Ion Corcos – Four Poems


In Praise

of mountains,

fresh grass, that brings goats
and clanging bells,

the sea, for flying silver fish,
phosphorescent sparks at night,

cool evening air, swallows
swooping low over still water,

strawberries in pots
on kitchen window ledges,

thyme in the fields.

On the River Bank

A wrought stick in murky earth,
he waits for the souls of the dead.

Ducks skim the dark water,
wade ashore on the mired slope,
shake their leaf-green backs.

Souls once traversed the river,
now they live cloaked in a haze.

No wild howl from the mountains,
leer of an eagle, rustle of leaves.

The fruit of the river trees
begins to rot.

He waits.

Not even a coinless soul
sentenced to wander the riverside
a hundred years.

He picks up a lifeless bird,
holds it close.

Seal Woman

At the edge of the sea, a monk seal,
dark grey fur driven onto rock.

I wait for her to take off her coat;
I do not want to take it from her.

Long sheaths of grass sway near splash.
A cat climbs on the limbs of a bare tree

flanked with driftwood. A stranger passes.
She tells me of a long dead woman

seen far out at sea; a woman once kept
by an old fisherman.

The seal slinks off the rock, steals
into the green. I take off my coat; dive

in the cold water after her. I follow
deep, but lose her in the dark, drowning.

Her tail disappears, swift silver-grey
glistens into the light above.

As I resurface, clamber onto shore
I see her, seal woman in the waves.

Ancient Forest

Ashen bones
wash out
into the world,
strewn in the

Wolf and man gathered
at different times
to eat another
piece after soul

Now there is no wolf,
no man that gathers
in shade,
trunks that blend
into forest.

Only bones
and scattered rocks
under thin pine woods,
and birds, hidden,
inside trees.


Author’s Statement on Beauty 

Beauty gives joy and can be found in many different forms. It can be found in everyday things, like seeing a calf lying on lush grass, a torn leaf, a gecko on the wall. It can also exist in, and evolve from, negative things and experiences. These encounters can lead you to see new things, create, write poems, or make changes in your life.

Our relationship with beauty can also lie beyond form. Form is impermanent, and though there is beauty in form, it is through form that we get to understand that which lies beyond form. To me, beauty is this essence, as well as impermanence. There is beauty in change, even if it’s not always easy to see. You have to take the time to notice it.


Ion Corcos was born in Sydney, Australia. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and European Studies, a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Ecology, and an unfinished degree in Modern Greek Studies. He has been published in Axolotl, Grey Sparrow Journal, Ishaan Literary Review, Plum Tree Tavern,  and other journals. The themes of his work centre on life, nature and spirit. He is currently travelling indefinitely with his partner, Lisa. More at: