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Sunday, November 24, 2019

A Poem for November

My poem November Roots appeared in Quarryman Five published April past. The literary journal of UCC is currently looking for submissions to issue Six.

November Roots had its origin in that Edna O'Brien quote "In a way winter is the real spring, the time when the inner things happen, the resurge of nature." When November arrives I also always think of Frost's My November Guest, "My sorrow, when she's here with me/ Thinks these dark days of autumn rain/Are beautiful as days can be..."

This is also a poem for anyone out stargazing.

Leaving the town, the church bell grown 
to a dull clang wrings out eleven o’clock.
Into mid-November I am walking,
a countryside grown sparse,
though in fact it is dying
and I wonder at what point
is the scales tipped
from one to the other?
How almost vernal the day
becomes in the height of the afternoon
sun stretching its greatest yawn
before setting, the night a shadow
gracing the day time land,
the white and pale blue sky,
marking the bare branches, so smooth
stripped outrageously for the buds of new year.

A silence has fallen on the woods,
the hunter’s gunshot resounds,
the pheasant is startled, the dog unsure.
The moon appears, a fat thumb print
and the stars a trail of breadcrumbs
to the deepest night, an all covering
canopy of midnight pricked with silver.
What if the whole of space
is a river of time and the stars
the sunlight bouncing off its ripples
and currents, dark water, deep space?
I feel closest then to my ancestors,
minutiae of the universe,
hypnotised, rooted to the spot, eyes gazing
upwards, entranced by the heavens
but a thing of gravity. My mantra:

I am of the earth, I am of the earth,
I am of the earth, I am of the earth…

Orla Fay

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

21st Francis Ledwidge Poetry Award

Delighted to have a poem Highly Commended here. Well done to all on the list.

Friday, November 8, 2019

The Burial of Alice de Fir

The Burial of Alice de Fir published again in Meath Writers' Circle 5th Annual Magazine, an old poem that's a fave for some.

Meath Writers' Circle 5th Annual Magazine Launch

It was a very enjoyable evening in Trim Castle Hotel for this launch yesterday. I captured some video footage and took a couple of photos. Congratulations to Frank Murphy, editor, and to Willie Hodgins who acted as compere for the event.

Frank Murphy One Man, Senator Edward M. Kennedy

 Michael Farry reads Stained Glass St. Patrick's Trim

James Linnane reads The Thinking

Willie Hodgins and Frank Murphy in pensive mood

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Launch of Meath Writers' Circle 5th Annual Magazine

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Frank Murphy

The 5th Annual Magazine of Meath Writers' Circle will be launched on Thursday next, 7th November at 7.30 pm in Trim Castle Hotel. The launch will be performed by Frances Tallon of The Meath County Library Service. The magazine is edited by Frank Murphy. I have a small piece included. It is sure to be an entertaining night.

Recently I was highly commended for poetry in The Jonathan Swift Creative Writing Awards, Saggart, Co. Dublin. I was also pleased to have my Bailieborough Poetry Prize shortlisted poem included in the October issue of the Honest Ulsterman.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Jean O'Brien to Launch Boyne Berries 26

Jean O'Brien

Poet Jean O'Brien will launch Boyne Berries 26 on Thursday, 24th October at 8 pm in The Castle Arch Hotel, Trim. Contributors to the magazine will read on the night. Tea and coffee will be served. All welcome. 

Jean O’Brien’s fifth collection, Fish on a Bicycle: New and Selected Poems, was reprinted by Salmon Poetry in October 2018. Her poem ‘Merman’ won the Arvon International in 2010. In 2017 she was awarded the Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship and was recently shortlisted in the Voices of War Competition run by UCD.

Jean's poem ‘Once I Woke’ can be read here.

Friday, October 11, 2019

HeadStuff Poem of the Week - Hunger

Acacia Tree, Tree, Dusk, Africa, Silhouette, Landscape
Acacia Tree at Dusk, Pixabay

My poem Hunger is on Headstuff as the poem of the week. is a collaborative hub for the creative and the curious. 

I wrote this poem last year during the heatwave when I was working in Dublin city centre. It has been edited a couple of times and I'm glad it has a home now. The themes speak for themselves, homelessness and hunger, fundamental needs that just aren't being quite met in society and I wonder sometimes about the spiritual poverty of it.