Saturday, December 31, 2016
Monday, December 19, 2016
My included poem 'Devil-may-care' was written in the summer after a trip to the sea. It links to a painting in a previous issue of Spontaneity called 'Firewalk with me'. Have a read y'all and enjoy!
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
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: http://www.sixteen.ie
Tuesday, November 15, 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
Sunday, October 30, 2016
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.
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
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
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
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!
Monday, October 10, 2016
On a day when I posted contributors' copies of Boyne Berries to the four corners of Ireland and to England, the USA, France and Turkey it was nice to come home and find my own contributor's copy of Skylight 47 in the post box. This issue 7 has 28 pages of poetry and reviews of recent poetry collections. It's actually a bit of a dream to read a paper of poetry. Well done to Skylight 47
My included poem is a sonnet called Love Letter which was written with late spring's energy and optimism and it is a love letter to the sun about growing. I have written some lovely sonnets this year.
Tonight is a cool October night and you can see the stars in the sky so it will probably be slightly frosty in the morning. The leaves are turning gorgeous colours and you'd need to be very blind and withdrawn not to notice them and admire their beauty.
Sunday, October 9, 2016
Good morning blog. I got up with the dawn to write some poetry as life's been a whirlwind lately and I'm happy to have written one poem. I hope to write another today too. I also have to organise posting contributors' copies of Boyne Berries 20 and legal deposit.
An Anthology of Reactions will be published later in the month in Limerick. I've a poem in it called Teenage Kicks, 1991 - 1996. (Yes really) The centenary year is slowly but surely drawing to a close.
Saturday, October 8, 2016
Copies of Boyne Berries 20 can now be purchased via paypal at this link Boyne Berries Blog
Monday, October 3, 2016
I took this photo of Van Gogh's Starry Night Over the Rhone at the weekend in Musee D'Orsay in Paris. You walk around a corner and there it is for all to admire. There are so many gorgeous paintings in Orsay and I felt like a little kid at Christmas there.
So it was a beautiful weekend anyway despite the high security and I feel sad for Paris but the people there must be very resilient and I hope they continue to be because it is still La Ville Lumière.
I wrote this poem about 10 years ago after seeing this Monet painting adorning the cover of Emile Zola's LA Bete Humaine which I had read. You can imagine my excitement when I saw the painting again at the weekend. The poem was published in an early issue of Boyne Berries.
Sunday, September 18, 2016
It's been a busy end to Sunday. I've just send Boyne Berries 20 to the printer, to be printed. I hope all will be well with it. I'm delighted that former editor of The Meath Chronicle, Ken Davis, will launch the magazine.
Issue three of Three Drops from a Cauldron is now online and includes my poem Endymion Calls to the Moon which is apt considering the supermoon of the last couple of days. It's an older poem and I'd been reading John Keats' poetry at the time;
A THING of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Endymion Book 1, Keats
My mum is always likely to quote something at you and these lines are oft repeated. Usually I now say: "Really, do you think so?"
What else, oh I saw a movie today called A Date for Mad Mary which was kinda cool. And it rained, that's where the umbrella comes into this, and I thought the streets looked romantic in the rain.
Saturday, September 17, 2016
flying high as they want and as far as they want sidewise
in tiers and tiers of immaculate reflections;
the whole region, from the highest heron
down to the weightless mangrove island
with bright green leaves edged neatly with bird-droppings
like illumination in silver,
and down to the suggestively Gothic arches of the mangrove roots
and the beautiful pea-green back-pasture
where occasionally a fish jumps, like a wildflower
in an ornamental spray of spray;
this cartoon by Raphael for a tapestry for a Pope:
it does look like heaven.
But a skeletal lighthouse standing there
in black and white clerical dress,
who lives on his nerves, thinks he knows better.
He thinks that hell rages below his iron feet,
that that is why the shallow water is so warm,
and he knows that heaven is not like this.
Heaven is not like flying or swimming,
but has something to do with blackness and a strong glare
and when it gets dark he will remember something
strongly worded to say on the subject.
Monday, September 12, 2016
I was looking for the names of autumn berries and came across this poem, which is too cute not to share.
Sunday, September 11, 2016
Hey blog just popping in while my vegetable soup cooks. Boyne Berries 20 has gone to the printer for a second proof. I tried to rush an edit this morning but then a number of errors cropped up so I walked away and came back later and there were no problems at all.
I'd fun today flying a kite, among other things. I think I might have a new poem so I'm going to try and write it, a bit, next.
A KITE IS A VICTIM
By Leonard Cohen
From: The Spice-Box of Earth
A kite is a victim you are sure of.
You love it because it pulls
gentle enough to call you master,
strong enough to call you fool;
because it lives
like a desperate trained falcon
in the high sweet air,
and you can always haul it down
to tame it in your drawer.
A kite is a fish you have already caught
in a pool where no fish come,
so you play him carefully and long,
and hope he won’t give up,
or the wind die down.
A kite is the last poem you’ve written,
so you give it to the wind,
but you don’t let it go
until someone finds you
something else to do.
A kite is a contract of glory
that must be made with the sun,
so make friends with the field
the river and the wind,
then you pray the whole cold night before,
under the travelling cordless moon,
to make you worthy and lyric and pure.
Tuesday, September 6, 2016
Friday, September 2, 2016
The roots of this journal sprouted from the editor’s (Kate Garrett) long-term obsession with folklore and mythology – particularly of the Welsh variety – and poetry. And who better to represent this than Cerridwen and her cauldron?
Cerridwen was a sorceress in Welsh legend, who has since been elevated to deity status – she is the crone goddess of poetry, magic and inspiration.
Cerridwen was also the accidental mother of Taliesin, the greatest of Welsh bards. According to legend, this is due to a mishap involving three stray drops from her cauldron of inspiration. These tiny drops of powerful potion turned her servant-boy Gwion Bach into the celebrated poet-storyteller, but not before a series of shape-shifting incidents that resulted in his being eaten by the sorceress.
Thanks to Adrienne Leavy, editor of Reading Ireland: The Little Magazine , for her generous review of Boyne Berries 1916 in the latest issue of Reading Ireland which is a 1916 centenary issue.
Wednesday, August 31, 2016
Join the Boyne Writers in celebrating the launch of issue 20 of Boyne Berries Magazine on Thursday, 29th September at 8 p.m. in The Castle Arch Hotel, Trim, Co Meath. This issue includes the work of Katherine Kelly, Bernadette Gallagher, Kate Dempsey, Brian Kirk, Jay Merill, Honor Duff, Richard W. Halperin, Eamon Mag Uidhir, Susanne Stich, Stephen Wade, Emmaleene Leahy, Siobhan Daffy, P.D. Lyons, Frank Murphy, Sarah Jenkin, Taidgh Lynch, Iseult Healy, Moya Roddy, Peter Goulding, Kate Ennals, Edward O’Dwyer, Paul McCarrick, Stephen Reid, Neil Slevin, Carl Boon & members of The Boyne Writers’ Group; Michael Farry, Rory O'Sullivan, Leah McDwyer, Jenny Andersson, Anne Crinion, Barbara Flood, Caroline Carey Finn, Sinead MacDevitt, Orla Fay, Frank McGivney and Eamon Cooke. Boyne Berries 20 is edited by Orla Fay with cover design by Rory O'Sullivan.
Saturday, August 27, 2016
So then, where was I? Boyne Berries 20 is nearly ready to go to the printer for a first proof. I've to do the list of contents and an editorial and look at the fiction again, but there will probably be several small issues to fix.
I have a poem called Love Letter in the forthcoming issue of Skylight 47. I am excited to see it in print and to read the issue.
The launch of Skylight 47, Issue 7, takes place at the September Over The Edge reading at Galway City Library at 6.30 on Thursday 29th September. Issue 7 has a particular focus on Clifden. The editors, together with the Clifden Arts Festival, have planned a Clifden launch of Issue 7 in addition to our main launch. The Clifden launch takes place at the Clifden library at 2.00pm on Thursday 15th September.
I was also delighted to learn that two of my poems will appear in the next issue of The Ofi Press
Friday, August 19, 2016
Boyne Berries 20 will be ready to go to the printer by next weekend. Rory O'Sullivan has been doing great work on the cover design this week. It's lovely to work with someone who can take on board your ideas and still produce something unique.
What Work Is
We stand in the rain in a long line
waiting at Ford Highland Park. For work.
You know what work is—if you're
old enough to read this you know what
work is, although you may not do it.
Forget you. This is about waiting,
shifting from one foot to another.
Feeling the light rain falling like mist
into your hair, blurring your vision
until you think you see your own brother
ahead of you, maybe ten places.
You rub your glasses with your fingers,
and of course it's someone else's brother,
narrower across the shoulders than
yours but with the same sad slouch, the grin
that does not hide the stubbornness,
the sad refusal to give in to
rain, to the hours wasted waiting,
to the knowledge that somewhere ahead
a man is waiting who will say, 'No,
we're not hiring today,' for any
reason he wants. You love your brother,
now suddenly you can hardly stand
the love flooding you for your brother,
who's not beside you or behind or
ahead because he's home trying to
sleep off a miserable night shift
at Cadillac so he can get up
before noon to study his German.
Works eight hours a night so he can sing
Wagner, the opera you hate most,
the worst music ever invented.
How long has it been since you told him
you loved him, held his wide shoulders,
opened your eyes wide and said those words,
and maybe kissed his cheek? You've never
done something so simple, so obvious,
not because you're too young or too dumb,
not because you're jealous or even mean
or incapable of crying in
the presence of another man, no,
just because you don't know what work is.
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
I love all films that start with rain:
rain, braiding a windowpane
or darkening a hung-out dress
or streaming down her upturned face;
one long thundering downpour
right through the empty script and score
before the act, before the blame,
before the lens pulls through the frame
to where the woman sits alone
beside a silent telephone
or the dress lies ruined on the grass
or the girl walks off the overpass,
and all things flow out from that source
along their fatal watercourse.
However bad or overlong
such a film can do no wrong,
so when his native twang shows through
or when the boom dips into view
or when her speech starts to betray
its adaptation from the play,
I think to when we opened cold
on a rain-dark gutter, running gold
with the neon of a drugstore sign,
and I’d read into its blazing line:
forget the ink, the milk, the blood—
all was washed clean with the flood
we rose up from the falling waters
the fallen rain’s own sons and daughters
and none of this, none of this matters.
Friday, August 12, 2016
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Hi blog. Isn't august passing quickly and autumn's announcing herself? I'm thinking about stars a lot, and beauty, so potential themes there to explore, difficult themes however!
I wrote a couple of poems last weekend (swallows and the sea) and I'm looking forward to writing again later this week and at the weekend. I had to stop work on Boyne Berries for a few days but I will do half an hour now I think, slowly but surely! Nothing else to report I think.
Thursday, August 4, 2016
I've spent a couple of hours on Boyne Berries 20 and it's been lovely. It's amazing to read some of the submissions and to see how talented people are. My cup runneth over. I love learning new things from the submissions, new ideas and ways of looking at things.
I'm looking forward to writing out some of my own ideas at the weekend and to more work on the magazine.
Monday, August 1, 2016
People Who Live
People who live by the sea
They copy the curves of the waves,
their hearts beat with the tides,
& the saltiness of their blood
corresponds with the sea.
They know that the house of flesh
is only a sandcastle
built on the shore,
that skin breaks
under the waves
like sand under the soles
of the first walker on the beach
when the tide recedes.
Each of us walks there once,
watching the bubbles
rise up through the sand
like ascending souls,
tracing the line of the foam,
drawing our index fingers
along the horizon
Sunday, July 31, 2016
Monday, July 18, 2016
It has really been a scorcher today, 25 degrees and I'm lucky enough to be on holidays this week to enjoy it. Of course my thoughts are turning to editing and writing. I'm certainly going to have a difficult time declining work for the magazine but the quality and quantity of submission for Boyne Berries 20 has been very high. The submission period ends this coming Sunday at midnight.
I found the Van Gogh poem and I'm going to edit it for myself. It's more of a winter poem but my niece did choose a wordless illustrated version of The Snowman today in the book shop (She said you can make the story up yourself). I did wonder why you would be digging in the snow? On further inspection apparently the women are digging as winter ends and spring begins.
In the meantime here is a post about a poem Anne Sexton wrote in response to The Starry Night
Monday, July 11, 2016
A friend gave me this card at the weekend and I really like it. I do have a Van Gogh poem somewhere, an old one and maybe I can find it if I look, I hope. It's been a bit crazy since my last blog post, but that's life.
I'm delighted to have a poem selected for issue 7 of Skylight 47 which will be launched in September. The magazine is Galway based and edited by Bernie Crawford, Nicki Griffin, Marie Cadden and Ruth Quinlan.
I'm overwhelmed by the response to the submission call for Boyne Berries 20 and I look forward to reading and replying to the submissions over the coming weeks.
Friday, July 1, 2016
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Sunday, June 19, 2016
The Wild Rose
Sometimes hidden from me
in daily custom and in trust,
so that I live by you unaware
as by the beating of my heart,
Suddenly you flare in my sight,
a wild rose looming at the edge
of thicket, grace and light
where yesterday was only shade,
and once again I am blessed, choosing
again what I chose before.
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Posting an old poem of mine tonight that was published in Crannog 20. I saw a gorgeous image on Deviantart but course it must be copyrighted, I settled on Klimt. I'm all about the yellow tonight for some reason.
Tuesday, June 14, 2016
The broken pillar of the wing jags from the clotted shoulder,
The wing trails like a banner in defeat,
No more to use the sky forever but live with famine
And pain a few days: cat nor coyote
Will shorten the week of waiting for death, there is game without talons.
He stands under the oak-bush and waits
The lame feet of salvation; at night he remembers freedom
And flies in a dream, the dawns ruin it.
He is strong and pain is worse to the strong, incapacity is worse.
The curs of the day come and torment him
At distance, no one but death the redeemer will humble that head,
The intrepid readiness, the terrible eyes.
The wild God of the world is sometimes merciful to those
That ask mercy, not often to the arrogant.
You do not know him, you communal people, or you have forgotten him;
Intemperate and savage, the hawk remembers him;
Beautiful and wild, the hawks, and men that are dying, remember him.
I'd sooner, except the penalties, kill a man than a hawk;
but the great redtail
Had nothing left but unable misery
From the bone too shattered for mending, the wing that trailed under his talons when he moved.
We had fed him six weeks, I gave him freedom,
He wandered over the foreland hill and returned in the evening, asking for death,
Not like a beggar, still eyed with the old
I gave him the lead gift in the twilight.
What fell was relaxed, Owl-downy, soft feminine feathers; but what
Soared: the fierce rush: the night-herons by the flooded river cried fear at its rising
Before it was quite unsheathed from reality.
Wednesday, June 8, 2016
The submission period for Boyne Berries 20 is now open and will close on Sunday 24th July at midnight. Boyne Berries 20 will feature poetry and fiction or prose on an open theme.
Send up to 3 poems per poetry submission. Poems should be no more than 40 lines long. Fiction and prose submissions should be no more than 1500 words. Please use Times New Roman 12 and single spacing. Please include a short biographical note. Submissions should be placed in the body of the email and attached as a word document attachment. Submit to firstname.lastname@example.org only.
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
One more sonnet written and I'm a happy girl. And another poem just waiting for me to write it but I may be too tired tonight to shape it. But there's tomorrow and the June Bank Holiday weekend ahead so I'll catch you then time.
SONNET 18Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st;
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.