Live Encounters Poetry & Writing, Volume Two, December 2020.
Kieran Beville is a former teacher of English (literature and language). He was a Tutor in the Irish History Dept., UCC in the 1980s and served as lecturer of Hermeneutics in the Intercultural Studies Faculty at Tyndale Theological Seminary, Amsterdam (2011-2016). He taught Leadership Training Programmes in Eastern Europe (Serbia, Hungary, Romania and Moldova) as well as Jordan and India. He has been a keynote speaker on Postmodernism in Ireland, the U.K. and India. He is author of Write Now – A Guide to Becoming a Writer (Limerick Writers’ Centre, 2019) and the novel, Bohemian Fire (pen-name Austen K. Blake, Bohemian Books, 2017). In addition he has published fourteen non-fiction books. He has had a substantial number of feature articles (approx.100) published in various newspapers, journals and magazines in the UK, USA, India and Ireland (Limerick Leader and Ireland’s Own) as well as poetry in Cyphers, Crossways, A New Ulster, Ogham Stone, The Stony Thursday Book and The Sunday Tribune. His book – Fool’s Gold (a collection of poetry) was published by Revival Press, 2019. His latest book is a short biography: Pulling Back the Clouds – Mike Kelly, Collector and Curator of the Die-cast Model Aircraft Display at Shannon Airport, (2020, LWC).
Stone by stone
hewn and drawn to your holy hill
where you dwell
safe in lofty elevation
closer to heaven.
There you hear the still small voice
whisper in the lonely hours.
Danger shut out –
of your self-imposed prison.
All that is precious is secured.
Besieged in your sacred space
above the battle, beyond reach.
Fire and flood cannot breach
this bastion where you abide
alone with God, your champion
in the eventide.
Sycamore seeds spun like chopper blades
in the autumn sun when we ran
through the school gate
towards the fermenting river
to drink in fun together.
When I looked behind you were gone –
Slipped on a slimy stone,
your satchel bobbing in the foam.
I still look back, alone.
They brought you ashore in the angling cot,
laid you on the forget-me-not
and wiped the beery froth from your mouth.
I traipsed home across the fields
trudging through thick mud,
clumps of clay clinging to my boots.
Now and then my steps lead me to the field of bones
where a sycamore tree has grown
near your grave.
The Conch Shell
Walking on a foreign shore I find a conch shell
and remember my small hand in yours
the day you told me to hold it to my ear.
At your prompting I heard the ocean’s rhythm –
Marvelling at the mysterious magic in my hand
as I paddled in the warm sea of your love
and strolled along the hem of sand skirting the coast
where my mother stood.
Then one day I clasped cupped hands to my ears
when you shouted at her.
Your voice crashed like breakers on the rocks
in the acoustic ocean of my tumultuous thoughts.
Her tears warm and salty as the sea
on my lips when I kissed her.
Your words reverberating through the years
Where you still resonate in the cavity of my heart.
A man in a beret, shivering,
from cold or fear I cannot say.
A woman in a winter coat and gloved hands,
linking, leaning into him.
They await a November train on platform nine,
shuffling slowly towards departure and destiny.
The train takes its time.
He stoops to kiss those ruby lips,
she stands on her toes to reach,
his hands rest on her hips.
says her goodbyes,
dries her eyes with his handkerchief.
He carries his duffle bag,
the burden that men must bear
as he goes to war.
But the load she bears is heavier
as she climbs the stairs
to spend the nights in sleepless care
and prays that he’ll come home.
The Road to Silence
Her tongue now silent as Latin once ruled my world –
Built inroads to my heart and left the same way.
When I was driven into the wilderness to pray
there were demons keen to talk.
Should I finish what I had not begun?
Or answer what I had not been asked?
The path to silence is paved with reasons to speak
that must be trampled underfoot.
The seeds of arguments must die
to germinate and bear fruit –
Thus becoming what they are.
So too with you and I
The journey is not far.
© Kieran Beville