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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Sixteen Magazine Issue 3 Brown

Edited by Doire Press poet Simon Lewis, Sixteen Magazine publishes fiction and poetry on the theme/prompt of a colour on the sixteenth of every month. My poem Coors Light was chosen this month on the colour brown, alongside fiction by Shivaun Conroy. You can read the work here:

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Meath Writers Circle 2nd Annual Magazine 2016

Thanks to Frank Murphy of Meath Writers' Circle for including two of my poems in the group's 2nd Annual Magazine which focused on culture and heritage, people or place, particularly in relation to County Meath. As you can imagine there is a wide variety of work included with poems from Michael Farry, Tom French, Frank Murphy, Kieran Murray, James Linnane, Peggy Murphy, Willie G. Hodgins and the late Tommy Murray and Myra Lalor, to name just a few. It's really lovely to be included in a magazine about Meath showcasing snapshots of our county.

This poem about Newtown Abbey is an older poem and it is true that dawn is a friend to the muses. The other poem included is called The Glass House and it was written on the location of The Porchfields in Trim.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Freud Exhibition at the Irish Museum of Modern Art

Double Portrait - Lucian Freud
I recently visited the IMMA to view the Lucian Freud exhibition which features 50 works of art loaned to the museum until 2021. It is well worth a visit. He is an artist I knew little about.
Lucian Freud (1922 - 2011) is widely recognised as one of the greatest realist painters of the 20th century and is renowned for his intimate, honest, often visceral portrayal of the human form. Freud painted from life, and usually spend a great deal of time with each subject, demanding the model's presence even while working on the background of the portrait. A nude completed in 2007 required sixteen months of work, with the model posing all but four evenings during that time; with each session averaging five hours, the painting took approximately 2,400 hours to complete. A rapport with his models was necessary, and while at work, Freud was characterised as "an outstanding raconteur and mimic".
He was the grandson of Sigmund Freud.
One work that really took my fancy was I reached inside myself through time by Dennis McNulty which can be found in The Hennessy Art Fund for IMMA Collection. The multi-media piece features a re-edited acapella of the AHA song The sun always shines on TV.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Rath Chairn Library Art Group

I'm really looking forward to seeing this exhibition on the 11th November in the OPW building in Trim. Members of The Boyne Writers submitted poems about Tara to Rath Chairn Art Group, the Art Group then used the writers' works as prompts and the base for new paintings. I believe that I will have three poems painted. Two of the poems below and suitable for this dark time of the year. The Woods on Tara Hill was inspired by a New Year's Eve walk on a Tara that was covered with snow and ice. Sometimes I imagine what the old people would like to say if they could have a voice. The poem written in Irish was an experiment and I tried my best with my limited knowledge of the language.

The Woods on Tara Hill


We are smothered –

Behind every trunk an exit, and none.

Way is leading on to way.

Sunlight illumines briefly.

Who goes there?

A stag? A man? A Ghost? A God?

Pray stay with us for a thousand years

And more above the river and hinterland!

Between the oak and holly we are gagged.

Layers of leaves, dry as sand, rustle on the ground.

We are dying in the woods and our innocence expires…

Some return, occasionally light fires and remember,

Hug the trees like they are souls, place coins in the bark,

Bid us the blessing of Litha by the Lia Fáil.

We ache to break surface, scream with beasts in the night.

Few heed us, release us; forgotten voices of the past.

Where are our poets and our druids?

Brethren we are the Tuatha, the Fianna and the Sí!

Drink deep our wines carried in the midnight murmur;

The faraway sound of the paternal drum.


Órla Fay

Oíche Shamhna


Teamhair mo chroí, Teamhair mo chroí,

táim ag lorg an púca agus an cailleach

ar do sliabh.


Tá an Samhain ag teacht agus táim caillte

leis an gaoth atá ag séideadh

trasna na duilleoga


agus atá ag tiomaint na scamaill

sa spéir liath agus brúite

leis an tráthnóna.

Beidh an capall ag rith suas an bóthar

tar éis tamaill.  Beidh Cormac an Rí

ag marcaíocht


go dtí an tine mór.  Beidh féasta ar siúl

agus feicfidh mé na daoine aosta

ag siúl leis na daoine beo.


Órla Ní Fhéich
Translated -
Tara my heart, Tara my heart,
I am looking for the ghost and the witch
on your hill.
Hallowe’en is coming and I am lost
with the wind that is blowing
across the leaves
and that is driving the clouds
in the sky grey and bruised
with the evening.
The horses will be running up the road
in a while. Cormac the King
will be riding
to the big fire. There will be a feast
and I will see the old people
walking with the living.
Órla Fay


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Process

Morning blog, it's nice to be here before work (albeit quickly). I wrote a poem last night and I'm working on another, which I'm not mad about but it keeps writing itself and I have no idea where it's going yet. It occurred to me while working on the first poem that you can't be creative if you're afraid of making a mistake. I think children know this and take it for granted but adults forget or they become tempered.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Coffee and Chocolate and...Poetry

There comes a time in the month when chocolate is a necessity. I'm sure all women must feel this. The body speaks and we must listen (of course not necessarily comply). Oh I'm sure there is a poem in this and that there have been many written already. Immediately Yeats comes to mind and his 'tattered coat upon a stick', Chase Twichell's 'dogs of the self'  or Dylan Thomas singing in his chains. I think that's what poetry does, it touches the universal pulse. I'd love to stay here longer but I have to go out now.

And if you have time there are some great quotes here about coffee

I'm tasting my cup now like I've never noticed it before.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Bob Dylan, Cds, etc

I went looking through my cds for a Bob Dylan cd and found a dusty Blood on the Tracks and Another Side of Bob Dylan, interesting as there's a blood, hunter's moon tonight. Of course I listened to To Ramona as it's still gorgeous and smiled widely listening to It Ain't Me Babe. Go lightly from the ledge babe is a great lyric.

Ramona, come closer
Shut softly your watery eyes
The pangs of your sadness
Will pass as your senses will rise
The flowers of the city
Though breathlike, get deathlike at times
And there's no use in tryin'
To deal with the dyin'
Though I cannot explain that in lines.

I finished a poem tonight that I had started earlier in the week. I hope to get up early in the morning to write.

I also found an opera cd and gonna have a listen to that now and I might die and go to heaven!