myself really, but I think I’m getting closer to getting there. ” Come back sweetheart. Come back! I am here if you need me. it’s summer!!!!!!
      I got the love and chocolates. Much love and more chocolates right back to you!
      xoxox

      1. Not possible for this comment to disappear as it’s left a big imprint on my heart. Firstly, I’m so sorry this year has not been a good one for you, I know your strength and determination and I’m counting on 2021 being much better for you. Your writing remains incredible.

        Good advice about posting, I’ll see what I can do with that. Your support and encouragement nourishes me and makes me believe maybe I can.
        Have a wonderful day dear Gabriela
        Xoxoxoxo

    1. Thank you for reading and for your kind words. ! I am so glad you enjoyed that phrase. Have a beautiful week ahead.

    1. Oh, Cheryl, thank you from the bottom of my heart. t’s been tough on the daffodils 🙂 I think we can say it’s been touch on that poor chap too 🙂 I am glad you can related to the story. Thank you again. sending you love. Have a great week ahead.
      xoxo

    1. Thank you so much my dearest Cassa, Your words here mean a lot to me.
      Have a beautiful evening.
      xoxo.

      1. Wendi, I am so humbled by your words. Sending you love and good wishes ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  8. Another beautiful “peace” that transports our senses and delights our spirits. Oh the gifts of the calm and tumultious sea and the men and woman that sail them. Where have all the flowers gone, long time passing. I await the daffodils while their bulbs chill once again to bring light after a dark winter. xo ❤️❤️🤗🤗🤗👏👏👏 Have a good day! ❤️

    1. What a gorgeous comment, Cindy. You are kind and talented. Thank you for these words.
      I hope your weekend was great.
      May you have a week filled with joy and happiness.
      xoxoxoxo

      1. Good morning my dear Cindy,
        I think this comment was meant for Diana. It says so.
        I hope you have a fabulous week.
        xoxoxo

    1. Thank you for the visit and for your kind words. I am thrilled you enjoyed the piece. . I hope you are well . It has been a while 🌸

      1. My pleasure. I am glad you are still writing. I did not see anything from you in my reader. We may have gotten disconnected. I will check.
        Have a beautiful rest of the week.

    1. Victoria, you are 100% right. It is a lot to be said about.
      Have a wonderful and productive week.
      xoxox

  9. WOW!!! This is so brilliant, ironic even… a poem and a true-seeming story within a description of the fiction of the poet’s own poetry. The imagery is incredible, beautiful, stunning and you have entirely entranced me with this clever work of art. Just wow!!! Also, it is wonderful to read a bit of Rachel again, in the comments… and in that you have worked another kind of magic, for which I am truly grateful. Kudos 🙏💐

    1. My dearest Lia,
      Than you so much for your beautiful comment and the praise. I am humbled by your words and thrilled you enjoyed the piece.
      “Also, it is wonderful to read a bit of Rachel again” It is, isn’t it? I was glad to hear from her and I hope she returns to blogging soon.
      May the rest of your week be fabulous. Thank you again for your kind words.
      xoxoxo..

      1. Dear Gabriela, super grateful for your delightful and kind reply which lights up my evening in blogland. Thank you, and yes, always a delight to read Rachel’s ever-amazing grace with words. Virtual hugs to you both xoxoxo

      2. Lia, I hope your evening gets more light and more beautiful by the minute. Thank you for the hugs. Sending plenty of love ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

    1. Thank you so much Vidur. Your beautiful words and your kindness mean the world to me. I hope everything is well with you 🌸

    1. Oh, I love that place. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Sending love from America ❤️🌹

  10. Totally loved your prose . Not only is it a perfect collection of words but it also takes stand for several writers and poets who are asked to justify their content based on their personal lives.
    Seriously awesome!

    1. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your beautiful and thoughtful comment. I am really humbled by it 🌹

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