This blog has been created as an open experiment of poetry composition, perhaps a glimpse at an emerging manuscript as it matures. This working manuscript should not be considered as complete or published. Instead, this should be viewed as merely an early stage in the process of creation.

I have placed below some of the pages from an isolated venture in one of my typescript loose-leaf folders. The contents here represent portions of an ongoing personal project with a particularly narrow focus intended to eventually develop toward a book-length poetry sequence with the tentative working title of

The poem will grow as new sections are added. The individual posts are designed so that they may be viewed as independent items; however, I have consciously carried themes, images, and similar language through the extended sequence with the hope that connectivity and continuity will be preserved among numerous sections of the long poem.

Readers are asked to regard this piece as a work in progress, a partial or rough draft rather than a finished product (even if some selected segments previously may have appeared in print), and I request everyone realize various edits, emendations, or expansion may be made to the posts at any time in the future. Moreover, at some point the entire sequence will be removed to undergo a complete revision.

Therefore, I urge visitors to become followers of the blog by clicking the link in the sidebar, as well as to follow on Twitter for updates. Readers are also invited to browse my personal web site for additional information.

Indeed, a significant part of this experiment involves a certain amount of transparency that includes the possibility for readers to communicate responses and offer constructive suggestions, both of which I welcome through post comments or e-mail messages.

Also, I advise that the order of the numbered sections is not meant to be at all definitive since the long poem’s sequence will certainly be reorganized as the work in this temporary format starts to resemble a completed manuscript and begins to assume a more formal shape that might eventually be suitable for publication. In fact, I welcome interest from book publishers as well.

Thank you for taking the time to examine this trial stage, a test which I perceive as a preliminary process in the composition of a possible poetry manuscript. —Edward Byrne

Saturday, June 12, 2010


. . . . .
XV. Seeking Inklings in an Old Video

He held mussel shells—indigo blue inside and black
. . . . . on back—or those round pebbles he had

found rolling like dark marbles in the tidewater
. . . . . wash, as if he had a handful of hard candy.

The wind’s speed picked up, the sea shining behind
. . . . . him, each wave displayed like a crinkled

sheet of tinfoil unfurled under that day’s final
. . . . . splay of sunlight. Every one of our son’s

uneasy steps at the ocean’s edge left an impression,
. . . . . still refilling with water—even as I witness

it now, in midwinter three years later. We could
. . . . . not have known then to watch for the few

symptoms we would soon learn to view with fear.
. . . . . Even those little hints we missed, a lack

of balance whenever he would lean to lift another
. . . . . stick of driftwood, as if the shoreline’s

slant had suddenly become too steep, or the tipped
. . . . . head and sideways glance he’d give us,

though we thought he only wanted reassurance,
. . . . . were never seen as dubious sorts of acts

that ought to indicate a reason to have misgivings.
. . . . . But to the two of us, now so suspicious,

feeling guilt, every unsure move that camera caught
. . . . . appears to be uninvestigated evidence left

behind, even in this scene when the tape runs to its end.
. . . . . He sits on the sand, back toward the shore,

counting out his collection of shells in a single file,
. . . . . as if pretending every one of them were part

of some private treasure, the way anyone might
. . . . . arrange family keepsakes, jewels or gems

kept as heirlooms somewhere in a darkened drawer,
. . . . . brought out for comfort in a time of grief.

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