Kalymnos: The Smooth and the Rough

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Poems of a mishmash trip: https://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/features/kalymnos_the_smooth_and_the_rough-11965

Guesthouse

On arrival, I knew I couldn’t stay here happily
Squeezed in together like stuffed vine leaves
Dim, north-facing balcony, non-working light bulb
Shower-hose hand-held in the toilet cubicle

Soaking the seat (before the shower head broke off
And landed with a smash in the porcelain) and the
Noisiest, stompiest, brashest matriarch
Yelling Greek at her husband and daughter and us

We looked elsewhere immediately. Saw hotel rooms
Without kitchens, places being Spring cleaned
Establishments with barking, chained dogs and then
Got yelled at again for looking. Word gets around

So we climbed. Now, a week later, plastic chair
Dragged to the patch of sun in a walkway corridor
Propping my tea on the out-of-date fire extinguisher
The power cuts, disappearing cooking pots

Lack of hot water, the way a full set of keys
For every apartment is left, publicly, on a hook
Our proprietress patrolling and yelling. I’ve become
Oddly attached, like one of the many stray cats

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