The poems of Andrikos and family

Andrikos’s poem 

My name is Andrikos. I was born near Nicosia.
Many years ago, my friends, I come to live in ’ere.
I settle down in Captain Town to make a decent life.
Got work in a restauran’, found myself a wife.
And now I got a fish-shop, it really does quite well.
To buy things the old lady wants I have to work like hell.
But one mistake I make, my friends, and this I have to mention.
I been too busy makin’ cash to give my kids attention.
And so they just speak English now – is no flippin’ good.
We can’t really communiskate ’cos they no understood.
My son, he hardly home these days, he always goin’ out.
And when I give him twenty squid, ‘It’s not enough!’ he shout.
My daughter, she’s a nightmare, with her I get no joy.
She gets all sad and moody when we try and find nice boy.
Now speakin’ of my health, my friends, I really can’t complain.
In Gibros I was overweight, in ’ere I just the same.
But how I feel inside, my friends, is hard to find expression.
My children no relate to me, too late I learn my lesson.
Once I got them married off, ’atsit, enough of fish.
And then to see my village free will be my final wish.

Maria’s poem 

‘Dad, I’m off out clubbing,’ says Nick and dad says fine.
‘Oright, son, take twenty squid. I hope you have good time.’
But if I ask to go out too, dad says, ‘Not on your nelly!
‘I give you club! Is much too late. Stay home and watch the telly.’
I know that all my friends at work have freedom to enjoy.
To laugh, to drink, to dance, to fall... in love with some nice boy.
The only love dad lets me have is love arranged by him.
And I can’t take it any more, he makes me want to scream!
I wish that I could shake him, and bring him up to date.
Or better still escape him before it gets too late.
In Cyprus, in the old days, in villages dad knew,
Girls endured the kind of life he now makes me go through.
The isle of love has changed since then, as of course it will.
But here in certain narrow minds, time has just stood still.

Nigos’s poem 

What do these people want from me? They’re messing with my life.
Impose their will, preparing till they line me up a wife.
I didn’t choose to be on earth. Guess who chooses for me!
Before and ever since my birth, their choices always bore me.
I’m not that academic, a trade and I’d go far.
Perhaps be a mechanic, I’m well into the car.
Of course he won’t agree, my dad, when he was starved of school.
‘You study for degree, my lad, and don’t be such a fool!’
And that’s why I rebel, you see, by not supporting Spurs.
It makes him mad as hell I’m free from that specific curse.
Oh sure, he’ll slip me twenty quid, for going out and things.
To make sure I depend on him so he can pull the strings.
‘Don’t bring me home an English girl ’cos she no make kioftedhes.
‘Don’t tell me that you love her ’cos I really couldn’t care less.
‘What about our grandchildren? She no teach our language.
‘She feed them only English words... and piccalilli sandwich!’
If ever I have children, dad, north London born and bred.
I’ll only choose one thing for them: their team will play in red!

Dagis’s poem 

Dad thinks he’s really funny, with all his silly jokes.
Constantly reminding us, he’s not like other blokes.
His accent’s really ‘hheavy’, but he thinks it’s just fine:
‘I speaki’ good the language – but you no speaki’ mine.’
His heart belongs to Cyprus, his kids to Winchmore Hill.
Division there, division here. Division then and still.
To cope he tells me stories, about the good old days,
About the good old village, the good old village ways.
The world is moving really fast but he can’t even tell.
He’s living in the distant past and wants us there as well.
Sometimes I’ll act the child, not doing what I should.
And that can make him wild, he’ll shake the neighbourhood.
But then he’ll be more gentle and want to call a truce.
‘I temporary-mental!’ is always his excuse.
‘I give you anythink, my boy. Anythink you wish.’
But all I really want from him is not to smell of fish!
For all his faults he tries his best, so in a way I’m glad
The fishy bloke’s not like the rest. He’s special, he’s my dad.

Joanna’s poem 

When you enter marriage life,
You play the role of lovin’ wife.
The man you must obey,
Or what would people say?
Then the kids is come along,
You play the role of lovin’ mum.
You do it come what may,
Or what would people say?
A wife, a mum, the same old score.
You care for one, you care for four.
’Cos that’s the propel way,
Or what would people say?
But now Maria’s twenty,
Problems, we got plenty.
Broxenia*? Her? No way!
So what role do I play?
A wife of man with iron will?
A mum of child who gettin’ ill?
I losin’ either way,
Whatever people say.

* Match-making


© Cypriot Academy