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Poems to Alki

Words and photos by Nusrat Durrani

Ydra is a Greek island reachable only by boat and famous for being so breathtakingly beautiful and remote that poets and painters, rock stars and rogues have run there to seek shelter from the public eye, create and commune with its ecstatic surroundings. Leonard Cohen has a home high up on the hill you could reach if you climb up the steep cobblestone alleys as no motorized transport is allowed.

It’s in these settings that we came upon our muse, Alki, a lady of Swiss and Greek descent whose beauty and grace eclipses even that of Ydra. Alki is a grandmother, a vegan, and a tai chi instructor and emanates a rare spirituality- one that you wish more human beings possessed. She is suffused with love for nature, kindness, human beings, animals and gracious living- all values the CMPLT UNKWN brand embraces.

We shot with the ageless, translucent Alki at the rustic Bratsera Hotel in October when the tourists had all gone and the village was returning to its original contemplative and pristine state.