Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Meath Writers' Circle (3) Video January 2012

Frank Murphy

This is another of those videos from November, this time of myself with Michael Sheils doing the honours on the camera. Again the lighting is not so good but nevertheless and that said hope you enjoy!

The Lost Roads of South Meath

They called 'em
Back roads.
Turning in on themselves
Between hedgerows
And red tin roofs
The roads less

And the odd tourist
Taking the shortcut
Advised to go back
By a man making hurlies.
To a sign that said
Kill something or other
Pointing out in the fields
Of buttercups and
Blowing in the wind
And not a bog
For miles.

The afternoon spent
Nursing the pint
Or a crossword
In Grocery Bars,
Stills battered 
Out the back
And an insurance man
Selling clothes pegs
The company
Of a collie dog.

And there was any
God's amount
Of time.

Frank Murphy
From "Excursions" 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Meath Writers' Circle (2) Video January 2012

Carmel Murray

This is another of those videos I recorded last November and this one features Carmel reciting her short poem "The Rose". A member of the Meath Writers' Circle for only the past year or so Carmel is active in a number of committees and social groups in the county. Scrolling a bit further back there are a number of  other videos as well.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Meath War Dead/ Noel French

The Meath War Dead

Book Cover
This book lists alphabetically the names of those who lost their lives during during the Great War of 1914-1918 and includes details of family background and personal history with regard to regiment and occupation, place of birth and death etc and as it states on the cover is the first major project to commemorate the war dead of Meath. It also states that over five hundred men from the county died in the conflict and are buried in graveyards from Basra to Bermuda and everywhere in between. Looked at from the casualties broken down by area, towns like Navan, Trim and others lost a good many of their youngest men, mostly forgotten. The changing political scene from 1916 onward must have seen a great deal of recruitment onto the nationalist side and it would be interesting to know what sort of  records exist in this regard. Noel French is to be commended for compiling this list and a similar one for those who perished in that civil war of about fifty years earlier might be of interest. Published by the History Press Ireland, The Meath War Dead retails at €20 Euro. All good bookshops as they say!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Meath Writers' Circle (1) Video Jan 2012

John Wiseman

A little something for the season that's in it, though it is unusually mild this year. so far! Better not tempt fate or the weather. John has been a member of the Meath Writers' Circle for a number of months now and had a poem published in the Meath Chronicle over the Christmas period. I recorded this one last November along with a number of others that didn't come out very well, but might manage to rescue one or two.  . 

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Meath Writers' Circle Jan 2012

Crowd Scene
The Meath Writers' Circle Jan 2012

Willie G. Hodgins 
About fourteen people turned out last night for the first meeting of the new year. Maybe one or two, or more or less, some new faces and a few regulars, and those who were abroad on the night. Important business and a new moon and who knows what the year may bring. Mayan tablets and all that, and if they had to pay Irish prescription charges for the circulation then that civilization would have gotten of the ground a lot sooner.. Not that any of this was discussed at the meeting, the night given over to leisure pursuits of poetry and prose, noted contributions from Tommy Murray, James Linnane and Myra Lalor of Dunsany. Tommy has plans for a quarterly newsletter and  the first draft was passed around the table for our perusal. Particular attention being paid to layout and the fine photographs, the article of faith. Recipes may be considered. All in all an interesting and entertaining event and the first of 2012. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Dark Side of the Moon/ Elizabeth Carty

Short Stories.

The Dark Side of the Moon by Elizabeth Carty is a collection of prize winning short stories that is well worth a read or two. I came across a copy of this over the Christmas period and while I don't usually tend towards the short story this is very good indeed. Thing about short stories is if you come across a really good one it will stay with you forever and the relationship issues here are picked off to perfection. I remember at one of the "Boyne Readings" somebody whose name escapes me at the moment reading a short story about a situation in the Balkans or somewhere like that, of a kind of Sophie's Choice offered and not taken, and that's an edge few of them even get close to. Elizabeth Carty manages this more than a few times in The Dark Side of the Moon and the mother daughter relationships are very intense. Taken from the intro Elizabeth Carty is a   native of Loch Gowna County Cavan and  has been living and working in County Meath for the past 25 years. She is three times winner of the George Birmingham Short Story Prize and "The Dark Side of the Moon" was short listed for the UK Writer of the Year in 2008 and that's just some.... Go out and get a copy!
Published by FASTPRINT Publishing Peterborough, England.       

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Navan: its People and its Past

Navan: its People and its Past.

This is another of those beautifully produced books that hit the shelves just before Christmas and for anyone interested in the history of the Navan area a must for your collection. Printed on glossy paper and retailing at €10 Euro it touches on everything from O'Connell's last visit to Meath to the murder of the Postmaster in 1921 and the memories of those who grew up or went to school in the vicinity. There is sure to be something here to whet your interest and that includes a poem by no less than Maria Edgeworth written about Blackcastle in 1811. Contrasting that though with an extract taken from a manuscript in the National Library by Alice Stopford Green written about one hundred years later, you get a less rosy picture indeed! It reminds me of William Bulfin who was on the Hill of Tara around the same time, although his ire was directed at those of his own religion for slightly different reasons. A distance of four miles and a different mindset entirely. Town and country a world away! This book is the Journal of the Navan and District Historical Society and includes an introduction by Richard Farrelly the Chairman. Many colour photos and well worth the price! Link address over to the right. 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A Poem For The New Year!

Forecast! 2012
The Ramparts Navan

Reading the tea leaves
You could make a bags of it.
How long was a piece of string
Or a good sign it must
Augur well.

A tall dark handsome man
And there was money coming
Tailoring to suit.

And the stinging rebuke!
To keep to sober habits
Or  the hair of a dog
Or a dock leaf
Ground out
Pestle and mortar
Well it might
Or it might not be
Suitable for embrocation.
Every rose has its thorns.

And the teaspoon
Stirring the pot!
The further up
The corporate body
You'd go
The closer you get
To you know what?

Tomorrow was
A new day!

(A Strange Brew)

Frank Murphy.

And a Happy New Year to all***