Saws
(for Linda)

1

flame has a skin of cold
light sets limit to the dark
so name me then
the outside rind of memory
the clothes love wears

*

rock in the streambed
fluid thats your element is absence
complex with vortices and currents
bears cold against the bone
still hand reaches grips itself

*

silence vexed
touch when presence would suffice
anatomizing scrutiny
break the made whole
care gathers mute blind here

*

faulting crowd from fend
touch impairs the waist the small
the shoulder prompts the touch
as instruments diminish even to the heart
needs must intents persist

*

spontaneously sight unseen
in the intervals between
where venture hunts its gain
beasts may become familiar
and grow tame


2

hold friends and colours and sleep fast
inch an abyss ocean no barrier
truly the execution is woeful
passion suffers where the flimsy heart
wont break wont break

*

chance set of winds you
fixed deck of bones you
my chambered and mined
my furnished with tables
my table of cases of tides

*

the water touched
deteriorates and gains
last of whats passing
first of whats to come
robs and returns

*

action dons habit of effect
sleight uncontrolled
ghosted out from us
how ever to come to again
if we nothing have laid down

*

every sake acknowledged serves
this am traversed by words
provisional coherence
interim and out of sorts
able for joy


3

mirrors eclipses departures
loss instantaneous or slow
barren doubling
death is all we see awake
and sleeping only sleep

*

fronts and systems move across
through the weather of such data
drifting hungers and accessory rage
you claim with care your personal effects
as general consequence accrues

*

no cage is found for wind or rain
so older than desire that stirs the hand
prior to relief to grief to nerve and nerves
what by the heart
is hidden hidden is

*

structures unseen the seen decide
you near space intervenes
gone head will conjure head the lid the lip
waking we share and sleeping turn aside
eyes twinned make the world deep

*

have you forgotten
that past is anyhow indelible
scape from its map withdraws
to lodge at heart in dream through fright flight poised
map gone you have forgotten nothing

*****


Trevor Joyce's collected poems, 1966-2000, were published as with the first dream of fire they hunt the cold. In 2003, Toronto press, the Gig, published a pair of chapbooks of more recent work under the joint title Take Over, Undone Say. 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.