“Every heart sings a song, incomplete, until another heart whispers back. Those who wish to sing always find a song. At the touch of a lover, everyone becomes a poet.”

I hope you will enjoy my poetry in English and Greek.


Even though I am locking the sky’s door
the fantasydream awakens me. How many
images captivate me as I am unfolding the
knot of light in my blind memories.
I welter alone, wander, my trip
dead, as I am fighting off in the shame.
The verse is a story, buried river,
narration of years and then
soulless footprints. The chrysalis flies and the
gazes secretly talk, until the sound
of the bell of the intermission. A clash and
a note in front of Prodomos’ image,
touching the wings of the archangel,
I long for the oblation, I don’t interpret
loneliness, I said so to my friend, the thoughts
are whispering, but I am walking. If I remain nostalgic it’s
so that I see laterna’s
past, the soldiery and the sounds.
To exist to see the intangible, the soulless.

Hidden Thoughts an Introduction by Paulos Ioannou

I have made every effort, as far as possible, to be faithful to both
meaning and form without altering the rhythm. It is of course
understood that a translation very rarely is an exact copy. A poem
is an expression of the poet’s feelings, ideas, thoughts and general
insights that are expressed in poetic form making it
paramount to enter successfully into the expectations and
sensibilities of the poet including his linguistic (etymologies,
syntax, and grammar), and cultural background. We are in effect
discussing an alternative vision since an original in any language
cannot be replicated in its exact form.

Fotios is a true original poet.

His experiences are realistic small expressions that come out
freely from his inner vision his surroundings and his emotional
sensibilities. He is above all a master image maker and a great
manipulator of the Greek language leaving you speechless in
verses with splendid metaphors and unprecedented imagery.
Most of the poems in this anthology are love poems, dedicated to
his muse, with very few notable exceptions such as the excellent
War and enigmatic Prophesies.
Fotios remains true to his Greek roots and heritage. In ancient
Greece artists found inspiration from one or more of the muses.
In mythology muses were female deities who endowed men with
the power of creation, sort of divine conception that help them to
create and recite poetry. A prime example remains Homer, who
begins both The Iliad and The Odyssey with an invocation of his
Muse. But we do not have to just stay with Homer. Love is a
primary emotion. The ancient Greek used 7 words to define the
different states of love: from Storgy, the love you share with your
family, to eros, sexual and erotic desire kind of love to Agape, the
unconditional love, or divine love.
Love can turn any of us into a lascivious romantic. It is apparent
to me that Fotios’s muse, real or imaginary, must have made a
tremendous impact on his psych το dedicate so many poems to
I kiss your lips in full awareness
the sun’s warmth
the vitality of the rose.


Love is a primary focus on a poet’s inspiration and artistic
endeavours. His love for the muse provides the underlying
impetus and thematic content in many works of literature,
especially poetry. In its various forms and expressions, love is the
driving force of life, the magnetism uniting lover to lover, friend
to friend. However, love is not always portrayed as a liberating
force, as can be attested by these lines.

You look at me and I breath the illness of love,

(My Desire)

I console myself when it rains
and I forget.
the haunted part of love.


When your name was erased
from the heart’s colour
the shatters of the window fragmented
and I forgot my empty dream.

(I Thirsted)

In modern times and not so modern a lot of examples can be found
of poets falling for their muse. John Keats and his beloved Fanny
Brawen or Haitian born Jeanne Duval for Charles Baudelaire.
Maud Gonne, the lady who broke W. B. Yeats’ heart, which is quite
evident in Yeats’ unreciprocated love in his poems of romantic
longing. And let’s not forget T.S. Elliot and his love for Emily Hale.
Fotios’s poetry is characterised by the economy of language. There
is a definitive effort on his part to minimize critically word choice,
form and special relationship by carefully opting for word images.
He freely makes use of enjambment, incomplete syntax,

broken sentences. Lines are broken at the most unexpected places
in the line as if the poet suddenly changes a thought or redirects
you to a completely different image metaphor. Sentence
fragmentation, as a phrase or dependent clause. He successfully
alters basic sentence structure by employing exacting and florid
Fotios is a rebel, a creator outside the accepted and expected
norms even in modernist tradition. A practice to which he is
extremely successful. His poems have a deliberately strange
beauty and a strength going beyond the choice of words creating a
level of ambiguity that is very hard to dismiss and absorb. To a
casual reader the poet’s thinking process may not appear entirely
logical, but one can easily discern an emotional link, an inner state
that is distinctly original that ties it to the main theme between
Somehow his idealising language manages to also be determined
and surprising, rich with contradictions.
To my knowledge there is only one well known Canadian poet that
devotes a lot of his writing to love and women, Irving Layton. His
LOVE POEMS is a representative collection of his ideas
concerning love and the female aspect. There is, as noted by
Layton enthusiasts, a sensual intensity and passion in his love
poetry and the capacity to move from one emotion to another from
exultation to disappointment. Another view of his poetry from a
Feminist perspective is that Layton’s poetry is neither a
celebration of women nor an enduring tribute to the women who
have touched his life. But Layton is not a “muse” poet in the
strictest sense of the word despite that more than one volume of
his love poems is dedicated to Miss Benjamin. He does not idealise
nor celebrate feminity, his fantasies are more mundane and sexual
in nature. He is at most a defender and a protest writer against
inhibition and puritanism. In contrast Fotios throughout his
poetry tries to uncover the true essence of love by detailing
examples, making comparisons, contrasting with everyday life
situations, either enjoyable or agonizing with tremendous
emotional effect, everyday symbology in strange figures of speech
that make you hold your breath.

Often, we look at each other and we kiss
the syrup of the sea has escaped
the hedonism has broken the canines
and the light withdraws blurrily in the night.

(love on our faces)

Throughout his poetry there are several symbols that are being
used with both metaphorical meaning and as physical settings:
beach, swallow, sea, sky, sun. These symbols are not exclusive to
Fotios’s purview, as they are used extensively just about every
poet, except perhaps the symbol of the swallow.
Swallows have a special place in the heart of Greeks at least those
of the older generation as swallows were pictured in children
school books in poems and songs. Aphrodite in ancient Greece
was closely connected to the swallows and was supposed to
represent love, affection and prosperity.
Scissor -tailed swallows
come to play with the shadow of the masts
and the sky mute to look

(Oh, Aphrodite)

We are near the warmth of paradise near the tails of the
for without a doubt your embrace is sweet smelling.

(Woman and Eros)

Piled up Leaves
anticipate the swallows of spring
anticipate God’s wish
to enchain the thought of my defects.

(Love on our faces)

The bird also represents freedom and hope. Their sudden
appearance was a sign that summer is on the way.
One of course must look beyond the literal dictionary meaning of
the words but look beyond to the connotative or figurative indirect
meanings and if we are to understand the poem examine closely
what each word might imply within the sentence structure of the
The meaning of symbols changes from poem to poem, even within
the same poem, and from poet to poet. The beach beyond its literal
meaning figuratively may represent tranquility or a transition
between the land and the ocean or between the physical self and
the spiritual.
This love
was born on the bitterness of the sand
and in the storm of the sea.


Lovingly you kissed me
we collapsed on the hot sand
painting as one heart
as one colour.


The sun portrays cosmic power, light, vitality. It also symbolizes
self and personality.
This bite of the sun
remained a mark on your neck


Who does the sun represent, you may ask, the poet?
The nakedness was established at the cataract, lips and flesh.
The valley was flooded with stones and palaces
near the sun’s stumping ground.

(Woman and Eros)

And here what is the sun’s stumping ground?
The ocean symbolizes formlessness, the unfathomable, and chaos
standing for life itself.
Whatever I loved you erased from my memory
you blurred the fairy tale
you also loved
and you expressed a heavy
bitter “No”
to the centre of the sea.

(What Changed?)

Silently it masters the pen
and turns the vision of your thought
to an ocean.

(I Sketch)

One can admire his deeply idiosyncratic aesthetic vision,
You scream that the pages of the poem will finish
and the drops of the sun will dry up.
(You Scream)
They say that love is diachronic and lame
I found her on a branch
and I kept silent when I kissed her.

(In vain you say)

In much of his poetry he uses sentences and fragments and
disrupted syntax and words culled from a myriad of sources. With
the overall description of language that compares two things in
an unusual and interesting way.
The morning melody of your kiss
ethereal freshness to my body.


You whirl about throwing your blouse
to shut the sun’s eyes


Fotios beyond his other poetic attributes excels at figurative
language: He is a master at personifications and direct treatment
of his subject. Just about throughout his poetry all physical,
animate or non-animate are given by way of a metaphor and to
some extend by hyperbole. As techniques to create more engaging
So long as the dove flies high up in the sky
the sea will confess her secret
to the arms of the soldier.

(God’s Love)

We left marks and wishes on our bodies,
our souls are strange,
our glances are strange
near the light diminished by the night.

(Strange are our souls)

It is clear from the earlier statements I made about his poetry that
he is a true follower of imagism in the tradition of Ezra Pound and
Amy Lowell, he avoids clichés with no verbiage and uses the
language in such a direct way as to create exacting vivid images,
visually appealing in the mind of the reader as well as directing the
mood of the poem to communicate it into a precise and intense
to lay our bodies
on an island that does not weep.


and let us dig out the soul
from the eyes of the sleep.

(My desire)

The paradise door has been shut to the times
and the landings are full of thrown bodies.


Many races are deceived by exploring the deep
utilizing machines and bankrupting the serenity of the sea.


I dare you
to meet someplace,
to touch your hair,
to unbutton
your secret enigmas.

(My Desire)

The images are beyond question quite clear and vivid. But the
image is not the poem and the theme behind it is not explained
even though it is the focus of the poem. The real meaning of the
poem lies beyond the image in the poem’s totality.
Setting aside the veil of happiness rainwater
baptizes our hearts and the tone of our kisses
appears as lighting.

(Woman and Eros)

He has a pleasant and moderate tone of voice but no less cutting-
edge poetry that rejects self-consciously outmoded literary

traditions. I spent much of the introduction discussing and
eulogizing his love poetry to the neglect of poems not directed at
his muse. Of these poems I consider “War” an exemplary anti-war
poem. It does not address a specific war but nonetheless the
description is both impressive and sordid. Plato tells us that it is
the poet’s duty to bear witness. Fotios does it with full emotion
and sarcasm.
In front of me a widow with a child, a tear
wrapped in the evasions of the army an insignificant
peace on the faces that are afflicted with interpretations
and contrasts.
Paulos Ioannou
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