Poem of the week: At Breakfast

A new poem by Ruth Timmins


A troubled sleep.
Up an hour at Hook Head: small coastal nudge.
Tim Puck spreading marmalade
Pulling up his trouser leg.
The secondary impulse – pure sibilation –
Standing over his pan of eggs frying;
‘What order this reality’, said Puck,
The dressed leg reviving.
That dream last evening:
Mermaid tunnels of crystal ferns,
A ram, a heifer steaming in
A language of their own;
The art of indirectness
Maintaining still its tone,
And a fist full of scent.
‘This scent’, smiled Puck as he placed his eggs
Next to a cloud of lilac
Prisms in the vase of birds –
A dove and two young pigeons.
How the dream receives embodiment
With that sudden light of vision.
He pictured the lonely walk to work;
‘Get going,’ he said.
The need for reason flows and dies slowly.
Puck wiped the plate clean with the last of his bread.

Ruth Timmins was winner of the 2017 Patrick Kavanagh
Poetry Award