Tim Dwyer – Three Poems

timTim Dwyer‘s book, Smithy Of Our Longings- Poems From The Irish Diaspora will be published by Lapwing Publications in March. He will be one of the featured poets at the March 26th Over The Edge literary reading in Galway. A previous contributor to The Galway Review, his poetry has also appeared in such journals as Southword, The Stinging Fly, Boyne Berries and Crannog.
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MIDSUMMER
                                                  Hudson Valley

Behind our houses a stone wall meanders,
Forgotten for over fifty years,
surrounded by the returning trees.
I am passing from the land
of one dead farmer to another.
Branches of elm and oak commingle,
the stone wall opens to a rolling pasture-
I could be looking at the Irish Midlands.

I am searching for the great trees
spared from centuries of field clearing,
conquest and violent storms-
trees that were boundaries
of settlers’ farms, or places of ceremony
where Wappinger and Mohican
or Ulaidh and Connachta
made the peace.

I want to find the lost cairn
now covered by bramble
where travelers tossed small stones
to honor the ancestors and the spirits
who were one and the same.

I come across a mystery-
a small circular mirror
nailed to a massive oak.
How long has it been here
who looked in it before me-
what did they see?

If encounters remain
as a lingering trace in this world,
what will the mirror show me,
what will be my trace?

Wishing for a book of leaves
to reveal a hidden language
in these trees.
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WALKING BY THE FARM FIELD

         Late Summer
A wall of sunflowers
six feet high
guards the young pumpkins
and welcomes the resurgence
of the honeybees.

In the distance
tractors move silently
as sky moves toward dusk.
I’m the graying son of a Galway farmer
who is now with the soil.
I’m looking at a life
that I never lived.

In a few weeks
the flowers will droop
as if nodding off to sleep.
Then dream-like,
the goldfinches will arrive
picking out the seeds-

finches that my father
as a boy
skillfully captures
keeps for a time
to enjoy their song,
then releases them to the trees.

My young father is so vivid.
I am the phantom,
who tries to touch
this life I never lived.
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ADVENT

You pour brandy over the currants,
stir them in the batter
of the awaited Christmas cake.
Above the Wexford Carol melody
is the sound of your mother’s voice
unheard for many years.
I thank her for this moment,
and the moments yet to come.

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