The Border Between Us

The Border Between Us was a project run by the Glens Centre in Manorhamilton. It took place over the lockdowns of autumn and winter of 2020 and 2021.

While centres and halls closed down, this project allowed people from different cultural and religious backgrounds, in Leitrim and Fermanagh, to come together in a virtual space; a space, which as the weeks wore on became a safe, vibrant and creative place. Every Wednesday for 12 weeks Monica Corish challenged us to explore the notion of Border: borders which come from within ourselves, borders which are political, cultural, imaginary and the borders which Covid 19 was creating. The stories, poems and images which emerged were varied, personal and diverse.

Rachael Webb taught us new creative skills, encouraging us to bring together words and images using the every-day technology of mobile phones.  The result was this visual storytelling event, a screening of 11 micro personal and individually made film-poems. It is well worth viewing.

Guarded Travel

I grew up knowing borders
conversations layered into childhood
bikes, motorbikes, checkpoints
unapproved roads, closed roads
my mother and father smuggling cigarettes
travelling dark roads on a motorbike
she, pregnant, young, ambitious
clinging to my father, her lifeline to a future.

On Sunday, after Mass
selling tobacco through the kitchen window
money building in a tin box
on mart day, left in a bank.

Our house was built on smuggled cigarettes
stories of a mother who faced anyone, anything
a heroine, a storyteller, a mover among people.

 

The Troubles came
nights crouching under windows
my father pacing the farmyard
shotgun at the ready
I wondered and worried
how he, myopic and clumsy
could defend anything, anyone.
I grew up knowing borders
Shadowy sentinels over my childhood.
Borders deepened
stories darkened
half whispers and , eyes grew untrusting
thoughts were buried
silenced themselves into the ground.

Teresa Kane was born in Fermanagh and has worked for many years in education.

She has been published in several books and on line magazines. She was shortlisted for The Seamus Heaney New Writing Award (2016/2017) and again in 2021.

In recent years she has begun to facilitate creative writing workshops for CAP.

She has been funded by the Arts Council to develop several projects. In February 2021, she received funding from Future Screens NI to develop new forms of poetry using AI.

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