Tim Dwyer – Homeward

Profile Tim Dwyer LE P&W Dec V One 2018

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Homeward, poems by Tim Dwyer

Tim Dwyer’s chapbook is Smithy Of Our Longings: Poems From The Irish Diaspora (Belfast: Lapwing Publications, 2015). His poems have appeared in Cyphers, Orbis, Southword and the stinging fly, among other journals.  Born in Brooklyn, parents from Galway, currently in Connecticut, he will be living in Bangor in the north of Ireland in 2019.  He is a psychologist at a women’s maximum security prison


A remnant traveller
on a French container ship
sails to America,
era of the 747.
Dinner at the captain’s table,
midst of the Atlantic,
a world not here or there.

Belongings packed in tea chests
journey from Belfast to Port Elizabeth.
Overland to a wooded valley
enclosed by the Catskill Mountains,
prison of shadows.


Now, possessions sorted
for the return home.
A box of eggcups and teapots
collected during the American years.
Down quilt from the journey long ago,
comfort in a foreign land,
offered to a local thrift shop.

May it warm another misplaced traveller
in a land evermore foreign.

A world not here or there- note the similar phrase
‘You are neither here nor there’
from Postscript, Seamus Heaney
(Opened Ground: Selected Poems 1966–1996
by Seamus Heaney.1998. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.)

Approaching Newark  

Temporary migrations underway,
we are near the Solstice.
Approaching the airport
on the New Jersey Turnpike,
America lingers on the radio.

Falling night, countless ground lights
become a second sky.
We wait for your daughter-
star girl, soul traveller
arriving from the North Atlantic.

Expectant as a child,
you gaze through plexi-glass,
search faces of arrivals
from international gates.

Climbing through customs
and imaginary obstacles,
Joy has been granted
a security clearance.

America- A song by Paul Simon

Bedrock Oak

Bedford Hills, NY

Quercus Alba, circa 1500.
The sign advises to admire
from a distance: bare, gnarled, massive limbs
may give way.

Moss covered arm, held by a log,
crutch for the elder.
Old man’s face preserved in the bark,
the last sachem from the Wolf clan.
Broad expanse of the bough,
embrace or a prayer.

Two hundred years old
when white settlers arrived.
What the Kitchawank accepted
as gifts of peace,
were entitlement to a future
of hedge fund estates.

I lay my hands on wrinkled bark,
see green shoots of spring leaves.

Sachem-a Native American chief
Bedford Hills- an affluent community in Westchester County, NY

What You See

Do not let facts hinder the truth
                                       Man of La Mancha

Transfixed by the corner of my office,
the jackets on the coat rack
have become the Blessed Mother.

The light flickering in the hallway,
a sign from Jesus.

The murmurs from next door,
family not seen in ten years.
They travel in disguise
but soon they will appear.

You explain your embrace
of the woman in the next cell-
she is no stranger,
she is the archangel revealed,
why God called you to serve this time.

You pray the blessings of the Almighty
be upon me.  I give you thanks.

Gloaming at Cover Park

I reach the shore
as the golden hour shifts to purple.
Winter remnants in the wind,
receding patches of snow.

I am the visitor here.
This sea belongs to Canada geese,
herring gulls, red breasted mergansers-
they dive below the surface,
emerge at a distance,
fly away.

Through remaining light
among solitary souls,
I seek squatter’s rights
at the rim of this veiled world.

© Tim Dwyer