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.


  1. This is deeply touching.

    Out of nature you build a story that conveys all the emotions. Stillness - that first reaction to getting unexpected news. The need to close in for protection - wanting "the long arms of elms" and yet feeling forsaken at the same time because of the "sunshine slowly dying". Hopes blotted as "knots of shade". The "little splotches of cloud" hiding what you cannot yet know. Drawing close and being "all together" and aware of how the sense of security is easily shattered, made "false". And through it all this wonderful image of a child running across the grass and yet "alone" because from what you already know his world is not destined to be yours.

    It's good that the diagnosis is not named. What these words convey are universal feelings.

  2. Thanks again, Maureen, for your close and insightful readings of the poetry. Your responses are much appreciated.