The Things that Make for Peace
It’s been a busy Autumn, as various social groups have returned from their long hibernations and diaries are once more filling up. (more…)
A Poor Vintage
after Kerouac and Keats
My heart aches for tranquility −
for the still, clear, rhythm-
that a dead, Beat Poet’s heart
has. Jack’s beats time
silently − painlessly now −
after the bloody, full-stop dash
On The Road to his last sentence. (more…)
Endless White Lines
We shall know after
says the inscription on the tomb
of 1760 Irish Rifleman, Hugh Catherwood
He died in Wimereux
4 August 1917 alongside
Darling Ted, 10035
Private E Elliot of the 3rd Hussars
There’s a holy well in Holywell. Of course there is – isn’t that how it got its name?
In Our Hands
Hand of friendship bitten. (more…)
The smell of wild garlic in the woods
overlooking the beach is a reminder
I haven’t eaten in days. I fail in the smallest
of ways, it’s my life’s work.
The Song of the Scythe
My grass had grow almost untouched for the best part of three years. In places, the grass roots were so densely entangled that pulling on one plant might roll up a whole section like rotting underlay. It had broken my lawnmower long ago. A local farmer with a brush cutter cleared the part visible from the road and tractored the mowings into a heap at the back. He did a good job, but it took several days and the noise was almost unbearable.
He wrote the score in ’64
A symphony for the ages
Rewrote the scores of heretofore
Laid out his plan in stages.
But many came to damn him down.
With drums and pipe they came to town
While others played along with him
Then chose to sing a different hymn.
Thou O Burren hast opened mine eyes and my tongue shall announce thy praise
Strong grey, defiant grey,
Speckled, freckled grey,
Spilled grey, frilled grey,
Shattered, splattered grey,
Smooth grey, Orate pro nobis
Horse and Train
This painting by Canadian artist Alex Colville, entitled Horse and Train has haunted my consciousness in the many decades since I first encountered it. It was inspired by a poem by a Roy Campbell, who deplored the authoritarian elements of Fascism and Communism and the horrific Apartheid policies of his own native South African Government:
I scorn the goose-step of their massed attack
And fight with my guitar slung on my back
Against a regiment I oppose a brain
And a dark horse against an armoured train.
Evening at Coole
for Deirdre and Aileen
Ignoring a turlough’s gleam
Past ancient trees,
I hurry through Pairc-na-Carraig
To reach Coole lake;
of life’s pleasures
Fill your mind
Bathe your body
with peace. (more…)
Artistry Laid Bare
Today, I walked in Florence with Paula Dominici. She is, in my opinion, truly an exceptional guide and I recommend her to all visitors to Florence. Her knowledge, culture, experience and enthusiasm for her service to visitors is without equal.
The Colebrooke Collection
Robert Elliott writes:
I began to write poetry around six years ago after becoming inspired at a poetry night in Enniskillen, from then things grew.
It was not until some two years ago when I thought about getting my work into print, this however proved to be challenging, as Fermanagh being quite a rural county has no printers.
That fact did not stop me, I still held onto my goal and the fact that as I looked and was rejected in terms of having my work published, my number of poems grew.