Modern culture is mainly oriented towards the limelight. The goal of many is to be known, noticed, celebrated and lauded as achievers. They want to be recognised as wise and powerful. Somehow, they thrive on being in the limelight before an audience. The bigger the crowd, the better! Others fail the test to be considered worthy. Continue reading “Limelight and Shadows”
April 1st 2016
It is 1876.
Sitting Bull stands
silent and alone in the dark
on Standing Rock.
He awaits sight of Mother
Nature’s beautiful plain. Continue reading “At Standing Rock”
Auld Tomás squints back at me, exactly as I remember
Peering up through the curling, yellowed years
From the bottom of the shoebox.
He lounges, propped against the Aga,
Brows bristling-stern beneath an acrid, vaporous halo;
Eternally smoking in his holy sock-soles. Continue reading “The Photograph”
(Lower Lough Erne viewed from Claragh Road, Blaney)
I grasp the curtains with tired hands
and fling my arms wide.
Rings rattle in retreat on their rail
as the Fermanagh Monet fills my frame.
I await the lift like a cradled child. Continue reading “Sweet Spot”
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. Continue reading “Borderlines”
The shiny black nose nudges me
and the beloved ball,
sticky, nicely slimed,
appears at the top of my notebook.
The ball rolls slowly down
the paper raised on my knees,
distributing dampness as it goes,
re-arranging words as liquid loosens them. Continue reading “Rosie”
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.
I’m a big fan of writing workshops. It doesn’t matter to me what the genre is; I find that I can always learn something new about the craft of writing. I write poetry primarily so, naturally, I am a little more excited when the session is tutored by a poet. In August 2018 Fermanagh Writers hosted well-known Dublin poet and writer Colm Keegan for a full-day workshop. Colm called it Poetry in Motion and during the course of the day he certainly kept our pens in motion. He also said it was an ambush for your imagination and that was very true in my case.
Our Granny lived about two miles outside Plumbridge in County Tyrone and we lived in Cookstown. No distance in today’s travel; but back in 1952, it was as far away as Cork if you didn’t have a car. Buses stopped at every hole in the hedge and took an eternity, never mind the price of the ticket.
Our transport to the ‘Plumb’ came in the shape of our neighbour, Johnny Robinson. On the 16th of every month, Johnny and his sister Maggie travelled from Cookstown to Plumbridge to sell new and second-hand clothes to local farmers and villagers at the fair. Mammy made all the arrangements and a letter to Granny was dispatched to finalise the date and time of our arrival. Continue reading “Summer Holiday”
(after Jeremy Henderson)
Layer on layer upon layer of lustrous paint
Creating striations of wondrous colours:
Indigo, red, green, yellow and Klein Blue
Intertwining with one another so playfully
On the vast virtual loom of the canvas.
The warp and weft of the silken oils create
A virile landscape of verisimilar aquatics
Following the serpentine course of the Lough.