from Ana

court
tombs
constitute
our earliest
examples

local sites
exhibit small
side chambers

transepted
galleries

only the
largest
slabs
remain

fallen
displaced

smaller stones
purloined for
nearby walls
or roadworks

the ideal form
exists
in imagination
only

+++

 

 

torrential
penetrates
and rots
the sight

starved
memory
lives off
its store
and wastes

letters? no
correspondence

change? yes
necessarily
it occurs

subdued
of little
consequence

am
out of
harm's
way
here

stone
streaming
glass
opaque

+++

 

 

barbarians
are bad
at walls

ours keep
them out

hordes
break
like a river
against
our bastions
and then
flow on

sweet
orchards
gentle
hounds
we have

the hands
of slaves
draw us
sweet
water
up

+++

 

 

his dying
words

flesh
from his bones
be boiled

familiarly
inhumed

those urgent bones
to head
his remnant troops
in battle

this was not done

instead
flesh by bones
together
sweated

slow
remission

long
among
candles

+++

 

 

hollowing
out the
darkness

nesting
there

sheeted in
with glass
wood lead

and with gold
or silver
skins

bookbinders
endpapers

or fabric
for matting

are still lifes
memories
gardens

listen

uncertain
steps return
always at
night

+++

 

 

they offered
hospitality
to our gods
who unaccountably
decamped

city
groves
and temples
voided out

our prayers
decrees
and formulae
blind
breath

terror
and forget
fulness
succeeded

gods
and salt
trade
gone

who is to
pity us?

+++

 

 

beyond
neat roofs
ancient
irregular walls
protrude

grass
and taller
vegetation
thrives high

the escape
into deep
space
encompassed
is invisible
from the upstairs
window

sometimes
pigeons
scatter up

some day
the child
will go
look

+++

 

 

the marvellous
bird
won't sing
on every
branch

i don't
always have
a quilted
bed

pity me
wait for me
turn to me
kiss me
pity me

red apple
eating
straw bale
sleeping

turn to me

+++

 

 

right
shoulder
red?

from vein
of neither
bird
nor beast

that ship
lacked keel?

all tenders
demand care

calendric
thumb
and thimble
push

the flashing
past

they rear
and scamper
back

ragged bones
terror
so selved

+++

 

 

withdrew
through brick
coal sheets
of readings
counts
accounts

his mills
grind slowly

it is appointed
unto man

replaced twin
trepanned plugs
of bone

slipped back
into field
dressings

turned

and he
laid down
his life

+++



Trevor Joyce's collected poems, 1966-2000, were published as with the first dream of fire they hunt the cold by Shearsman, from whom a volume of workings from the Irish, Courts of Air and Earth, will appear in 2006. Also this year, The Gig will publish a collected volume covering the years 2000 to date. Joyce was born and brought up in central Dublin, where he co-founded New Writers' Press with Michael Smith in 1967. He now lives in Cork, on the south coast of Ireland, where he has been a director of SoundEye: The Cork International Poetry Festival since its beginnings in 1997, and manages the soundeye.org website. He is a Fulbright Scholar and a member of Aosdána.