Three Poems by Ion Corcos

When You Laugh

When you say peacock, I hear the rattle
of a snake as it slithers, the thud of a falling orange
as it hits the ground, a magpie sing.

In the river, far away, swim crocodiles.
How did we get here, you with your aches,

our room by the fishing boats, the smell of fish unloaded
at four in the morning? When you say you are happy,

do you mean that no more orangutans are being killed,
that you have found your mother in your dreams again?

When you say durian, do you mean the tree?

I hear the butcherbird in your thoughts, when you laugh,
and now you laugh even more.

We are starting to understand one another again;
to see that things are not always what they seem.


Your Heart

If I open your heart, I will see tall reeds
growing in a swamp, stray dogs barking at a cat,
a drain pipe blocked with leaves.
If I open your heart, I can’t come close,
your blood spurting out of holes, a bird locked
in a cage, dark corners where your dreams
have been thrust. Lying on your back,
I see you on your bed,
dying, having died over and over,
having lost everything, and yet, not
seeing what is nearest to you;
that your eyes can refill the spirit you lost
when you left the woods, that your spirit is close
and can hear you cry; and that
how you got here was through your self.


Like Sweet Figs

She sees a bumble bee
for the first time
as it drones in the sweetness of a yellow flower,
black ants caught in a tussle
till one is decapitated,
a snake in tall grass,
its head raised, still as a century
past. Love pulls at her shoulder,
an island life imagined,
drunk on a fig tree, scattered lemons,
and the sea.
A fishing boat at night.
The snake retreats, slips through leaves
into an unkempt garden, silver reeds,
a lettuce heart. Inside,
an icon of Saint George, gallant
on his horse, a monastery on a crag,
a quiet peacock; to know
that there is more, there is more,
a crimson pearl in the sky,
her soul inside her eyes;
to know that
even though the earth is dry,
it will rain, that
even though the yellow flowers have gone,
they will come back.

 

Ion Corcos has been published in Panoply, Amaryllis, Clear Poetry, The Cardiff Review, The High Window and other journals. He is a Pushcart Prize nominee. Ion is a nature lover and a supporter of animal rights. He is currently travelling indefinitely with his partner, Lisa. Ion’s website is www.ioncorcos.wordpress.com

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