The Odyssey of Kariakos

BY IN Poems On 09-09-2014

Perched high amid the craggy hills
here olive trees and vineyards yield,
a village called Mouzaki lies
among divided farm and field.

In ancient times, when Greece rebelled
and fought for freedom near this site,
an epic battle raged at sea
which turned the water red that night.

The flow of blood then ended there
and from Mouzaki people saw
the blackened pall which hovered still
o’re Navarone’ s ended war.

A settled peace returned to Greece
and in Mouzaki life would flow
in unabated chronicles
of verdant life, of reaped axed sow.

So thus, in nineteen forty-three
when Leon knew her time had come
they called Elias to her side
and held to him his newborn son.

Around the village word was spread,
the church bell pealed familiar news
which echoed through the quiet dales
and traversed up an down the mews.

No one could know what lie ahead
for Kariakos, born that day.
nor would they know ‘till youth and time
had left their marks on him to stay.

He grew to cherish family roots
which passed to him a love of land
and nurtured deep within his soul
a need to serve, a need to stand.

With schooling done, he served his town
his family and country too.
but then, a twist of fate unveiled
a lovely girl within his view.

She happened there by chance alone,
a visit from another land.
but Kariakos knew at once
that he would have to win her hand.

When she went home, he followed her.
a risk that faint of hearts would shun.
but he was bound to prove his love
until her hand he’ d finally won.

She saw in him a strength of love
too great to linger unfulfilled.
so they were wed and life went on
and soon their grains of life were milled.

For Kariakos, life was hard
yet he was steadfast in his quest
to learn a language new to him,
to be of service and his best.

Then from within, a fervent dream
was destined to emerge at last;
to own a business of his own,
and there upon his die was cast.

With help of kin, a partnership
was forged which proved to pave the way,
so on their road to “Ithaca”
a restaurant emerged that day.

Not by mistake was fame to come,
though work and family intertwined
but Kariakos persevered
to see their first springs from the vine.

His story has not ended there
for he has other dreams to chase
and he is steadfast in his love
of God, of Country and his Race.

Stuart Atkins


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