Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Memory of Ireland Past

Since Christmas brings us back to family,loved ones and our memories of those who are gone, I thought I'd post this memory. It was another time, the mid-sixties.(from "Sunfire")

Visiting the Corsetmaker.

Miss Gately, you know, the corsetmaker; her cottage thatched and whitewashed beneath sycamores ragged with crows and their bickering.

A Sunday afternoon, my mother walking to the red door and it opened and closed and nothing else stirring for ages but ourselves in the back of the white consul with the red roof at the end of the avenue, just outside the gate;stone walls and lichen patches wallpapering our afternoon.Father dropping off in the driver’s seat while Micheal O'Hehir commentated on matches, one after another, without ever taking a breath in all that pipe smoke; matches collecting in the ash-tray all burnt to tiny black bird bones and the condensation all used up with words and faces dribbling pathetically into shapeless bad temper. Over and over: will she ever come out, can’t we go now,why do we always have to come, move your legs; till eventually she would reappear, a slap in the doorway, motor jauntily, red-headed,back to the car like it’s been five minutes or something, and Dad’s awake, reversing from the gate, back into the remains of a Sunday afternoon.

And I never knew what went on in there; never saw who opened the door,never saw a package, never heard anything about it. My father didn’t know either. I remember she took my sister with her when my sister was in secondary school;I wouldn’t have wanted to join them anyway,it was obviously a woman’s house.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Copenhagen Failure

Calculations show that the average Chinese person uses, more or less, the sustainable level of environmental resources for the maintenance of the world’s current population size; the average European uses double what’s sustainable and the typical American uses a whooping four times this.(from the BBC).

Obviously our western lifestyle is highly destructive to the planet. Our championing of human rights does not extend to our grandchildren. The damage continues, and our leaders have left Copenhagen without a treaty.

I read Obama has suggested a $10 billion per annum package for climate change when there's a $700 billion defence budget.What environmental damage is wrought by bombs and warfare, not to mention chasing fictitious weapons of mass destruction.Basic ecology teaches us that a human footstep affects the balance in a habitat.


A fish is dreaming,
elbow deep.

With my fingertip
I draw a herring-bone
across his heaven;
he bolts.

Now the lake dreams,
empty like a canyon.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sure Sight

The following, a love poem from "Turn Your Head"

Sure Sight

I see
your face

a desolate
your irises

the wash
of slivered
your smile

I know of
less trodden

I contract
to be
an explorer
in that universe.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

"Mullingar Scribblers "

In passing, I visited the Scribblers' regular Monday night session in the Annebrook Hotel recently and was greatly impressed by the work they do. They have just launched a new collection of their writings "Mullingar Scribblers, Poems and Stories Volume 4".

If you are interested in writing in the Mullingar area, they are definitely worth seeking out.


Poetree. No, not poor spelling but a sculpture of a bronze tree with letters for leaves graces the cover of SHOp 31, a poetry magazine that exemplifies the best in poetry publication standards in this country. Don’t just take it from me:

'First class goods, beautifully presented. Congratulations from this confirmed SHOp-lifter.'
Seamus Heaney

'Unquestionably the most beautiful poetry magazine now in existence.'
Bemard O'Donoghue

But it’s hard times for such publications. Grants have been cut back, “and we are warned that the situation is likely to be worse in 2010” says the editor of the SHOp.

So here’s my blog, resuscitated to suggest that if you love poetry and if you want something with a bit style and imagination to put in a Christmas stocking, SHOp 31 is just out,(and it's just one of many hard-pressed poetry magazines). It’s beautiful, it's worthy and it’s good value.

(Poetree was sculpted by David McGlynn)