Poem for Critique 014: Running Away From Death by Stam Fasoulakis

Welcome to Morgen’s Online Poetry Writing Group and the fourteenth poem submitted to this blog for feedback. This piece is a rhyming by Stam Fasoulakis. He says, “This poem reflects the situation in the Middle East with all the fights between fanatics and the suffering of innocent bystanders. We watch with apathy in the TV what is happening in the various Middle East countries (and not only those). This is sad very sad.”

Please do comment in the section below telling us what you liked about this poem and, what if anything, the author could do to improve upon it. Thank you – it’s very much appreciated!


Running Away From Death

People messed all over,

in the streets they rover,

bullets are flying around

mortar shells hit the ground

children dying next to their mother,

further down lies the dead father.

They left their home to save their life

but as they run away making a strive

they met death face-to-face,

he didn’t loosen his pace,

in a jiffy he uprooted their soul

their bodies now lying there, foul.

Welcome to the Middle East

where war like a thirsty beast

takes the life of any innocent bystander

as fanatics fight to strengthen their power.


Thank you, Stam.

Folks – please do let us know what you think.

I write very little poetry (and then only to order) so I’m no expert and the only thing that leapt out at me was ‘jiffy’ – it seems too light a word to use in the context of this poem, more suitable for Jeeves & Wooster (NB. just my opinion).


StamStamatios (Stam) Fassoulakis was born in Africa, Alexandria of Egypt (when it was still a British Colony) from Greek parents (two generations back). In 1961 his parents decided that they had to repatriate to Greece as the Nasser regime and its strict measures for foreigners forced most of them to a massive exodus. He completed his High-school studies in Athens and after graduation, he studied Physics and Mathematics at the University of Athens.

In January 1970 Stam immigrated to South Africa where he worked and studied Mechanical Engineering at the Technikon Witwatersrand Johannesburg (today University of Johannesburg) following a sandwich course. At the end of 1977 he returned to Greece and was hired by General Motors Overseas Distribution Corporation (G.M.O.D.C.) based in Athens and travelled in the Middle East Area from Greece up to and including Pakistan. He worked for them for 14 years, travelling in those “lovely countries”.

In 1991 GM decided to close down their Middle East office (due to the danger of aero plane hijackings and the drop in the Middle East business). He found work at an Opel dealer in Greece as an Aftersales Manager where he organised the department from scratch. After another 14 years of hard work, he retired at the end of December 2007. Since then he has worked as a translator English to Greek and vice versa, specializing in Technical and Scientific texts and documents. He speaks and writes in four languages (English, Greek, French and Arabic).

His hobbies range from reading various books (he has a library of 400) and writing poetry in rhyme (his blog is http://emmetrhpoihsh.blogspot.com) but says that unfortunately most of them are in Greek (“real Greek for you”). He has also written a book (paper, self published) with the title “Productivity and efficiency of a service workshop” but he admits that it is technical and too specialized so it didn’t have a broad reception, but the books sold covered the publication expenses. He also belongs to a black belt karate club (J.K.A.).

He has written poetry (mostly humorous) in rhyme since his early teens, which were published at his High School magazine. He is currently writing a memoire book (in Greek) with the title adieu (goodbye) Alexandria where he describes the feelings of a teenager that had to leave his place of birth. His aim is to translate it into English and see how it will be accepted. If only, he says, to write all the experiences in his life, they are enough to keep him busy until the end of his life.


If you’d like to submit your poem for feedback on this blog see Submissions and / for consideration for the weekly Post-weekend Poetry slot on my main blog, take a look here.

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Thank you for reading this and we look forward to your comments.

One response to “Poem for Critique 014: Running Away From Death by Stam Fasoulakis

  1. I agree with the ‘jiffy’ comment. From the description i was expecting more depth, it is good, perhaps worth expanding on.

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