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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Do Not Disturb!

Tonight I've been happily printing out my sonnets.  In fact I feel like a little kid hiding away from the world.  I guess I'm lucky to have such peace and satisfaction from writing.  I love the craft of writing a poem.  I know sometimes there are sparse periods when I can write nothing and what I do write seems just awful to me.  Anyway I finished that poem on Arthurian legend and called it Nimue after The Lady of the Lake.  I can probably read a couple of these poems at the Boyne Reading later in the year.  It's nice to finally come up with some new material.  Nimue may also be Vivien of the myths.  She was Merlin's lover but she trapped him in a tree trunk or in a cave. 

I also have ambitions of tackling a short story I had been writing in the style of gothic fiction.  I remember doing gothic fiction in 2nd arts in Galway years ago.  I studied The Monk and Frankenstein well enough.  The short story is a rewrite of The Ties That Bind that I wrote maybe nine years ago and I cringed so much reading it now. I feel like rewriting the entire rewrite.  Oh my God how do fiction writers ever finish a novel?  I feel like I should get in character though to write this story and find my inner madness and horror.  I'd certainly have to retreat into myself for a day.

At work I was teaching the children a song called "In the graveyard".  Its lyrics are:

In the graveyard, in the graveyard
when the moon begins to shine
there's a doctor a crazy doctor
and his monster Frankenstein.

Oh my monster oh my monster
oh my monster Frankenstein,
you are very, very scary
don't come near me frankenstein.

I can't do the song anymore however as one little boy and a girl are afraid of the song!  Since I'm now writing about work I am pleased that I got my course work results.  I blogged a bit about my studies over the summer.  I got three distinctions and one merit so I was thrilled with that.  I've also found myself better able to write reports and observations in work which is partly due to my blogging and partly to do with my increased knowledge from study.

Merlin is Spellbound by his lover Nimue, Eleanor Fortescue Brickdale

 Love and light to all readers.  I feel my own light and compassion returning.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

This, that and the other!

Four Queens Find Lancelot Sleeping, Frank Cowper

I fulfilled one of my ambitions today which was to try my hand at archery.  I shot a bow and arrow at the Rathmoylyon fair.  It was a lovely autumn afternoon and evening.  I loved trying to control the strength in my right arm when holding the arrow back.  I had three shots for 2 euro and scored 9 out 30.  Of course I'd like to try it again.  In fact I'd love to own my own bow.

I also got to do some writing this morning and worked on my sonnets.  I wrote a new one called The Isle of Apples as I am still interested in Arthurian legend.  I want to write another sonnet based on the legends.  I had a vision earlier which I hope to convert into poetry later, or during the week about it. 

Boyne Berries 8 is being launched in the Castle Arch Hotel in Trim on Thursday night at 8pm.  I hope to attend and read my poem The Fall which is being published in it.

Autumn Leaves, Kenneth Leech

Sunday, September 19, 2010


I love this BBC series.  It is based on the legends of Camelot and the magic of the old religion.  King Uther is in power and his son Arthur Pendragon is a brave knight.  Uther is played by Anthony Head who starred in Buffy the Vampire Slayer as Giles. Arthur's servant is the future magnificent magician Merlin.  Merlin goes to every length possible to hide his magic as magic is banned in Camelot and is punishable by death.  King Uther has a terrible fear of the art and holds it evil. 

King Uther's ward is however the Lady Morgana.  Morgana is Morgan le Fay who in Welsh folktales is associated with Avalon or the "Isle of Apples".  How lovely, I am becoming totally enchanted!  There is dispute about Morgana's character, was she a seductive villainess or a powerful healer?  Arthur and Morgana are said to have had the same mother; the Lady Igraine.  Le Fay is an ancient word for fairy and Morgan is the Breton for water nymph.

The Lady Morgana, Kaitie McGrath

In this series Guinevere is also a servant in Camelot.  Mordred (the Lady Morgana's nephew?) is a young druid boy.  Merlin, played by Colin Morgan, frequently has chats with a dragon whom he has promised to free in time.  The dragon is voiced by the actor John Hurt.  Each epsiode deals with some aspect of the old legends in a fresh way. 

Morgana could also be associated with the celtic goddess the Morrigan who I think is a triple goddess and associated with the Cailleach.  The Morrigan can be an old woman, a bird (raven/crow) or a mist.  She is associated with death and incarnation.  From the Morrigan one can gain wisdom knowing that trials and suffering can be overcome.  Some scholars totally dismiss any connection between the Welsh Morgan and the Irish Morrigan ( Mor: great and rigan: queen).  You can see Merlin on BBC 1 every Saturday night at 7.30.
Morrigan by Louis Le Brocquy

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Lucky number 7

Niamh Boyce at Words a Day passed this award onto me.  Thank you Niamh.  I now have to share with you seven things about myself.

1) I had a sudden and strong desire to visit Berlin in the near future tonight.

2) My bithday has a seven in it, it falls on the 17th of June.

3) Yesterday while cycling in the rain it was very sunny and while obseving a rainbow I thought "what is the difference between a rainbow and a tornado."

4) I will probably want to look up the history of the number seven now and research why people think it is lucky.

5) I have three tattoos and would like to get another one.

6) I am currently rewatching episodes of the tv series ER.

7) I am excited that it is autumn again.

The seven blogs I enjoy to read are:







Womenrulewriter and Goerge Szirtes

oh dear I've broken the rules...

Thanks again for including me Niamh :)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Secret Scripture, Sebastian Barry

When I was in Dublin airport recently I picked out this book to read.  I found the novel quite moving.  It is divided into three parts and into two accounts; Dr Grene's Commonplace Book and Roseanne's Testimony of Herself.  There are twenty two chapters in the novel.

Roseanne Clear is 100 years old and has spent the majority of her life in a mental hospital.  She is telling us of her tragic past.  Dr. Grene is the Senior Psychiatrist of the mental hospital who has a great interest in his patient, Roseanne. 

Ah well I'm glad I wasn't alive in the 1930's in Ireland when the Catholic Church and De Valera ruled the roost.  The character of Father Gaunt is despisable. 

I thought this was lovely:

"We are never old to ourselves because at close of day the ship we sail in is the soul, not the body."

Does anyone know what the author means by this:

"Grief is about two years long, they say, it is a platitude out of manuals for grievers.  But we are in mourning for our mothers before even we are born."

There are some lovely insights in The Secret Scripture and the main character Roseanne or Mrs. McNulty possesses great dignity. 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Prato do Dia

I spent last weekend in the Algarve in Portugal.  I was staying near the town of Albufeira (Arabic: البحيرة (al-Buħayra = "the lagoon").  After landing in Faro I was intoxicated from the warm, exotic and spiced air.  After a while my familiarity grew and novelty faded.  It was last year that I first encountered the sense of this one early morning in Seville.  I smiled inwardly to have the experience again.

When I saw the Portuguese word "dia"  which means day I immediately thought of our Irish word "Dia" which means God. God and day.  I wonder how far back in the languages of mankind these two entities may be entwined?

It was extremely hot and difficult to sleep at night.  Temperatures were pushing 40 degrees celsius I believe.  It truly is a world away and I could sense Africa below us,almost calling.  If I go back again next year I would like to go to Gibraltar and I will stay for longer.

In the market-place,
The smell of something or other -
The summer moon.


All the fishermen of the beach
Are away:
The poppies are blooming.