The Tower Journal

Byron Beynon


Even from here
inside the sane oasis
of a courtyard
life can still be furnished
with credible hospitality.

We travelled with a phoenix of years,
found ourselves listening
to the whisper of strangers.

Already we have witnessed
that the midnight and noon
hours are the same,
and the skin seen fleetingly
opened like an insect’s case.


I hear the shadow of its sound
fading into the distant evening
as I settle before the departure
towards sleep.
In time I was able
to tell the difference
between passenger and freight,
that rocking assurance,
a shuffling move
that came swiftly and grew
to a metal crescendo,
continuing alone
on that private journey,
entering once more
the unknown night.


The tide has turned its face
from the shore, once more
the herring-gulls feed and quarrel
on the luminous mud
where lonely boats, abandoned and still,
wait, listening for the sound
return of the sea that will come
like the end of a journey.

Upright figures that stand on rocks,
the stranger who digs
for bait or for something he has detected,
the hopes and fears which are his alone.
The rose-blush of air enters
the bay on this invigorating day,
sand-ribbed and rubbed grains
peel away time, a flight of sky
seen before the rolling mist returns
again to listen for the marooned and mysterious cry.


For two months he lived
inside a room
with two single beds,
cane-chairs, table, lamp,
shower, and the air-conditioning
generated at night
when he’d stand
on the outer edge
looking at the polished stars
thinking of other worlds
turning round like faces

The silence of his tropical balcony,
with no pollution or sub-zero
temperatures made time
more agreeable.
His sense of order
in life was to survive
as he dialled
a long-distance number,
the one kept inside
his head in case of emergency.

Copyright © 2014 Byron Beynon

Byron BeynonByron Beynon lives in Swansea, Wales. His work has appeared in several publications including London Magazine, Poetry Wales, Poetry Ireland, Kentucky Review and the human rights anthology In Protest (University of London and Keats House Poets). His most recent collection is The Echoing Coastline (Agenda Editions).

The Tower Journal
Fall/Winter 2014