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, July 24, 2010


          XIX. On Learning of Our Son's Illness

The only sound we hear is that warm afternoon
          wind still sifting through the long arms of elms

everywhere around us.  We watch as our son
          runs alone across the grass, his figure silhouetted

now against sunshine slowly dying in the sky
          behind him.  Our own shadows are lengthening

along the lawn, drifting like little splotches
          of cloud cover, spotty knots of shade blotting

bits of landscape in that late light—as always,
          eventually seeming to link us with everything

we can see until nightfall once more gathers 
          all together in the false security of its embrace.

Even in such darkness, as the three of us return
          home, fears of what might lie ahead never disappear.

Monday, July 12, 2010


. . . . . XVIII. At the Chapel

As late daylight moves through
. . . . . a few stained windowpanes, these walls

take on an appearance of murals,
. . . . . though printed mostly in paler shades

of primary paint. My son slowly
. . . . . guides one hand along the tinted images,

dipping his fingers into that palette
. . . . . of illuminations now brightening white

space before him—as if he is trying
. . . . . to test its temperature or in an attempt

to enter an alternative existence.
. . . . . His wide smile disguises apprehension

when he reaches to touch the green
. . . . . serpent twisting like some vine winding

around the brown bark of a branch
. . . . . toward its ruby fruit. And by the time

Alex grabs at the image—hoping
. . . . . to hold an apple, his whole arm tattooed

with a brilliant glaze—he is sure
. . . . . this world offers more colorful options.