Poet of the Month

 MAY: BYRON BEYNON, WELSH POET

 


Byron Beynon

(c) 2021 Byron Beynon


Byron Beynon coordinated Wales’ contribution to the anthology Fifty Strong (Heinemann). His poems and essays are featured in several publications including The Independent, Agenda, The London Magazine, Planet, Wasafiri, Spoon River Poetry Review, Chicago Poetry Review and the human rights anthology In Protest (University of London and Keats House Poets). He is the author of 11 collections of Poetry including Cuffs (Rack Press) and The Echoing Coastline (Agenda Editions).  He lives in Swansea.

The Seventh Quarry Press will publish a poetry collection by Byron in January 2022.

 

RENOIR AT LES COLLETTES

The cicadas already
conduct the sound of the day.
Early conversation in a garden
with olive trees and a view
towards the Mediterranean.

The optimism you had -
being an old man
with crippling arthritis -
for life, health,
the beauty and vigour it could afford.

Inside the house your studio
with armchair, easel,
brushes and frames,
the quiet edges of the room.

The hushed strokes of passing
time, the depth of eye
as figures walk by
flooded in red-golden light,
the sensuality touching
a disclosure of heat.


NURSE

Think of the humanity
behind the mask,
a gift of patience
for the enormous task,
those eternal challenges
which continue
to descend
on the mind's calling.
The sublime stars
light you homeward,
guiding the engaged
heart from the outer darkness
witnessed from an incorruptible window.


MRS DAVIES, VERDUN

She named the house
after a place she'd never seen,

capital letters painted
on a rectangle of glass

which fitted perfectly above the front
door facing a main road.

Her father had known Verdun,
he had witnessed

the evening darken over destroyed
bodies of the unburied dead,

saw too, the eyes of flowers
bruised in the slaughtered fields,

the saliva of flies in their millions
crawling on flesh.

Across the falling decades
she admired the light filtering
through the summer trees,

noticed the July hum of insects
disturbed in a humid month

by thunder that rattled windows,
brought a fresh cycle of rain

descending like continuous lines
across the human space of time.

 

Poems (c) 2021 Byron Beynon