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Monday, July 26, 2010

Prometheus Bound

On Saturday night I found myself painting the above which I've called Holding the Sun.  Now I know I'm not very good but I found great peace doing it.  I'm working on a poem to go along with it.  I'm interested in the legend of Prometheus.  Prometheus stole fire from the Gods and he was punished by Zeus who had him bound to a mountain where each Eos (dawn) Zeus' eagle would tear at Prometheus' liver.  I think it was Hecules who finally freed Prometheus.  Prometheus' name means forethought!!!

At the moment the poem is proving troublesome.  I think I'm not quite sure what I'm trying to say in it.  Patience!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

L'empire des lumieres

I found myself a little fascinated with this painting during the week.  Magritte was a Belgian surrealist painter.  In this painting we are presented with night and day light.  It is strange to see the two images placed together! The Empire of Lights! It is an oil on canvas.

In the thick wood of course work

Taking a break to write in my blog.  I've spent all morning concentrating on Social and Legal Issues in Childcare.  As part of this module (unit 3 Child Protection) I have to fill in a sample form reporting child abuse which led me to investigating who is the principal social worker in navan and who is the public health nurse in the area where I work.  I found telephone numbers but I will have to call on Monday to find out the names.  I've also been reading about the Employment Equality Act 1998 and the Equal Status Act 2000 which come under the section of equality in childcare (unit 4).  Both acts outlaw discrimination on nine distinct grounds:

1) Gender
2) Family status
3) Marital status
4) Age
5) Disability
6) Sexual orientation
7) Religion
8) Race
9) Membership of the traveller community

Task 2 of my assignment will see me investigating my own work place, evaluating it in relation to child protection and equality.  In Task 3 I have to write an overview of the childcare sector and discuss one aspect of social policy.  I will probably write about the E.C.C.E. scheme which came into operation in January of this year.

Then onto the final module, Supervision.  The deadline for submission of my folder is Friday August 6th. 

I've been printing out a lot of useful templates but I'm finding the use of questionnaires a little bitty in gathering information.  I will of course want to read back over all of my work to correct it and make it the best it can be considering the fact that I've not had as much time as I would have liked to have had to spend on it

It is also difficult to sit down and concentrate, focusing on what each assignment is asking me to answer.  I do seem to find that I need to understand each topic as best I can before answering.  Hmm it's back to reading, sifting and organising I think now. 

Off topic I see that Michael Farry has been commended in the iYeats Poetry Competition, well done Michael! and Kate Dempsey will be the featured reader in the Whitehouse Bar, Limerick this Wednesday!  I read a poem in the Whitehouse last year which I had published in Revival poetry journal.  It's a nice spot.  Kate was a featured reader at the Boyne Readings earlier in the year and I reviewed her Good Sherry Trifle Pamphlet in the past.  It would be interesting to hear her read again.  Michael is working on the next issue of Boyne Berries magazine.  The next Boyne Writers meeting will take place on Thursday 5th August.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Tori Amos Live in Dublin

It stayed dry and she played Silent all these Years (my scream got lost in a paper cup), Crucify (you're just an empty cage girl if you kill the bird), Winter (when you gonna love you as much as I do) and Horses (but threads that are golden don't break easily) among many others.  She didn't play Cornflake Girl.  She also performed her cover of Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit (when the light's out it's less dangerous here we are now entertain us).  How cool!

The Iveagh Gardens is a lovely venue and the crowd were of a mature and appreciative age.  Amos' live performance couldn't be faulted.  She stopped half way through the first verse of Silent all these Years to hear the crowd singing.  "So the Irish can sing!" she exclaimed with glee.  I'm only sorry I can't see her all over again tonight.  Come back soon Tori!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tori Amos Iveagh Gardens Dublin

Okay there is no doubt that I am getting so excited tonight about going to see Tori Amos in concert on Friday night heeeeeeeeeeeee.  For a couple of weeks now these lyrics from Father Lucifer have been floating around my mind:

Father Lucifer you never looked so sane you always did prefer the drizzle to the rain tell me that you're still in love with that milkmaid, how're the lizzies, how's your Jesus Christ been hanging?

This song is off her 1996 album Boys for Pele which affected me greatly in my late teens.  I had the tape cassette of this album.  On the album cover Tori is pictured sitting on a chair with a shotgun resting on her lap.  It is my favourite album of hers.  I love the songs Horses, Hey Jupiter and Caught a Lite Sneeze from it.  It also spawned the club hit Professional WidowBoys for Pele was partly recorded in Co. Wicklow.

I suppose Amos first came to my attention with her hit Cornflake Girl. It reached no. 4 in the U.K. chart and is from her 1994 album Under the Pink.  The song is about betrayal between women; the cornflake girls are narrowminded and prejudiced while the raisin girls are openminded and multi-cultural.  I remember having one of my first sexual encounters on a couch listening to Tori Amos.

Another song I love by Amos is Winter from her 1992 album Little Earthquakes.  It also appears on her collection Tales of a Librarian which is a compilation album.  Other songs I love by this artist are Crucify, Silent all these Years, and The Power of Orange Knickers which is from The Beekeeper released in 2005.

What I love about Tori Amos is that you can get lost imaginatively in her lyrical world and find inspiration or safe haven there.  Her work is deeply intelligent and layered.

I can't believe I'm actually going to hear her performing live!!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Twilight Eclipse

Edward, Jacob, Bella
I went to see Twilight Eclipse this evening on one of the wettest weekends this Summer.  The movie opens with a scene in which a young man is walking through an alley in a city as the rain pours down.  Was I walking into the movie screen I asked myself?  Thankfully not as the young man meets a violent end at the hand of a...VAMPIRE...but this movie is about vampires!

The Cullens are a family of vampires with a difference.  They do not feed on human blood and try to maintain a peaceful existence in Forks, Washington.  In Eclipse they become defenders of the town along with a pack of werewolves from an army of new blood vampires. 

This is the third installment in the Twilght Saga, a collection of books written by Stephenie Meyer.  The final book is called Breaking Dawn which I may have to read to find out what will happen next. 

Some background is needed.  Bella Swan moves to Forks and falls in love with Edward Cullen the mysterious and beautiful boy in her class.  The course of true love never did run smooth as Edward is a vampire and Bella may have to change to be with him.  To complicate matters Bella forms a deep friendship with Jacob Black who becomes a werewolf when he comes of age.  The vampires and werewolves are sworn enemies but in the past they negotiated a peace treaty whereby each kind stays on its own land.

Some character history is revealed in Eclipse.  The Native American Indian tribe that Jacob belongs to called the vampires "the cold ones".  We learn about Jasper Hale who had been an officer in the Confederate States army before being turned.  Rosalie Hale was saved by Carlisle Cullen (the Cullen's adoptive father) after she was beaten, gangraped and left for dead.  In Eclipse she recounts her life to Bella describing how she planned her revenge.  "I was a bit theatrical in those days" she says after we view a scene of her exacting revenge in a slightly o.t.t. fashion.

A source of entertainment for the cinema goers was the rivalry between Edward and Jacob for Bella's affections.  "I'm hotter than you!" Jacob declares towards the end of the movie which had the teenage girls in the seat behind me giggling and choking on their popcorn.  Ah dear!

I do love some gothic romance.  I am a fan of Ann Rice's vampires, such creatures!

At the beginning of the film Bella is reciting Fire and Ice by Robert Frost in a field of flowers to Edward:

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


The Genesis of the Butterfly by Victor Hugo

The dawn is smiling on the dew that covers
The tearful roses; lo, the little lovers
That kiss the buds, and all the flutterings
In jasmine bloom, and privet, of white wings,
That go and come, and fly, and peep and hide,
With muffled music, murmured far and wide.
Ah, the Spring time, when we think of all the lays
That dreamy lovers send to dreamy mays,
Of the fond hearts within a billet bound,
Of all the soft silk paper that pens wound,
The messages of love that mortals write
Filled with intoxication of delight,
Written in April and before the May time
Shredded and flown, playthings for the wind's playtime,
We dream that all white butterflies above,
Who seek through clouds or waters souls to love,
And leave their lady mistress in despair,
To flit to flowers, as kinder and more fair,
Are but torn love-letters, that through the skies
Flutter, and float, and change to butterflies

The butterfly pictured above is from The Very Hungry Caterpillar, a wonderful children's book written by Eric Carle.  I had to look Hugo up.  He lived in the 1800's and as well as poetry he is famous for writing Les Miserables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Monday, July 5, 2010

Satire Results and Battle of the Books Winners

Congratulations to Ira Nayman whose poem Love Amid Construction has won the Boyne Writers Group competition for satirical work!  This winning poem can be found by following this link:

Meath Writers Circle have emerged victorious in this year's Battle of the Books.  Well done to Tommy Murray, Frank Murphy and other team members.  Pictured above is the beautiful crystal trophy awarded to the winning team.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Up with the breeze on Sunday morning

I have indeed stolen the title of this blog from No Doubt's song Sunday Morning:

I am up early this morning getting some course work done.  I had to write an account of early childhood programmes and their relevance.  I'm stuck on this module for ages but hoping to accelerate into progress this week.  The main curriculums implented in early childhood education are Froebel, Montessori and Highscope.  I know Montessori theory well but I've found Froebel interesting.  A quote of his:

"Nothing comes without a struggle. Strife creates nothing by itself, it only clears the air. New seeds must be planted to germinate and grow, if we will have the tree of humanity blossom . . . We cannot tear the present from the past or from the future. Past, present, and future are the Trinity of time. In the children lies the seed-corn of the future!"

I love this concept of how time is a trinity that cannot be separated.  I wrote a short story about this some time ago.  This story needs more work but I do believe in the merit of it. 

The Highscope curriculum was devised by David Weikart in the 1960's.  A chief characteristic of this method is a review session where children are encouraged to discuss and share what they have learned through concrete experience.  Of course this mention of the 1960's lead me to taking out my Beat poetry book where I found a poem by Gregory Corso called Writ on the Eve of My 32nd Birthday.

Writ on the Eve of My 32nd Birthday

a slow thoughtful spontaneous poem

I am 32 years old
and finally I look my age, if not more.
Is it a good face what’s no more a boy’s face?
It seems fatter. And my hair,
it’s stopped being curly. Is my nose big?
The lips are the same.
And the eyes, ah the eyes get better all the time.
32 and no wife, no baby; no baby hurts,
but there’s lots of time.
I don’t act silly any more.

And because of it I have to hear from so-called friends:
“You’ve changed. You used to be so crazy so great.”
They are not comfortable with me when I’m serious.
Let them go to the Radio City Music Hall.
32; saw all of Europe, met millions of people;
was great for some, terrible for others.
I remember my 31st year when I cried:
"To think I may have to go another 31 years!”
I don’t feel that way this birthday.
I feel I want to be wise with white hair in a tall library
in a deep chair by a fireplace.
Another year in which I stole nothing.
8 years now and haven’t stole a thing!
I stopped stealing!
But I still lie at times,
and still am shameless yet ashamed when it comes
to asking for money.
32 years old and four hard real funny sad bad wonderful
books of poetry
—the world owes me a million dollars.

I think I had a pretty weird 32 years.
And it weren’t up to me, none of it.
No choice of two roads; if there were,
I don’t doubt I’d have chosen both.
I like to think chance had it I play the bell.
The clue, perhaps, is in my unabashed declaration:
“I’m good example there’s such a thing as called soul.”
I love poetry because it makes me love
and presents me life.
And of all the fires that die in me,
there’s one burns like the sun;
it might not make day my personal life,

my association with people,
or my behavior toward society,
but it does tell me my soul has a shadow.

The rain has been wonderfully blurring my bedroom window for the last couple of hours and judging from grey skies there could be a day of rain ahead.  My niece is being christened at 12 o'clock and I'm looking forward to the occasion.  Reading the Beat poets makes me want to write more spontaneously and to write about the everyday events in life.  Every second we live is precious afterall.