Vassilis Zambaras


He knew that calling
Things by their proper

Name names nothing
If the caller is a void.

Autumn of My Mother-in-Law

In straight-
Backed chair, crumpled

Wispy hands on lap,
Mind gone

To the rocky hills and sheep
She used to tend

On the slopes spring
To summer behind

The village up here, now
All behind her she waits

For the fog to lift
For a glimpse

Of winter approaching
In the lowland

Meadows that must be
Somewhere she says—slowly

Lifting her right arm
And pointing

Straight ahead—
Down there.

Recycling for Obstinate Dummies

Let me try

Breaking it down for you
Once and for all—

Environmental waste is what’s left
Over when we take everything

We want from the earth
And leave nothing

But our stinking remains.

Vassilis Zambaras: b in Greece, returned there after 25 years in the USA; recently retired from teaching ESL at the language school he founded in 1977 in Meligalas. Three small books of poetry: Sentences (Querencia, 1976), Aural (Singing Horse, 1984) and In Credible Evidence, a foldout booklet of poems (Longhouse, 2010). Poems in the anthology How the Net Is Gripped: A Selection of Contemporary American Poetry (Stride, UK, 1992) and Visiting Dr. Williams: Poems Inspired by the Life and Work of William Carlos Williams, (U of Iowa Press, 2011). Appearances in Poetry Salzburg Review, The London Magazine, First Intensity, The Stockholm Review of Literature, Shearsman, Poetry Northwest, The Galway Review etc. Has an unpublished third collection titled The Intricate Evasions of As.
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