The Names of Georgian Women

Medea statue in Batumi, Georgia. Author: Devi ...

There on the sea sails wandered,

And unconcerned by the heat

Sycamores blossomed at leisure,

Leaves for streets in December.


The market sounds intermingled;

On naked heights above

Basalt and snow wove light

Into rainbow prisms.


A kiosk in the park by the seaside

Stood empty and white and silent;

The syllabled names of Georgian women

Seemed to smell of grapes;


They became a chirruping

Breezing out to sea,

Sailing out like a black swan

Strangely reaching his neck.


Then a woman called Lamara

Ran down to the water

Where she broke her heel on the pebbles

Tinting her lips with wine.


Medea’s hair was dark and wet;

Arms wove the waterfall;

Drying, drops on skin turned golden,

Sparkling at odd moments.


Stronger even than oleanders

Embraced into a cluster,

The name of Ariadne floated

And dissolved upon the skyline.


Swaying and barely touching the shoreline

A float poised on the water–

Tisana! called a voice from a window–

Natella! a voice answered.


Olga Carlisle and Stanley Noyes.

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