The Light on Sifnos by Barbara Quick


The Light on Sifnos
by Barbara Quick

How does one describe the light here in this place
where the dawn really does have rosy fingers,
where the mountains glow at night,
their barren slopes a magnet
for the radiance of moon and stars,

Where whitewashed houses on the lowest slopes
are strung like chalky pearls
around the mountain’s throat,

And oleander blossoms burn like hot pink coals?
The shadows are as deep as wells, the air as clear
as something newly born.

Even early morning light burns its mark
on tender human skin, as if the sun were reaching down
to tell us that we’re changing
as surely as the plants that bloom and fade,
each bright blossom’s moment
giving way to new ones.

The ferry comes and goes many times every day,
bringing bright new tourists to the island,
taking others away.

Reprinted from The Light on Sifnos (2021: Blue Light Press)
Copyright © 2021 by Barbara Quick

PHOTO: Kamares, Sifnos, Greece. Photo by Gaetano Cessati on Unsplash 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Barbara Quick is a novelist, poet and occasional journalist based in the Wine Country of Northern California, where she lives with her husband, violist and vigneron Wayne Roden. Barbara is best known for her 2007 novel, Vivaldi’s Virgins, which has been translated into a dozen languages, is still in print, and was released as an audiobook in early 2021. Her poem “Skinny-Dipping in Vathy,” which she wrote during a month-long stay on the Greek Island of Sifnos in 2019, was published on October 11, 2020, on–and is featured in Barbara‘s debut chapbook of poems, The Light of Sifnos, co-winner of the 2020 Blue Light Press Poetry Prize. Barbara‘s fourth novel, What Disappears, will be published by Regal House in 2022. Check out the media links and read more about Barbara and her work at

PHOTO: The author on the Greek Island of Sifnos (2019). Photo by Wayne Roden. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: