POESIA: Vassilis Amanatidis

The Canyon 
or The Invention of Sadness 


Forever in the canyon.
Where not a house nowhere.
The one thing always all over: snow.
Soft, very, warm for us, as far as
the end of the canyon. Not from above.
Never from heaven the flakes – not one, none.
Then whence the snow: from deep below
within the earth. Like an unwilting
sprout from a root of white:
snow swelling underground.
And upon it

(Constant.) ((Perpetual.))
(((Recurrent.))) ((((Contented.))))
Because in our possession a language devoid of verbs.
Because utterly unneeded.
Because never an action between us ever.
Since between us nothing with nothing for nothing to nothing.
(((Hence, rather unperturbed.))) ((And unsuspecting.))
(And untouchable.)
Like so: Upon the snow growing

suddenly a single sole shape.
Wandering, footprints phosphorescent and then evanescent.
Oh, sudden beautiful red light!
(((Overturn of figureshape))) – ((immersion in snow)) –
(disappearance) – appearance of another.
Another similar shape wandering and growing alone.
Appearance of others similar simultaneous and others yet.
Oh, sudden beautiful red lights!
(((Overturning of figureshapes))) – (((immersion in snow))) –
((disappearance of some)) – (others remaining) –
appearance of new similar and

others yet.
Since here no night never.
Only a time, for each one different,
of sleeping. And then a time, for each one different,
of waking.
Because around us and before us no adversary.
Since only us on the canyon.
The constant who constantly,
old and new present, with
even pace to and from.
And thus always around us a never like always,
where cold no more.
Blessed, oh bles
sed life

 (translation from the Greek: Sakis Kyratzis)
[from “7: poetry for video games”, Nefeli Publications, Athens, 2011]
Vassilis Amanatidis was born in 1970. He was raised in Thessaloniki, northern Greece, where he now lives. He has published six poetry collections: Dormitory: Nine nocturnal parables (1999), House of ice (2001), Thirtythree (2003), Summer indoors + six proofs of capability (2005), 4-D: Four-Dimensional Poems(2006), 7: poetry for video games (2011). He has also published two collections of short-stories: Don’t eat me (2005) and Charybdi’s Dog (200
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