Ioannis Kalkounos

Two Poems



Who let him in the television studio
to read old forecasts from his skin –
waves leaking from his pocket?

Somewhere, his twin brother howls
in the flood, and someone else’s sister
harvests strawberries in sunken fields.

On the video wall a chair floats by,
a cassock, then a horse, an orange tree
clinging to its fruit: its fleet of lifeboats.



Is your rope the remnant of a boat –
and you a fisherman still thirsty for the sea,

resigned to pacing out the sky?

Our hands will be waves to catch you
if you fall, starfish drying in the sun.
Or is it like the remnant of childhood,

those games of hangman before dark?
Our attempts half-remembered and wrong,

the migrating seabirds voice their turn.

Is it a place, or a name – is it a smell? 

At the far end of the rope
the routine of an early afternoon awaits.
Is this taking long? You must be hungry.


Ioannis Kalkounos is a poet from Greece, living in Edinburgh. He won a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award in 2020, and his poetry has appeared in Ambit, Gutter, Poetry London, The Scores, Best Scottish Poems 2020 and elsewhere.

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