The Heart and Its Reasons —
Steering a path around islands of the past and the present, mythology and history, locals and expatriates, refugees and emigrants, loneliness and aloneness, the fragrance of herbs and the stink of prejudices, the stories in this book traverse the multifarious landscapes of the heart. Setting course by Greece – a country filled with the light and darkness of its past, with wounds still oozing from its wars – the stories explore a space that is both familiar, unfamiliar, and uncannily universal: the haunted, multilayered, enticing, and bewitching chambers of the heart. The sutures keeping it together are pride and longing: for mother, for father, for home; for recognition, for acceptance, for love, for truth; for a better world.
From the Back Cover
“Pierides reads and renders our soul with the spectacular clarity of the Greek classics and the depth of the world’s greatest introspective writers. Masterfully portrayed characters, whether they find themselves at crossroads or in seemingly everyday situations, wrestle the often Procrustean tendencies of time, traditions, and heartaches, to ultimately glimpse surprising answers to riddles old and new. These eloquent, hypnotic stories translate the experience of Greek expatriates, contemporary hermits, war veterans, daughters, mothers, and many others, into the universal language of a perpetually searching, truth-thirsty humanity. At once actual and mythic, they blend individual memory and the memory of history, to generate a distinct portrait of the European spirit…”
—Mia Avramut, writer, Essen, Germany
“Wistful and bittersweet: a collection of engaging stories. Stella Pierides does not shy away from depicting suffering and loss, but a distinctive feature of her work is how she shows her clearly-drawn characters gradually making sense of even the most chaotic of lives. She calls upon her Greek heritage and pan-European outlook to tackle themes of youth and age, the burdens of history, and the irrepressibility of hope.”
—Katie Low, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
Cover painting: ‘Port Isaac: Golden Light’ by Maria Pierides
Fruit Dove Press / http://www.fruitdovepress.com
Perfect softbound / 104 pages, 90gm cream interior paper / Full-color laminated cover / 129 mm x 198 mm trim size / ISBN: 978-3-944155-04-3
Today, 29 September 2012, is the day when 100 Thousand Poets for Change gather online, in person, and in print to celebrate poetry, art and music, and to promote social, environmental, and political change.
If you happen to be in Munich today, drop by the Munich Readery, the largest and friendliest secondhand bookstore in Germany. They will be hosting an evening of readings and performances from 19:00 – 22:00.
In observance of today’s 100 Thousand Poets for Change, I offer the following prose poem: The Beach at Blakeney Point, first published in the North London Writers and Poets Anthology Gathering Diamonds from the Well, 2007.
The Beach at Blakeney Point
Hard as I try, I can’t recall the beach at Blakeney Point. Images blend and memories merge – this beach with that at Holkham, with Morston, Burnham Overy and Brancaster Staith.
I only see an expanse in my mental map, the horizon shimmer, Old Lifeboat House looking stern from afar. The salt marsh carpet, creeks, dunes and samphire. Now it is summer. Blue above and below, and the sharp pinpricks of the flying sand. Now it is winter. The saltings dim grey and dirty brown, freezing crystals on the scrub.
Hard as I try. My first walk to the Point fromCleyBeach. Before I knew about tide tables, I set off walking the deep shingle spit, bruising calves and blackening nails. I did reach the end, the sea and the tern’s nests. The feeling of space and the sense of infinity. The tide withdrew to sea while I rested, leaving casts of lugworms, deserts of sand behind. Buccinum and Hydrobia shells. Leaving the bottom of the sea to me. Its cruelty.
A baby seal washed up dead, lying in pools of water, alongside sparkling stones and Flustra fronds the colour of hope. Why, where is the…, what can I…? Too late. It was, I was, too late. I walked back barefoot, the seal receding with each step, ebbing away. The boom of the sea and the spray. The wind sculpted sounds, I licked salt off my lips.
Hard as I try. Sea holly, sandwort and sand sedge cling to shifting dunes. I can’t remember the beach at Blakeney Point. Only that seal, that wind, and my impotence.
76/100 Days of Summer
For Blakeny Point, see here
The Beach at Blakeney Point, in Gathering Diamonds from the Well, ed. Brian Docherty, Laurence Scott, and Katie Willis (London: New Gallery Books 2007)