Poetry / Poets / Writers / Writing

Poems by Stephen Byrne

Moving On

Begin to fade.
Go now, be on your way.
Stop hanging around
in aftertastes and thoughts,
in fragrances upon the pillow.
Begin to fade.
Leave this room
this unmade bed.
Take with you
your red dress
your countless pairs of shoes-
that picture in Venice
where love was born and grew.
That old clock
found amongst the books
of the Bouquinistes
along the banks of the Seine.
Take it all.
Begin to fade,
far from shores of the mind
and the lingering fragments of thoughts.

A Letter to Bullshit on the Internet
                                                   In memoriam Kim Jong-un

Dear Facts

I read the other day
that he fired a man
with a flame thrower –
scooping up the ashes with his fingers.

I read that he fed an aunt
to his pet mice,
letting each mouse
nibble at feet and hands,
until the mice rolled over
with fat bellies
and mouths full of flesh.

It is stated, as fact,
that he kidnapped
a south Korean director
to make his own Godzilla movie,
                                                       coming soon.
I read somewhere,
that the key to winning
Olympic Gold medals
for the North Korean athletes
is refrigerators for winners,
labour camps for losers.
I read this, it must be true.

It is said that each male
must cut their hair to His style,
that women must wear trousers
and fashion is the work of some evil.
Rebels will be executed on the spot,
method, unknown, as of yet, until
I read it.

I have read online
that he has fed an Uncle to dogs,
had officials executed by flamethrower
or by bombing them to smithereens

that he despises fruit
especially oranges and has banned
any living creature
from ever eating one: punishment,
to be rolled up in carpets and trampled with horses.

I have read all this.
It must be true.

A Lover Speaks to their Beloved

If we are to know one another
like the river knows the way to the sea

If we are to live eternally in the
impeccable pocket of togetherness, then

we need to remember each step of the journey
that has carried us upon its shoulders

to tread barefoot across the bedroom floor
to touch lips, and the mountains

we have both climbed or
the seas that never kept us apart must

become a chest of memories, ready to be opened
or shared like the gift of the night-sky constellations

Let our fingers know every line
every border on the map of our bodies

Let our hands communicate in times
of silence, gripped together, hard and strong

Let our lips touch the same things: our skin-
this wine poured in the dark hour of morning

this pale cheek, still beneath the warmth of covers
and one eye opened, watching the curl of your lips

Because you have found in me
the beat in the cage of your chest
and I have found in you
a handful of earth, that
fills quiet moments of absence
We two now, hand in hand, shall
slip into the silent night
tonight, this night, two lovers
in the eye of a wavering light together
on the scent of our skin and
the journey laid bare at our feet

Stephen Byrne is a chef and writer in Galway west Ireland. His work has been published in Ireland, UK, US, Canada, Australia, India and New Zealand. He has read at many great venues and edited the anthology ‘Wayward Tuesdays’ which was short listed for Writing Magazines Writers’ Circle Anthology Award. He was shortlisted for The Redline Book Festival Poetry Competition 2014 aswell as shortlisted 2011 and longlisted 2014 for ‘Over the Edge’ Poetry competition. He is also guest editor for Emerge Literary Journal and Scissors & Spackle. He writes on his site http://therantingbeast.com/


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