Live Encounters Poetry & Writing April 2021.
Anton Floyd was born in Egypt, a Levantine mix of Irish, Maltese, English and French Lebanese. He studied at Trinity College, Dublin and University College, Cork. He has worked in the eastern Mediterranean and now lives in West Cork. Poems widely published in Ireland and internationally. A member of Irish Haiku Society, he is several times winner of International Haiku Competitions. A selection of haiku is included in Between the Leaves, an anthology of new haiku writing from Ireland edited by Anatoly Kudryavitsky (Arlen House, 2016). His first poetry collection, Falling into Place was published by Revival Press in 2018. He edited Remembrance Suite, a chapbook of sonnets by Shirin Sabri (Glóir, 2018) and an international anthology of poems, Point by Point (Glóir, 2018). He received the 2019 Literary Prize awarded by the Dazzling Spark Arts Foundation (University of Macau, China). A new collection, Depositions is forthcoming from Revival Press in 2021.
The Easter Tree
The crying child at night intuits
loneliness. A mother, too, bears
the weight of the future, conceals it,
yet she will weep hearing of hunger.
Last April, when covid locked us in,
the forsythia sprayed its saffron.
It, like flocking birds in spring flight,
links continents, mocks frontiers.
The moon and the stars, the sun
and, closer to home, the mountains
are indifferent to what beauty is;
to laughter, to grief, to George Floyd’s
last breath for his mother. Who can
bear alone the solitude of a fleeting life?
The Heart’s Last Waltz
in memoriam Paddy Malone
The news has come. I feel stranded
my hands filling with rain. The night
is full of tricks. It’s hard to be still.
I think of your heart’s last waltz
and how I love your voice, lonely
above the crowd, singing out,
I see my light come shining.
The night watchman hears
the busker practising his chords
and his flashlight clicks. It shines
from the west unto the east.
Yesterday was – any day now I shall be…
tonight is – now you are released.
G Am Bm Am G / G Am Bm D G
The record in my head plays the blues.
The sleepless angel on the phone
knows the hour. The love in her voice
is delicate and she tells it how it is.
A caged bird imagines another life.
Chance then the cold wind blows.
It hollows out the bones of night
until the bars of the cage corrode.
The free bird leaves an empty space
and the sad eyed lady sings farewell.
Her song is a vigil she keeps past dawn.
The words and music, entwined
like lovers, make a heaven of memory –
of a life returned and nothing owed.
Winter Afternoon –
pausing with Emily Dickinson to remember Panos
light spears the sky
and the fields where
the fields lie bare, prone.
All is paused – our steps,
voice, breath, minutes –
the minutes then unsnag,
slip into the curious air.
Sinking into the dark,
the sun leaves –
leaves a certain difference
but no scar. Night falls –
a poem is recalled. Then –
then the rest is silence.
im Panos Hartsiotis 24 November 2020
© Anton Floyd