Byron Beynon – Five Poems

poet2Byron Beynon‘s work has appeared in several publications, The London Magazine, Planet, The Red Wheelbarrow, Chicago Poetry Review, The Stony Thursday Book and Militant Thistles. His most recent collections are The Echoing Coastline (Agenda Editions) and Through Ilston Wood (Lapwing Publications, Belfast).


The fathomed savannahs of deep African lanes,
a crushed longitude
where wounded lives
drowned within a war torn ocean.
Your schoolgirl memory recalls
the brother who failed to register
home, but disappeared without trace
within unnatural whirlpools of destruction.
The turbulence of loss
beneath the rummage of ivory waves,
to imagine his final sky
before the death of light
as the tide’s consuming hunger
extinguished the energy of blood,
remembered now those unbroken vessels
engraved on the unique map of your
questioning voice, echoing like the muffled
sound you heard outside the door
when the cold December news arrived.

for Robert Fisk

And the killed Afghans
numbered sixty-four,
as the Kabul bomb
ruined wounds onto
three hundred and forty more.
Families annihilated
in time’s face,
numbers disintegrated
in a millisecond,
but the news headlines
forgot them because
Prince died that week.
And the EU-suited partners
returned the refugees
to their Afghan homes,
ushered them away
because it was safe,
false gifts of destruction,
no one saw them go,
but Prince also died that week.
And the migrant sea shall have them,
full fathom,
five hundred beings
drowned sailing out of Libya,
no photographs of the sinking,
no autopsies,
their bones
now at anchor
on a bed of salt;
one third or so (in mathematics code),
the total passenger deaths on the Titanic,
but nobody heard them scream,
because Prince died that week.


A stream flowed beneath
an atmosphere of leaves,
time-remembered scenes
with trodden pathways
half-hidden away.
The scent of tangled growth,
yellow light piercing
the music of the heart.
It was an afternoon
when all I wanted was you,
and for familiar time
to stand still
over us, there we stood
side by side,
sharing this life’s
fraction of breath,
our hands clasped
as one.

(Poet and short story writer 1915-1944)

From India you wrote of coming
back and that isolation
for youth to breathe and grow.
Later when the history books
were updated and maps
became the colour of rainbows,
warm letters home
once written
between breaks
in the clouds,
floated like bruised poppies
on a burnt tide.
Alone you summoned
what real love there was,
as your exhausted shadow
fell like a gauze of silent rain.


His final visit
where he watched
the daylight grow
from the east.
A new morning
lifted free of its moorings,
his deep-coloured blood
startled the quick air.
The intoxicated letters,
soft words kissed
where her lips had been.
A luminous landscape,
the sea observed,
honeysuckles and eglantines
recorded, delighting his thoughts.
That praised July,
full of recalled identity,
as late summer took hold,
his travelling mind soothed
from the pains yet to come.



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