Islands

Paxos 16

  • This island is long and grey and resembles a crocodile held low in the water.

  • There are many small white churches on this island with bells that hang from the branches of olive trees. Also on this island is a huge domed church. The church is empty, the door locked. If you peer through the keyhole of the locked door you will see the light spilling in from the windows casting red, blue and green spots on the dusty floor.

  • This island rises up from beaches of black sand. It has a hole in its heart, remembering the land that was once lost to it, land that went up in smoke and ash and buried the islanders.

  • This island is much larger than its sisters and brothers but it does not boast of this fact. It has no need to.

  • This island is so small it is scarcely bigger than a hand print upon the blue sea, yet trees grow on it and birds chatter in the branches.

  • From this island a famous hero set sail many moons ago. The hero voyaged across the sea and slew various monsters but when he returned to the island that was his home, the sheep were still munching the same grass, the goats bleating, the cockerel crowing at dawn.

  • This island is rocky; its shores treacherous to boats and ships but it does not care, welcoming only the crashing of waves, the flight of birds.

  • There is an island, so I have heard, with sand so white and dazzling that anyone who lands on its shores must wear dark glasses or be without sight for many days.

  • This particular island is surrounded by ice-cold water and forests of seaweed, that sway in the tide and the waves. The barnacles on the rocks are so numerous that no one has ever been able to count them. For many days of the year the island is shrouded in mists but when it is not, the water appears like a bowl of turquoise glass.

  • From a distance this island looks friendly because of its beaming lighthouse, the glittering sea that surrounds it and the large numbers of playful sailing boats. But, as you draw near, you realise that this is an illusion and that the purpose of the light-house is not to welcome but to warn you of the jagged rocks. As for the sailing boats they too are something of an illusion for they never draw close, but tack this way and that, never drawing close to the island’s shores.

  • From a distance this island resembles a porcupine. On closer inspection the quills are revealed to be trees. The trees are not particularly spiky but only give you that impression from long away.

  • A causeway links this island to the mainland. At low tide the way is open to all who wish to visit but woe betide anyone who falls asleep for too long in the warm sun and is forced to wait over-night to return to his house across the water.

  • These five islands are close to each other like children who have dropped from their mother’s womb year after year.

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