INDIGO DREAMS

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GEOFF STEVENS MEMORIAL POETRY PRIZE 2018 IS NOW OPEN

HOW DO THE PARAKEETS

STAY GREEN?

 

Sophia Argyris was born in Belgium where she lived until the age of ten, before moving to Morayshire in Scotland.

 

She was always drawn to poetry, but only began writing in earnest in her mid-20’s, when she was living and working in London.

 

Her poems and short prose have been published in a number of journals, both in print and online, including Sarasvati, The Dawntreader, Up the Staircase Quarterly (US), Pyramid (US), Volume Magazine, Debris, and Decanto amongst others.

 

Her poem ‘By Kew Bridge’ was a finalist in the Aesthetica Creative Works competition in 2008, and her first chapbook, ‘Strange Longing for a Monday’ was published in 2010 by erbacce-press.

 

She is an active member of the Back Room Poets in Oxford, where she lives, writes, and teaches yoga.

 

 

How Do The Parakeets Stay Green?

 

Sophia Argyris

 

ISBN 978-1-909357-50-1

 

Indigo Dreams Publishing

 

Publication June 2014

 

Poetry

 

138 x 216 mm

 

52 pages

 

£7.99

 

 

 

ORDER HERE 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

grass-flat

HOW DO THE PARAKEETS STAY GREEN?

 

1.

 

Bats swift past our balcony,

flit, dark, and then gone.

 

Dusk, and this vast city where

we’ve lost too many years.

 

2.

 

By the man-made lake

a crow shines darkly,

beak open to swallow the sun.

I’d do the same, that burning

heat on my tongue,

if I weren’t tied to many things,

I’d open feathered wings,

ride high notes of wind, and

with every rising

I’d breathe in.

 

3.

 

The city sprawls before us,

her concrete skin all too familiar,

 

we have travelled her veins

too many days to number .

 

Chameleons, we’re turning

grey to match her.

 

 

 

 

 

BACK TO THE NEST

 

Who would have thought

being woken by gulls’ raucous

squabbling, stampeding take off

runs along the roof, would so

perfectly say home.

 

And those smaller birds below

the eaves, scurrying more quietly,

just loud enough to fill

my dreams with little

creatures hurrying.

 

But mostly it’s the sea salt air,

my lungs sounding all clear, all clear,

with every breath, and the smell

of warm scones spilling

from my mother’s kitchen

like a blessing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“How Do the Parakeets Stay Green? is a graceful, passionate, and alluring collection from one of my favourite writers in contemporary poetry. Sophia Argyris is a beautiful writer producing meaningful and exciting poems about self-discovery, the world, and life.”

April Michelle Bratten

Author: It Broke Anyway (2012)

 

“The poetry of Sophia Argyris is rich in detail. A poet who can write about the personal, and with sensitivity about the complexities of modern life.  There is movement in the poems, moving from childhood through to adulthood, voicing atmosphere and able to engage with the world wherever that may be; in town, country, or within sight and sound of the sea. Insightful and observant, Argyris is clearly in tune with people and place."

Eileen Carney Hulme

Author: The Space Between Rain (2010)

 

“Sophia Argyris’s poems combine the crackle of flames and the warm afterglow of embers. In sifting the ashes of memory, she reconfigures fragmented identity, and laments the loss of our connection with the natural world.”

David Olsen

Author: Unfolding Origami (2015)“

 

The poetry of Sophia Argyris enchants with a balance of imagination and physical clarity. How do the Parakeets Stay Green? touches profoundly and imbues her shared experience with a transforming power. A rare and beautiful collection."

John Swain

Author: Rain and Gravestones (2013)

 

 

 

 

THE BRUISING STONES

 

Then I was a fish, sliding

my marbled body over

the bruising stones,

blue limbed, pale, and

misted as Scottish mornings.

 

Later we sat, a circle, fire

smoked our salmon skin,

an adventure away from walls,

rules, all things that

bewildered us.

 

Hot chocolate comfort wrapped

in my numb fingers, thick and

semi-sweet as darkness.

Your faces lit fire-glow

between shadows.

 

You have scattered since

like feathered dandelion tops,

migrating birds, those flocks

of geese we used to watch

leaving each year.

 

I am living as a human now,

fully grown, carving

my life in stone buildings,

searching for the ways,

the words, to stay in touch

with us when we were fishes.

 

 

 

 

 

DEARLY DEPARTED DADDY LONGLEGS

 

All those funerals we held for wasps,

butterflies, and spiders,

in the garden planting crosses

made of twigs into the earth.

 

Solemn as churches,

the three of us, singing or

chanting some song made up

to mourn their passing.

 

We’re older now, and loss

is something very different.

Black clothes and lowered coffins,

hushed voices, airless rooms.

 

Our repertoire of ghosts

just keeps on growing.

Long gone the innocence of

those green garden graves.

 

 

 

 

LONDON IS A VENUS FLYTRAP

 

I have swallowed the Thames,

like a long slow slide of alcohol,

and now, inebriated,

half-deaf and defeated,

my way back is gone.

 

I lean into these walls, where

paint has peeled away

in places, revealing a sad

plaster nakedness, like

skin too pale and intimate.

 

WITH MY FATHER

 

Remember the time we walked

along the edges of Loch Muick,

pursued by huge black flies?

 

They followed us like creatures

bent on understanding, clumsily

bumping against our hands, flying

too close to our eyes.

 

We talked of many things, like

the Walrus and the Carpenter,

as birds flew above the heather

and the loch reflected back

to us the sky.

 

As we neared our destination

a slanting rain was falling, so

we put up our hoods and

hurried that last distance,

matching strides.

 

 

 

 

 

INDIA, JANUARY

 

Dust in our eyes,

a heavy sun lies its shoulder

against our backs, traces fingers

down our arms.

 

Dirt lifts off the road

on the tongue of the wind,

pushing in to fling our hair

all which ways, tie it in knots.

 

I saw an eagle hung at eye level

as we crossed a bridge. River so

wide its very name must be expansive.

 

Water buffalo, pensive cows, stray dogs, and

every driver sounds his horn to re-affirm,

in noisy declaration, he exists.

 

We exist.

 

This country cannot be contained

in words, on paper, in my mind,

it's spread too wide.

 

I curl in its palm.

 

 

 

 

DAYS AND DAYS AND DAYS

 

Sometimes there’s nothing

but the impossible weight

of swarming emails,

spread sheets,

and the internet.

A cold universe

without any stars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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