The moon is in the windand the wind is in the boughand the bough is in the doorthat our father leaves open.
‘Adam Wyeth’s work is fresh and intriguing, alive with imaginative riffs, grave humour and more besides – it rewards close attention.’Katie Donovan
Ailbhe Darcy, The Stinging Fly
The Irish times
These are rough metaphors.
I could polish and shape them
until they are round
and smooth as crystal balls.
I could tear my eyes
out of my skull and replace them
with these other marvels.
In the orchard the son
asked his father where
everything in the world
came from. The father
plucked a pear from
a branch, broke its flesh
in half and gave his son
a seed, then asked him
to crack it open and tell
him what he saw inside.
The son bit into its husk
and said there was nothing
there. They continued
through the orchard without
a word between them.
fall like leaves littering the reflection
of the day, then are released birds.
into a cloud, a wisp in the wind,
leaving only a trace of himself
on her collar, the post-coital shock
of tousled hair, the tar-breath
still in the mouth.
a paperweight for words that might
otherwise take wing with the gulls
beyond the window.
Rows of houses beetle past on a carousel.An electric flatline quivers on the horizon
then fades, as if my returning has reversed time [.]
convexed ribs poked throughthe sheets, his sagging torsoa sack of rotten potatoes [.]
black-lickedwords fall like leaves littering the reflectionof the day, then are released birds.
a beautiful head growing out of a bough,spreading its branches in all directions.
On the other hand, perhaps her stillness was a signthat there were items of overwhelming cost:legal documents, her great grandmother’s watch,
a diamond ring, a signed copy of Ulysses, first edition.‘Should I call the police?’ I asked, sitting back down.She gave a shrug that showed the futility of my question.She seemed to have complete self-control,
I thought she might be a pupil of the mysteriousTibetan school who acquire material possessionsonly so they can let them go: to learn the artof dying, slipping quietly away between
thoughts when no one is looking.
My mother’s kitchen was a sea of blue cupboardsand shiny surfaces, the door was always closedor just ajar. Sometimes I’d peep in and spot herdusting packets on shelves, or mopping the floorsmooth as an ice rink. A pot of wilting thyme
sat dying of thirst on the window sill, while outsidea bare hedge ringed our home, fortifying usfrom next door. When I asked for water she’d startleout of her cleaning waltz, spin on the spot, thentake a polished glass from the highest cupboard
and dash to the taps, I’d catch her twisted imagebending in its chrome arm, letting the gush of waterrun cold before filling the glass. I’d stand at the doorwanting to break through its icy exterior – the seaof glass – but knew if I did world would shatter.
In the orchard the sonasked his father whereeverything in the worldcame from. The fatherplucked a pear froma branch, broke its fleshin half and gave his sona seed, then asked himto crack it open and tellhim what he saw inside.The son bit into its huskand said there was nothingthere. They continuedthrough the orchard withouta word between them.
But few know the story of when she first tried it on
saying she wanted to becomeas the silver birch she sat under as a child –
the one that lit up like a maypole after rainand had the sweet tang of bourbon.
Whenever she was lost she’d close her eyes and listento its whispers as it succumbed to the breeze.
Now she had become the dream, yet behindher blithe smile was the studied model
directed to fight the updraught, just enough to showtrembling legs, but not to reveal anything else.