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Anton Floyd – Samsara

Profile Anton Floyd Live Encounters Poetry & Writing 8th Anniversary December 2017

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Samsara, poems by Anton Floyd

He was born in Egypt, a Levantine of Irish, Maltese, English and French Lebanese descent. Raised in Cyprus, he lived through the Cypriot struggle for independence and the island remains close to his heart. With the outbreak of intercommunal hostilities in 1963, his family was evicted at gunpoint from their Nicosia home by Turkish Cypriot militiamen, making them refugees in a divided capital. Despite this trauma to the city Nicosia has remained an international capital. Friends came from all over the world so that it became second nature for him to view the earth as one country and humankind its citizens.

He studied English at Trinity College Dublin and continued his post graduate education at University College, Cork. Having lived and worked in the Eastern Mediterranean, variously as a teacher,  school principal, artistic director and producer, he now teaches in Cork city and makes a renovated farmhouse home in West Cork. With his wife, Carole Anne, he gardens organically transforming a rocky and watery place into their own Eden.

Poems have been published in The Stony Thursday Book, the Ghent ReviewLive Encounters, The Shot Glass Journal, Crannóg, Visual Verse, Contemporary Haibun on Line and haiku in Shamrock. He won the IHS (Irish Haiku Society) International Competition (2014), prize winner (2016), honourable mention (2015) and was runner up in the Snapshot Press (UK)  Haiku Calendar 2016 Competition. He’s a member of the Irish Haiku Society. A selection of his haiku is included in Between the Leaves, edited by Anatoly Kudryavitsky, an anthology of new haiku writing from Ireland (Arlen House). Most recently a poem was selected by the Limerick Writers’ Centre for the April Poster Poetry Trail 2017. A selection of his poems appeared in the poetry trail of the Kilkenny Arts Festival Fringe -2017. Forthcoming, poems in The Inisheer Zibaldone Notebook.

Lough Gur

A summer Sunday morning,
Limerick is humid.
We cycle out of the city.
The haze like a miasma
is already swallowing
the spire of St John’s.

Alone on the road
it’s good to be out of the city
like voiding a confessional.
The roadside grasses
the dappled hedgerows
are flags to spur us on

until we catch
a first view of water
a horse-shoe lake
a clear unpeopled space
Lough Gur serene and
supple as a swan’s neck.

The limpid lake
in the day’s sun
is now an eye
now a polished mirror.
It carries the sky and the world
to its heart.

A place both here and beyond
makes possible belief –
the goddess ambushing us
into being at one
with the rise and fall
of her landsong.

The cold water
alerts the skin like fire.
Ripples lap us
a circle dance
seeking alignment
with the shore.

To plunge in,
this total immersion,
is to feel an ancestral touch
seaming the present with the past
to sense the power of the lake
to grant succession
over all who have come and gone
over all who will come and go
over all that is dull and terrible
in the telling of the stars and stones

Ēostre Rising

Last summer the field
boxed in by clipped hedges
was carefully tended.
From a distance
it looked manicured

you’d take it for the lawn
of some great estate.
A flock of gleaming sheep
shorn and equally attended
had grazed it clean.

This year they planted
a for sale sign in the field.
It has remained ungrazed.
Time for silage making
has long since passed

and the long grass
its nervy filaments
auguries of the season
bend rhythmically
to the slights of wind.

The earth appears now
gently to be breathing
as if the mythology
of the mother goddess
her wisdoms were true.

Here and there pioneers
trees and meadow seedlings
have already taken root,
nature’s mood for motley
mocking the old regime.

Pebbly with Stars

Roily clouds stream
along currents of air
filling the night sky.
Of a sudden,
it is dreamtime –
an inky pool appears
to my naked eye,
pebbly with stars.

 

 

 

Our Clothes Sway

In a testing breeze
our clothes sway
this way and that
upside down
on the washing line
like tight rope walkers
in a topsy-turvy world
our antimatter selves
in restless interplay
shadows and light
toing and froing
minds weighing up
balancing this world
its wavering realities.

© Anton Floyd