Amy Louise Wyatt is an A Level Lecturer, poet and artist from Bangor, N.I. She founded the Bangor Poetry Competition and regularly facilitates workshops and exhibitions. Amy has been published in Edify and FourXFour with Lagan Press. She was a finalist in the 2016 National Funeral Services Poetry Competition and a finalist in the 2017 Aspects Festival Poetry Slam.
My heart has been boiled hard and dry as bone.
Sahara dust bowl; baked sand sculpture; more than
thirsty; cusp of extinct; cup of ash. Willing time to spill
itself; alone and it alone will follow suit. My heart,
an arid sacrifice eaten with bread and wine.
If only I’d kept check on ebb and flow. Tides
like dancing witches soaked in magic foaming
at the moon worship at the corners of the earth
where each god hides. A magnet could not keep me
here; I am parched beyond revival. Dead as bone.
We are the only cowboys on the road at noon
surprisingly hot for Donegal-
a Jekyll and Hyde in the sun and the gloom.
‘We’re passing through Indian Country,’
he said, as he always tells me Peggy said in her day.
Cold white stone cracking through the mountains
like in a western it would; or the perception
of another world; the epics; or the stone age.
Piles of unbuilt houses on the left; cabinets and fire
wood rooting from the ground; and a lonely foxglove-
pink in all its glory hovering in the wind blessing itself,
waiting on holy water to wash it taller tomorrow.
Appearing in the gruff- a bright blue Mary peeking
through the grass with prayers; fervent whispers
in the breeze from pilgrims in search of moody skies.
A feeling you could be anywhere in the world,
a thousand plays on green and many other colours-
the landscape burnt and quenched.
The chameleon effect.
I spoke in words I’d heard my mother use-
that until now had not been mine to claim.
The twenty seventh day delights in flame
singed by the boiled first breath. My muse,
my little muse. You cried a womb-won
battle cry and felled upon my side
still tied; battle scarred; wrinkling into life.
‘We won, we won. We won just one.’
Your face was mine. Yet yours. Yet his.
How can a babe translate the language of
those who chose him without knowing? Cast off,
cast on- we dropped a stitch and you are this.
You speak in words my mother heard me use-
you claimed my spot and I claimed hers, my muse.
In autumn wingless red breasts will take to the air
no longer territorial or alone,
turned coats lining the park in unruly procession.
Fallen yellow bellies, black wet undersides glistening,
pinched crisp by autumnal nip,
curling in thirst, soon sodden mulch and skeleton leaf.
Shards of veined copper plate charging in the falling sun,
furled palms bridging the park one side to another;
heaped in rows kicked into line slipped to the side.
Trees weep as kin crunch underboot-
soon they will be filmed in white or glass
naked and proud- flagellated by the cold.