Tuesday, April 26, 2011

More Laughter Yoga in Rathmines

Another chance to take an instant vacation.

Cathetrine O'Dea will be leading two series of Laughter Yoga in Rathmines over the coming weeks. The first begins on Tuesday 10th May in Centre Studios, Rathmines (over Boots),5.45pm to 6.45pm. The second begins Thursday 12th May, 4.00pm to 5.00pm, at Swan Leisure. Both will run for five weeks and the cost is 45 euros,(30 euros: OAPs job-seekers and students).

Wear comfortable clothing, bring yoga mat or towel and a bottle of water.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

"True poets must be truthful"

......Wilfred Owen

This YouTube movie originates from Voices [Education Project] whose mission is to "Amplify the voices of veterans and civilian witnesses to war, in order to heal the wounds of war and lay the basis for a more peaceful world."
"Difference can lead to dialogue and growth rather than violence." To know more about this see their website:http://voiceseducation.org/

This clip sets very well the context to Owen's poetry.

Smile, Smile, Smile (by Wilfrid Owen)

Head to limp head, the sunk-eyed wounded scanned
Yesterday's Mail; the casualties (typed small)
And (large) Vast Booty from our Latest Haul.
Also, they read of Cheap Homes, not yet planned;
For, said the paper, "When this war is done
The men's first instinct will be making homes.
Meanwhile their foremost need is aerodromes,
It being certain war has just begun.
Peace would do wrong to our undying dead, --
The sons we offered might regret they died
If we got nothing lasting in their stead.
We must be solidly indemnified.
Though all be worthy Victory which all bought,
We rulers sitting in this ancient spot
Would wrong our very selves if we forgot
The greatest glory will be theirs who fought,
Who kept this nation in integrity."
Nation? -- The half-limbed readers did not chafe
But smiled at one another curiously
Like secret men who know their secret safe.
This is the thing they know and never speak,
That England one by one had fled to France
(Not many elsewhere now save under France).
Pictures of these broad smiles appear each week,
And people in whose voice real feeling rings
Say: How they smile! They're happy now, poor things.

23rd September 1918.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Irish Religion and Irish Literature

To be brought up Roman Catholic in Ireland in my generation and before, was to be brought up with with a strange mix of observance of hard fast doctrine on the conduct of one's life, and a wonderful belief in fantastical superstiton.I think this has a great deal to do with the richness of Irish literature.Anything is possible in a reality that can be influenced by supernatural events, where excessive pain is directly associated with love, where the icons of gentleness are sometimes gruesome.

It's a mix that brands itself, smoking, on the soul.


Though birds have nested

among the thorns, and the trunk

has grown wild with ivy,

his arms and legs

are still outlined in those sinews,

his belly is a knot of growth.

Deep in the withered leaves

shines an eye; a fish swims there;

he who eats the fish lives forever.

They say he was nailed to the tree,

well above the ground

so a soldier could lance his side

to satisfy the crowds

that fish swim in rivers,

wishes swim in blood.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Short Poems on Love and Life and Life Passing

Days scud by like clouds;
that generous wind
blows forever.

But it blew into a corner
where our days collected,
not clouds but leaves.


One bullet
and your universe went black.

One piece of metal,
the opposite to a key.


empty hangar
but for a step-ladder
and a bucket of oil.


Father’s Day:
her voice came into my head:
“Daddy’s Day”, she said.

I went to see if she was in her room;
it was 6am.
Can it really be so long ago?


After all, a house is just a box
without a human to rattle.


Your face: smoke.
Or was I holding it in smoke fingers?

Love crashed then receded.

Remember your face?
It might have been a heat haze in January.


Monday, April 11, 2011

Air Spectacular - Starlings over Lough Rea

I've always known that starlings leave Red Arrows for dead. But take a look at this footage from Lough Rea, it's awesome.(brilliant posting by BDaly1234 on YouTube)

And this is the perfect introduction for a poem called, Dead Starling:

Last evening starlings were
balloon bursting
cluster bombing
wheat whirling
skirt twirling
cape sweeping
out beyond the town.

This morning
a meteorite
outside my door;
there is nothing on earth
as motionless as
a dead starling.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Whale Song

The eeriest, saddest sound on the planet. Check out The Oceania Project channel on Youtube for more videos on whales and their beautiful, haunting songs. http://www.youtube.com/user/TheOceaniaProject

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Mother Liked This Poem

To begin with, my mother was more than a little apprehensive of my writing poems. She dreaded finding herself published inside one of them. When one of my earliest publications turned out to be "Visiting the Corset Maker", her apprehension seemed well founded.Fortunately a friend of her's, who also visited the corset maker, liked the poem and her regard shifted.

However, she really did like "The Country Boy"; and though she occasionally wondered why I can't always write happy,pleasant poems, this poem convinced her that she could let me out with a biro in my hand.

When she had died I found her copy of "Sunfire" with press cuttings cellotaped in, and realised how proud she was of the book.

So for mother's day:

The Country Child.

The country child
runs in and out of rain showers
like rooms;

sees the snake-patterns in trains,
the sun's sword-play in the hedges
and the confetti in falling elder blossoms;

knows the humming in the telegraph poles
as the hedgerow's voice
when tar bubbles are ripe for bursting;

watches bees emerge from the caverns
at the centres of buttercups,
feels no end to a daisy chain,

feels no end to an afternoon;
walks on ice though it creaks;
sees fish among ripples and names them;

is conversant with berries
and hides behind thorns;
slips down leaves, behind stones;

fills his hands with the stream
and his hair with the smell of hay;
recognizes the chalkiness

of the weathered bones of sheep,
the humour in a rusted fence,
the feel of the white beards that hang there.

The country child
sees a mountain range where blue clouds
are heaped above the horizon,

sees a garden of diamonds
through a hole scraped
in the frost patterns of his bedroom window

and sees yet another world
when tints of cerise and ochre
streak the evening sky.

He knows no end, at night
he sneaks glimpses of Heaven
through the moth-eaten carpet of the sky.