Thea Iberall


Friday Night at Agios Konstantinos

The big event is the evening stroll
down the uneven street, homes

not twenty feet from the Aegean
watered by church and woods,

house-front walls a backdrop
for old faces staring

out to sea, waiting for sons
from wars and daughters

with babies. Couples tilt drinks
at Heaven's Bar, lovers huddle

under boulders on the beach.
Smoke dries around backgammon

men leathered at the Kafeneio
as the sea womb tightens

on families mid-bite
in tavernas open to the air.

Curious eyes these humans have,
following darkness and each other.

They watch as movements mew into form
knowing the sea is there,

listening to the footsteps,
the trees blinking, the smell of the air.


The Evolutionary Record

A hand can shape itself into a form
evolved for picking insects and apples

yet by the shadowed light of a fire
a woman’s hand picked up a half bent reed

drove it into a mass of wet clay
marking the simple first

exchange of five of her husband’s brown
goats for round tokens

leaving the other side of the slab
free to write the blood of her gender


On the Sanctuary of Artemis Dying

In a place like St. John’s Monastery
the wall she sees scales fifteen meters
juts out like a broken nose
scoured by the idled sight

of innocents incised in blackened
rededos, a flat faced John
forehead marked, his brother
James skin broken, drawn.

And the floor, remembered from a pagan
temple, marbled slabs made numb,
aged, for a time and half a time
seemingly 2000 years or more

as endless rows have come and given
will, gray-fashioned until not
one more footfall could be taken
whether by moon or under blood.

Invisible, she stares, reflected
bowing to the sons of thunder
who unaware, not caring
have crushed the back of Artemis.



All of these poems were published in The Sanctuary of Artemis (Tebot Bach, 2011)

Dr. Thea Iberall is a poet and scientist. The Sanctuary of Artemis (Tebot Bach, 2011) is a collection of contextual poems that explores the roots of Western patriarchal culture. The Swallow and the Nightingale is about a 4,000 year old secret brought through time by the birds. Recently relocating to Massachusetts from California, Iberall is exploring new ways to breathe. She can be reached at: