Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Poem for The New Year.

A poem for the New Year.
A little reflection on how
we treat the environment
and the animal kingdom.

Beyond this Point.

With not the wit to comprehend
His role in Nature's play.
Quite separate from
The scheme of things
He mastered all he could survey.

And thinking it a place that's strange
Of almost infinite resource
Imposed on what he can't admire
Some monument that's set in stone
To ignorance and sometimes worse
To those a plague, a curse.
Who'd measure what the profit yield
To burn the cattle in the field
And think there nothing much amiss
What kind of progress this?

Or use to ask what we have done
When fields and trees and rivers gone
And those who keep the common good
Have left a legacy that read
Caution you must be afraid
Beyond this Point
There's poison laid!
Photograph: Haymaking at the Porchfields Trim.
Scurlogstown Olympiad 2008.

Friday, December 12, 2008

A Poem for Christmas.

A poem for Christmas.

Journey's End.

Sleeper towns
Old faded signs.
Vapours trail
Cross rainbow skies.

Houses now
That watch the road
Peeping out
Through terraced rows.

And valleys though,
Steepled through
The hedgerows go.

Shadows traced
Across the glass.
Reflections and
The world goes past.

The road sweeps round
Another bend
Down crooked miles
To journey's end.
Photograph: Statue of Pope John Paul 11
NUI Maynooth Co. Kildare.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Stream of Consciousness

"Stream of Consciousness" by Austin Shiels is just that. A collection of poems that reflect on everything from philosophical leanings to love and war. A series of questions asked and then answered. Revelations. Political comment. The common thread holding them together is their focus. A sort of looking back from a high point, and if you would argue the toss... it is the love poems that stand out. Counterpoint though makes for interesting reflection.

Copies of the above from Michael Shiels.
Details at
Or click on the link opposite.

Photo: Cover of book.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Boyne Berries (4)

Boyne Berries Four

I opened this at Orla Fay's "The Burial of Alice de Fir" and suspect that there is something I do not know, but this is a fine poem in a book that begins with a description of the Boyne and ends with Michael Farry's carefully crafted piece "The Once-Red Cart".

Like its predecessors this issue contains contributions from writers that are both local and from much further afield, (Bangladesh, Nigeria, The USA, Japan), and while Peter Goulding's work may help to redress the prejudice against rhyming poetry, the League of Ireland is another story.

Paul Egan touches on the subject of safe humour, or humourists, and the politically correct, getting to the heart of the matter you might say, while "A Monday Morning Fry" is a reminder that a man is best left to his breakfast! Cherry picking, well.... A muse ment...

Available at , Antonia's/Trim Co. Meath, or click on the link opposite for details. Price €5
Photograph: Cover Design by Greg Hastings.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Short Trousers Days in Navan.

"Short Trousers Days in Navan" by Michael Sheils is perhaps one of the best selling local books published in the last few years. It opens with a frightening account of being trapped underground before harking back to more pleasant times and boyhood escapades along the Boyne and Connolly Avenue.

It introduces characters such as "Scut" and "Anchor" and "Tucker" and a host of others with the odd romantic interlude thrown in, and no rain. Though it wasn't all sunshine, stories of a schoolday incident, or incidents are included, which resulted in newspapers being withdrawn from the shops or even prevented from entering the town at all. Different times!

Days spent in Gormanston Camp or on duty with the FCA are also included and a Full Metal Jacket version of life in Catterick Camp before returning to Ireland and settling down. It ends with an account of "Old Navan" and a number of photographs and poems. More details can be found at or click on the link opposite.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Book Launch/Fergie's Kilmessan.

The book "Excursions" was launched in Fergie's by Trim poet Tommy Murray.
With contributions from Willie G Hodgins, Paul Martin, Pat Duffy,
Isobel Maesto, Peggy Murphy, Kyrie Murray, John Byrne, and not
forgetting some fine singing from Sean Reilly. Available in outlets in
Navan, Trim, Kilmessan and others to follow. Also info on the Meath
Books website and Sheriff from Navan website or leave a message here.
Price €10 Euro and good reading!

Book Launch.

"Excursions" A book of 47 poems by Frank Murphy. To be launched in "Fergie's" of Kilmessan by Trim author and Poet, Mr Tommy Murray, on the 23rd of October 2008 at 8pm. Come early. Limited supply. And good reading!

The Book Cover is a photograph of St Peter and Paul Cathedral Newtown Trim Co.Meath.
Taken from across the Boyne.

Saturday, October 4, 2008



A book of 47 poems ranging from the traditional to the modern A journey to more than a few odd places. On topics as diverse as war, humour, meaning, people and places with a few other things thrown in as well. Verse being the operable word. Launch dates to be announced.
Photograph: Book Cover.
Newtown Cathedral
taken from across the Boyne.

Friday, September 19, 2008


This is the last
poem from
"The Marginal line"

Some triumph
Of the intellect
While grazing
On his bone.

Subtotalled all
The arguments
On everything
That's known.

And following
The wake of those
Well versed
In such discourse.

Was so convinced
Of certainty.
He thought his
His own.

Photograph: Entrance to Tara churchyard.
Taken/Summer 2008.

Friday, September 5, 2008

It's had its season this

It's had its season this.

It's had its season this,
These borrowed days
Their gifts, teased out
Among the strands.

It's had its season this,
The covered ways
And rifts, that ripple
Down the ebb and flow
Of chance.

It's had its season this,
Its shaded greys
And drifts, the colours
On the carousel.

It's had its season this,
Its plays and shifts.
Dead pennies, yes,
It's had its season this.
Photograph: A view from the old graveyard
Hill of Skryne, looking toward
Tara. Summer 2008.

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Quest

The Quest

A wheel of fortune's
Circle trace
The reason why
Made subject to
This place,
The ages spent
Along the way.

The empires
Crumbling into dust
Their form to

The congregations
Winding down
Past columns wound
Soul purpose
To their quest.
While shadows
To covens round
And rule of thumb
Their guest
Made light of it,
And played till
You know everything.
Photograph: Bridge/The Ramparts
Navan. Spring 2008.

Friday, August 8, 2008


A few poems about discovery
and such things?


Damn these maps
their safe harbours.
This watch for yesterday.
Quartered and halved
as the wind dictates.
All talk these
arguements they plot.
Like hungry ghosts
that pitch and roll
their contradictions,
till they fall off
the earth.

They will lose
Here be Dragons!
Photograph: The sea at Spanish Point.
Co. Clare. 1996.

Friday, July 25, 2008



All that spit
And polish
Usual drills.
Old school ties
Talking up a storm,
The throwback,
Clinical smiles
The shades.
Catch you around
The fine line
Sloping away,
Trailing arms
And coat tails
The official stamp.
Enough is enough.
Photograph: The River Boyne
Spring 2008.

Saturday, July 12, 2008



Dot the commas
Cross the square
Murky as
An inkwell there.

Out beyond
The railroad tracks
They're pulling rabbits
Out of sacks.

Waiting for
Your guard to slip
And then they'll get
Another grip.

Moulding numbers
Into place
From arguements
In civic space.

They never miss
A single trick
The corporals and
Their walking sticks.
Photograph: Famine memorial
People's park.
Kells Co. Meath.
Summer 2007.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Comrades in Arms

Comrades in Arms

Nature playing the role
Of some devil may care
Dressed up for some other
Non local affair
With destiny settled
For certainty those
Who chose to accept
The conditions imposed
And practiced his art
With such consummate skill
That he only just made it
With time left to kill.

Photograph: Plaque outside
ledwidge Cottage
Slane County Meath.
Summer 2007.

Friday, June 13, 2008



are different now.
Only a few loose ends
and the colours change.
In the marketplace
it's all up for grabs.
Dealers holding
a watching brief,
and the new order's in
hawking its wares.
Attache cases.
And the rules the same,
buy cheap, sell dear,
and no compartment now
for missing files,
not like the old ones.
Everything carefully stitched
except a few pockets
of resistance
taking a morality cheque
just for the present.
And everyone's waiting
for a White Christmas.
Photograph: Homeplace of Francis Ledwidge
Slane Co.Meath. Born 1887
Died France 1917.

Friday, May 30, 2008



Arms are everywhere
These days
Making offers
You can't refuse
Under the covers.
If you get in quick
You can make a killing
Casing the joints.
A stroke here
Or a stroke there
And it's all wrapped up,
One cut below the other
And if you're not careful
You could wake up beside
A horse's head.
Photograph: The Boyne along the Ramparts
in Navan. Spring/2008.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Poems about War.

The next few poems
touch lightly on the
subject of war.
A safe distance you
might say!


I drove downtown
the night the Gulf War started,
and it was an eerie feeling.
There was nobody there.
Everyone had gone home
to watch the war on television.
Stocked up on foodstuffs.
Filled the bath full of water.
Crisscrossed the windows
with masking tape and waited,
listening to the World Service.
Until struck
by the similarity of language.
A book is a dangerous thing.
Photograph: The river Boyne at
Navan Co.Meath
Spring 2008.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Images Of Meath

"Images Of Meath" is the latest in a series of books on his native county by the Trim poet and author Tommy Murray.

Published by Nonsuch it opens with a chapter on the Boyne and its Bridges, for centuries some of the most important landmarks in the county, and certainly at odds with much of what surround them today. Mary Jo Gibbons observations on the quality of life and the living environment and the failure of those who protect them are so true.

The author's own recollection of days spent in Gormanston Camp in the fifties are included and turning the pages many of the names if not the faces will be familiar. The old Lee-Enfields ended up in a few Parish Halls.

Tobertynan woods outside Rathmolyon also feature and if you happen to be passing and have a handy pair of walking shoes then a visit to the beautiful shrine in the woods is a must. Leona Rennicks has a piece on Ardbraccan Church, while Christmas in the 40s and 50s is fondly remembered. Other items as well.

Available in Antonia's in Trim, Bookwise in Navan, also in Easons.

Details at or the Meath Writers' Website. Give it a Look!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Boyne Berries (3)

Boyne Berries (3)

The third issue of The Boyne Writers' Group literary magazine "Boyne Berries" was successfully launched at The Castle Arch hotel in Trim on thursday the 10th of April by the Chairman of Trim Town Council, Mr Ray Butler.

It includes contributions from many parts of the world as well as featuring some of the poetry of Brendan Carey Kinane, a member of the group and outright winner of the Boyle Arts festival in 2007. Other well known writers include Kevin Furey, Kevin Higgins, Marie MacSweeney and I'd better stop dropping names.

The decision to launch a literary magazine must have been something of a gamble, but one that has been successful to date in that it provides an outlet for local writers that would not otherwise exist. Added to that it "flies the flag" in some sense wherever it ends up.

Available in Antonia's Trim or Bookwise Navan. Details at

Worth a look!

Friday, April 4, 2008

The Marginal Line

The Marginal Line

The game has a fatal attraction
A joker that's playing for time
When you're holding black aces and eights
While you're playing for nickels and dimes.

And winning or losing depends
On what you can make on the deal
When the cards that will give you an edge
Are only the shreds of ideals.

While outside the neons are flashing
And girls hanging out with the boys
Reality's just an illusion
The light playing tricks with your eyes,

Contentment's a dangerous friend
When you live in the comfort zone
Where nothing is all that it seems
With uncertainty chance the unknown.

Though it's easy to lose your direction
And forget to watch out for the sign
As your life crosses over the points
Pass the stops on the Marginal Line.
Photograph: The river Blackwater flowing out
of Lough Ramor towards the Boyne
Summer 2007.

Saturday, March 22, 2008


Another poem
about poets
and poems
and other things.


I cannot see the sense
why these machines
of verse dispense,
in barrowed rows
the obvious.
The skeleton of prose.
A corpse of rhyme
so still.
They have such need
for barrows,
to cart the words
Photograph: On the west bank
of the River Shannon.
The church of
Saints Peter and Paul.
Taken about 1996.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Novel Ideas

This is a poem about poems
and poets and things!
Hope you enjoy!

Novel Ideas.

Footloose perhaps
Or fancy-free
The avant-garde
To you and me
Down some descending
Scale dispersed
While looking much
The worse for verse
Dispensed with form
Well I suppose
It doesn't lend
Itself to prose
And fashioned out
Their work of art
To somewhat lesser
Than the parts.

Photograph: A street scene
in Navan/2007

Friday, February 22, 2008

An Octave Higher

An Octave Higher

These endless reflections
That pale yellow colour
Languishing in its sick bed
Passing itself off as poetry
Dead from the neck down
Modern HuH!
Get up off your arse baby!
Let's Rock and Roll.
Photograph: The Tower at Mornington
Co. Meath/Summer 2007.

Friday, February 8, 2008


A poem for booklovers


Not your type at all
The sleeves rolled up
Jacket torn.

The cut and thrust
of words keeping
you amused for a

The blurb
Something to get
Your teeth in.

The bit of rough
round the back
The odd title bound.
And the foolscap
In the corner.

Photograph: Lough Ramor
Virginia Co.Cavan.

Saturday, January 26, 2008


A sad reflection
on our treatment
of animals.


Because a pig
Had caught the flue
From eating meat
For me and you
To save what's past
Its sell by date
They made
The countryside
A grate.
Much better
If they'd vacinate
The Leprechauns
That run the state.

Photograph: Westminster from
Across the Thames.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Notice Given

A poem about
the beginning
Of the end.
For some?

Notice Given

The Y-Detector Vans
Were out last night
Checking for spectacles.

Drag Hunting
Some redundant
Out on a limb
Whose time was up
Hugging the curves.

The best of them
Fit for anything
When the x-rays
Picked him up
Running on empty.

All over them he was
Genes in tatters
Privates biting
The hand that fed them.

A close shave
And a pair of high heels
And he could have made it
But they had him
In the end.
Photograph: The railway station at
Gormanston Co.Meath
Summer 2007.