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ANGELIC FLIGHTS: Gabriel Rosenstock introduces a project with photographic artist Kon Markogiannis.

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September 19, 2018
Gabriel Rosenstock
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Angelic Flights Project

by Gabriel Rosenstock

As soon as I saw the work of Greek photographic artist Kon Markiogannis, I knew I wanted to respond to his captivating images with bilingual haiku, in Irish and English.

To honour his native country, I needed versions in Greek and these were graciously supplied by Sarah Thilykou. I had met Sarah a number of years ago at a book fair in her native city of Thessaloniki.

To honour the cradle of haiku, I needed versions in Japanese and Maki Starfield kindly obliged: she informs me that her versions are in the Tōhoku dialect.

A title was needed for the project – which we imagined as a book and/or installation. Flights of Angels came to mind.

We needed to test the waters and where better to send work in progress than to The Culturium. If Paula Marvelly of The Culturium likes this project, then Angelic Flights is on the right track!

Of course, angels move in mysterious ways so who knows what may befall this project in the end.

Since that preview in The Culturium,  our work has progressed further and we are now ready to share Angelic Flights with the wider world. Here then, is a taster from the project.

Note: the images chosen here may not necessarily  match the haiku in the final book (or installation), something which gives a fluidity to Angelic Flights:

talking away

to his own shadow . . .

a Jew in Thessaloniki


comhrá aige

lena scáil féin  . . .

Giúdach in Thessaloniki


μιλώντας συνέχεια

με τη σκιά του . . .

Εβραίος στη Σαλονίκη





Kon Markogiannis views his work as ‘a weapon against the ephemeral’. Many art photographers gravitate towards haiku. They see how Grandmasters of haiku have captured ephemera for all time. It’s no coincidence that the latest journal of haiku, edited by Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy, is called Ephemerae.

tabhair aingeal dom, a Dhé

aon saghas aingil –

déanfaidh leath-aingeal cúis


God, give me an angel

any old angel –

half an angel will do


Θεέ, δώσε μου άγγελο

και γέρο άγγελο –

και μισό άγγελο





lá nua é

camhaoir nua  . . .

amhrán ar an raidió


it’s a new day

it’s a new dawn  . . .

song on the radio


μια νέα μέρα

μια νέα αυγή . . .

τραγούδι ραδιοφώνου





faic anseo . . .

na haingil go léir

bailithe leo


nothing here  . . .

all the angels

have cleared out


τίποτε εδώ . . .

όλοι οι άγγελοι

έχουν απομακρυνθεί





abair liom

cá raghaidís –

aingil gan sciatháin


tell me

where can they go –

wingless angels


εξήγησέ μου

πού να μπορούν να πάνε –

άπτεροι άγγελοι





bhí aingeal coimhdeachta acusan leis . . .

ár sinsir

i bpluaiseanna


they too had guardian angels . . .

our ancestors

in caves


φύλακα άγγελο είχαν . . .

και οι πρόγονοί μας

μες στα σπήλαια





miongháire na marbh

is iad ag iarraidh smaoineamh . . .

cé sinne?


the smiling dead  . . .

trying to remember

who we are


χαμογελαστοί νεκροί . . .


ποιοι να είμαστε





aingil bhréige  . . .

bhuel, is dócha

is fearr leath ná meath


artificial angels . . .

well, I guess

any old port ina storm


τεχνητοί άγγελοι . . .

λοιπόν, νομίζω

λιμάνι σε θύελλα





Gabriel Rosenstock’s latest haiku volume is Stillness of Crows. His philosophy of haiku can be found on this YouTube:

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