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Anton Floyd – Faultlines

Profile Anton Floyd LE Poetry & Writing July 2018

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Faultlines, 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.

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, headteacher, artistic director and producer, he now teaches in Cork city and makes a renovated farmhouse home in West Cork. With Carole Anne, his Limerick-born wife, 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 Haiku Calendar 2016 Competition. He’s a member of 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). Poems have been selected by the Limerick Writers’ Centre for the April Poster Poetry Trail 2017 and 2018 and a selection of his poems appeared in the poetry trail of the Kilkenny Arts Festival Fringe in 2017, the Inisheer Baldone Notebook. Drawing on Joyce Exhibition by Nickie Hayden at the Olivier Cornet Gallery, Dublin (June 2018). Forthcoming in 2018 a debut poetry collection, Falling into Place. (Revival Press)


The Faultlines

The cyclamens are in bloom.
They wear crowns of blood red.
I cannot guess at what is needed
for you to find some equilibrium.
Perhaps a form of healing words
might serve, some potent spell
and you will, like a startled bird
tumbling in mid-flight, regain control.
Even today as you playback time,
rewinding the faultlines of your past,
you revive episodes and names that chime
with blame – we’re all players in that cast.
Yes, scars hurt, yet when love forgives love’s wrongs,
hurt dissolves like a wafer on the tongue.

 

 

 

 

 

Bellapais, Cyprus

i.m. Lawrence Durrell
for Alma Pietroni

The sun has passed mid sky.
Great lion pads of rock
inching from the foothills
have begun to throw
their shadows forwards.

This coarse brown loaf
tastes so good. Nicolas says.
Am I imagining it or
does the air smell of lemons?
On a day like this
Shibboleths prove nothing.
What do they matter
those badges of division?

Go on, repeat them
if you can, the names
of the kings, the men
who came to conquer
that coastal plain below.

Lazarus

i.m. Hugh McKinley

If you could lick my heart, it would poison you
a survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto

i
At coastal Kition
the sough of waves,
the breezes in the palms
underscore the night.
And riding wavelengths
of another sort
are midnight sounds
human noises confirming
in houses in waterfront cafés
apartments and hotels
in the revel-rout of neon bars
around the minarets and towers
the complexities of love
and sleaze around the port.

 

ii
There’s a stillness in that current’s swirl
where Byzantine domes harbour
the icon of the relic saint.
He who on these cathedral walls
in the auric glow of awe and pity
sets the perennial question of the dark.
And to assuage their angel hunger
they light a million candles
the pilgrims from the streets
flaming tongues to purge the vanities
that poison their conceits
and in his mythic presence
make bonfires of their hearts.

 

iii
Rough-hewn steps lead down
to the second grave of the man
from Bethany. He, the four days dead,
in the stench of desiccated breath
unwound his alien tales, scrolled
on the linen of his winding sheet,
tales that reset his world
like a black star on a bobbin spinning.

Lazarus iconic or Lazarus the saint
relived his life and wanted it darker,
his laughter turned to mourning
for the lost in the abyss. And the magic
of these candles burning mirrored in this gold
is the dancing of a firelight that’s cold.


 

© Anton Floyd