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by Patrick Lodge

Yiannis in his bar is restless; counting covers,

cradling a cappuccino, he watches


the impossibly taut, tanned staff make money

for him in accents from the Steppes.


He stares at a waitress’s legs, remembers wild

nights, drinking with cockney spivs,


dancing film-star syrtaki with peroxide women;

flips worry beads like an impatient groom.


Yiannis lights up his one for the night; rests, where

old men have smoothed the pebble seat


shiny as an ossuary. Eclectic House from his bar,

soundtracks the mute satellite football;


Yiannis conjures the punch of rock ‘n’ roll, the smell

of patchouli and lust in the backstreets.


Bells toll from the Panagia; incense coils from a censer,

the choir chant the Kontakion of the Dead:


Yiannis recalls village girls in their innocence,

forsees his spotless wine-washed bones.


He spits and flicks his butt into the churchyard:

neither sickness, nor sorrow, nor sighing.




by Patrick Lodge, from Shenanigans (£8.99, £3.99 Kindle)

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