Thursday, November 12, 2015


We passed Gibraltar and our ship was heading to Albania.
Suddenly the music on the radio, stopped, and heard
                                               ["Viva Franco, Arriba* España".

Then I remembered the story
                              [my grandmother told me once more
when I was leaving
                  [and we said our goodbye's at the front door..

''Your Uncle John was a volunteer

                                             [in the Spanish Civil War*
and with pride he wrote to me

                               [about a battle on the near shore
he fought side by side with Robert Jordan,
                                           [the hero of Hemingway.

r the victory of Franco, the survivors fled away.
John emigrated to Venezuela
                                        [to live there permanently
and I've lived thirty years

                             [without my child...unfortunately....
Make sure if your ship ever goes there,
do not omit a visit

  [with your Uncle John and Aunt Claire.''  

Two years later our ship arrived in Maracaibo to load ...
I told the taxi driver the number and name of the road.

Our relatives greeted me with great enthusiasm,
but something happened

                               [which could cause sarcasm.

I met their daughter Isabella,
                              [the stewardess, my cousin,
I fell in love instantly,
                            [immediately, all of a sudden.

That night I made a pass at her,
                                  [and I confess to sin I am prone.
(Let him who is without blame cast the first stone)...

Before dawn my cousin left home
                                        [without saying a word.
The note left to her parents she wrote,
                                      [her favorite canary bird,
she conceded to the sailor

                            [to accompany me on the boat.

I do not know if my stealing the note
                                 [was the second sin in a row.

I never got over my cousin
                          [and I'm afraid neither she... woe.

*Extract from "The Broken Mooring Line", an experiential
poetic work // page c54// e-mail: //
Texts and Narration: Odysseus Heavilayias - ROTTERDAM //
Language adjustments and text adaptation: Kellene G Safis - CHICAGO//
Digital adaptation and text editing: Cathy Rapakoulia Mataraga - PIRAEUS//

*Arriba España ("Onward Spain") instead of the more usual Viva España ("Long live Spain").

*The Spanish Civil War (Spanish: Guerra Civil Española), widely known in Spain simply as the Civil War (Spanish: Guerra Civil) or The War (Spanish: La Guerra), was a civil war fought from 1936 to 1939 between the Republicans, who were loyal to the democratic, left-leaning Second Spanish Republic, and the Nationalists, a falangist group led by General Francisco Franco. The Nationalists won, and Franco then ruled Spain for the next 36 years, from April 1939 until his death in November 1975.

*Robert Jordan     Hemingway's novel 'For Whom the Bell Tolls' was published in 1940. The book, which takes place during the Spanish Civil War, was based on real events and tells of an American named Robert Jordan fighting with Spanish soldiers on the Republican side. It was largely based upon Hemingway's experience of living in Spain and reporting on the war. It is considered to be one of his most notable literary accomplishments.

Shortly after Franco’s Fascists took power in Spain, Hemingway returned to Florida and married his companion of four years in Spain, Martha Gellhorn, his third wife.

*Maracaibo is a city and municipality in northwestern Venezuela, on the western shore of the strait that connects Lake Maracaibo to the Gulf of Venezuela. It is the second-largest city in the country (after the national capital Caracas) and is the capital of the state of Zulia. The population of the city is approximately 1,495,200 with the metropolitan area estimated at 2,108,404 as of 2010. Maracaibo is nicknamed La Tierra del Sol Amada ("The Beloved Land of the Sun").

*VIASA Venezolana Internacional de Aviación Sociedad Anónima (Venezuelan International Airways), or VIASA for short, was the Venezuelan flag carrier between 1960 and 1997. It was headquartered in the Torre Viasa in Caracas. Launched in 1960, it was nationalised in 1975 due to financial problems, and re-privatised in 1991, with the major stake going to Iberia. 


  the tales of a greek sailor  

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