Emmanuel Aligizakis

Emmanuel Aligizakis

Emmanuel Aligizakis (pen-name—Manolis) was born in the small village Kolibari west of Chania on the Greek island of Crete in 1947. At a young age his family moved first to Thessaloniki and then to Athens where he was educated, achieving a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Sciences at the Panteion University of Athens.

He served in the armed forces for two years, and emigrated to Vancouver in 1973, where he worked in several different jobs over the years. He attended Simon Fraser University for a year, taking English Literature in a non-degree program.

He has written three novels, a large number of collections of poetry, which are slowly appearing as published works. Various articles, poems and short stories in Greek as well as in English have appeared in various magazines and news papers in Canada, United States, Australia and Greece. He writes in both Greek and English and has published work in both languages.

Three Poems from “Nostos and Algos” below, a book to be released in a couple of weeks, by Ekstasis Editions of Victoria, BC, Canada.


Serene eyes lacking
rapid eye movement
sun-bleached creamy curtains
light warmth in your mind
body almost frosty
in the water’s roar
somewhere in the underworld
pebbles and sand dunes
shore drenched in tears
the wayfarer with no hat
and a sun in the far distance
smiling behind clouds
nothing stays forever

Old Couple

Long and narrow rusted table
hardly stands motionless
bleached out tablecloth as though
thrown in debts of river for a long time

cloth faded like her eyes gazing the sea’s
agony that reaches the foreign land
where her son has vanished

shade of grapevine thick like a sin
and harsh like a thought pounding
her memory that light may be reborn
and he brings two plates

trembling hands pour wine in two glasses
small plate with olives, piece of feta
and the sigh expertly camouflaged by a smile
the lone cicada that insists to disturb

monologue of their loneliness
finally he sits next to her when
above them the grapevine laughs
as his calloused fingers touch

her wrinkled hand and the sun
somewhere higher than everybody
roars with laughter when the old man says
to her … you forgot to make the salad


He put his bag on the floor,
laid next to me
he raised one leg and
leaned it against the wall
as though to leave on it
a fleshy mark
a faint human trace
the other leg was resting
on the cool cement

suddenly as though he remembered
something very important

he got up
walked to the table
leaned down and smelt
the last bloomed rose
then he let a sigh float
in the darkened room
as though to release
burden of his last breath
and without any word
he collapsed on the cool cement

For other contributions by Emmanuel Aligizakis, please follow the links below:

Poetry in this post: © Emmanuel Aligizakis
Published with the permission of Emmanuel Aligizakis