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Preview: Jane's Poetry

Jane's Poetry

Jane Sharp has lived in Vrahassi, a mountain village in Crete, for the past sixteen years. She has been writing poetry for a lot longer. Her poems have been published in magazines, read on the B.B.C. and have won prizes.

Updated: 2018-03-06T07:06:00.970-08:00


Jane's Vrahassi: How to Make Money On Line


Jane's Vrahassi: How to Make Money On Line:   Listen to this video, we can help you change your life.

Greek Voices


Greek VoicesYianni, out of work, huddled in a doorway,Sucks the last smoke from his precious roll-up,Feels the thin cloth of his empty pockets,And stamps his dead-man’s shoes on the pavement,He doesn’t want to queue for potatoesIn the open streets of Athens, or take His wife a bundle of clothes from the church,He doesn’t want to sit at a tableLike a monk from Athos, waiting for Easter,So he goes to his mother, who, welcomesHim, open arms, to her bare house, and sharesA pot of boiled greens she picked on the hill.He returns home blasting the sweet Virgin,Not because there is no meat on his plate,But because his voice is all he has left,His wife shouts back, not because there is noMeat on her plate, (or hope of any) butBecause the sound of their voices createsParadise in a vacuum of silence,They want their voices to be heard; they wantTo rattle the glass of a thousand panes©Jane Sharp 2012[...]

In Memory of Marie Colvin and Remi Ochlik, Killed in Syria, February 2012


In Memory of Marie Colvin and Remi Ochlik,
Killed in Syria, February 2012

In a bunker,
Covered in grey dust,
And grazed,
Eyes glazed over with
Tears of Homs,
The battle-crack
Of Somme
Blasting history
To oblivion,
Heads clamped in palms,
Unarmed, brave,
Strands of DNA
Standing defiant,
Waiting for angels
In God’s garden,
In the slant of Spring rain,
In the same slant of Spring rain
That grows orchids.

©Jane Sharp
February 25, 2012



You held me like a newborn child,
A blanket wrapped round tight,
You asked if I was warm enough,
And would I be all right,
My eyes were closed, but I could see
The snowdrops in your hand,
The springtime change had come too soon
For us to understand

I could smell the lilies better
Than I’d ever smelled before,
And I heard your tender kisses
As I entered heaven’s door,
The springtime change had come too soon
For us to understand,
My eyes were closed, but I could see
The snowdrops in your hand,

I felt your heart burst open wide,
A tear upon my cheek,
I knew you’d come to say goodbye,
But neither one could speak
You held me like a newborn child,
Not wanting to let go,
With your arms wrapped tight around me,
To protect me from the snow,

But winter cold was all around,
And angel voices called,
I drifted into paradise,
Those peaceful, painless halls,
And when I opened wide my eyes
Upon a springtime land,
I saw you there, right by my side,
The snowdrops in your hand,

You held me like a newborn child,
A blanket wrapped round tight,
You asked if I was warm enough,
And would I be all right,
The springtime change had come too soon,
For us to understand,
My eyes were closed but I could see
The snowdrops in you hand.

Jane Sharp



Howl Turkish moon, slither of light,
Illuminate my destiny,
Stamp void with influential might.

Howl Turkish moon, slither of light,
Howl dark orb, scimitar of night,
Squinting fluence of third degree.

Howl Turkish moon, slither of light,
Illuminate my destiny.

Jane Sharp

A Triolet is a 13th century poetical form.



Shocked at the sight
Of an uninvited drain-liver

I pulled the face of a Gargoyle
And made a loud "Ugh' noise.

He plopped over my hand
In the shadows
A good six inches.

We played that game of 'statues'
Like at school - turn away

He proved a match 'till I caught him
Mid hop in my

Like a rubber toy I once had,
He dived upwards all slime,
Scaring me with the sudden
Rigidity of his blob-body.

I took him to the door
And put him out like Tom
For the night.

A slimy toad in the drizzle of a
Cold midnight

I knew he would never be
A fairytale Frog:
A handsome prince.

Jane Sharp



I am in being
Tomorrow is becoming
Now is in passing

The Papa smiles and
The wisdom of Sofia
Is in his aura

In a tiny church
I lit a candle and prayed
For those who suffer

It flickered beside
Other diminishig flames
And danced in the dark

And spent wick littered
The eternal sand-filled font
Glittering gold-leaf

The eclipse is a
Shadow at the edge of dark
Where light is dissolved

Jane Sharp



Working in the olive grove,
Dimitri thinks only of the yield from his old roots,
This knot-knarled tree is one of his favourites,
Years of pruning has coaxed its spreading shape
Into a willow-wide bouquet of boughs,
Laden with bullet-blooms that beg release.

Now, the master stands back and admires
All that nature (with his help) has created,
And before the purging begins,

Then, with every thwack of his katsouna,
He urges the fat, cobalt fruit to shower onto
Carefully laid collecting nets.

This hessian pack, unloading onto stone
From the wooden back of unshod Neddy,
Is filled from that great, cracked tree (a good year),
And Dimitri, we see, is pleased
As the press begins to wind, and the screw to crush
The olives.

So the scene with stubborn Herk,
In slow perambulation making work the grind,
Till mushy purple-tinted juice infuses fabric
With virgin-sweet scent,
Ali-Baba jars are brimming full of oil,
And tired Dimitri is content.

Jane Sharp



When the lid of my box, outside the door,
Stands sentinel to my journeying soul,
And sunlight throws a prismic-cross across
The name plate of my chest, think then of the
Day we scrambled up the knoll through thicket
Only fit for a girded Prince to brave,
In attempt to raise his Sleeping Beauty.
And remember the apex of rock which
Gave us solitude;it was a place to
Sense parameters wider than the world.
We were drip-fed by threads of lurex-light,
Until so large had we become, and yet
So small, so much a part of the strata
That all below seemed, as from a magic
Carpet, to flow upstream, and we remained
Unseen observers perched on a warm rock.
Go there now, or top some other apogee,
And say goodbye, for I am already
Out of reach on Charon's ferry, and can
See your words unfurl like almond blossom
In the ether: soft whispered curls of sound
That becomes the hush-dance of the ocean.
And when you light a candle think of me,
Put a kiss on your fingertips and blow
It to the winds of Africa, for I
Am in each speck of the Sahara, my
Life but a memory that is flashing
Across the universe, a shooting star,
Death a mirror fractured by blinding light.

Jane Sharp



She was on the hillside gathering greens,
Bent at the waist, head close to soft clover,
When hoof-sound made her mindful, still, and she
Crouched like an animal, afraid to move,
Then she set to sprint, but her long skirt caught
In the gauze, making her easy bounty,
Musk-soaked cotton pressed onto her warm breasts,
Freshly exposed through the rip in her blouse,
A hard Turk sealed her screams, violated
Every orifice, fucked life from her lips,
And left her for the vultures to feast on,

From a monastery not far away,
Came the hope of prayer and the promise of
A hot meal, hoof-sound made the monks mindful,
Habitual mutterings gave courage,
Switched on by the Angelus at daybreak,
They pleased God in a haze of sweet incense,
Inviting invaders to their table,

Abbot Gabriel turned towards heaven
And entertained the Turk, not knowing that
A circle of vultures clericked the sky,
Ready to gobble his flesh, drain his blood,
Tear apart his sibling’s unburied limbs,

The moon was up three times before he heard
Of his sister’s death, and berating cries
Accompanied the tolling of the bell,
Until his breath choked with venom of hate,
Until his sack-cloth soaked tears of revenge,
Till hoof-sound was the Devil at his gate,

When next the culprit clopped to rest and feed,
He did not meet with hospitality,
And whilst he tied his steaming steed, he was
At once set on, bludgeoned and boiled in oil
By raging priests, all thoughts of goodness gone,
Honeyed with justice, at damnation’s door,

At dawn they bore down for holy slaughter,
Razing the sacred home, and defacing
St George with a lead ball to the temple,
A damaged witness to torture,
Abbot Gabriel was imprisoned, hanged,
Hoof-sound muffling his call for forgiveness.

Jane Sharp



Through no fault of her own, she was chosen,
In fact, she was minding her own business
At the time,
Involved in cleaning her own house.

I suppose it was due to that selfish moment
Whilst not keeping company with her neighbours,
Or peering from behind curtains,
That it happened.

It didn't register at first,
Ordinary things never do;
A mindless glance at her wrinkled stockings
Caused just the right angle for her vision.
Even then, it was like looking at
A piece of tissue paper on a skating rink,
Marble-white being perfect camouflage.

And in that instant, she became aware of
What it was,
And what it meant.

Looking over her shoulder she bent down
To focus on such a delicate thing,
Not exactly light enough to be air,
And yet, not rooted to the earth.

But the illumination was too bright,
And the perfect feather
White and sacred,
Seamed to dance around her feet.

She heard the absent bird call out her name,
And in her heart she knew from whence it came.

Jane Sharp



Did we meet too late in a stranger's bed,
One night in July, when the heat was too much
Even for a blanket?
And we had to drape ourselves over the edge.

You leaned my way and blew
A gentle fluting down my spine,
Which lit an ember almost lost,
Barely a touch,
A top-coat test,
Traced on my back a filigree line.

You held my hand and cradled my head
To your gossamer chest,
And stroked my hair, my golden hair,
Close to your heart as never before.

I warmed in the wrap of your nakedness,
Your fingers lightly skimmed my flesh,
As would butterfly wings an unopened rose,
You caressed the skin of my tict-swollen breasts,
And cupped their weight like fragile living things.

And then you deftly played with the moss
Of my maiden's grave,
Teasing her out - ghost of delight,
She-genie rubbed from Eastern night,
Lured from the depth of her Venus-moon cave.

Must-filled nostrils I raised up my head
To your hungry eyes,
Tasted your breath,
Your hungry breath,
Sealed your mouth,
Your hungry mouth,
Devoured the demon from deep inside.

Did we meet too late in a stranger's bed
That night in July?
When your reading of me was a Modigliani,
You the only sound I heard.

Jane Sharp



Mummy-like I sleep atop my bed,
In sheet-shroud hemp, to save me from the mites,
Which creep inside my app' and feast the night
On flesh and fat,

And now retreated undenied,
They wait unseen, my sweet-oil limbs,
To tap my blood from top to toe,
While I in dream am numb to flow,

Maybe they sink into the nap of duvet, pillow,
Or some gap between the legs and wooden slats,
Which gather dust and harbour gnats,

And, once so fed they rest for days,
Before prepared to guzzle and gorge
The nectar of my honeyed veins,
Again the cause of so much pain,

So, whether these unsightly blotches
Come from micro-mite or other biting thing,
I hope this tight bound swaddling sack
Will keep me safe from next attack.

Jane Sharp 2004



At Latino Bar
Beneath the October moon
We sipped fruit cocktails

Knowing that too soon
The bewitching hour would come
And splinter the spell

I had in my head
A tune which tinkled softly
Like Tibetan bells

Τα Χρώματα της αγάπης


Πάρε το χέρι μου
και οδήγησε με στην άκρη της νύχτας ,
εκεί όπου άρχισε η σπίθα της ζωής
και θα δούμε τα χρώματα
που βλέπουν μόνο οι τυφλοί .
Θα πάμε ένα ταξίδι ερωτικό
μέσα στο σκοτάδι,
και θα χορέψουμε
με τις κόρες του ουρανού .
Οι καρδιές μας θα γεμίσουν
με χρώματα από τα μάτια τους,
τα χρώματα της αγάπης.
Θα συναντήσουμε μέσα τους τις νότες των αστεριών ,
όλες τις ώρες θα κρατήσουμε τη νύχτα,
όλες τις ώρες θα είμαστε αγκαλιά για πάντα .

English translation - this is not a poem just a straight translation but it seems to work OK

Take my hand and lead me to the edge of night
Where began the flash of life
And we will see colours
Only seen by the blind,
We will go on an erotic journey
In between the dark,
And we will dance with
The daughters of the sky,
Our hearts will fill
With colours from their eyes,
The colours of love,
We will meet inside the notes of the stars,
All the hours we will hold the night,
All the hours we will be an embrace

Jane Sharp
August 2010



For my friend Jill, on her 60th Birthday

I met you when you were most vulnerable,
Held together by nature’s resin,
A pink peony, all fluffed up and fluttering
In the wind of catastrophe,
But you were saved
By an unmoveable resilience to change,
And bolstered by friendship,
Turning the past into a beautiful album
That you kept close enough to be a comfort,
Yet far enough away to remain untouched,

And you became the woman goddess that
Was not afraid to say:
This is how I feel,
This is who I am,
A multi-petalled peony with hidden nymphs,
Enjoying the fragrance of the sunshine,
Enjoying the magic of the moon,

And taking all those broken pieces of heart,
You glued them together again,
Not wanting to discard a lifetime of love,
Not wanting to throw away
Remembrances of heartache,
Knowing what a heart was for,

Unbridled you galloped through the meadow
Freeing yourself from life’s bonds
A flash of glass on a sun-lit mountain,
Shining at the edges like the afterglow of day
Knowing that your fingers touched the stars,

Now, serene and brightening our presence
You sit amongst friends, almost too many to count,
In celebration of being that child of the universe,
That you and we, know you are,
That goddess woman, who has traveled life’s journey,
And learned life’s secret lore,

And, like the nymphs of the peony,
Your mischief continues to delight the Gods,
Bringing them to the brink of laughter, the brink of tears,
Filling their hearts with wonder at your power,
As they hold and protect their irreplaceable flower

© Jane Sharp 2010




When bus drivers trough their spaghetti
They don’t use much etiquetti,
They shovel it in, dribbling oil over chin,
And grow more obese and more sweaty.

While looking for no-show slips
I came across other odd bits,
And to my surprise they were quite a large size,
Now I wonder which driver they fits.

There’s a driver, we all call him Elvis,
His head is much bigger than pelvis,
But if inches you seek, though it may take a week,
His wick, they do say, more than 12 is.

When a driver is ready for action,
He proves to be quite an attraction,
For he has the right gear with an exit to rear,
And firestone with just the right traction

There once was a driver called John,
Who polished his bus till it shone,
He rubbed it each day, and some they do say,
That its lustre is second to none

Most drivers I know are quite calm,
They wouldn’t do anyone harm,
But the language they spout when they curse and they shout
Reminds me of Animal Farm

Some drivers with long legs you’ll find,
Are usually most courteous and kind,
And, truth to tell they’re as sexy as hell
Especially where legs meet behind

Some drivers they drive with no fear,
The highway they’ve made their career,
Like knights of the road they ferry their load
As though on some far planisphere.

When a driver says ‘taka-taka,’
I think of a man with on knacker,
He’s usually Greek and unwashed for a week
And the answer I give is, ‘Malaka.’

There once was a driver called Josh,
Who said jolly-dee golly-gosh,
I’m sporting a tash and I’m ready to flash,
But I can’t find my old mackintosh.

O Manolis offered a bed,
In the rear of his bus, he said,
But I looked at his kecks and I knew he meant sex,
So I told him I’d rather be dead.

At the water park drivers will drool
At teenagers just out of school,
And some of them long for a tart in a thong,
Even though it’s against the rule

A tart with a bare posterior,
Thought she was oh so superior,
But her pink cellulite was a terrible sight,
And it moved like an old spring interior

Have a good summer all you reps out there. I've done that, got the T-shirt!



How nervously do dance the fingertips
While playing out our love on every string,
And to our hearts they bring, with rhythms soft,
A happiness that wefts aloft, and weaves
Such intricate harmonious chords that feed
Our bodies, till so stirred our blood becomes,
And so absorbed inside our loving, that
Nothing exists beyond the rush of now,
Except perhaps the whoosh of Angel’s wings,

And picking up the pace swift lyra bow
States loud intent to seal the instant of
Our falling, urgent so we don’t forget
The very moment, nor the place we met,
The sun so bright it blocks out every sound,
Every worldly gibe, until the shadows
On the damask hide in a shift of leaves,
That set cicadas rattling the olives,
Like a chorus of crones trying to sing.

Quietly in its last refrain it slows,
The melody now fixed, the bow content,
Each note recalled, reeled in, the work complete,
Its spell forever etched within our feet,
Magic perfume scents the air around, and,
We, ecstatic, whisper wine soaked kisses,
Listening to the pound of each others heart,
Hypnotized by song, not knowing the hour,
Only blue eyes: blue eyes and a longing.

Jane Sharp
9 July 2010



Stuff keeps dropping down the crack,
into a dark abyss of black
nothingness, where it rots and splits
in decay, leaving only bits
of matter, and images that haunt
the niche behind my eyes, and taunt
me with forms I recognize, but
cannot reach.

I have in mind the gap between
my boiler and my stove, which seems
to lay in wait for unsuspecting
prey, ready to gobble up each thing
that strays, unbalanced, from my grasp,
a noun in decline, where fast
it joins forms predestined to
become unknown.

It was a sausage, cooked and fat
that fell most recent down the crack,
over the edge and through the grid,
like a burial at sea it slid
into the deep, where now it finds
its rest, and what it leaves behind
is pure geometry,
thought, at its best.

Jane Sharp 8 March 94
Edited April 2010



Music teachers come in all shapes and sizes,Like dinosaurs, they are thin at both endsAnd fatter in the middle,They come in a mixture of genders,An assortment of ages,And they peer,As teachers do, over your shoulder,As though seeing the sound you make.They can be plump old-maids - not quite nuns -Middle-aged puffs with dripping fingertips,Down-at-heel school masters with good imaginations,Would-be sergeant majors, forever tapping their batons,From a podium,Euphoniums growling um-pa-pasScreeching Stravinsky strings,And cymbals missing that one chance,To smash the silence,And their peering goes on,Relentlessly,Miss (Sister Bernadette) Ogden,Had a mission,To refine country girls,Recorder on a Monday, raffia lampshade-making Thursday,As if farmhouses needed the cows piping in,Or, raffia lampshades, come to think of it,My descant filled the gap between 3.30 and teatime,It was a chance to get out of milking,But ‘London Bridge is burning down,’Did not impress my bible-bashing dad,Who liked to sing ‘We plough the fields and scatter…’Before I had time to master hymn tunes,Miss Ogden went to live with God - they said,Leaving her little cottage full of raffia lampshadesMr Haygarth was tall, thin, and fussy,He had a double piano-stoolAnd a ‘naughty pussy’ called Tibby,He peered over my shoulder, wagged his arms,And pursed his lips to say, ‘Oo – dear - mistake,’Like a pantomime dame (he’s behind you),My Dad said he thought he was a bit queer,It made no odds to me,Until he ran off with a senior boyFrom the grammar school,Leaving Sonata in C, unpolishedSonata in C played on my rescued-from-the-rubbish overstrung,Two notes in every octave missing,Didn’t impress anybody eitherDum, thud, dum, dum, thud-dee thud, Thud,Thud, dum…It would have stopped there,But my parents had entered ‘the mission’And found me another teacher,Miss Hall was a serious mistress, (so my Daddy said),With a grand piano and a metronome,She corrected my sloppy performance,And drilled me into accuracy,While peering incessantly over a red fanThat she closed to hit me with,Whenever I made a mistake,It was a miracle I passed exams,Thinking of ‘naughty Tibby,’Expecting a fan on the wrist,Playing scales without a ‘ray’ or ‘soh’And finally, I lost the will to ‘thud’,Wanting to rip the felt out of my KnaussHating the sight of my Adler,And wishing I could make a raffia lampshade,Mr Michael Murphy, Catholic, with three kids,And a head full of organ musicTried to teach me harmonyBut teenage hormones and Bach didn’t mix,No matter how much peering he did,And I began to loose sight of the plot,The title,That ‘thing’ that I was ‘to be’,In my case, ‘not to be’,When I grew up,A music teacher,I began to like Michael Murphy more than BachMy Dad stopped my lessons and blamed the Pope,He said Murphy was the devil in disguise,Meanwhile my best friend had just won first prizeAt the show, with her raffia lampshadeMrs Gillian Ruddick, short, plumpish,Happy graduate,Cambridge Cap and gown,Came down the street singing, ‘The hills are alive…’A knowing twinkle in her eyes,And a fan tucked into her handbag,I should have clocked the look,I should have recognized that pernickety smile;That dinosaur stance;The way she peered into my handsAs though hearing trapped melodiesAnd now I’m back in the chair,Or on the stool, as it were, (not double)With Mrs Gillian (on a mission) Ruddick,Hell bent on extracting the bad wisdomThat I grew up with,Drilling and filling-in the un-refined gapsI am loving every single minuteMrs Gillian Ru[...]



Where does life lead but a hole in the ground,
Where a sand-silt mound or a concrete tomb
Give just the right amount of room, to sqeeze
A wooden box inside, where lay a bride,
A bridegroom, or a child, someone's mother,
Uncle Clive, a colleague or a friend who
Died, now dried and packed with lillies and silk,
Dropped into the earth to rot and decay
Leaving only the memory of a voice,
And the sadness of a funeral day.



Stopping the light from pouring through my door,
He was a silouette against the sun,
Like De Vinci man holding wide the jamb,
And it took me a while to realize
The form, the personna of Vasilis,
Ill? Drunk? Whichever it was his hold good,
Mumbling incoherently to the wood,
But quiet, gentle, nothing offensive,
Nothing good, and nothing I understood,
At first I thought him lost, but I was wrong,
He knew the reason, it was in his head,
The gathering of limbs was incomplete,
As his foot crossed the thresh to venture forth,
Offer of hand would have been impolite,
So I pulled a chair into his path, and
He sat a good hour trying to tell me
His wife had left him, she had gone before,
I think mine was the only open door.



As it is National Poetry Month you may like to take a look at my poetry blog (see links). If not here is my poem of the day:

Conversation with a Parrot
"Tell me about God," said the parrot, who had heard people talking,
"He's a creator," I said,
"A creator?" said the parrot,
"Yes, he made everything," I said,
"He?" said the parrot,
"Yes, he made me and you," I said,
"He made me?" said the parrot,
"Yes, you," I said,
"You?" said the parrot,
"Every inch of what you see, God made," I said,
"What you see, God made," said the parrot,
I had to agree - he was a very smart parrot!

Jane Sharp



Lulled by the rays of a September star
In a surreal haze of 'out of body'
I joined your paternal trestle
To drink cold beer and set the world to right
Your women were in and out of the kitchen
With pots, like handmaidens
Tottering about to your every call
That is, until the potatoes arrived - two sacks
Then you moved
Eager to prove strength rather than help
But help it was
And like dead pigs' innards, you spilled potatoes
Onto the grass ready for your women's knives

I swapped sides to join three generations of peelers
Once of a day I wouldn't have wanted to be so cast
But there was a certain comfort in sqatting
Knee to knee, engaged in the task of peeling
Besides I didn't want the bloody work
Of butchering the lamb
Nor the sweat of heavy iron cauldrons
And cylinder gas
And it made a change not to have to listen
To your brash vulgarities

Peeling was such a sympathetic way
To bring me closer to your family
It was almost worth the hand cramps
To win approval
But it didn't win me over

Later at the celebration, when you danced
And sang, and laughed with your brothers
I, in female sobriety was a marooned astral
Hating all that segregation.



Sigh Messiah
Agony of cross
Howl out your heart for death
Echo of shadows

Cry rusty nail
Let twisted minds drown,
Let the blood of slaughter
Steep Calvary

Weep moldy wood
The stench of decay
From hacked bodies of war
Cracked sin-stained skulls

Sting shiny blade
Slice a crimson cull
Splatter gut-gore carnage
Barbarous tribe

Burn torch of night
Illuminate sky
Flood putrefied badlands
Oriflamme dawn

Rise in the light
Snake-cast left behind
Smooth peach in the garden

Jane Sharp
12 March 2010

This is the same poem written in a different metre


Sigh, Messiah, agony of the cross
Howl out your heart for death’s shadows to fall

Cry rusty nail, and let twisted minds drown
Let the blood of slaughter steep Calvary

Weep moldy wood with the stench of decay
From hacked bodies of war, cracked sin-stained skulls

Sting shining blade, and slice a crimson cull
Splatter gut-gore carnage, barbarous tribe

Burn torch of night, illuminate the sky
Flood putrefied badlands oriflamme dawn

Rise in the light, the snake-cast left behind
And wait, smooth peach, for the resurrection

Jane Sharp
12 March 2010