The world was crying above us all;
I kept my head down through the rush,
all of us crowding like cattle
under the grey sky,
the season's glare harsh
off the wet streets -
my hurried gaze was checked
in the eyes of the begging man
by the station entrance
and seemed to stick eternal
as I rushed on past
to the platform;
the begging man
whose face gleamed in mine
in the train window, crying the rain.
WET DAYS It was Monday
Everyone at school or not yet born.
I remember every square in the pavement. Wet days remind me of mum wearing a sad face, Walking towards the village determined To fill shopping bags with the beginnings Of busy meals for milling children. It was the only time I felt close. Sometimes she’d say something, Tell me who lived in which house And how nice they kept their gardens.
In days when it rained
Our closeness dissolved in stooped shoulders,
The anticipated heavy bags, against the rain.
When the sun kinder, other women
stopped to chat;
I didn’t like that,
They came into our space,
Mine, mums and cracked pavements.
She measured her marriage against other couples Who passed in cars, or walked side by side Chatting, smiling, swinging shopping bags in unison. Too proud to carry shopping or feelings - My dad; being a farmer, Never looked inside the heart. On rainy days he was in the pub Until closing-time.
She waited for me to admire the house
While I absorbed the trees along her lane
I was never invited back again. Kicking leaves beneath my feet; Chestnuts sticky and sweet, sycamore Seeds cascading the air;
Hair full off twigs. My school friend
Didn’t care for the wild things, that
Autumn brings. Watching, while I jumped;
Shaking conkers from trees,
Peter O’ Neill has had over 100 poems published. His debut collection Antiope appeared in February 2013, and to critical acclaim. ‘Certainly a voice to be reckoned with,’ wrote Dr. Brigitte Le JueZ (DCU). As well as having had some of his translations published – including works by Baudelaire, Agusto Dos Anjos and Virgil; original poems written by him in Italian and French have also appeared. He has been a regular contributor to A New Ulster, Danse Macabre and The Scum Gentry, and he is currently working on his seventh collection. Undismayed by Filth, Stench and Darkness Inconceivable.
Land of Ire
esse est percepi ( Berkeley)
state of negation the self annihilated piecemeal and on a daily basis
as if in on the
boycott by water
piss on 'it'
a stone wall
erected in small fields
spread out like a patchwork
such is the noumenon
that is perceived
( copyright, peter o' neill, 2015)
ON THE NIGHT THAT YOU WERE BORN
(For Molly and Jack)
On the night that you were born You were handed straight to me Like a special fish that had slipped From a special sea.
And I held you like a bubble Upon my fingertips; I held you like a moment Made of milk.
And love was a river in me Sprung with a sudden force, And you were both its purpose And its source.
On the night that you were born A whole world stopped in me Then shook, and started over Perfectly.
FEAR BY WATER.
DAVID BRAZIEL For a few moments
I cherish the quiet
of an empty mind.
Knowing that soon,
when I open my eyes,
my ears, my mouth,
the world will rush
to flood me again.
Someone told me
that most men drown
forgetting they can swim
or in water shallow enough
to stand, inches from
the hand of a friend.
Somebody told me,
but I open my mouth,
my ears, my eyes
and I forget.
Life twists, turns and spirals,
A leaf caught in an uncaring grasp,
Sometimes gentle, sometimes harsh.
The dreamer wakes the downward spiral,
Despair thickened like molasses,
Sinks to his chest in toxicity.
Life crushed, broken dolls,
Limbs scattered as flotsam,
on unwashed shores.
The pain of living pulls despondently
Towards broken promises,
Painful half truths writ large.
Bitterly shaken hands grasp bottles,
Let loose the genie, pain killers to numb
Sleeping pills to drift away.
Life smashed on scattered sands,
Tears fell unnoticed washed away
By white horses as he drank the past
No more tomorrows, no more pain,
Memories discarded among the flotsam
Driftwood returns to driftwood.
Feeble flicker of life refuses
To pass fights to live,
Bile rises, darkness
The dreamer awakes
Discarded, carried on a sea of bile
Half digested pills, whisky stinks the air.
Slowly painfully picks up the phone
Dials a half forgotten number
~ David Whyte ~
TOBAR PHADRAIC Turn sideways into the light as they say the old ones did and disappear into the originality of it all. Be impatient with explanations and discipline the mind not to begin questions it cannot answer. Walk the green road above the bay and the low glinting fields toward the evening sun. Let that Atlantic gleam be ahead of you and the gray light of the bay below you, until you catch, down on your left, the break in the wall, for just above in the shadow you’ll find it hidden, a curved arm of rock holding the water close to the mountain, a just-lit surface smoothing a scattering of coins, and in the niche above, notes to the dead and supplications for those who still live. Now you are alone with the transfiguration and ask no healing for your own but look down as if looking through time, as if through a rent veil from the other side of the question you’ve refused to ask, and remember how as a child your arms could rise and your palms turn out to bless the world.
The Wedding Dress
Canary Yellow reminiscent of bile
a cloud of chiffon draped in disguise
in shame of the unborn child.
Home spun on a singer, in one sullen sitting
alterations null and void, hidden away
in a box amongst the greatcoat of life.
The Wedding dress lay unloved
a crumpled ball of shame, empty
dreams banished to a cage
memory floods my mind.
An image sewn with Love & tears.
a shaft of light on that tarred image.
Perhaps the shame lay with me
as I remember the Delicate
A melting pot of Glory
the Cuckoo calls.
Marsh Marigold bathing
A Frog hoppingTrowel resting
Plantain nesting in a wall
Moss in pretty pink
I hear the gossip of their Bloom.
ME AND MY MATE MAIRTĨN
I met Mairtĩn one mizzley
Monday morning when he
was merry-making in his
mackintosh with a measure
of Martini outside the
“A mission!” megamouthed
Mairtĩn “First Madison’s,
then the Menagerie, then
Myrtlefield! Are you for us
or against us?”
“I’m with you mate.” I mumbled.
Madisons at midday . . .
I must say that maybe many
more measures of Martini
were made safe as a matter
In the Menagerie? Mairtĩn –
Mangers. Me – Miller.
My oh my – it was mustard.
We got mobile through
Malone to Myrtlefield
where we immediately
had a massive amount
of marijuana and on
munching some of my
medication – to the music
of Eminem – Mairtĩn
emailed Martin Mooney.
“Martin, it’s me Mairtĩn.”
Mairtĩn’s memo mentioned.
“Martin, a mission! First Mir
– then the moon – then Mars!
Are you for us or against us?”
Martin Mooney’s message
Mairtĩn then muttered to me
over the monitor of the machine
“Hey madman, have you met
“mmhmm.” I muted.
So, from Myrtlefield under
the motorway and past Milltown.
Mairtĩn and me marching.
Marching like Martians
to Mairtĩn’s mum’s
maisonette. It was magnificent!
Mairtĩn made a meal . . .
Marinated mutton, mince meat
Madras and mashed mangoes
in a mayonnaise of Mullerice
and mushy Malteesers . . .
mmm . . . Mairtĩn’s meals . . .
Then we made off up the
mountains for some magic
mushrooms and Mairtĩn
mysteriously melted away
into the mist on his mission
Me and my mate Mairtĩn.
I remember Mairtĩn.
Mairtĩn I miss you.
Mairtĩn your muse
Mairtĩn your melody
Mairtĩn your myth
JUDITH THURLEY: Trained in Belfast City Hospital as a nurse; first published by Lapwing in 1995 and since then published poetry, prose and non-fiction. She writes in Spanish and translates her own work into English. Currently finalising a full collection for publication.
The heart’s two pumps:
they beat in unison but separately,
two bloods divided by a septum
and depicted in this diagram
by red arrows, blue arrows.
See here how red blood
propelled by myocardium
bursts from the left ventricle
and restrained by aortic walls
hurtles through the artery of the abdomen:
press here and feel the strongest pulse
as blood toboggans towards the body’s boundaries.
Here at the periphery
red blood darkens into blue,
rushes up through flapping valves:
vena cava, right
Another beat and on now to the lungs
where the blue blood under the heaving ribs
expels CO2, takes in red-rich oxygen.
This is one place where the blood itself is fed,
pressed against the membranes of the alveoli:
miraculous exchange through fluid, tissue, air; air, tissue,fluid."
Blood’s only chance to surface gasping,
to feel the icy air
to taste your breath, love.
Breathe lightly on me,
my heart lies this way up.
A Juan Carlos Aduviri
que pinta la brizna de hierba
una espada de luz,
podria ser la misma escarcha
que atraveso mi corazon
la primera vez que
el invierno beso mi cara.
El corazon del mirlo
pulsa detras de terciopelo negro
y las espadas blancas de hierba
no lo hieren.
Compadre Aymara -
eres del polvo Andino,
del salar de Uyuni.
Conoces la blancura
del cielo de agua
debajo de tus pies.
No conoces la escarcha de mi ninez.
Cuando me cai
en tu fuego moreno
me deshalle, casi pereci -
Dios la Hija
Tu y yo ambos
doblamos la rodilla
cuando contemplamos la luna
sobre la montana.
For Juan Carlos Aduviri
which makes of a blade of grass
a sword of light,
might be the same frost
which pierced my heart
the first time winter
kissed my cheek.
The blackbird’s heart
beats behind black velvet
and the white swords of grass
do it no harm.
My Aymara comrade -
you know the Andean dust,
the salt desert of Uyuni.
You have seen the whiteness
of heavenly water
beneath your feet.
You know nothing of
the frost of my childhood.
When I fell
into your dark fire
I unfroze, I almost perished:
but God the Mother,
God the Daughter
sang to us.
You and I both genuflect
when we see the moon over the mountain.
by Tina Rock
PATRICK JOSEPH DORRIAN
Stranded, unable to join the exodus
to Donegal, we lived in a tent of tension;
all day the culture increased;
the populace in place stocked groceries;
suspecting the one day's closure might grow;
the city centre began shutdown mode;
bars closed, only the ghosts patrolled.
Black smoke clouded above unionist areas,
smoke signals marking territory.
As dark encloses, some flames poke tenuously,
as beacons, some fuel shines out, a beacon,
a warning not to challenge the status quo.
For this is Culture and culture must be preserved.
So, stranded, I stand outside, the thump of drums
carries, with yells above the rooftops; humidity wakes.
Throughout the dark days, days After you had pulled life’s blinds Tightly shut, I lit my life with Memories of you sitting by our Kitchen fire, the worries of the baby You were carrying hidden Between the lines of your stories.
Above our mantle the flaming Torment looked down on us, At a mother whose sacred heart Would one day deny me and Leave our world Dead Right. We knew you to be the only God.
Who did you need to please so Much that you circled the wagons, Emptied the wells and taught your Harvesters to reap and leave the Sowing to the fraught-filled drones?
Now when I walk with you I set our pace to the Timing of your clicking needles, And although I find your love I still feel the stinging of the pricks.
I walk, sometimes thinking for myself, sometimes listening to the Passenger. The grass moves stealthily away beneath my feet, pretending to be a lizard. It rustles surreptitiously like the pages of those old calendars you find wrapped in cobwebs and nailed to cowshed walls. Those old calendars that have lost all interest in time.
Deirdre Cartmill is a Belfast based poet who has published two poetry collections The Return of the Buffalo (Lagan Press, 2013) which will be published on 24th September and Midnight Solo (Lagan Press, 2004).
The Return of the Buffalo deals with grief and loss, and attempts to make sense of the seemingly meaningless, but this is always weighted with how suddenly, unexpectedly joyous life can be. Midnight Solo is written from the perspective of a generation who grew up through the conflict in the north of Ireland and their struggle to envision a new normality in a post-conflict society. Love, loss and a restless search for identity are recurring themes in her poems but her work is ultimately about hope and the possibility of redemption.
She received an Artists' Career Enhancement Scheme Award from the Arts Council in 2011 and spent a year affiliated with the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at Queen's University. She received Literature Awards from the Arts Council in 2012, 2008, 2003 and 2000. She’s previously been shortlisted for a Hennessy Literary Award and been a finalist in the Scottish International Open Poetry Competition.
Her poems have appeared in many anthologies and have also been widely published in magazines and journals. She has given many poetry readings at events and festivals, such as at the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris, the Belfast Festival at Queen’s and the Belfast Book Festival. She was a Writer-in-Residence at the Belfast Book Festival 2011 and this autumn she will take up residencies at An Creagan, Omagh and MacNeice House, Belfast.
She holds an MA with Distinction in Creative Writing from Queen’s University.
She is also an award winning screenwriter and has written for film, television and radio. Her short film Two Little Boyswas selected for The Belfast Film Festival 2013.
Ail na Searrach; The Leap of the Foals (AN EXTRACT)
Seven of the Tuatha de Danaan, sought retreat in a cave near the Cliffs of Moher in Co. Clare. When they emerged they had become horses. They were seen to gallop off a cliff within sight of Doolin, to gather again in the 5th province; the province of the imagination. This cliff is Ail na Searrach; the Leap of the Foals.’
This is it.
The order of muscle, of limbs and bones. Conformation.
A pelt. Colours –
Bay, Black, Steel Grey,
Dun, and the roans - a Blue Roan, and a Red-Strawberry Roan,
And finally, rare and thrown-back, as if Lahinch –
Bone, I keep returning to a vision of bone and flanks.
We have no expectation of wings,
That belongs to another time, and to some other island.
I am trying to recover night vision
I have done as you advised; I have made time
We are gathered in the holding place that is this cave,
In need of rest, in need of the dark
In need of concession, giving-in, permission,
To be allowed.
Half-light is bearable,
The day is something to retreat from.
I wonder how I might create a self that ‘disappears’ me –
And one that will go on stage in my place, sweeping the back yard if necessary –
A walking talking ‘sunny’ one – one
For the light, one who will buy me time – a worker,
So that all along, or for a while, I can stay in the dark,
Writer/poet,avid photographer with a great interest in Celtic Myths, the beauty in the Irish landscape and a proud mother of three grown up children. I live in Omagh North of Ireland where the Sperrin Mountains are my inspiration in any season. I have two poetry books published titled 'Where the Three Rivers Meet' and 'Guth An Anam ~Voice of The Soul~ You can find my links at top of my blog.
I wrote this in 2007 inspired by Seamus Heaney's poem 'The Tollund Man. I was glad to have met the poet a few years ago and hear him read his work with great back story to them, I was in awe. he will be missed.
Old Croghan Man *
This island is a living carpet,
worn by clans of cousins who
weaved into the land
a pattern not for the
the untrained eye.
Old Croghan man,
baked in this oven of peat,
symbolizes our spent lineage
of boundaries and fields.
Beheaded and tortured,
he stood tall as a pine tree.
Who was this nameless lad?
A high king, killed in ritual,
or killed in a jealous rage?
Was it a warning to other youths
who may yearn for the new,
denouncing the old?
I wear a leather twang like his,
woven with love on May Day.
The hands of Croghan man
hold no labourers welts,
but groomed nails; ideally
He joins others that came before:
Meeybradden Woman and
They come to remind us to read
chapter by chapter; learn from
ghosts of the past.
Seekers of truth
Truths like crystals lie buried under earth beneath ancient oaks and long forgotten pathways leading to the ocean. In the songs of yesterday adrift on the spring mist as I gaze out over the hills. In layers of prayers petitioned to the universal spirit. In cosmic shifts of a soul’s migration from way before birth to beyond the end of life. We seek it in books in passing thoughts that nudge us towards a face in the crowd. In the faces of the old. With others on the journey truth emerges out of the dark returning as the light within.
phoetry Malachi O' Doherty
It makes no difference, your title, your name, In the sacred circle, we are all the same, Healing voices, a healing beat, To take the anger off the street. Centres of energy, North and South, Remove fear and remove doubt, Centres of energy, East and West, Unite us all in living zest.
It makes no difference, your money, your fame, In the sacred circle, we are all the same, Bang your drum to a healing beat, Put life and love, back on the street.
Moyra Donaldson has assimilated the powerful influences of Yeats, Hewitt, Hughes, Longley and Heaney, together with Plath and Liz Lochhead, to present a hard-won distinctive self…’
- Medbh McGuckian
Anybody from any genre can send me writing, even before my stroke I had the vision of creating an anthology I still have that vision and that passion for writing. I’m lucky ina sense that my stroke wasn’t a severe head injury that didn’t reach my brain ha ha I think. Writers I think need a little madness, any age group can send me writing and any form of writing as this is not a poetry or prose workshop it’s a
writing of the moment workshop.
THE WAY HOME
I chose to walk rather than hitch a ride,
and no sooner had we parted on the street outside
the Moon, not more than a minute from your
gentle parting jibe – ack sure,
you’ll probably find a wee poem
on your dander home –
I strode into a firefly guard of honour.
Those matchless passers of the flame
lit my Oakwood stroll with their
royal relay the whole way back,
and stayed outside the door
until I got myself slippered-up
and seated on the dusky porch.
Then, one by one, as if on cue,
they each turned off their golden torch.
Adrian Rice .....................................BIOGRAPHY BELOW
PHOETRY GEORGE WEIR
'loving them all the way back to the source loving everything that increases me' Raymond Carver The current of literature flows And I stream the stream.
I don’t know what kind of fish
This is until I land it, I’m writing This for me, to find the current Flow and to know that it’s A big bastard. You have to know Where the current flows And when to let it go. The scales Are black and silver and it swim’s Every colour in between. It me- Anders through the water as if It knows it can’t be caught.
It’s big and bold and beautiful It’s been hooked a thousand Times but this isn’t about The hooking its about its About the killing time. Time Is a big fish landed in this ADRIAN FOX 'IF YOU CANNOT BE A POET BE THE POEM'
Spring Wildflowers in a Woodland Garden (TINA'S TITLES)
A melting pot of Glory-Bluebells bobbing-Fern unfurling-Sorrel smiling-Horse Chestnut fingers waving-Lavender Blooming-Viola hiding-Daisy dancing-Ladies Mantle beauty dew-Montbrethia stretching-Lady's smock the Cuckoo calls-
Marsh Marigold bathing-A Frog hopping-
Trowel resting-Plantain nesting in a wall -
Moss in pretty pink-Rhododendron rising-
I hear the gossip of their Bloom. These were only Tina's titles so maybe that should be in the title.
TINA ROCK JAX LECK
Dreams are my bolthole I close out the world become my alter ego
The writer of wrongs
The chaos of reality dim As solutions are found To the insurmountable hurdles Of my daily life
Empowerment surges the burnt kittens the butchered dolphins never happened
Religion reads its scriptures And understands the words
Politically masked self interest is not de rigeur becomes non sequiteur
I can feel the contentment well-being and joy I breathe deep and long For morning when...
the dreaming stops reality kicks in the cloak of invincibility drops I am left, vulnerable POARTRY