Markos Papadatos
Photo Credit: Daniel Mitchell

Recharged

Traveling on an airplane was lonesome and endless.

I was kept alive exclusively by watching the sunset through the

window from a cloud’s point of view;

the sun was a yellow grapefruit, squirting out its final drops of juice

for the day. I sent my heart out just in time, right before the sun became

seeds and peels.

My soul felt recharged.

Ocean: Best Medicine

In the midsummer of my European vacation I was suffering mosquito

bites and minor burns. I didn’t know whom to turn to. Every drug store

with a sign “on vacation.”

When I saw the ocean right next to me I realized how foolish I was…

with a single swim in the sea’s salty, iodine, basic, buffer, and acidic solutions the bites and

burns were easily minimized and lost their infections. I was cured by a natural source.

No chemicals added.

The ocean was available to me at all times. No restrictions. Very effective.

Drug store owners should sell their stores and open the ocean as a pharmacy.

DNA

DNA is Braille, a language hard to decode

DNA is a crossword puzzle, only the beholder’s mitochondria can solve.

DNA grants us an identity, making us special and who we are.

A threat to this fundamental code are clones, artificial impostors,

replicating other living forms.

They are potent enough to shift one minute into 59 seconds causing

mathematical confusion in the chronology of time.

Our DNA cracks.

Our identity loses its uniqueness.

The Earthquake

Five minutes prior:

the moon is red and full,

the sea is moving away from its coast,

dandelions are losing their sense of smell,

canines already sense it, they bark their lungs out.

Nobody hears their warning.

The Aftermath:

Tectonic plates rubbing against each other,

domiciles shaking like swiveling trees,

knocking human lives out of their branches,

mothers and friends grieving,

cemeteries filling up with the perished,

town reconstruction begins.

150 years later:

While everything seems forgotten,

Horror is inevitably awaiting to re-strike.

*Poem dedicated in Loving Memory of those who lost their lives in the 1995 Earthquake of Egio City, Greece.

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Greece

My infatuation with you is salty:

Not a teaspoon of salt that you serve at your dinner table as spice-

Neither a five-pound sack of salt derived

from Aisle 5 of a Waldbaums Superstore–

An entire ocean of salt,

with the highest concentration of NaCl imaginable–

You allow me to swiftly float on its waters

sipping them stealthily when thirsty,

causing my blood cholesterol to rise–

I live in your dehydration.

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Powerjournalist Markos Papadatos. Photo Credit: Daniel Mitchell

Evolution (from a Boy to a Man)

I walked to preschool,

My Momma’s hand in mine,

Unaware of all the things I would find.

I brushed my teeth after every meal,

Realizing that it’s no big deal,

Combing the little hair I had on my head,

Saying nightly prayers before I went to bed.

Thinking about what kind of life is this…

This is the life

Of the Child

That my Momma raised me to be

If I were to trade places,

With any other person,

I’d always wanna be, a better me.

I started high school.

Rejecting nicotine and alcohol

I volunteered in a nursing home,

making the Elderly feel less alone.

I graduated from high school.

Unsure where my road would lead.

Wondering what kind of life is this…

This is the life

Of the Teen

That my Momma raised me to be

If I were to trade places,

With any other person,

I’ll proudly renew being me.

I graduated QC with my M.A. degree,

Everybody else take a note of me,

I teach innocent children in a school each day,

helping them find the right way someday,

and after each day and week is gone,

I bring bread to my wife and my child at home.

After searching for months and several years,

I think I finally found success…

Oh, I feel so blessed!

I know precisely what kind of life this is…

This is the life

Of the Man

That my Momma raised me to be

I would never trade places,

With any other being,

I’ll always stay true to being me.

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The Fireman

He was a pillar of strength, courage, and hope

Never afraid to face a challenge alone

Yes, I’m talking about someone

who gained the respect he deserved

that infamous September day,

what else is left for a teen like me to say, nothing but…

He was a fireman

Way stronger than I am

The hero that I have never been

Oh, I looked up to him

cause he made me believe in me

Led me to succeed

He always supported me

Made a lasting memory

Now all that’s left is a cold melancholy

He was the buddy I always had,

I will miss him sad

Lord save the bold and brave risk-taking fireman.

He was aware, fully alert while giving first-aid to the injured and hurt

Alas, he might have tragically died,

He’s more than alive, in the survivor’s minds

He was a fireman

Way stronger than I am

The hero that I have yet to be

But he never lost his faith in me

Instead, he made me believe in me

Led me to succeed

He always supported me

Made a lasting memory

Now all that’s left is a dark melancholy

He was the brother I never had

I still miss him sad

Lord save the bold and brave risk-taking fireman.

He was a pillar of strength, courage, and hope!

*Dedicated to all the FDNY officers that lost their lives on September 11, 2001, in the line of duty.

 

 

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Mom Effie Papadatos Photo Credit: Gary Hahn

Mom

A boy’s first leading lady,

A live-in Mary Poppins in a real-life Disney film

A badass miracle worker, the molder and welder of my future

An eloquent seamstress with a heart of gold

A perennial confidante, a lifelong educator,

A counselor and a personal shrink that listens but doesn’t critique.

A judge and the jury in any disagreement…

Without you, life is a dried oasis

A howling wilderness,

A sticker that lost its glue,

A concert without an encore,

A meal without dessert,

I am lost without you.

A Greek pillar of my family,

the foundation of my roots,

you are the epitome of grace, class, and love,

the spinach in the spanakopita,

the honey on my Greek yogurt.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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Markos Papadatos and mom in the garden. Photo Credit: Daniel Mitchell

Acrostic Poem on ‘The Bay on Amazon Prime’

Tumultuous times in Bay City

Havoc in the lives of the Garretts
E
xternal conflicts presented

Battles with inner demons
A
pprehensive decisions
Y
outhful daredevils seeking justice


O
ccasional defeats
N
emesis encounters tensen

Aesthetic beauties
M
ystical mischief
A
lternate realities
Z
est for alternative
O
ngoing messes
N
eurotic resolutions

Provoking characters
R
eturn of a kidnapped heroine
I
ntertwined relationships
M
anifested dreams
E
xciting thrills

Acrostic Poem on ‘Studio City’

Strange euphoria

Tumultuous decisions

Unacceptable morals
Dynamic moments

Intelligent conversations
Outstanding performances

Clandestine memories

Injustices addressed
Tempting offers
Youthful adventures

Acrostic Poem on ‘After Forever’

Affectionate moments

Fragile relationships
Tense conversations
Euphoric memories
Radiant personalities

Flaming temperaments
Overwhelming pathos
Radical movements
Extraordinary performances
Valuable life lessons
Emotional damages
Romantic involvements

Acrostic poem on ‘Misguided'(digital series)


M
ischievous adventures in the “City of Angels”

Intense storylines unfolding
S
uspenseful cliffhanger endings
G
enuine goals for achieving dreams
U
nfortunate circumstances
I
ntriguing and independent explorations
D
eceiving looks and characters
E
arthly friendships, extreme realities
D
elicate personalities, deep laughs

Leaving Corona

The hardest but greatest thing I ever did was leave Corona

My needs had surpassed my reason,

A beacon is extinguished,

A life lesson is learned,

The candle of knowledge is lit,

The hunger for an alternative,

Pedagogy became a lost cause

The world became my oyster

The road to journalism was the one that made me free

Forging my own path and identity into

A wilderness of limitless possibilities.

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Publicist Ken Phillips and Powerjournalist Markos Papadatos at Madison Square Garden

Ken Phillips: Publicist Extraordinaire

Kindhearted, keen and knowledgeable soul

Entertainingly witty, eternally clever
Nurturing, nonchalant, and naturally gifted

Publicist extraordinaire with paternal instincts
Honest human, fostering harmony and human relations
Intelligent individual, one who values integrity the most
Lover of cookies and doughnuts galore
Lifting up spirits at moments when needed the most
Inspiring countless aspiring professionals in the field
Punctual schedules, perennial interviews
Summer and Keanu dog dad

 

The golden great aunt: Hristanthi

A bold and inspiring Greek woman,

Nearly a century of living, four years short

Bearing no children of her own her,

She became a mother to many, an aunt to some, a ‘yiayia’ to me.

As a kid, she taught me how to eat youvetsi

helping my little hands use bread to bring food closer to my work

Taught me how to boil eggs in a pan,

I could become the chef I always wanted to be.

She would reward us with a brand of Pavlidis dark chocolate

It may not have been the best-tasting chocolate in the world,

but it felt like a gold star coming from ‘Theia” Hrisanthi.

A theia that wore many hats:

A caregiver, nurse, neighbor, friend, confidante and a grandma to me by default.

Present at every family function, occasion or holiday,

Family was what she valued the most.

Her name translated into “golden flower,” showcasing her golden personality,

A saving grace in time of need

Her presence was the cure of solitude

She would give her blessing to any person in town that underwent ordeals,

“I am old, and my blessing always count,” she would say.

For Theia Hrisanthi, the simple farmer’s life suited her fine.

She never was a big fan of urban life,

Her hands were strong, yet gentle,

She would pray for rain, milk the cows, and she would fight the weeds

She worked in the fields of Mesovounia until the age of 89

until she reached a point she couldn’t work anymore.

A person that went above and above her job description as an aunt

and was able to redefine the meaning of it.

The epitome of grace, courage, and strength.

The yiayia I always wanted as a child, she took part in my raising,

Her words will live forever.

As Vince Gill once sang, “Go Rest High on That Mountain (theia),

your work on Earth is done, go to Heaven a’ shoutin’,

love for the father and the son.”

*In loving memory of “Aunt” Hristanthi Toumasatou (1914-2010)

Dawn of the summer blues

The waters of Mattituck are a little less pleasant

A fishing pole without its bait

An empty bucket without any porgies

A cooler without its ice

A candle in my night during

A fisherman’s poignant candlelight vigil.

A name is carved on a marble rock,

A beloved fisherman that Long Island will never forget,

The dawn of the summer blues.

I’m ‘Fresh Obsessed’

Going to work with a smile each morning

Serving customers on the sales floor

I get to my hear the patrons laughing

at my jokes in a Waldbaums store.

I work in my Express Lane (#2)

Scanning groceries all day

And I keep saying to myself

“This store’s a phenomenal place”…

I’m ‘Fresh Obsessed’

and I love to work here every day

I thank my the management and the owners

for the 10% discount my family gets each day

I’m ‘Fresh Obsessed’

Feeling so fortunate and  blessed

To be here with co-workers and customers that love me

and to love them back in return…

I’m ‘Fresh Obsessed!’

*Note: Remembering my years working at Waldbaums from 2003 to 2006

Your Greatest Sub


I know you Ms. Teddy for the last three years
You’ve filled my life with joy and cheer

You’re a teacher I would never fear
The respect you gave me made me tear

I wanted to be your greatest sub
Someone that your kids would love

Thanks for always supporting me
You’ve given me the courage to believe

You’re my favorite in this school
That would make you pretty damn cool

I can attest this without a doubt:
You’re what teaching is all about.

Working with you is like a country song
I could listen to it all day long.

Things next year won’t be the same.
But I’ll be sure to honor your name.

You’re a teacher I’d never forget
If I’d compare to country, you’re my Tammy Wynette.

Now my song for you is complete
As Julia Child would say “Bon Apetit!”

Graduation (Rite of Passage)

I wish you peace, I wish you joy,

With life’s biggest blessings to enjoy

You’ve come a long way since the beginning

I am proud of who you’ve become

I wish you strength when times get hard

Please know you’re always there inside my heart

The sky is the limit and my belief in you is in it

Be anything you want to be,

Bring to life your wildest dreams

In this rite of passage,

Even though, we may not be together,

I will remember you

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The Paramount in Huntington with Markos Papadatos marquee sign

My Marquee Sign

An explosion of the soul

10,000 hours of hard work are validated

A merry flag in the peak of a mountaintop

The feeling of a medal on an Olympic podium

A reflection on the lengthy journey

The realization that it took a village

Pandora’s concealed box is finally open: the highest highs are released

On to setting loftier goals for more challenges and joys that lie ahead

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Markos Papadatos at The Paramount in Huntington Photo Credit: Gary Hahn

Acknowledgments

Thank you to actor Wes Ramsey for inspiring me to write my own poetry after reading his poetry book Into the Black.

Many thanks to Shari Bitterman for writing a poem on me years back! I had always wanted to give poetry my own try at it during my downtime, and the COVID-19 quarantine was the perfect opportunity.

Thank you to my high school English teacher, Eric Hafker, for instilling a love for writing and poetry early on in my life.

This collection is dedicated to Ken Phillips and Jane Zeigler. Ken, thank you for being my mentor and dear friend in the music and entertainment business. You are the best moral guardian anybody could ever ask for.

Special thanks to Daniel Mitchell and Gary Hahn for their brilliant photography.

Thank you to The Paramount in Huntington for being a part of my journey, and thank you to every person I ever interviewed in life!

Thank you to all of my supporters, readers, family, and friends, this is for you! Happy Reading!