Two poems from Adam Wyeth’s Silent Music


Adam Wyeth’s a Cork-based poet who’s been highly commended by the Forward Prize and a runner up in the Arvon International Poetry competition, among many enviable accolades. His debut collection, Silent Music, is published by Salmon and it’s a pleasure to post two poems from the book here.



Pinter’s Pause

It was the height of summer.
We sat in the garden reading a play.
I played him and you played her.
Before long you said, ‘Do you know about
Pinter’s pause? – those silent moments –
pregnant with words unsaid … ’

I wasn’t really listening, I thought I saw
a fox in the undergrowth—
stopping by the hedge to eye up his purple gloves.
Everything was in flower.
We read the play right the way through.
I was him, she was you.

Looking up during each pause—
I imagined him creeping beyond our garden
wriggling under the gap in the fence
behind the clematis and convolvulus—
or whatever it was? The twist of hedgerow,
the turn in the lane, the height of the day.

Just then, everything stopped,
caught between the hands of a clock.
The sun was at its zenith;
I thought if I put my hand out,
I could catch it and put it in my pocket.
I didn’t want to say anything, to break the spell.

Then it moved on—like a great cog
in a grandfather clock. The season was passing,
our lives were turning before its eyes.
Those soft paws padding the undergrowth,
gingerly treading between the hedgerows—
beyond the clematis and convolvulus



Leland Bardwell

night I could not sleep
I came to read you in lamplight –
poking from the rushes
of books, festooned on my shelves
that I look upon as family.
But Leland, you were the least familiar
of kith and kin, given me
by your son, Nicholas in Dingle.
And so, Leland Bardwell,
I stretched out your pages like arms
and undressed you
with my eyes, my ears, my nose, my hands,
my mouth – watering inside –
devoured you! Night I could not sleep,
Leland Bardwell
I came to you out of the rushes of bed sheets,
and held your slender spine
tenderly as the first time I found poetry
singing in me.
The lines of your life on Lower Leeson Street
opened and closed like windows
in my mind, and the sun and moon rose
at the same time.
Leland Bardwell, night I could not sleep
I came to raise the dead
weight of my head from its rushes of knots
and lay it on your lap
where your lyrics ran like fingers through my locks.
Night cannot contain
the strain of thoughts that fly between these walls –
so I have come
to settle them in words
plucking them
from the air, where all things come.
Such thoughts
I had while reading you Leland Bardwell,
night I could not sleep.


Find out more about Adam’s debut collection and read two more poems here, and see a recent review of it here

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