And everything stopped.
The shop lad running over Mardyke
caught mid-stride, the cart
he might have dodged, laden with churns –
Stopped. Continue reading “Armistice Day, Skibbereen, 1919”
As a collector of military antiques for almost fifty years, I am fascinated by the personal items associated with conflicts of the past that come into my ownership.While uniforms, rifles and bayonets may represent the face of War, it is often the small personal possessions that have been handed down to family members from the past that tell the real story of war and loss. Continue reading “It was my Birthday Today”
I’m laying here callin’
But no one comes near me,
maybe nobody hears me. Continue reading “No Man’s Land”
The decade 1912-1922 brought many changes and whilst there is a justified focus on the horrors of the First World War, there were other socio-political phenomena like the Woman’s Suffrage movement. The circumstances of the war brought into sharper focus the role of women in our society and was a turning-point on the road towards greater gender equality.
I was surprised, intrigued and delighted as a poet to receive this voice and it is a great pleasure to paint in this little historic detail and to share it with my friends.’ Continue reading “Wilder Mind”
Falls Road. Barbed wire walls. Barred windows
An ’80’s paint-flaked door swings to and fro,
creaking in night stillness Continue reading “#Flashback”
Here I am walkin’ the roads again cryin’ me eyes out. But I just can’t stay in the house since I got the news about Pat. He’s everywhere in there. If I sit at the kitchen table there he is, six years old again and askin’ me, “Ma’ can I have more of the cake?” Or, “Can I go out with Jimmy to play football?” Continue reading “Mrs Corey’s Lament”
I have no words to tell you
about the squalor and the smell.
No letter I could ever write
can describe this man-made hell. Continue reading “The Truths I Couldn’t Tell”
During the First World War the staff members of Belfast Public Libraries who enlisted in regiments of the British Army remained employees of the library on half pay if they corresponded regularly with the Chief Librarian, Mr Elliott, and his assistant, Mr Goldsbrough. Continue reading “A Wonderful Experience”
With the U.S elections nearing their conclusion and Brexit talks in full swing, there is no better time for some political satire, to invite conversation and perhaps lighten the mood on this troubling political climate. Continue reading “Election Perfection for Debut Author”
In keeping with the time of year, many of our articles this issue have to do with heritage and tradition – memories and ghosts. Respect for tradition is not always inward-looking: it can lead to the most surprising connections, as in the case of how this drawing came to me.
It begins with a young Russian who was writing a story set in Ireland, and was seeking a suitable placename for the home town of her hero. The name that caught her eye was – Ballinamallard. Continue reading “From Russia with Calf”