Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Too Far !!

Tom Stoddart’s disturbing photograph of greed, as a starving Sudanese boy watches his bag of food being stolen by a man with a stick. Fortunately the camera didn’t catch us: sympathetic, very wealthy, but too far away, much too far away; maybe 6 hours flying from London!

(As a point of information, in 2008 the cost of one B-52 bomber was approx $2.2 billion; potential to carry 31,500kilograms ordnance - 45 bombs. It could do the above journey more quickly than above and wouldn't need refuelling before return.)

Friday, September 23, 2011


Our Lady's Island in Co. Wexford has a special atmosphere to it. Like many places of pilgrimage, christian or pre-christian, its topography is distinctive and interesting. An island in a lagoon,(appears more like an inland lake); add to that some striking ruins,(Augustinian priory and Norman tower), outdoor furniture needed for crowds of pilgrims, quirky mementoes left by pilgrims, and you've got a place that cuts a dash in the landscape and draws the curious in.


The water waves roll ashore in Hail Mary rhythms,
winds come, contours around the island
and speakers on poles are abandoned mouths
where rosaries of sinners collected in May.
Pews like pricked ears; regiment readiness;
oh Mary, you sure pick your locations!

In a hole in a ditch a community of holy ones
fancy dressed and frozen by a wall;
and all encased in glass, ready to shake
but snowless in July.

Best wishes, see you Monday,


Monday, September 19, 2011

More FREE Laughter Yoga

18.30 – 19.30, Tuesday 27th September, in the Swan Centre,(opposite The Hopsack), Rathmines.As before bring a towel or yoga mat and a willingness to laugh.

And for a paltry €40 or €5 drop in: Tuesday evenings in the Travel Lodge Hotel, Rathmines from Tuesday 4th October for 10 weeks.

For more information ( ) and booking for the Swan Centre Free event and the Travel Lodge sessions contact me at, or 085 707 4465 / 01 4922892

The Laughter Yoga Movement was started in 1995 by Dr Madan Kataria; an initial session with just 5 people in a Mumbai park has since mushroomed into a global movement with over 6,000 clubs in 60 countries.

Just last week came the report: “a research team led by evolutionary anthropologists from Oxford University in the UK has concluded that the endorphins released by a big belly laugh in a social setting can make pain more bearable.” Noting that laughter was more likely in groups, it was reported that “Laughing with friends for around 15 minutes boosts a person’s pain threshold by an average of 10.”

The paper, entitled “Social laughter is correlated with an elevated pain threshold” was published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Most Poetic Painter

Marc Chagall is the most poetic of painters. I think you can immerse yourself in the images without knowing their references. His beautiful colours, the floating dreamlike nature of his characters, the sensual depiction of lovers, the gentleness and sometimes homeliness; the possibilities for varying interpretations. To stay with them awhile can be just enough to start a new poem. Thanks to uploader Yaellavie for the video below.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

To Say That You Are Beautiful

The sunlight on the back of your neck,
ear-lobes and hair;
the page-reflected glow on your chin,
dimming upward towards your forehead;
all else in darkness around you.

If I’d never seen that you are beautiful;
that day, the light that chose to steal up behind you,
to settle on you so gently but dazzlingly;
that light would have been light enough.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Yellow Rose

The Yellow Rose.

for Alan Biddle

When his eyes had shut for good
and his face was just a face,
and conversation had slowed
to the ebb and flow of memories
speaking among themselves,
a small gesture recast the day.
She placed a yellow rose on his chest
over the picture of the Sacred Heart.
The gentleness of that moment;

the single rose: how well chosen;
how well she chose it.
His face: changed, full of ease
as through all his illness,
but death had sculpted warmth away.
His eyes shut against us,
fingers tangled up in rosary beads;
I'll remember him alive
or remember the rose when he was dead.

Friday, September 2, 2011


Now my father's life
is breathing.
Heavy work.

He has already slipped away
to be alone
while we outside
mark every breath
like lap timers.

Now come the spaces:
a breath
is an isolated thing.

Finally one breath
arrives alone.
I feel a soul has left,
but just then

I see, so clearly,
it was hope
that slipped out of the room.