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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Crannog 26 - Spring 2011 Launch

Flower Fox, Julia Pallone

Smoke, Julia Pallone

Just back from a great weekend in Galway.  On Friday night I attended the launch of Crannog 26 in the Crane Bar, Sea Road.  I have to say that I love the Crannog launches and the atmosphere is always great.  There were a number of readers on the night including Deirdre Grimes, Sandra Bunting, Maire T Robinson, Kevin Higgins and Elizabeth Reapy.  Aifric McGlinchey, Tony O'Dwyer, Danielle McLaughlin, Mary Melvin Gheogan and Anna Snyder also have work included in the magazine.  I read my poem Pluto's Hidden Stars at the event. 

The fiction pieces included are of a very high standard, as are the poems, and of the poetry -  again I really like Deirdre Grimes' poem The Ice Sculpture.  Below are some pictures I took on the night. 

Sandra Bunting & Tony O'Dwyer, Crannog Editorial Board

Kevin Higgins, co-organiser of Over The Edge Literary Events

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Poetry in Motion - Drogheda

Manchan Magan

I attended Poetry in Motion last night in the Droichead Arts Centre cafe, Stockwell Street, Drogheda.  The featured reader was Manchan Magan, a travel broadcaster, turned novelist who entertained us with stories of his travels, especially in Africa.  He also spoke about the Irish Language as he made a series called No Bearla about travelling around Ireland speaking only Irish.  I really enjoyed the night and read five of my poems.

Pictured below is Ciaran Hodgers of the Saltwater Scribblers, the event host and winner of the Sean Dunne Award for fiction 2010. 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Small Impact Group at the Boyne Readings

Michael Sheils

Time was precious on Thursday night at the Boyne Readings and Open Mic.  It was an extremely well attended event.  James Byrne, Sean Reilly, Edel Gillick, Michael Sheils, Anne Ritter and Pat McConnon of the Small Impact Group read for us while members of Meath Writers Circle and Boyne Writers read afterwards during the open mic. Well done everyone and thanks to all who came to listen.  Michael Farry and Frank Murphy have more on their blogs.

Caroline Finn

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Boyne Readings and Open Mic - February

To get the season off to a start the Small Impact Writers' Group from Navan will be the featured readers tomorrow night, Thursday, 17th February.  The event starts at 8pm in the Village Hall, the Knightsbridge Retirement Home, Longwood Road, Trim, Co. Meath.  Admission is 5 euro and tea, coffee and biscuits are served.  All are welcome and may read their own work should they wish to do so, this being the nature of an open mic. 

I'm hoping to hear some lovely work and will bring with me an attentive ear. 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Language of Love - 2

I am almost loved out!  I've finished the two poems I was working on but I will go back to them again.  And I wrote a new poem this morning.  I think I'll take a break now and hopefully come back to poetry later or in the morning.

omnia dicta fortiora si dicta Latina - everything sounds more impressive when said in Latin

Catullus 85; the entire poem reads, "odi et amo quare id faciam fortasse requiris / nescio sed fieri sentio et excrucior" (I hate and I love. Why do I do this, you perhaps ask. / I do not know, but I feel it happening and am tormented)

omnia vincit amor - love conquers all

And finally:

Ovid, Amores I, 9

Militat omnis amans, et habet sua castra Cupido:
Attice, crede mihi, militat omnis amans.

Every lover wages a war, Cupid has his own campaign
Believe me, Atticus, every lover wages a war.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Language of Love - 1

"Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again..." no, but last night I dreamt of something which I will have to think about and write about.  I'm working on two older poems, one has a latin title which has caused me to look up some latin phrases, oh I need a coffee to continue with this, be right back...Okay below are some phrases I like:

Alis volat propiis - She flies with her own wings (state motto of Oregon)
Alma Mater - Nourishing mother. (One's old school or university)
Alter ipse amicus - A friend is another self
Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi - The deepest rivers flow with the least sound. (still waters run deep)
Amantes sunt amentes - Lovers are lunatics
Amantium irae amoris integratio est - The quarrels of lovers are the renewal of love. (Terence)
Amare et sapere vix deo conceditur - Even a god finds it hard to love and be wise at the same time
Amat victoria curam - Victory favors those who take pains
Amicitiae nostrae memoriam spero sempiternam fore - I hope that the memory of our friendship will be everlasting. (Cicero)
Amicule, deliciae, num is sum qui mentiar tibi? - Baby, sweetheart, would I lie to you?
Amicus certus in re incerta cernitur - A true friend is discerned during an uncertain matter
Amicus verus est rara avis - A true friend is a rare bird
Amor animi arbitrio sumitur, non ponitur - We choose to love, we do not choose to cease loving. (Syrus)
Amor caecus est - Love is blind
Amor est vitae essentia - Love is the essence of life. (Robert B. Mackay)
Amor ordinem nescit - Love does not know order. (St. Jerome)
Amor patriae - Love of country
Amor platonicus - Platonic love
Amor tussisque non celantur - Love, and a cough, are not concealed. (Ovid)
Amor vincit omnia - Love conquers all. (Virgil)
Amoto quaeramus seria ludo - Joking aside, let us turn to serious matters. (Horace)
An nescis, mi fili, quantilla sapientia mundus regatur? - Don't you know then, my son, how little wisdom rules the world?

Now try saying these aloud to yourself and you will feel like you are in some medieval religious order but there is a gorgeous sound to this language.

Back to title, what is the language of love?  French they say:

I love you - Je t'aime
I love you too - Moi aussi, je t'aime
I adore you - Je t'adore
Will you marry me? Veux-tu m'épouser ?
to date - sortir avec
to fall in love (with) - tomber amoureux (de)
to get engaged  -se fiancer √† (or avec)
to get married  -se marier avec

I think I prefer Latin.  And a link for anyone wanting some music, Robbie Williams, The Road to Mandalay:

"Hush, hush, hush, to speak is a sin..."

Monday, February 7, 2011


I started making Valentines's Day cards in work today for the children to being home to their mums and dads.  We cut out pink, red and purple hearts.  I suppose we will stick these to cards during the week and get the glitter out.  I hummed love songs while cutting, don't be cruel, a good heart, oh and prefab sprout - I must dig out their cd.  The children were highly amused.  I'm not in love myself and I can't decide whether to send none or three cards this year!  I'm not in love, romantically, but I am in love with a lot of things in my life.  My attitude to love has changed a lot over the past few years, or my opinion of it.  One of my colleagues believes Valentines is just a money making racket!  She's not alone here.

Anyway I do believe in being romantic.  I love roses and champagne.  But I don't really care about the day this year, honestly I don't (the lady doth protest too much methinks) but really I don't.  I'm quite happy. 

I like this poem by Czeslaw Milosz:


Love means to learn to look at yourself
The way one looks at distant things
For you are only one thing among many.
And whoever sees that way heals his heart,
Without knowing it, from various ills—
A bird and a tree say to him: Friend.

Then he wants to use himself and things
So that they stand in the glow of ripeness.
It doesn’t matter whether he knows what he serves:
Who serves best doesn’t always understand.

And below is another just found online, written by a sufi mystic:


A garden among the flames!

My heart can take on any form:
A meadow for gazelles,
A cloister for monks,
For the idols, sacred ground,
Ka'ba for the circling pilgrim,
The tables of the Torah,
The scrolls of the Quran.

My creed is Love;
Wherever its caravan turns along the way,
That is my belief,
My faith.

And from wikipedia another translation of Ibn Arabi:

My heart has adopted every shape; it has become a pasture for gazelles, and a convent for Christian monks.

A temple for idols, and a pilgrim's Ka'ba, The tables of a Torah, and the pages of a Koran.
I follow the religion of Love; wherever Love's camels turn, there Love is my religion and faith.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Boyne Writers Group AGM 2011

Trim Castle on the Boyne

The AGM was held on Thursday night last and it was well attended despite driving rain and wind.  The snow and ice of December had prevented it from taking place in 2010.  Group founder, secretary and editor of our magazine, Michael Farry, speaks about the meeting and our group in his blog.  It was interesting how Paddy Smith, returned Chairman for 2011, spoke about our members as individuals and about us not being group people particularly.  I am certainly not a group person but since joining the group I have never looked back and I never feel out of place.  It has been quite a journey since the first issue of Boyne Berries which I had a poem published in in 2007 and I am always learning more.  This autumn the magazine will bring forth its tenth issue!

The road leads ever forward.  I know it is an ambition of the group to regain the upperhand in the Battle of the Books against Meath Writers Circle during the Swift festival in the summer.  The Boyne Readings and Open Mic continue; later in February the Small Impact Writers from Navan will be the featured readers and in March Noel King, creator of Doghouse Press, will be the featured reader.

I have been privileged to meet some great writers through the group and its activities and I have been to wonderful events as part of Boyne Writers.  Being a writer is a vocation that many do not understand which is why a group such as ours is important, offering support and constructive criticsm and acting as a springboard at times into the wider literary world. 

In the end Boyne Writers are lucky to be spearheaded by two very talented and able men.  Indeed the entire Meath region of writers, and beyond, have benefitted from their acumen I believe and from their perhaps indirect aim of  creating a cohesive and competitive element within Meath writing.  It is one of the strengths of the group that while remaining a strong unit we reach out to other groups and other individuals.  Thank you Michael Farry and Paddy Smith.
Barbara Flood, Michael Farry, Orla Fay, Paddy Smith