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After hundreds of submissions this year, it is with great love and a humble'd heart to honor Theatre Visionary Reza Abdoh with the third annual Poetry Prize for Tofu Ink Arts Press going to Jones Irwin. Please see the poem and brief bio below. We will publish his Chapbook in 2024-2025. 


Jones Irwin teaches Philosophy and Education in Dublin, Republic of Ireland. His first Chapbook of poems, entitled 'GHOST TOWN' was published by Moonstone Press, Philadelphia, US, in later summer 2022.

Will Happen Then? 


By Jones Irwin


Behold! On this

island of Gods

I spied Dionysus

in a pair of speedos.


There he was

at the edge of rock

where Skala comes to meet Poros

writing a book.


It was a short text

to the scabrous point

written in squid ink

with a cover of Kephalonian pine.


What are you saying, O Dionysus,

I asked this old God, trying not to laugh

at his ridiculously fitting speedos,

in this long-awaited manuscript of yours?


At Poros, he replied oh-so-seriously,

I can only wish

that after the bloody Christians

and even the mimetic Moderns

have tried to suppress our stupendous Mystery,

that we cast out our unforgiving nets

once again for the long-lost fish.



When there weren’t

enough fish and the

earthquake came

this became an island

of priests and the most

beautiful women in all Greece.


Nay! In the total Mediterranean.


Unhappy island then

of unfit husbands

and suffering sirens.


They wail at noon

like the Hellene Ferry

that leaves for Kyllini.


How I loved Artemis

until she tore me to pieces.


How I adored Athene

until she blinded me.




The man with the chairs

in the van red dark

with dirt and sand. In

his fifties swarthy with a

Kephalonian voice and a harsh

smile for a world gone nuts.


Barmy summer, he said,

with Brexit and bad

weather. Not as many

chairs required daily.


It’s a niche market, he said.

The man with the chairs

in the dark red van.

Hoping for a better Autumn.



Under the bigger stones

smooth the smaller ones

sharper on the soles which


move very slowly as everything

else here. The drop in

the early water is deep and 

you fall into the azure


waves. Not far out is

a skerry you can clamber up

to pool the smaller 

fish. I wonder if


the Fascists took time to

play here? I wonder if

you can find a change 

of mind in an environment?


I wonder if

the post-rational world returns?

What will happen then? 



Watch out for the New Right Wave

on the pebbled beaches of Kephalonia

when you lose your footing

half-naked. Not suave

you are a nervous swimmer.

The local boys laugh

your white skin an eye sore

even for the Right-Wingers.


The Levante Ferry has

a curious backwards 

manoeuvre as it enters

Poros like Thrasymachus

when his ‘might is right’ 

runs up against the elenchus.


Less might more flight from

philosophia although what

is moral defeat for a tyrant

eulogiser? Just waiting, Socrates,

for the Führer [now on perennial request],

whether me or someone even greater.



As Cephalus

passed the question of justice 

to his son Polemarchus,


so too Plato

passes the question of justice

to us.


Today, Saturday, at Poros,

I am struck only by this - 

the question of justice is

the question of malice.


Also an inheritance

from Plato.

That the world is

as hard as it is.

Get with it. 



I saw the old Greek

guy fall from grace

where the sea meets

the stones on the

beach across the street Ithakos.


He holds up a mirror

to all us pro-Communists.


Be careful you get

the right swim shoes

or risk the Blues.

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