Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Poetry and Science

Poetry and Science.

Surely no relation at all you might say but I was given a copy of Richard Dawkins's "The Blind Watchmaker" for Christmas and although I've yet to read the same or progress further than page seven, these books can be very interesting whether you agree with them or not. I often get the impression though that they are arguing about little more that the road to Galway. "It doesn't start from here at all!", and most people couldn't give a monkey's anyway. The argument one step removed at best. But I'd better read it first, and it does give me the opportunity to post a few poems. So more to come on the above at some later date.

The Fall

Perhaps some alchemist
Could weave this spell
The meaning of it all.
That measure of the Earth
Would reason tell
What law of harmony
Was lost
When Eden fell.

Frank Murphy,

Photto: From Google Images with thanks.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Christmas (War Is Over)

Searching around for something to suit the ocassion I found this, and there are so many Christmas songs and takes on them that  it's not  easy. So enjoy, and to the person who posted it, many thanks!! The singer is Damien Rice. The song... well that's from John Lennon.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Poem for Christmas

A Poem for Christmas.

I can't remember if I posted this one before, but something to keep you in the mood for the festive season in case you find yourself in the company of poets or writers on a really cold night and you're feeling just a little bit hungry. A happy Christmas!

Just Deserts.

A dash of venom
A drop of spice
Nine parts of those
Distilled from ice.

Washed down
With old preserves
From jars
Of hot minute

Bad type
A verse or two
Thin waffles
Pixelate your
Then chant!

A bottle of
Mulled wine

Then let it all
Slip down your
And feast on
Thespians and

Frank Murphy.

Photo: Parish Church Kilmessan Village and more snow!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

A Christmas Round Up!

Christmas Round Up

With the snow falling outside and everything looking very seasonal, the Arctic conditions look set to continue on into Christmas. Temperatures of -10 the norm. What of poetry you might ask? The Meath Writers' Circle is still going strong with Tommy Murray picking up awards in more than a few places that were difficult to get to, or back. The highlight of his year was probably the winning of the Bard of Fingal poetry prize for the third time, though there were others as well. Myself, I thought I had a good chance in two or three, with three being a certainty, but never heard from them again! Ah, there's no accounting for taste! Or in other words write something nice if you want to get noticed. But beyond me. Paul Martin has poetry on the writing4all website and so has James Linnane, both poetry and prose, with James also being a member of The Boyne Writers' Group, speaking of which Michael Farry picked up more than a few awards as well, as did other members of the group. Orla Fay's blogsite is always worth a look and very informative on any number of things. Their literary magazine "Boyne Berries" attracts submissions from all over the world, not forgetting the "Boyne Readings Open Mic" at The Knightsbridge Village Hall" which has introduced a number of writers to the Meath writing scene. The other writing group in the county (that I know of) "The Small Impact Creative Writers' Group" based in Navan Library have brought out a collection of poems and stories in the past few days and it should be available for purchase soon. "Hidden Depths". Michael Sheils and Sean Reilly who are members of The Meath Writers' Circle as well, have items included here so I'll have to get my hands on a copy. See what they're up to! A number of those mentioned above can be seen and heard reciting their poems on this website if you scroll back a bit! So that's about it, and if you're writing out there in a lonely garret, have a Happy Christmas as well!

Photo: Church Of Ireland Kilmessan on a snowy day Christmas Time 2010.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

"A Drover" by Padraic Colum (poetry reading)

Meath Poems.
Searching around  for poems that relate to County Meath in some way I came across the above where it does get a mention, and where would Meath be without its drovers.  It was also included by Tom French in his recent book "A Meath Anthology" if my memory serves me well and I hope it does.  William Bulfin cycling through Meath around the turn of the last century encountered some of these self same gentlemen driving cattle between stations such as The Hill of Down and Enfield to the cattle farms around Trim and Kilmessan and suggested that discretion was the better part and that it was best to let them have the road. The herd instinct, no doubt. Days of the long acre!

 With thanks to youtube and Spoken Verse.
Note:  (Boyne Readings)The next Open Mic session at the Knightsbridge Hall Trim is on Thursday the 16th of December at 8pm. Chaired by Paddy Smith of The Boyne Writers, all are welcome and the admission charge is €5 euro which includes tea and biscuits.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

John Boyle O' Reilly

John Boyle O' Reilly

John Boyle O' Reilly was born at Dowth in County Meath on the 28th of June in 1844 just before the great famine and he grew up along a stretch of the river Boyne that has seen more than a little bit of history. His father was a schoolmaster for orphans at the Netterville Institution and when he was eleven he began an apprenticeship with the Drogheda Argus moving on to the "Guardian" newspaper in Preston at fifteen. He enlisted in the Tenth Hussars and his meeting with John Devoy and involvement in the Fenian movement would lead to his imprisonment and transportation to Australia on the convict ship "Hougougont" .Within two years of his arrival he escaped on the American whaling ship "Gazelle" and joined the staff of the Boston Pilot newspaper in 1870, later becoming editor and owner. With John Devoy and others he helped to organise the escape of six of the remaining Fenians in Western Australia on the whaling ship "Catalpa" an incident that was televised not so long back on RTE. He married in 1872 to Mary Murphy and the couple had four daughters. After an exhausting tour of the west coast of America he died aged just 46 and his funeral was said to have  been one of the largest ever seen. No less than John F Kennedy held him in high regard and quoted him when speaking to a combined session of the Dail and Senate during his visit here in 1963. He was a poet, a political activist, a writer, and an adventurer, and someone who contributed in no small way to the setting up of this state. His poem "A White Rose" was included in the recent publication by Tom French "A Meath Anthology"  and is the only one of his I managed to find while searching through youtube. It gets a glowing tribute also from Brendan Kennelly on the back cover of "The Cry of The Dreamer", which was edited by Peggy O' Reilly and Brenda Tuite, and the source for much of the above, though not the poem I'd have gone for. On your next visit to the library or local bookshop check this man out.

A White Rose: click here

Fremantle Jail:click here

Photo: From Google images with thanks.

Sources "The Cry of The Dreamer and Youtube, editors and posters with thanks.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Big Freeze

The Big Freeze

In a land of abandoned horses, stray dogs and homeless people, the water taps frozen and the lights going out, the budget was today and we've been told we must go the extra mile. But I think I'll just bury my head in the sand and it'll all go away. If I were in charge of the snow I think I'd just request the farmers to get their tractors and front loaders out and clear the roads. But maybe that's using too much imagination. Not the done thing as they say. Just let it melt! If I were in charge of the budget well when you got up in the morning that problem would have melted as well. But back to the extra mile, I came across a stray or strayed collie pup when I was out walking about a week or so back and after I'd spotted him or her for the third time I decided to call a few SPCA numbers, it was a Saturday evening and all I was getting was answering machines, but on Sunday morning Drogheda called back, took the details and called someone from an animal rescue. That lady drove out some distance on a Sunday afternoon, on roads you wouldn't believe and took the dog home! That's the extra mile!

Photo: Kilmessan Village and what the roads look like!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Meath Writers' Circle (6) November 2010

The Meath Writers' Circle

Michael Sheils has been a member of The Meath Writers' Circle since about, oh maybe a long time. Anyway longer than me. His book "Short Trousers Days in Navan" sold that many copies that you don't ask and on this video he tries his hand at poetry. An anti-war poem about the conflict in Afghanistan, he gets his message across, and when you're writing from the heart....... Anyway have a listen and see what you think. A member also of The Small Impact Creative Writers' Group in Navan his book can be got from The Meath County Library, or just click on the link opposite (Sheriff) and leave a message.