True windows of the soul those eyes,
that captivate and mesmerise.
His grey mustachios and hair
foretell of stories waiting there.

Of summer’s heat in childhood days
spent skylarking in sheltered bays,
of rock pools lapped by turquoise waves,
and hide and seek in limestone caves,

of youth spent on the storm-tossed seas
in open boats in winter’s freeze,
of silver fish that leapt and shone
and raki when the day was done.

Of proud Fotini’s flashing eyes
and lustrous hair - his wedded prize.
Of three fine sons - but at what cost?
At birth of last - Fotini’s lost!

Yannis now with saddened gaze
drifts in his mind to former days
till Stavros marches down the street,
(his voice arrives before his feet!)

Yannis rises to greet his friend.
“Yassos” he says “It’s not the end
but I must go now.” He lifts his cane
and marches smartly up the lane.

*“Kalinikta ~methabpio abprio!” *

*’ Good night – more tomorrow.’

N.B Yannis could speak no English and my Greek is practically non-existent so this is how I imagined his life to be.


Patsy said...

Anyone with a 'tache like that must have tales to tell.

Love your poem. If the details aren't all true of him, I'm sure they're true of one of his friends!

Grace said...


Sorry I haven't answered your lovely comment before. I tried but it just wouldn't publish. saome sort of glitch. I think it's ok now.

Yes, Yannis was a fascinating man. He must have been early eighties and walked like a military man. The cane behind his head was just like a sergeant major's cane and he used it with great panache. Even so, he lived in this very tiny Greek village be ty sea in Crete and he struck me more as a fisherman.

Penelope said...

The image of this man is tantalizing - he has seen the world and life - his eyes are soulful.

The words are magical.

Grace said...

Thank you, Penelope. Yes, some people you meet are quite fascinating and Yannis was certainly one of them!