Anton Floyd – Vigil

Floyd LE P&W 4 Nov-Dec 2023

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14th Anniversary Edition, Live Encounters Poetry & Writing Volume Four Nov-Dec 2023.

Vigil, poems by Anton Floyd.


Lighting in the ward
can be too harsh.
Intended as a help,
it loiters in corridors
a kind of menace,
a threat to the quiet
of a darkened room.
Listless, I sit through
his inaudible dreams.
Outside a bird sings
in surprise or praise
to returning light.
Often such things
are taken as omens.

Each Poem Then Is A Flickering

On reading Michael Longley

for Matthew Geden and Caroline Smith

Each poem then is a flickering.
Your syllables begin to quicken.
Words could be mottled pebbles
on a beach or miraculously
stray snow buntings foraging.
And in the spaces between words
whooper swans that paraded
on the turlough all day, now
at rest, have looped their sinewy
necks like elegant cursive letters
about a luminous waterline.
In a gleeful instant, your commas
magic into the irridescent fur
of the arched backs of otters
that swim in and out of clauses.
Nor is there finality in your fullstops.
They, like owls’ eyes, a concentration
of obsidian black, become at once
reflective pools, doors into the dark,
a place where you can see thought.


A poem is never finished; it is only abandoned – Paul Valéry

for Malcolm & Elaine Urquhart

How I picture this is this:
In school every morning
with metronomic accuracy
through the open window
I listen to the sounds of a piano
from one of the music rooms.
Someone is practicing the gamut
of diatonic and chromatic scales
over and over. It lasts an hour.
It is like a mantra. I listen
and imagine someone seated,
a straight back mirroring
the upright instrument;
the strength in the hands
hidden in attenuated fingers;
and the eyes closed, perhaps,
to focus on the sound.
This is dedication to an art.
Over time my ear is attuned
to each version of each scale.
Each variation in each attack
is nuanced. This is, I suppose,
a personal quest for mastery
one that never ceases.
I revisit this time to weigh it
in my scale of words, balancing
the ones to leave in with the ones
to leave out, until, for now,
all I have left is this poem.

© Anton Floyd

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 education in the eastern Mediterranean and in Cork City. He now lives in West Cork where he gardens organically. 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 (2018) was published by Revival Press. He edited Remembrance Suite (Glór, 2018), a chapbook of sonnets by Shirin Sabri and an international anthology of poems, Point by Point ( Glór, 2018). He received the 2019 Literary Prize awarded by the Dazzling Spark Arts Foundation (Scotland)). A new collection, Depositions (Doire Press) was published in 2022. A new collection, On the Edge of Invisibility is forthcoming. A collection of haiku Singed to Blue is in preparation.

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