Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tuesday Poem: "How Fast Do You Dig" by Sean Joyce


For Federico Garcia Lorca

How fast do you dig
when the sweet fat moon is climbing high
and the air whispers in the trees
How fast do you dig
when you dig your own grave
how fast

How slow do you dig
when the stars are out and the men with the guns
stretch out on the grass
When they roll cigarettes and they wait for you
how slow do you dig
how slow

When the young one offers to roll you a smoke
How slow do you dig
How long is the night
How deep is the grave
of a poet.



Sean Joyce is a Marriage and Funeral Celebrant and a Writer. 

Sean grew up in Galway in the west of Ireland and lived in London and Spain before moving to Christchurch in 1975. 

His poems have appeared in a NZ Poetry Society Anthology, The PressSnorkel, Catalyst, VoicePrints (a Canterbury Poets Collective anthology) and others. His short stories have been published by The Press and by Fish Publishing, Bantry, County Cork, Ireland.

Sean is currently Secretary of the Canterbury Poets Collective.

I first heard Sean read his poetry at a Canterbury Poets Collective reading in the much-loved, but sadly gone, Madras Cafe. I confess I'm a sucker for an Irish accent, but Sean's irrepressible spirit and joie de vivre comes through in his work and when he steps up to the lectern, he soon has the audience in the palm of his hand. Of the poetry that I've heard Sean read, I'm always struck by his emotional honesty and his directness. His work is sometimes spare, but he chooses his words carefully and his poems cut right through to the heart of the matter that he is addressing.

For more on Federico Garcia Lorca whom Sean has dedicated this poem to, see:


After you've enjoyed Sean's poem, do check out the many wonderful poetic offerings of my fellow Tuesday Poets at www.tuesdaypoem.blogspot.com

1 comment:

  1. Man that was amazing, and apart from all the other mazing qualities of the poem, it had a lovely lilting flow, as if the Irish accent was bleeding through into the words.

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