Constantine Kokossis: Taste of the End


He was waiting.

Not to hear the arguments of experts

but to listen to

threatening, advancing sounds.

Sometime ago, he dismissed his dependence

on logic,

ignoring the darts of criticism.

Just observing the others,

the inferior ones, tied to the Forum.

No more attempts to explain what occurs,

but that imperceptible play of the eyelids,

the wonder inset in the corner of the eye

or perhaps a sardonic quivering of the lips.

Now, the commonness of a normal life

devoid of drama.


You expected to dedicate yourself to action,

to organize yourself and some others

realizing, of course, that prudence and maturity,

when they work together, are helpful.

You were expecting.

Action was stolen by those who had played and won.

Your passion for organizing, mockingly winked at you,

since it required a previous vigor.

As for prudence, it had finished as a moth eaten mould.

Maturity seemed up in the air, impossible to reach.

The previous impeaches the present.

Expectation—as you know very well—

poses as a funeral.

In praise of an ambiguous mood | Pericles’ Epitaph

An endless analysis doesn’t seem to help,

nor does the search for historical elements.

Today the “zero participating”

tend to dominate more and more.

The decay or misunderstanding of

principles and values

has become the rule.

They geometrically increase everywhere

keeping their distance, consciously

or even ostensibly

loathing alien idols

and the sparkle of falling stars.

Proving they are not few–

those who justify non-participation.

So we return to the text:

“The one not participating in public affairs

is not just inert…”

Once more you try to reach a conclusion.

Even then it is possible that

Few shared the same belief.

Humans are always exactly the same.

But saying

“… we consider him vile”

feels like stabbing in the chest.

Taste of the End

When the narration ends

some bitter taste always remains on the palate

for what was left unsaid

through negligence or ignorance.

Precisely what inflates sorrow,

since the theoretical discussion

about human limits

has been tested again.  

Translated from the Greek by  Katerina Anghelaki-Rooke | Michael March

Constantine Kokossis was born in 1951 in Athens, Greece. After completing his studies, he joined the Foreign Service (1976-2012). He was posted to Turkey, Belgium, Cyprus, USA, Ethiopia, Albania and the Czech Republic. He is the author of the novels: The Emergence of the West (Alexandria, 2004); Diversion (Iolkos, 2010); Achilles’ Long Journey (Alexandria, 2010) which was translated into Czech (Achileas, Achil, nebo…nic), edited by “Vydava-Telstvi Rula, 2011); and Twelve Short Poems for Faint-Hearted Times. In 2015, Constantine Kokossis received the Spiros Vergos Prize for Freedom of Expression awarded by the Prague Writers’ Festival.

Author: Constantine Kokossis

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s