Tony Deffely – Three Poems

Tony Deffely is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Writing at National University Ireland, Galway. His writing is influenced by Irish writers including James Joyce and W B Yeats. Other influences were Charles Baudelaire, Walt Whitman, Jack Spicer, and Beat poets such as Jack Kerouac. He was Director of Castlebar College of Further Education until August 2015 and previously Guidance Counsellor at Davitt College, Castlebar. Tony holds a Master’s in Leadership and Management and is former President of TUI and is currently Secretary of the Castlebar Council of Trade Unions. His wife Maggie runs an Acupuncture practice in Castlebar and they have two children, Eoin and Maria.

What Love Brought Me

My love brought me a shrub
and in sap-surging spring
it sprouts and shoots,
dances a whirl of life,
adorned by russet boughs
with curve-pledged buds
that whistle melodies of March.
It braves shrill April showers.

On cuckooed summer days
its languorous leaves
host scent-sweet festivals
for drone-winged life;
the lustrous linnets
and the winged finch
glimmer through shade,
a-love with serenades.

Then autumn-leaving leaves,
embroidered debutantes,
twist in the twirling breeze
‘til brusque November gales
sweep them to swirls
in formal winter waltz
and dump them, all bereft
beside the garden fire.

Then darker days expose
the boudoired beauty
of its bare-legged bark
dancing blithe burlesque
with goose-fleshed stems
in winter’s watery sun,
until it bends and bows
under the weight of fallen snow.

One sudden August day,
a soft, pink-petaled rose
scrambled a briary route
thrust through hanging leaves
out to the sunlit side
and smiled, full-blossomed.

The Calming Breath

Because the awkward shadows of the moon were a-fret
he scaled the tortured outcrops at dark dawn,
glared east in disappointment for the sun,
heard water skitter on the hills
cracked on an edgy rock
in sudden rain,

For respite
he takes breath
and shelter in the rocks,
hears water gushing in the hills,
gazes east in salutation of the Sun
then climbs familiar landscapes in new light
and wonders at cloud-shadows drifting from Mweelrea.

Winter Terraces

The summer stadium is bare,
its crowds gone scrabbling home,
stands forsaken,
left for solitary hearts,
driven by the eke of life
to sweep rot spatters in the cold.

The gale roars round the seats,
rages against warmth
with icy wrath
like a deployed assassin
in a depraved delirium
purging sweet scents of life.

Where are the songs
that swept along the terraces
bristling with passion,
the scorching deeds
that sweated us with pride?
It’s not that time.  Now

the crowd’s gone home
to breed and hibernate,
then they’ll regroup, re-germinate
and salve old wounds.
In time, as destined, they’ll emerge
passionate for incident.

The seats are laughter-less.
The rafters groan and creak,
shorn of their painted flags
that soak and putrify
in flooded pools,
bereft of dreams.

The hard-blown slanting rain
resurges on the grass;
in drenching lines it plays
with the prevailing storm,
each drop a fleeting destiny
sluicing to gutters.




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