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Sunday, January 30, 2011

St. Brigid's Day and Imbolc

I found this sort of prayer online which celebrate's Imbolc:

Blessed be the earth, and all who dwell upon it.

We give thanks for the season now departing from us,
For the blessings it has bestowed upon us,
And upon those with whom we share this world.

Blessed be the new season.
We pray that it will be a time filled with peace,
With abundance, with prosperity,
With wisdom,
With love.

Blessed be all who share this feast.
Let us now prepare for the time ahead

By opening our hearts, and our minds, and our spirits.

Blessed be.

Imbolc is an ancient festival which celebrates the return to Spring and can be visualised as an old woman or crone handing over nature to a young maiden.  It is celebrated on February 1st, which is also St. Brigid's Day.  We all know about the Roman Catholic saint but the ancient Bridgit was a triple goddess and her powers extended to poetry, healing and she was a smith.  There is a warrior aspect to Bridgit because she is of the Brigantes tribe of Northern England who were warriors.  They were a Celtic tribe and the Brigantes  lived in Ireland in Leinster too. 

On Tuesday night you could have a feast, light some white candles and a warm fire and do some cleaning to welcome in Spring.  I think I'll write a poem about it!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Batwoman and Action force.

I recieved a copy of Batwoman Elegy for Christmas from a friend and read it last week.  It's a deluxe edition and it's in hardback and it's awesome.  Greg Rucka is the writer and J.H. Williams III is the artist.  I'd completely forgotten what it is like to read a comic.  Okay you have to read the words but you also have to read the pictures so it's a very visual process.  I had loved some Action force comics in the 80's.  They were my older brothers and I used to have to fight to be allowed to read them. 

Anyway Batwoman a.k.a. Katherine Rebecca Kane had been stabbed through the heart but she has returned to Gotham with Batman's help.  She now has to fight the new High Madame of The Religion of Crime.  "When you act wrongly, you have to answer for it.  Without hiding, without complaint...That's integrity, and it is the foundation of honour." This is what she believes.

Currently I'm reading the February edition of Batman Legends.  Batwoman features in two of the three stories in this magazine.  I believe Batwoman is going to have her very own comic released this Spring!

"The Batman gave
her the inspiration.
Her father gave her the discipline.
Years of training
gave her the skills.
But only Kate Kane
herself knows what
gave her the unbreakable
drive to serve in the
war on crime... The Batwoman."

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Crannog 26 Spring 2011

This issue of Crannog will be launched on Friday, 25th February in the Crane Bar, Sea Road, Galway at 6.30pm.  I'm very pleased to have a poem included in it.  It's called Pluto's Hidden Stars and consists of 21 lines and three verses.  It's always wonderful to have a poem published.  If I could compare it to something it would be to letting go of a kite you have put up into the sky. 

Last autumn Crannog reached the 25th issue milestone.  Boyne Berries will have its own milestone in the autumn when it reaches its 10th issue. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Salvador Dali

I really like Dali's paintings.  What does he mean to say in this picture below?  It's fascinating.  It's called the Enigma of the Rose/Death.  Why is there a hole in the tree?  What's behind the tree?

I saw one of his paintings, Christ of St. John of the Cross in the Kelvingrove museum in Glasgow a few years ago.

Today is the anniversary of Dali's death.  He died in 1989 at the age of 84.

Monday, January 17, 2011

One Art

One Art

by Elizabeth Bishop

The art of losing isn't hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.

--Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan't have lied. It's evident
the art of losing's not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

I'm back! Did you miss me!?  Well I think I get this poem a little more now than I did in the past but please Ms Bishop you'll wear yourself so thin that you'll disappear.  Hmm. 

I still haven't decided what to enter in Strokestown and I didn't write a new poem but I edited and changed a poem I wrote a few years ago which I always liked but it was missing something.  And I might edit another poem or two from that period.  It doesn't really matter about the competition but it's good to aim for something.

I saw fog coming off the Boyne this morning which was a strange sight.  Someone said that it happens because the air is warm and the water of the river so cold.  The evenings are gradually lengthening out and I'm really looking forward to Spring.  When will the daffodils be out?  I was in fact thinking today that we're slowly but steadily making our way through January and writing 2011 instead of 2010 on forms etc. is becoming easier.

I'm not happy that I'm not writing more but there's not much point grumbling and the only thing to do is to put one's head down and do some work.  I've been toying with the idea of moving where I write into the room next door, it has a desk and perhaps a change would be good.  I'm off now to do something, at least this blog helps me focus more. :P

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Strokestown Poetry Prize 2011

The deadline for the Strokestown Poetry Competition is Monday week so I better get my skates on and take up my pen if I'm going to enter.  70 lines is the maximum for this and it's 5 euro per poem to enter.  And since it's Sunday I think I'll retreat into myself and look for an enchanted hour or two in nature.  Perhaps some lovely thoughts will come my way then, like butterflies alighting on a flower in a summer coloured garden but without using so typical an image, I need something vivid and real, something tangible, and so it's time to open the door to the realm of possibility...

Be back later!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Poetry in Motion Drogheda

One of the girls from the Saltwater Scribblers asked me to spread the news that the Scribblers are now going to be running this event.  The next session will take place on Wednesday, 26th January between 7.30 and 10.30 pm.  The featured guest will be poet and editor Christodoulos Makris, there's open mike for anybody who wants to read their own poetry or prose and all are welcome to come and listen, appreciate the words, the coffee and the wine! Contact The event will take place in Droichead Arts Centre CafĂ©, Stockwell Street, Drogheda.  Previously the Viaduct Bards had taken charge of Poetry in Motion. 

The Saltwater Scribblers meet every Monday between 7 and 9 pm in Barlow House, Drogheda and can be contacted through facebook also.  New members are welcome.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Cormac McCarthy

Chloe Moretz (Abby - Let Me In)

Recently I watched the movie The Road which was adapted from Cormac McCarthy's much loved and discussed novel.. It is set in post apocalyptic America and it is about a father and son struggling for survival on the road to a warmer place.  They are always trying to hide from the gangs of cannibals that roam the countryside.  Viggo Mortensen and Charlize Theron star while the child actor Kodi Smit-McPhee in this later went on to take the lead role in Let Me In.  Let Me In is a remake of the excellent Swedish movie Let the Right One In (Lat den ratte komma in). This is a horror movie about the friendship between a bullied boy and a girl vampire, really very good!

I was dreading watching the road as I'd heard the novel is very bleak but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.  There are a couple of quite disturbing scenes in the movie. 

Now I am reading Child of God by McCarthy.  It is about an awful character called Lester Ballard who goes around the countryside of Tennessee committing unspeakable acts.  I''ve found myself cringing yet I am unable to stop reading!  The novel is delivered is short direct passages which I like a lot and occasionally there is some lovely description:

He passed a dark lake of silent jade where the moss walls rose sheer and plumb and a small blue bird sat slant upon a guywire in the void. pg 26

Sometimes McCarthy delivers a one word or two word sentence.  I'm not finished the book yet but I'm wondering what the hell?  Is this really humanity?  I've become increasingly cynical anyway so maybe McCarthy has some answers for me!  And I feel quite stimulated mentally so maybe I need to read more challenging books this year.