Before the scarecrow’s shoulders
—beneath the weight of time,
or his arms go numb measuring
the horizon, look: countless
sparrows dying in his vineyard,
and listless he now stands, timing
the inevitable decay of grapes.
Before the ghost’s tattered sheet
yellows by the shine in their eyes,
or his moth-eaten mouth exhales
a last omicron, calculating age in
mouthfuls of awe, look: countless
children dying in their bedrooms,
and idle he now hovers, watching
silent copulations, timing births.
Ioannis Kalkounos grew up in Corinth, Greece and currently lives in Edinburgh. He won a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award in 2020, and his poetry has appeared in Gutter and Ambit. In 2011, his poetic sequence dakryma was published in Athens. He is the Programme Manager of the Edinburgh International Book Festival.