Niko Tiliopoulos Poems
Don’t Go To Bali
Don’t go to Bali my friend.
Even if the whales whistle you the way,
even if the dolphins dance for you to stay,
even if the spirits possess you when you pray.
Even if the sun is king or the winds are fair,
or even if the sea currents take you there,
and even if you are charmed
by the gamelan music in the air.
Or the dancers of barong
and the outfits of sarong,
or the feasts of spice
and the paddies of rice,
or the volcanoes of light
and the temples of white.
Come what may in the end,
don’t go to Bali my friend.
Your house is old,
as old as the stones that built it,
those that reflect in the silence of the night
the sins and the pain that for centuries have absorbed.
During those hours you stand on your balcony and smile at me,
with an Arabian Nights’ irony,
as you watch me observe your nightdress caressing the marbles,
weaving songs to wipe the sweat off our eyes,