Affinities, poems by Anton Floyd
Anton Floyd was born in Cairo, Egypt a Levantine mix of !rish, Maltese, English and French Lebanese. Raised in the Cyprus he lived through the struggle for independence and the island remains close to his heart. Educated in Ireland, he studied English at Trinity College, Dublin and continued his postgraduate studies at University College Cork. He has lived and worked in the Eastern Mediterranean. He is now teaching in Cork city and lives in West Cork. Poems published in The Stony Thursday Book, Ghent Review, Live Encounters, The Shot Glass Journal, Crannóg, Inisfáil Arts Journal, Contemporary Haibun on Line, Visual Verse and haiku in Shamrock. He is a member of Irish Haiku Society. He won the IHS International Competition (2014), honourable mention (2015) prize winner (2016) and was runner up in the Snapshot Press Haiku Calendar 2016 Competition. A selection of haiku is included in Between the Leaves, an anthology of new haiku writing from Ireland edited by Anatoly Kudriavitsky (Arlen House). Poems have been selected by the Limerick Writer’s Centre, for the April is Poetry Month Poster Poetry Trail 2017 and 2018 and for the Kilkenny Arts Festival Fringe Poetry Trails. 2017 and 2018; the Inisheer Zibaldone Notebook (2017) and Drawing on Joyce an installation by Nickie Hayden at the Oliver Cornet Gallery, Dublin. He has edited Remembrance Suite, a chapbook of sonnets by Shirin Sabri (2018) and an international anthology of poems, Point by Point (2018). His own debut collection of poems, Falling Into Place, published by Revival Press (2018).
Absolute as Jet
Is it love fires their electricity,
the chemistry, absolute as jet?
Is that what starts the rough music
the direct, teenage kick of it?
A force that schools the empiric,
hard wired, naturally scientific.
Something to amaze and inspire
someone like Archimedes.
I’ll call it love and there is genius in it:
a practical grasp of geometry,
the fulcrum, balancing points,
vectors, materials procurement
and engineering. With what ease
and speed and care they build,
calculate without complaint
about urgent deadlines.
The force of love. And Archimedes
would no doubt have admired
this perfect sense of the applied,
the ideas, yes, ideas of volume,
their abilities with spheres
and especially their fierce defense
to the death against any invader
come to disturb their circles.
It arrives with light. Is absolute as jet.
Crows make no secret
of their naked talents.
They pass them freely on
proclaiming in free flight
in gutteral black and white,
elided by the resistance of the wind:
eureka ka ka ka
Lately a sleek magpie
in the habit of his order
scapular and tunic,
comes to the window
regular as a cistercian
for his evening office.
There is something exotic
about these visitations,
of the wild coming in close
and yet unnerving –
no way of really knowing
what’s under that hood.
With his beady eye, a beak
like a jemmy, a reputation
for not missing a trick,
it’s easy to fear the worst
and set up defenses
against such probing.
He leaves unsated
yet the would-be thief
leaves a timely gift.
The afterburn in his flight
is an eye for our wild affinities
and the daily stakeout of my life.
At this moment
At this moment on the eastern horizon
the disc of the sun breasts the hill-rise.
The hedgerow marks the shoreline
in a drifting tide of January mists.
Islands of trees are a stark profile,
filigree against a blue-green sky.
A falcon sits on a spreading branch.
It could be a carved figurehead
steering this spectral sea
or a cameo of a Roman emperor
ordering the day’s campaign. Turning
he fixes the land in his yellow stare,
aloof from this morning scene
in which he plays his part.
© Anton Floyd