BETRAYAL

Posted by: Maria Atalanti

Published on: 20/03/2022

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I wrote this poem soon after the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. I was asking myself the question: “what brought about the destruction of my home country by Turkey”? The only answer I could give is that it was our own acceptance of three mad men in Greece and some people in Cyprus who lived amongst us, and we failed to do  anything about it. We just got on with our lives and shut our eyes to the imminent danger. The blame therefore lay with us and nobody else!

The same can be said about Britain and Brexit. The British people always looked upon Boris as a lovable clown -and then he fooled them into voting for Brexit!

What about the Russian invasion of Ukraine? The western world had for years not only accepted but entertained the oligarchs who brought money and extravagance into our world. We were happy to shut our eyes to what this actually meant -until now, but it’s of course too late because the destruction of Ukraine is already taking place.

My conclusion? It is us who let it happen!

 

Erroneously

we let the Few

dictate our lives!

We encouraged Ephialtes*

with our stadia, our theatres

and our Agora.

 

So, almost inevitably

one moonless night

he took the rugged footpath

and brought the Persians.

 

What does it matter now

that we have become

symbols of defiance?

What does it matter

when our city has fallen,

our temples have been desecrated,

our women enslaved?

 

We let Ephialtes

dine at our banquets,

pray at our festivals

and share our city with us,

believing that he was harmless.

Quietly,

he rose in our midst

and utterly destroyed us!

 

First written in Greek -April 1980

Andreas Markides

*Ephialtes Eurydimus, according to the ancient historian Herodotus, was the man who led a select group of Persian soldiers from a narrow crossing, in order to attack Leonidas and his 300 Spartans, from behind and defeat them. Since then, he has been considered a symbol of betrayal and his name is used to denote the intrusion of hostile elements, in a fraudulent way, resulting in a disaster in a situation,  in a society or in a war.

If you want to read about Andreas Markides follow the link: https://cosmosblog.io/andreas-markides/

 

 Bibliography:

Photo: Leonidas, the King of Sparta at Thermopiles 

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