John Pavlou is a poet and songwriter from Brisbane who regularly engages in both literary and musical activities around Australia. His passion for literature was evident in his childhood and he first began writing short stories and poems while he was attending primary school. Songwriting was a natural path for Pavlou considering his love of both words and music; however, his affection for poetry, prose and spoken word was reinforced upon taking literature courses at university as well as engaging in local poetry meets hosted by Ruckus Slam. He identifies as a Greek-Australian and maintains that the feeling of belonging to two nations often plays a role in his life and work. The poem “Feral Dogs in Igoumenitsa” refers to an experience he had during his first trip to Greece. John Pavlou currently lives in Brisbane; he practices music and creative writing and is also undertaking study to be an educator.


Feral Dogs In Igoumenitsa

A rag-tag gang of teeth and fur approach the work-lights at the Port of Igoumenitsa. Each animal is startling in its own right and each carries robust folksy colours under their paws. City soot jumps off their shoulders as they swagger in the midnight air. Some are wearing collars and I can hear the metal buckles and trinkets jangle, singing with charm – the ghostly remains of a regal past.

The waves lick the jetty posts. I breathe in the green sea and detect a faint scent of burning oil. The feral lot rolls past me without so much as a look in my direction. This haphazard array of shape, size and colour is almost laughable, is laughable. And I do laugh as the sound of their claws hammering the bitumen recedes into silence. I’m left to imagine the richness of their history and wonder about their former glories. They, who know both the craziness of domestication and free winds of urban shabbiness. They, who make blankets out of tatters and houses of rags.

The wind belts across the waters surface and up into my face. I see the sole light of the ferryboat, swinging on the dark horizon.