Borderlines

I remember the Border when it was a Border before the Common Market as we called it then when everyone had tales about the old times smuggling the everyday – butter, sugar – shopping bags hung on the outside handles of train carriages. Jokes about wetting the tay.

The Glass Arrowhead

The Dead, they see a little at a time. They go South. They jump through the hole into the other world. They walk around on the ground. Then they whirl. The whirlwind, people say. They go up in the sky on a rope, the Dead.

The Watch has Ended

And what a great watch it has been! A decade long in the telling of the story: characters we have loved and those we have hated have met their fates; some got what they deserved, many had surprises, others seemed to have been ill-served by the cruel hands of the author. Game of Thrones has … Continue reading “The Watch has Ended”

At the Margins

Common Ground can be found in overlooked places, where rich land and poor entangle. The farmers of Tempo looked across the valley, past the orderly estates of Brookeborough, to the wild and barren heights of Slieve Beagh and Mullaghfad. Tattenabuddah lies between, a hidden, intricate place, not well suited to large schemes or great plantations … Continue reading “At the Margins”

The Hare

The sky is clear tonight; late frost sparkles the rushes, casting back the light of distant suns The moon, full as a silver thruppence, shines the trackless grass pure white. No shadow moves but one. Lopsided loping leather-horn crouch back, old-woman-wise, she comes. This is her world, and yet she does not sleep.

The Milk Run

Back when we first joined the Common Market as it was then, a change came to the country. Concrete lanes snaked round hills to farmyards where once the track was so rutted they were more easily approached across fields and ditches. Five-barred tubular galvanised gates began to replace alike the ancient wrought iron and the … Continue reading “The Milk Run”

Where Next?

It’s been a long, cold start to Spring, and with the present concern over the future of the Border it’s perhaps not surprising that this issue of Corncrake concentrates on Fermanagh, but the seasons turn as they always do, and soon we will be stretching our wings again.

Painting with a Camera

Richard Pierce has always been a painter. Born into an old Enniskillen family of builders, he was encouraged in the Arts throughout his childhood. He first took up photography when he was 16, recording family and friends, buildings and landscapes.

A Movable Feast

A Moveable Feast, which was completed in 1960, tells of the time Ernest Hemingway lived in Paris with his first wife, Hadley, between 1921 and 1926. His memories of that period are captured in 20 short essays: each stands alone, and there is no overall storyline or theme, beyond that of the city itself, but … Continue reading “A Movable Feast”

Language and Mother Tongue

Recently, Unionist students at Queens have been protesting about bilingual signs. While claiming no disrespect for the Irish language as such, they view them as divisive sectarian symbols under the terms of the Flags and Emblems Act. They suspect that those who push the bi-lingual agenda are interested in only three words of Irish – Votáil … Continue reading “Language and Mother Tongue”