Joseph Woods

Sailing to Hokkaido (2001)

After dinner
walk to the stern alone

and look out
for the time it takes

to discern two
darknesses from one.

Suiheisen was the line
where sky and sea met.

For two horizons,
sky and sea

land and sky
there are two words.

Tonight one darkness
overruns another.

There is no line between
the two. Walk back

to the palpable heartbeat
of a generator.






Joseph Woods was born in Drogheda, Ireland in 1966. He studied science and holds an MA in Creative Writing. He is widely traveled, especially in Asia. He has lived in Japan and subsequently read by invitation as far afield as Russia and India. In 2000, he won the Patrick Kavanagh Award for an unpublished first collection, which appeared in 2001 as Sailing to Hokkaido (Worple Press), in which ‘Sailing to Hokkaido’, © Joseph Woods, first appeared. In 2005, his second collection, Bearings, appeared from the same publisher. He was recently included in an anthology by Staple (UK) as part of their Alternative Generation Poets. Joseph Woods has been Director of Poetry Ireland since 2001. For further information, a photograph, and more poems see the Joseph Woods page at the Irish Writers Centre.


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