Poem of the week: On the Road to Episkopi

A new work by John MacKenna

 John MacKenna speaking at the unveiling of a plaque for Leonard Cohen in Athy. He worked with Cohen on the script for Between Your Love And Mine. Photograph: Laura Hutton

John MacKenna speaking at the unveiling of a plaque for Leonard Cohen in Athy. He worked with Cohen on the script for Between Your Love And Mine. Photograph: Laura Hutton

 

On the Road to Episkopi

The first crows I encounter

are on the road to Episkopi,

that red dirt track that climbs

above the yard of tired boats.

They rise out of the olive grove,

not as a wake or warning

but as a welcome sight.

Their hoarse and sun-dried gnawing

reminds of dawn disturbers

in our garden in the rain.

And then they flap and fall and flap again,

four loose, black flags against the blue.

Welcome, friend, they seem to say

and I reply in kind.

John MacKenna’s most recent works are The Mental, a one-man play, and Between Your Love and Mine, a Requiem Mass developed with the late Leonard Cohen

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