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In a Changing Light

Phil Lynch

ISBN: 978-1-910669-45-7

Page Count: 68

Publication Date: Monday, June 13, 2016

Cover Artwork: Cover Photograph: Donal Norton

Click to play audio "Obscuring the Dark", read by Phil Lynch. play
Click to play audio "The Sunshine is Someplace Else", read by Phil Lyn... play
Click to play audio "Tossa Revisited", read by Phil Lynch. play

About this Book

Phil Lynch’s debut poetry collection takes us on a journey of encounter, observation and questioning – to places real and imagined. His themes range from the personal to the political (with a small p, at least) and from the local to the global. There are poems inspired by love, loss, landscapes and landmarks: reflections of diverse moments glimpsed through the poet’s experiences and his brushes with the wider world. Through poetry, he is trying to make sense of a constantly shifting world; a world difficult to hold long enough to extract answers to questions posed.  Lynch’s poetry is lyrical and rhythmic, an accessible mix of styles incorporating rhyme and free verse forms to fit the mood of the moment. The poems are playful at times, serious and sober at others.

Author Biography

Phil Lynch lives in Dublin. He also lived in Belgium for a time. Most recently, his poems have appeared in, amongst others: Even The Daybreak: 35 Years of Salmon Poetry, Revival, Bare Hands Anthology, Bare Hands Poetry (online), Boyne Berries Series, The Poetry Bus, Headstuff, OFi Press Literary Magazine (Mexico), Wordlegs, The Runt, Census 3, Circle Time, Headspace, Silver Apples Magazine, Bray Arts Journal. He has also been featured on the Arena Arts Show and the Poetry Programme on RTE Radio as well as on a number of local radio programmes. In 2015, he was placed third in the Doolin Writers’ Weekend Poetry Competition, shortlisted in the Red Line Poetry Competition and longlisted in the Dermot Healy International Poetry Competition. In 2014 he was a runner-up in the iYeats Poetry Competition and longlisted in the Over The Edge New Writer of the Year Competition. He is a regular reader/performer at poetry and spoken word events and festivals in Ireland and further afield, including Electric Picnic and Cúirt festivals and events in London, Paris, Brussels and New York. Phil is a co-founder of Ireland’s only spoken word festival, Lingo, and is a member of the Dalkey Writers Workshop. 

Read a sample from this book

The Sunshine is Someplace Else

A man on Grafton Street
holds a pole 
on top of which there is a board 
advertising sunglasses
in a shop that is somewhere else.
He wears a worn leather jacket,
gloves, scarf and knitted hat,
but no sunglasses.
He looks like he has come
from somewhere sunny,
he looks like he wishes he could be
somewhere sunnier than here.

The largest range of designer
sunglasses in Ireland,
it says on his board.
The sun was shining earlier
now it looks like rain again.
He pulls his hood up over his knitted hat.

A treadmill of people
moves up and down
some with smiles
some with shades 
some with frowns.

A bald man walks past in a suit
he wears sunglasses and an overcoat
an umbrella in one hand
a briefcase in the other
he doesn’t see the man 
with the sunglasses ad
he doesn’t see beyond
the papers he carries
in his tightly gripped bag.
A young man holds up a cup
he is looking for shade,
for shelter, for anything better;
a busker belts out
songs of sunshine and loss
while a couple of lovers
begin losing each other
in the depths of a slow-dance
of pain.

There’s a child 
in a pram, both she 
and her mam have spectacles 
dark on their faces;
the sellers of flowers at the corner 
for hours are content that their stems
have the sunshine within
for they’ve come
from the sunniest of places.

The sun shines rarely now
but people still like to pretend
that it shines more often
and this, in the end,
is sometimes enough.

The sunglasses shop
is in the next street.
The sunshine is still someplace else.

Obscuring the Dark

The sun makes light
of the sea 
then sets to the west
with a fiery breath
taking one more
day’s light from me.

My heart holds its beat
in the sleep of the night
bringing comfort and calm
to my mind
until dawn sends the moon
off to rest for the day
and I wake to the tune
of your lips on my face.

The spark from each kiss
keeps the embers aglow
as the sun starts to dance 
on the sea
each touch and embrace
fan the flames as we go
headlong deep
down into the spray.

The waves wash away
our tracks in the sand
but we make a new path
on a different shore
though we bathe in the tide
of a day that will pass
our love is the light
that obscures the dark.

Tossa Revisited

Two lovers
one scooter
the martyr Vincent
observes their kisses
from his carved out window
high above the old town square

the church clock chimes the hour
pews empty and quiet now
in the night as in the day
I walked the empty aisle
to count the steps
from door to altar

lizards dart in and out
from behind a light 
half way up a wall
they pause to take stock
of the comings and goings
a drunk with a can
and a one-legged man
make their different ways home

silhouetted two floors up 
my thoughts run rampant
a balcony of memories
the only sound 
the pouring of another glass

all is well 
in the old town 

Poems copyright © Phil Lynch 2016

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