Byron Beynon – Six Poems

PoetByron Beynon lives in Wales. His work has appeared in several publications including The Galway Review, Cyphers, Poetry Pacific, London Magazine, The Tower Journal and the human rights anthology In Protest (University of London and Keats House Poets).  His most recent collection is The Echoing Coastline (Agenda Editions).


We are leaving this place
for the last time.
It is autumn,
the radio is turned on
at this hour for the news.
Outside the bay
continues to draw the eye,
a sharing of tides
with the air carried aloft
touching the names of stars.
The door sounds
the same as it closes
behind us, and for a moment
our steps are simple and quiet,
as uprooted shadows
recede across the front.


An umbilical queue of people
is attached to Pei’s pyramid.
Once inside I take the escalator
that descends from the modern entrance
to the underground bookshops and cafés,
where visitors pay to enter
the wings of the museum.
A bewildering choice of rooms and corridors,
a plethora of antiquities, paintings, sculpture,
the calm Mona Lisa
behind bullet-proof glass.
‘In the Louvre at one o’clock’,
Mary Wordsworth met Annette
for the first time, and Caroline
always called William ‘father’.
I am a victim of fascination,
a magnet for the flow of life,
its fever, its vanishing point.


I think of Keats wearing an open collar
fashionably turned down,
the black ribbon
round a bare neck,
his fresh ,  shy nerves
tapping against a window-pane
in a room of quiet intensity
and free movement.
In the early hours of an October morning
he sealed a letter,
dispatched a sonnet
to a breakfast table,
the anticipation conceived.
Seeing the compass of words
he gathered from experience,
moods captured from natural objects,
the heavily marked book
an exorcism for disappointments,
the murmurs rightly used.


(after the painting by Pablo Picasso)

His sense of touch
makes the world he occupies
more legible,
and if you look closely
your sight may understand
what he feels.
He would weep to see
the world’s decay,
but his exile
has a second vision,
munching the bread
and drinking the wine
from a table
he hears what is within.
The lanterns of his flesh
illuminate the air,
scattering the scent of distant flowers
across shadows that boldly dream.


Before the onset of automobiles and mass
tourism, this is how it was.
Empty of that rush and the cameras
held aloft,
with only the mind’s eye
concentrating on the sea.
The land appeared,
clenched for the challenge of erosion,
that lust of humanity
to build for a view.
The finished canvas
where waves and sky
melt into one,
strokes of life
on the lineaments of air,
with clouds unmoved
waiting for new explorers to come.


The ripples of an Irish lake
at peace with its surroundings;
it is as if nature
has gathered here
several of her ingredients.
The power of the clouds
brushing the heads of the mountains,
trees alive with curiosity of what
the daylight hours will bring.
The secretive depths of colour,
unique moments caught alive
by the mind’s unquenched eye.



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