Wednesday, July 22, 2015
From the shit slops she grew;
Such a slim, graceful beauty
from our soil,
that crystalline perfection
from our sphagnum sponge;
such iciness, hauteur.
Such a bitch, we all agreed,
yet every man longed for her gaze
to soften on him.
To be in her ice trail,
to hope to bed her;
such power over men and women:
Saturday, July 18, 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
At one end of a bench
an old man wearing Winter clothes
regards the fountains and Summer
through melt-water irises.
This man needs my ear to be a conch
so that he can call to the past down these auditory canals.
And when he calls, his wife and sons will resurrect,
return, reverse like filings into a family.
It is mid-morning in Stephen's Green;
the usual sounds: clacking fowl and fountain symphonies,
outside the thrash of traffic and voices.
In a moment,
two strangers on a bench are traveling backwards to Mayo;
elsewhere a beggar has recreated himself in a bank window
and somewhere, busy in a kitchen, a woman is conversing
though the voice that answers has not been heard for years.
Wednesday, July 8, 2015
Reflection and dreaming, in a nutshell.
Where The Poetry Comes From
Two swallows proclaiming it
dancers in an empty ballroom.
A church bell chimes
two, three, five o’ clock;
Tracing curves to unending time;
a route to south Africa?
Saturday, July 4, 2015
Why throw our hands up in despair? The Irish language is on the verge of extinction; we’ve known all along, the death rattles have been deafening for a hundred years. In highlighting the rapid decline in the usage of the Irish language in the Gaeltacht areas, the authors of the recent report have also drawn into question the current Government’s level of commitment to the preservation of our language.
A friend of mine, language teacher from Germany, visiting Dublin asked to go somewhere where she could hear the language being used. I balked. The same difficulty applied to myself years ago, when as one of a group of sixteen year olds returning from the Irish language summer college, we agreed to have a reunion in Dublin; but where? Where is the centre for speakers of our language in our capital city?
2016 is a year of celebration; the question being asked is how best do we commemorate, not only the people and events of 1916, but our Irishness. I suggest that the finest and most practical gesture we can make is the establishment of a cultúrlann that, at one stroke, solves difficulties like those I’ve outlined and proclaims our commitment to the preservation of our Irish heritage. And we don’t have to reinvent the wheel, but look at the model that is Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich, just up the road in Belfast.
Coffee shop, theatre, art gallery, book-shop; a place that will encourage all who want to speak Irish, hear it spoken. A warm place, open all day and full of positivity towards the Irish language and culture. For now we need people with some imagination and a fondness for Irish in order to make a start.
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
The fields, green with snow
under an apple blue sky;
your whole body grinning.
The silver trees of our breathing
in full flower;
my golden happiness
in being with you
till the shafts of shadow
turned purple at sunset;
and our hours together
colourless at parting.