Ion Corcos - Poems (2)
A full moon through autumn branches,
like a crumbled sky of scattered stars
priests who carry the idea of heaven
sealed in their pockets, a trickle of water,
a river, love that grows, the end of time.
A skeleton lies bare on the woodland floor
the inside of me, laid out, white bones washed.
Mist appears amid the trees, spirits
standing between trunks. I become less,
while the tree becomes a man, a pregnant woman,
a fish jumping out of a creek.
An ibis stands in mangrove reeds, becomes a root,
the root an ibis, a skeleton, a distant thought.
Far away a wolf howls, a jackal slinks through grass
to a herd of goats,
a flower stands unopened, a remnant
before the flood of first light.
White Mountains hide limestone under snow
in winter, ice in sharp ravines late spring.
Snow melt rushes stone into creeks, bursts
rare flowers to bloom. Vultures hang over carrion,
a wild goat fallen sheer from a ledge.
White Mountains guard the dead, allies
killed in war. Winding roads border clusters of thyme,
horta, marjoram and wild spinach. Old widows
in black stoop, clutch handfuls of herbs.
White Mountains hide caves, refuges from
Turkish rule. White Mountains hide narrow gorges
green with cypress and pine,
shallow creeks running over stones, the water so clear
no one could lose the tail of a fish.
White Mountains hid Daskalogiannis,
who gave himself up; his skin torn off alive.
Sparse mountains hold heat
in the summer scorch, burn eyes that look too long.
In autumn, when all is faded and worn, still the mountains
stand white. White Mountains hide
the leopard snake, marsh frog,
the wild goat in mountainside hollows,
jagged peaks under thick northern cloud.
Hide limestone, cold under snow.
Flocks of robins and starlings headed south.
White Mountains stand, while bees lay dead on snow.
(Text © I. Corcos - Publication: Fall 2017)