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Sunday, June 20, 2021

New Poetry Chapbook Project


Sincere thanks to Meath County Council Arts Office and Creative Ireland for recently awarding me a professional artists development fund for the production of a new poetry chapbook. It has a working title of What Became of the Horses? I hope to release it towards the end of the year.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Two Haiku for May


What does the sea know?
Journeys do not end,
Life is the present river.

The apple blossoms of May
Make such tender poems,
Preludes to autumn.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

The Forgotten Farm

Another ekphrastic poem based on a Greg Hasting's drawing, and memory. More of  Greg's work featuring poetry from Michael Farry, Marian Kilcoyne, Maureen Gallagher and Luke Power can be seen on his Instagram page @greghastings1066, here.

The Forgotten Farm


Birds chatter, a thrush jumps

up to peck raspberries,

later alighting on the flowerbed,

quickly poops yellow shit,

eyes me slyly like an alligator,

then flits away.


Some children play in grey distance,

calling, shouting, as we did.

A tractor pauses in throttle,

chugs on into the evening.

Roses are eruptions, impressive

by the white-washed shed.


The milking parlour’s gable window

is black as the universe.

I see my father through it, thirty years ago.

The Friesians are lined up

with pumps on their udders.

I pat their black and white hide.


They swish tails, swat flies away, chew the cud.

Milk churns in the tank, cooling.

A bee settles on a barren rose.

The children are outside again.

As the sun sets, dreadful loneliness,

like a strangling weed, grips my throat


before a million silver stars appear.


Orla Fay

Sunday, April 18, 2021

The Wormwood Doll

Once again I was delighted to collaborate with Greg Hasting, this time on a piece of magical realism. Greg can be found on Instagram @greghastings1066.  

Sketch of Wood Greg Hastings

The Wormwood Doll


There is a glitch in time, a slicing of space,

from which she pulls the dancer – ballerina pirouettes

on the music box to Brahms, then retires

to the forest-floor-lullaby, sleeping beauty.


Only the full moon can rouse her from this realm,

opaline cuts through fern canopy, splices ground,

quickens a dawn, blush veins and the earth’s vines

relax, release, return the nymph to the glowing path.


She flickers between worlds. Dreamt. Real.

An act of manifestation. Deeper the journey

to come out the other side, where on waking

she will dress, brush her teeth, comb her hair.


Orla Fay

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Poetry Day Ireland Boyne Writers Instapoetry Competition


Boyne Writers over on Instagram (@boyne_writers) will celebrate #poetrydayirl with an Instapoetry competition. Poets can enter from Monday, 19th April until Poetry Day Ireland, Thursday 29th April. The theme this year is ‘New Directions: Maps & Journeys’.

Competition poems should be an original, unpublished work of 4 lines or less with an original background. Think haiku, couplet or free verse on variations of maps, journeys, the local and beyond. Let loose with your camera, and embolden your imagination! Embrace the technological, the creativity in social media. 

Prizes for the best 5 pieces will be announced on Poetry Day. 

Tag Boyne Writers, @boyne_writers, to enter and look out for the hashtag to include too at the weekend. 

More at

Monday, April 12, 2021

Submissions Invited for Drawn to the Light Press Issue 3


Aurora Deirdre McKernan

Deadline: 30 Apr 2021

The submission period for issue 3 will open on Thursday 1 April, and close on Friday 30 April at midnight. This issue will be published in June.

Please send up to 3 poems of 40 lines or less, each. Work should be previously unpublished. Please use Times New Roman font, size 12. Send poetry in the body of the email and as a word document attachment. Those submitting should be over 18. Poets or artists can expect a response in May (a 4-6 week turnaround).

Submissions of artwork and photography are also invited.

Send submissions to

If your work has been included in the previous issue (issue 2), then do not submit to #3. 

All submissions are seen, read and valued.

More here 

Friday, April 2, 2021

A Trio of Publications


Recently I had three poems published. Crannóg included Optimism Dressed as Joy in issue 54, spring 2021, and they will have an online launch next Friday, April 9th at 6.30 pm. 

Impossible Archetype gave a home to La Dolce Pantera Nera in issue #9 which can be read here. This poem arose in January while I was doing a writing challenge and dreamt of a black panther.

Lastly thanks to Abridged for including Serket Speaks in the Trivia issue. Trivia was the Roman goddess of sorcery and witchcraft, haunting crossroads and graveyards. Serket was an Egyptian goddess of nature, medicine, and magic associated with the scorpion. The poem is paired with an image by photographer Kevin Fletcher from a series called 'Avenue of Roses'. The goddess is speaking here.

Huge thanks to the editors of these wonderful magazines.