Memories of Smyrna – The Great Fire

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by Eleni Elefterias

First the brush -
steeped in Red creates a streak across the skyline.
        A splash of bright Yellow.
Red and Yellow streaks and then again more of the same.
The colours on fire just like the fire of Smyrna.
The brush takes flight. 
         It hovers above. 
It splashes down and baptizes it’s strands in the water. 
It dives into the darkness of Infinity Black.
Now the brush re-enters with indiscernible Black streaks, like cinders, like thunderbolts. 
Are they the people? Rushing back and forth?  
Hundreds of streaks, representing the thousands gathered at the bay expecting to be saved by the allied ships in the harbour.
Suddenly the brush creates a backward wave.
       Fear approaches. 
The black streaks stick closer together.
They realise they have been left to their fate. 
No-one will save them now.
The brush pours more Red on top of the Yellow and Black. 
A mixture of fear and fire. 
The brush stops…. 
There is silence. 

A new canvas. 
A new landscape forms. 
There are no people standing, the black streaks have all fallen or gone.
They are replaced by a thick haze of dirty grey and white. 
The red has settled on the ground.
          The smoke is choking the sky. 
The brush that was once so strong and chaotic, now retreats.
Another canvas. 
The view from afar.
Dark Blue waves and boats’ oars. 
Figures hunched over in the shape of sacks. 
Far away in the distance we see a blur of Red and Yellow fire and Grey smoke. 
Thin Black streaks lay on the harbour lifeless. 
The ones that didn’t get away.
No faces.
Just eyes everywhere in disbelief.
The Fire.
A Memory of Smyrna Burning.

Written 11/5/2021

Smyrna September 1922

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1821 Hellenic Bicentenary Anthem

MUSIC & LYRICS: Eleni Elefterias, ARRANGEMENT: Felicia Harris, Intro and Bouzouki: DIMITRIS HAREMIS, Guitar: Sotiris Prokopiou, Percussion: Christina Bacchiella, Choir from left to right: Joanne Mayson, Eleni Elefterias, Marina Thiveos, Persa Sue Thliveris, Felicia Harris, Chris Karanges, Jim Tsolakis and Harry Mavrolefteros. Filmed by Vasilis Vasilas of Syndesmos: Connecting People and their Stories. Filmed at