Phil Lynch has had poems published in a range of print and online literary journals and anthologies including: Even The Daybreak (35 Years of Salmon Poetry), The Lea-Green Down (an anthology of poems inspired by the poetry of Patrick Kavanagh), Live Encounters Poetry (online), Revival Literary Journal, OFi Press Mexico, Flare, Bare Hands Poetry (online) and Bare Hands Anthology(print), Circle Time, Bray Arts Journal, The Poetry Bus, Wordlegs, Boyne Berries, Headstuff, Silver Apples Magazine, Census 3, and Headspace. He has also had poems included in a number of CD compilations.
One of his poems was highly commended in the 2019 Ballyroan Library Poetry Competition. He was runner-up in the 2014 iYeats Poetry Competition and has been shortlisted in a number of competitions (Doolin Writers' Poetry Competition (3rd place), the Red Line Poetry Competition) and longlisted in others (the Dermot Healy International Poetry Competition and the Over The Edge New Writer of the Year Competition). In 2018 he was the winner of the Intercompetitive Poetry Competition, a performance event of several rounds in which competitors to progress to the next stage were selected by means of a secret audience ballot on each occasion.
His work has also been featured on national and local radio in Ireland including on programmes such as the Arena Arts Show, The Poetry Programme, Sunday Miscellany and The Documentary on One on RTE Radio 1.
His poetry collection, In a Changing Light, (Salmon Poetry), was published in 2016. https://salmonpoetry.com/details.php?ID=394&a=284
Phil is a regular performer at poetry/spoken word events and festivals in Ireland (festivals include: Electric Picnic Festival, Bray Literary Festival, Cuirt International Literary Festival (Spoken Word Platform), Dublin Book Festival, St. Patrick’s Festival Poetry Trail, Ennistymon Book Festival, Red Line Book Festival, First Fortnight Festival). He has also performed at events in London, Brussels, Paris, New York and Washington DC.
He has participated in a collaborative project (with multi-media artist Hilary Williams) which resulted in the production of a poem-film as part of the Hinterland 2019 exhibition under the auspices of the artist’s network ArtNetDLR.
Phil was a co-founder of LINGO, the first international spoken word festival in Ireland.
Link to video of Encounters (the text of which is also attached) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uh107dPIh1w
Balcony TV video: If St. Patrick could see us now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sr5jRWmaW7E
In a Changing Light: live performance: https://www.facebook.com/theintercollective/videos/985716024911331/
Link to CD track on Spotify: My Wife Thinks I’m at a Poetry Reading https://open.spotify.com/track/4jdQt1v2C6MopFRnhnEocW?si=IKKnYwdFRgKOIvc3QpB3sgPhil Lynch has been writing poetry for many years.
It was nearly dark
when he came in from the fields
tired from the toils of the day
ready to complain
about the Tilley lamp still unlit,
would he have to light it himself
he asked of no one in particular.
In the shadow of an empty space
beneath the stairs
I stood primed.
The men with the metal boots,
their belts heavy as a gunslinger’s,
had spent what seemed like years
digging holes to plant the creosote forest
that stretched across the countryside,
with giant spools of wire unfurled
along roads and lanes and fields.
I marvelled at how they scaled
the heights of those black poles
and worked at right angles to the ground
In the countdown to dusk I waited
finger on the switch
as if to take its pulse
or like some general in the Kremlin
with his thumb on the red button
waiting for the order to push.
The pre-determined signal came
from my mother at the table
and with all the strength
in my bony digit
I flicked the magic switch.
Outside, the dusk turned instantly to dark.
Inside, the light would never be the same.
I might have met you once while on the road
but how was I to know you would be there?
No map to guide, no picture to compare,
so why would I have stopped or even slowed?
And yet if you had signalled me your code,
I would have shyly shuffled, unaware
that you and I could have so much to share;
I’d still to learn what nature had bestowed.
But later when we met I knew you well
although I least expected you to be
so blissful, yet so able to confound.
Instead of catching me when first I fell,
you put me in a boat that’s still at sea
in search of shores which never may be found.
Smoke without Fire
The doctor and the dentist
greet the scientist
they drink a toast to olden days
in their glasses
reflections of their student years
No cheering crowds hail the worker
as he makes his way
through narrow streets
to meet his learned friends;
they raise another glass,
another past embraced.
The conversation takes them back
to dingy bars and dodgy
all-night party places,
to great debates on questions
the more they learned
the more they seemed to lose
but no one kept a balance sheet.
They talk of when they plotted
for the glory days to come
how everything would be different
after the revolution
how it would be for real this time
there would be a call to arms
a conscription of words
The voices of rebels would be heard
over those of primates and presidents
the poets and the protest singers
would write the new anthems
everything would be different.
No one saw the future creep up
becoming part of the past
they meant to change.
Now, in their pursuing way,
it is those glorious days
which raise the cheers
when comrades gather