The Place In Between

…..flags, sculptures, parades, songs, letters, languages, guinness, unicorns, red hair, green and blue, sea and sea and obsidian, rocks, snakes, shamrocks, fish, christmas trees, soil, eggs, leprechauns, puffins, coast lines and emerald, wool and linen, red hands, crosses, fringes and the black mountain, prickly pears and spuds, humidity and the tricolour, murals, anarchy, separation, enclaves and the paramilitaries, walls, chamomile, the lagan and the aegean, pillars, vikings and the giant’s ring, seagulls and stars and jasmine, wee tours, donkeys, monasteries, balaclavas, baklavas and seashells….

ballycastle and ballyclare, and bally that in gaelic means city, you will discover, so bally it is

cold sea swimming, hot sea swimming, very hot, so hot that you are bothered, are you even from that country

dulce, glenariff the queen of the glens and a cibin, turkish coffee, which is greek in reality as everything is, as everything is also irish and there are paddies taking over the world

…dirt, graffiti, omicron and delta, cold, coldness, humidity, cicadas, grass, fake grass, plastic, ferns, moss, ivy, comber greenway, lake, a lake, the lake in delphi valley

delphi valley in mayo

where you drove through

in the dusk

the dark mountain looming over you

anxious to find somewhere to spend the night

and you caught the glimpse

of two bodies emerging from the still waters of the vast lake and you felt a deep satisfaction and a fullness in your insides

delphi valley in mayo and delphi where the priestess was sitting chewing bay leaves all day, or at least that’s what they taught you in school

time and thyme and oregano, ardglass and portavogie, the boats coming in with the fresh catches from the sea and you are thinking of your dad pulling the bones off the flesh of the fish for you to eat

up the road and down the road and look right first and then left but no look left first and then right and then you get confused and you have no time left to look right or left and you get hit by this massive realisation that you are caught in between that right and left and left and right

the north, the north is next, the north of ireland, northern ireland, it’s not the same are you from the north north macedonia, macedonia, macedonia is greek, like everything else

and everything is irish







and they cannot pronounce your name

warmth, smell, citrus, gorse, seal, seaweed, medusas, coastline, rocks, bogs, never ending bogs thick R and loud voices, laughter and jokes and turf, deep waters and dangerous cliffs and the wind

the wind that doesn’t stop for days, that throws the roof slates on the ground, that almost throws you in the river

as you cross the bridge

that turns your head

and turns your stomach

and turns your insides out

leaking roofs and mould and wet patches and rain so much rain rain for days on end that wets your outsides and insides, and eventually drowns your garden plants in their pots

a juicy tomato, dry dark skin, fat figs, melons, dry salt in your hair, evaporating odour from bodies lying under the sun, tastes, deep and meaningful, crispy linen, love and a lover, wet tongue in your mouth and light breeze

blue, blue sky, blue paint, mesh curtains, haze, grapes, olives, artichokes, wine, ouzo, raki, cockroaches and mosquitos, massive watermelons, massive crisis, greek word, like every word, because everything is greek and everything is irish and

you are one of them now,

but you are not really,

but you kinda feel like it,

but they are not sure,

and then you are not sure either,

but you do forget your language,

and the cab driver the other day said you sound local,

but you knew he didn’t mean it,

he just wanted to be friendly

and they are all friendly, and warm, and kind and generous and they give you a community, although theirs had been fractured some years ago, not that long ago, and not really fractured, more like broke in pieces I am sorry for your troubles but by troubles they really mean a civil war

red hand, painted curbs, boys are dear, old buildings, very old buildings, ancient buildings, traffic and impatience, anger, angry horns, horny, hairy backs and hairy faces and ginger pubes and freckled forearms and the stereotypes of a man

pigeons, crows, a heron and wild ducks, seagulls that they shat on you and you thought your luck will change but no luck on that part

a hare that you saw while trekking through the wilderness of the three-castle head while you expected to see a ghost because the legend has it

are you balancing

are you stuck

are you freely hovering over

do you think you are fitting in

are you fitting in

what shape do you take trying to fitting in

is it this shape or that shape

Shapeshifting, shifting your thoughts, your memories, your full body weight that drops heavily in bed where you never dream in Greek but when you wake up you utter Greek words to your lover that doesn’t understand a thing and you get confused

how did these words find their way out

hot stones, hot stones on your back, it’s not a massage, it’s a torture hot stones and sea turtles, wild night flowers that you smell holding his hand, and the smell of barbeque, octopuses drying on the line, octopuses, octopus, a greek word, of course, χταπόδι, it means eight legs, literally, octopus, another greek word, because everything is greek like the eternal summers, the summers of lust, the summers of love, the summer lovers, the summers of all summers, the summer of the islands, islands, island, ireland, northern ireland, your ireland,

your place in the world where of course you have no right to vote, because you are neither protestant or catholic you are greek orthodox, whatever the hell that means because that’s what they taught you in school orthodox, another greek word, and another, and another

emerald, tayto, gyros, souvlaki, lamb, lamb of god and easter lamb, and the memories of you turning the big skewer by hand all day as a child next to your grandpa, the big skewer with the animal pierced on it to remind the hero of the greek revolution, the easter songs and smells, and flowers and food and it is so special to you that no one knows and when easter time arrives again and again you have nobody to share those memories with, but you make new ones and you let your body and soul absorb the beauty of this space somewhere in between the cregagh and the castlereigh

the sun is burning

the sand is burning

your feet are burning

that burning sensation to jump into the sea where the waters connect


you’re hoping that some particles have travelled from the warmth of your parents’ bodies through the currents to touch you….