Gypsy Pat from America!

(I gcuimhne ar mo athair Patrick J Doyle agus do mo dheirfiúr Debbie agus deartháir Adam)

quiet, fearless Cill Chainnigh man
homeward from work, crossing roads in single bounds
son and daughter cradled in titan’s arms

‘Gypsy Pat from America!’
club-land billboards declare:
‘Strongman Act! Bed of Nails!’

clad in gold and green, head-scarf
white boots and blackened moustache, he
springs stage right like Superman

drum roll din over beer and smoke
Pat tears the phone-book in two
to delight, disbelief and cheers

two tug of war teams held fast
“you won’t break his grip!” the compere roars
Pat stands firm and reels them in

then the finale, “a volunteer please”:
a twenty-two stone man teeters on his chest
a sledgehammer splinters the flagstone
on his breadboard stomach
while Pat lays supine on six-inch nails

then the day he hung up his cape
the doc said, “…six weeks to live,
you better sit, don’t stand…”
And: “How do you feel?”
Pat grinned, “With my hands.”

Patrik Gryst

Gypsy Pat


elusive autumn ghost
you are correlate‎, a
prodigious yet‎ constant reverie

encoded in musical refrains
the decaying filigree of leaves
each sanguine sunrise decoded

evanescent revenant
you are resurrected, a
stubborn yet yielding muse

located in ‎midnight musings
the ephemeral vagaries of dreams
each ‎keepsake collected

eidolon‎, I am entangled, a
wooden sentinel penning
nocturnes‎ for abandoned seasons

captivated by ‎clouds and conches
the peripheral subtleties of existence
each sunlit dust mote reflected

simulacra, I am defeated, a
disconsolate fugitive imprisoned
by a futile fantasy

‎haunted by summers past
the perpetual lament of absences
each litany unanswered

Patrik Gryst