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

My Poem Fight Published by Kashmir Pen Newspaper #poetry #published poem #prose poem

Liliya Kulianionak; Shutterstock

I am grateful to Mushtaq Bala – the Editor-In-Chief of KASHMIR PEN – for inviting me to publish my work in his newspaper.

Fight

Purple roots cover all trails that go to the foothills.
Veins that the earth pushed to the surface.
I smell lavender.
Your words grow in the breeze like a dough under the whispers of the moon. 
For three thousand years, sung by the poets of this land,
the naked shoulder of the mountain reigned in stillness.
The sky made itself invisible into a wooden box where my grandmother kept her rings:
memories of loves that now fit in a small chamber.
The sea and the afternoon’s breaths eclipse the taste of your colors. 
The blue that slipped between the same branches of the old poplar tree
stares me in the eyes.
Clouds ossify the fight of the earth against the earth.
Between my palms the body of a thin yellow candle.
I remember walking on a street where children were hungry and had no shoes.
I took my shoes off and wiped my tears with the back of palms.
Under my eyes the skin became red and rough.  
I wrote I love you on your left cheek. 
I threw all the silver coins I had onto the dust of the street.
They were meant for the dead.
Let them help the living.
I remember your hand caressing the silk of my dress.
I purge all memories except one that belongs to the future.
You and I chanting to the incarnation of love under a tree on the island where I was born.
The island where it is always spring and the earth that does not fight against the earth.
Did I tell you I was born on an island?

Fight was published together with If Only … Autumn in the 19, 2020 November edition of KASHMIR PEN.

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

My Poem Moonlight Love Included in Words Of Power: A Poetry Anthology #poem #poetry #antology

 Liliya Kulianionak; Shutterstock

Thank you to Kevin Watt for including my poem Moonlight Love in his new anthology Words of Power.

Here is my poem:

Bones, blood, flesh trapped in a brilliant moonlight.
The sand of the shore carried faraway by translucent tongues of water.
Around me the mint grows taller than the trees; lassitude turning from gold to red.
Eyes become the locus where the desert and the sea meet.
Imprinted on my body the number twelve; the twelve horses of the sun-chariot.
He, the seller of time, looks at me.
His voice penetrates the membranes of my cells.
One hour of impossible love for two dimes.
I, who can foresee the future, buy.
The hour wraps around my hips like a passion vine around a tree.
For a second you, the lover of the visible world, hesitate.
Streets inundated by the sweet smell of citrus.
Arms hugging a void.
You cannot eat that citrus and you cannot touch me.
Moonlight love, remind me, why did I buy you?

Words of Power is available on Amazon here.

My book, Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings, can be ordered here.

Thank you.
Love
Gabriela

@Gabriela Marie Milton

My new piece Autumn Reflections up at Free Verse Revolution #short stories #short prose #poetic prose

My Dear Readers
My new piece Autumn Reflections up at Free Verse Revolution.


I walked on the street between the two rows of those old homes with their locked doors, their blue peeling walls, and their sleepy eyes concealed by dark brocade drapes.

I wanted you. First, the song seemed to come out of nowhere.

Then on the opposite sidewalk I could see the children dressed in white, blindfolded, their feet floating above the cracked asphalt like some withered autumn leaves carried by a psychedelic wind.

The children sang.

I could make out the refrain: “We can’t see, we can’t hear.”

Please continue reading at Free Verse Revolution

Thank you.

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.

image: RAndrei; Sgutterstock; [link]

@Gabriela Marie Milton

Creation #poem #prose poem #short prose #book manuscript

How beautiful you made my loneliness with your love letters and your ceaseless colors that burn my eyes every time I look at them.

I am forever in your power because I was brought into this world by your imagination. I am your creation.

I feed on the same sea that nursed us when we were children.

I am the glue that holds together the baked sands stuck on your skin during torrid endless summers.

Sometimes I look like a four-leaf clover sitting on the lapel of your black coat on the 15th of every month.

Other times when it is dark you call me Selena and you make my twelve fingers knead your ecstasies and plant them in whispering tombs.

Your desires are the stage on which I dance, my hair unbraided, my first youth gone, my death date undetermined yet.

I thought nothing was about me. Everything was about you and your mind with its powerful sounds of rapid waves and its one thousand boats anchored in the same port.

Yet at 9am in the morning you said something that made me believe you became possessed by your own creation.

Green deep waters.

Is that true?

 

excerpt from my manuscript Remembrance of Love (working title)

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

The Ides of October #poem #poetry #poetry collection

 

I paid for all the happiness that was bestowed upon us by the Ides of October.
I used to feel the presence of the child all around me.
A woman said I should pick a piece of slough cast by a snake and wear it against my skin.
I did it.
Flushed as a young peach every sunset became a resurrection.
Roses wrapped around my waist and later in June the child was born.

 

A new October sets our pictures on the Spanish chest.
Emotions animate your cheeks.
Every night above the trees the moon nurses the stars.
When I see cocoons of the larvae, I think silk as soft as the hair of the child.
When I say I love you, I think death as the harbinger of birth.
Your lips tremble and your voice flattens.
I know you love me.
With nude fingers the Ides of October betroth us again.

[Ides as the 15th day in March, May, July, and October according to the Roman calendar]

 

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.

image:  Maria Okolnichnikova; Shutterstock; [link]

@Gabriela Marie Milton

lilies of the valley #poem #prose poem #short prose #poetry collection

I can see the woman who assumes things. Every night she picks the flowers that I throw on the road: withered lilies of the valley. She wants to be me. She wants my blood. She does not know I rearranged the bell-shaped whites so no one else can breathe their sweet scents. No one else can be me. No one else can make you, you.

The woman puts the withered flowers in her bag.

A new moon rises over her left shoulder. Bad luck.

I shiver.

I rush to protect her.

I stumble.

Before he died my father said:

If you try to do justice to the wicked, you will forget to do justice to the virtuous. And if you forget to do justice to the virtuous you only work for yourself. That is the biggest sin of all.

I have to think again.

 

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.
image: Sandratsky Dmitriy; Shutterstock; [link]

@Gabriela Marie Milton

Professions #poem #poetry #love poem #poetic prose #poetry collection

Motto
I get drunk on love, charity, and passion. These are my professions.

*

I walk into the three days we spent together.

On the first day, a nude silence wraps around my lips. Shortly after I can hear the noise of wine poured into glasses.
The hour to get drunk on love has come.
I touch your skin and another you is born.
Birds invade the sky.
A banquet of candles floods the streets.
A white thread ties my blood vessels at the exact moment when a religious procession walks by.

 

On the second day, drunk on charity, my sights descend upon the earth.
The dirty hands of the woman who owns wells touch my skin.
I hear your voice.
I will not counsel her or belittle her desires.
All she will do is sell her fake dreams in the corner of an empty street for her entire life.
I forbid you.
By punishing her you would have ruined the very thing you set out to safeguard: our love.

 

On the third day, stars melt in our palms like soft grapes in winepresses.
The intimations of you and I, with their smell and softness of grass and late autumn roses, invade the room.
A convulsive joy impregnates your eyes.
Words have no pigments and no form. Their register sinks in gravity, shiny coil by shiny coil, musical key by musical key, sleepy touch by sleepy touch.
The perfection of the afternoon’s poplars blesses the air.
Possessed by passions, under the wing of a bird, we died three days ago.

 

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.
image: Sandratsky Dmitriy; Shutterstock; [link]

@Gabriela Marie Milton

Feminine Submissiveness #prose #short prose #excerpt #book

Feminine sexual scars: real, invented, and in some cases only dreamed. Wounds exposed in plain view in order to obtain something in exchange. If not justice, then sympathy. If not sympathy, then the attention of a certain male prototype.

A desperation to direct the masculine imagination toward the submissive feminine with its painful blows; blows exacerbated by the brutality of our patriarchal society. Yet something more was added to that:  female purple skin calling for the asperity of males’ touches, abandon, suggested nudity, swollen lips, tons of adjectives filled with a sickening excess of sweetness.

I remember him saying.

An entire arsenal of attraction built on wounds that should be sanctified not used to incite maleness. Those women hang their sexual lesions like paintings on walls for the sole purpose of giving males glimpses under their underwear.

C’mon. You know it.

I did not. However, he was a man of high intellect. It was difficult to go against him. I had to wait. I had to outmaneuver him.

So, I played my feminine submissive part. Add some madness to that and I am quite sure I looked like Ophelia running from room to room dressed in black negligees incapable of understanding my own distress.  What a nightmare.

Was he right?

 

excerpt from my manuscript Remembrance of Love (working title)
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.

@short-prose-fiction (Gabriela Marie Milton)

My piece “Dematerialization” published by Spillwords Press #prose #short prose #Gabriela M #Gabriela Marie Milton

It was a sort of dematerialization that left behind the scent of orange blossoms and the vague memory of sultry afternoons growing by the margins of the pond: those afternoons in need for seed germination. I am sure you can remember them.

You and your love for me which have always looked for my blood. I told you I am air and therefore I do not have a body. I fill the space in which other bodies manifest themselves.

I am every breath you take in your nights of love when …please continue reading here

You can read my Spillwords Author of the Year Interview here.
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.

Thank you.
Love.
Gabriela.

@short-prose-fiction (Gabriela Marie Milton)

image: Anna Ismagilova; Shutterstock; [link]