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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Boyne Berries 20 Launch

Kites by the Abbey, Rory O'Sullivan

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

Skylight 47 Launches

In Bed The Kiss Henri De Toulouse-Lautrec

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


Michael Bosanko's Banksy's Balloon Girl

So a colleague in work left today who was wonderful at their job, the kind of person who was a leader because they shone their own light. It was good to meet someone like that.

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.    

Philip Levine                    

Wednesday, August 17, 2016


James Dean by Dennis Stock

Dear laptop it's good to be in front of you again!! I hope to see a lot more of you at the weekend!! It's raining, raining, raining today and tonight there's the comforting, steady pitter-patter but faster than that; stream of drops, rhapsody of rain on the garage roof, the house roof and off the ground. Anywhere there's surface really. Silence you beautiful thing also.


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.

Don Paterson

Friday, August 12, 2016

Abridged 0 - 48: Mercury Red Submission Call

So here's one to think about...

This is the age of the inspirational. We wake up each morning to a torrent of messages on social media informing us that if we ‘be ourselves’ and ‘believe in ourselves’ we can achieve the impossible. Transformation will be quick and painless. A screen full of medicine men (and women) selling easy answers with beautiful backdrops. Conversely when we do achieve something there are legions of ‘trolls’ ready to lay siege to us. The age of the inspirational is an age of extremes. Love is public and anger is quick to surface. We search for the impossible and when it can’t be found we want to scorch the earth. Our loves, our hates, are quick. Our fear is now public domain.
This fear remains in the ether, an indistinct agent in our psychological lives, both invisible and disturbing as hypothetical warfare. When we feel under attack it solidifies and we name it.  It is in naming the thing that should be feared that it comes into focus, even merely as mirage or red herring. By naming it, mythologizing it, adorning it with colours and connotations so as to turn it into a child’s villain, we cast it from ourselves and make it temporarily stable enough to identify: a tangible enemy.  A named fear is a catalyst for all that frightens, within and beyond ourselves. Telling a story of good and evil, of black and white masks the problematic complexity of these qualities incestuous and changeful relationship. Light can obscure as much as darkness, and on each the other depends for definition.
Red Mercury is a mythical explosive. Abridged in 0 – 48: Mercury Red explores our need for immediate public affirmation, our virtual emotional lives and our search for the impossible personally and as a society then the anger when we realise our Nirvana is unattainable. Submissions may be up to three poems and can be sent to preferably in Word format or as part of the email. Art should be up to A4 landscape in size and 300 dpi or above. Please note this is a landscape format issue rather than our usual portrait. Deadline is 23rd September.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016


Franz Marc’s Dog Lying in the Snow (Liegender Hund im Schnee)

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


I had trouble this morning for a while with finding a title for a poem but it came in the end like a key fitting a lock. I've also started editing Boyne Berries 20, bit of a journey ahead! I spent time by the sea and found a clear stone but not sure if it's unpolished quartz.

People Who Live

People who live by the sea
understand eternity.
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
pointing home.     

Erica Jong