Thursday, January 28, 2016

Eighteeners in chains

The ship sailed from Casablanca, Morocco,
                                    [and it took only a few hours
to figure out that skipper was a mad man with... 
                                     [unreasonable legal powers....

A “cold” lay-up
               [means shutting down the ship completely. 
Hundreds of such ships were laid up in rows, neatly
at safe places waiting for new employment.
For all the seafarers
                          [nothing but disappointment.

Four of us, we must have been the biggest sinners,
graduates of the Maritime College,
                                                 [none of us winners,
immediately after being awarded our degrees,
we signed on as deck boys
                         [on the tanker "Ocean Breeze".

It was July sixteen,
              [one thousand nine hundred and fifty-eight,
for my life perhaps the most unlucky
                                          [and most important date.

Seafarers unemployment
                                [was higher than ever, 
so to get this job we used every endeavor.

As I said earlier,
         [we sailed and it only took a few hours
to figure out that skipper was a mad man
                   [with unreasonable legal powers....

The captain who caused the "Mutiny on the Bounty"
                                                                [long time ago,
the tough Captain Blythe,
               [was an angel compared to ours Captain Joe....

All four of us lived
        [through dramatic situations
Exploitation and many privations....

Because of our humiliating salary,
       [there was no money for a return ticket.
Our families never learned about all this,
                                          [we kept it secret.

The only way out was the job search in any port,
in any foreign country,
                         [we risked being judged in Court.


We four were dispersed to the four corners of the earth
John in Rio de Janeiro, Nick at Bilbao and Mike in Perth.

The last of the group, myself, in New York City
undocumented we were,
          [with lead my parents to say "what a pity".

I never learned what fate became of my friends,
although many years have passed, several tens.

The last time I remember
            [the four of us laughing carefree,
was the day of the award of our degree.

*Extract from "The Broken Mooring Line", an experiential
poetic work
 // page c59// 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//


*Cold laying up    means that the ship is taken out of service due to lack of employment and is moored or anchored at a safe place waiting for new employment.
Shutting down the ship almost completely for an extended period, this leads to greater cost savings, but the ship will probably need dry-docking before coming back into service.

*Vessels laid up" multiple vessels are laid up together, either. alongside or in anchored or moored groups or 'rafts', they should be of a similar size.


*Rio de Janeiro is the second-largest city in Brazil, the sixth-largest city in the Americas, and the world's thirty-fifth-largest city by population. The metropolis is anchor to the Rio de Janeiro metropolitan area, the second most populous metropolitan area in Brazil, the sixth-most populous in the Americas, and the eighteenth-largest in the world. Rio de Janeiro is the capital of the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil's third-most populous state. Part of the city has been designated as a World Heritage Site, named "Rio de Janeiro: Carioca Landscapes between the Mountain and the Sea", by UNESCO on 1 July 2012 as a Cultural Landscape.
Founded in 1565 by the Portuguese, the city was initially the seat of the Captaincy of Rio de Janeiro, a domain of the Portuguese Empire. Later, in 1763, it became the capital of the State of Brazil, a state of the Portuguese Empire. In 1808, when the Portuguese Royal Court transferred itself from Portugal to Brazil.

* Bilbao is a municipality and city in Spain, the capital of the province of Biscay in the autonomous community of the Basque Country. It is the largest municipality of the Basque Country and the tenth largest in Spain, with a population of 353,187 in 2010. The Bilbao metropolitan area has roughly 1 million inhabitants, making it one of the most populous metropolitan areas in northern Spain; with a population of 875,552 the comarca of Greater Bilbao is the fifth-largest urban area in Spain.

*Perth is the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia. It is the fourth-most populous city in Australia, with an estimated population of 2.02 million. 

*New York City or the City of New York to distinguish it from the State of New York, of which it is a part – is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York metropolitan area, the premier gateway for legal immigration to the United States and one of the most populous urban agglomerations in the world. A global power city, New York exerts a significant impact upon commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and entertainment. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy and has been described as the cultural and financial capital of the world.
Situated on one of the world's largest natural harbors, New York City consists of five boroughs, each of which is a county of New York State. The five boroughs – Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx, and Staten Island – were consolidated into a single city in 1898. With a census-estimated 2014 population of 8,491,079 distributed over a land area of just 305 square miles (790 km2), New York is the most densely populated major city in the United States. As many as 800 languages are spoken in New York, making it the most linguistically diverse city in the world. 

  the tales of a greek sailor  

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Her eyes were filled with tears


A gentle soul

   As our boat departed,
                [after many days of repairs,

    Penya's eyes were filled with tears...

    Three weeks before,
                              [the tanker "Lady Cleo"
    crashed into our ship,
                          [fifty miles outside of Rio.

    Two large tugboats towed us to the pier
    and the fact that our ship
            [needed major repairs, it was clear..

    An extended stay in Rio de Janeiro,
                                                      [a real gift.

    A crowd of girls who looked
                                      [like population shift,
    swarmed the boat
                               [from the stern to the bow.
    It was incredible,
      [the sailors were constantly saying, "wow".

    A crowd of very poor girls
                                    [from the favelas most,
    ready to sell their love,
                         [of which no one would boast.

What first caught my attention was her voice.
and this was the main reason for my choice !

It was Penya, not a girl from Ipanema, 
                                                  [but from the favelas....
A royal beauty she was, but of the shack dwellers, 
                                                           [not the palace,
a prostitute with extremely gentle soul....

For twenty days we did not apart, 
      [whole days and nights, yes whole.

I asked for a five-day leave,
                      [and we left together on a tour.
The modernist architecture of Brasilia,
                                  [the capital, was a lure.

We traveled one thousand five hundred miles, 
                                                     [coming and going,
straight line distance, 1200 miles,
                                        [if we had been on a Boing.


On the day on which
                         [the ship was leaving
I gave her a huge amount believing
that this was what she wanted
                                         [from me more.
I thought as everyone would think
                                              [for a whore.

"When I heard "anchor aweigh"
                                   [and the "engines full ahead",
jaded I returned to my cabin to sleep in my bed.

The golden chain from her neck
                                   [was in the same drawer
with all the money that I gave to her
                                                    [shortly before...

* A gentle soul..... What comes to mind when I think of a gentle soul is someone who has no malice, wishes no ill-will on anyone, who is respectful and mindful of other people's feelings and is sensitive to the needs of others.


*Extract from "The Broken Mooring Line", an experiential
poetic work // page c 58// 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//


  the tales of a greek sailor  

Friday, January 1, 2016

Love Scenes from the movies

''Is it sinful if I go to a whore house ?''
I asked the boatswain
              [with the nickname "Mouse",

I had reached the age of seventeen
and I guess you understand
                                    [what Ι mean...

You know,
        [when I was in town,
often in my walks around
when I happened
                       [to walk by such a house, 
I was upset, nervous''.....
   [I will take care of this...replied Μouse...

Maracaibo, Venezuela was the next port..

At night, the boatswain and I 
                 [went to the place, "sell short"..

This was an enormous room open on the side.
Dozens of women,
          [blue-eyed, brown eyed and black-eyed
were defiantly calling to sailors... 
                                      [to offer sexual intercourse...

Inevitably, one of them led me to a room of course......

The only erotic experience I had was from film scenes
where they always have sex wearing trousers or jeans.

So I really was surprised when a girl asked me
to take off my trousers...
                   [and of course I said, "I don't agree !".


*Extract from "The Broken Mooring Line", an experiential
poetic work // page c57// 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//


  the tales of a greek sailor