Sunday, December 29, 2013

The year that was...

The year that was....

From Google Images
Well the new year beckons and Christmas 2013 was a bit of a stormy one, the lights going out once or twice .Though they got them back up and running in a few hours in each case. A good argument for putting them underground I'd say, wherever possible! It was also the year of the property tax or the household tax to be more exact and a more inequitable one you couldn't dream up. It's a bit like going into a shop to buy an ice cream and going back a year later  to be told you still owe for the ice cream. It might sound a bit simple but the principle of ownership is gone and you are reduced to something approaching serfdom or its near cousin and answerable to what was designed for your better angels and your in this case being just that, but shop happy.! Another example of the above where principle is the operative (or should that be principal) is the great "Dirt" scam where you get taxed on a virtue in the hope that the whole thing will balance out in the end or maybe tip over into oblivion. But rant over. The book "A Gathering of Poetry and Prose" was a fair old success and hundreds have been sold to date and  I hope we come up with another project, or projects for the year ahead. I'd like to thank everyone who contributed in any way to the above and keep writing. A nice tribute to Willie in The Chronicle written by Louise Scott and both Peggy Murphy and Tess Ryan had poems in the Christmas edition. Also a mention to Paul Martin whose poems are up on the "Deep Underground Poetry" website. That's about it till the new year so enjoy the holidays. Talk to you!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A Poem For Christmas!

Shopping for...

Job Lots,
Dyed in the wool type
The Hill of Skryne
Tailoring to suit you
Every need, and
The rest.

Was too good for 'em
The suits
Fit for everything
But purpose
And worsted to get
The better
Of you.

Though the sweaters
Were the worst.
The drip, drip, drip
Of revelation
And the rack
Loosening the tongue
The boot in!

Alterations were
A speciality
Flog the lot
Of 'em!

Frank Murphy.

Simon & Garfunkel - Silent Night/7 O' Clock News

Always something special!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Hungry Hill Writing/Poetry Competition 2014!

Poets Meet Politics 2014!

From Google Images

I came across this one on the Emerging Writer blog site which has to be one of the most informative around and maybe I'll get around to working on a few poems for it over the Christmas. Modify or improve or try to! The details of the above can be found by clicking on the link and it's definitely worth a look see! For those who are post office friendly the address and other details are given on the site as well as the internet entry and payment option.You may submit up to three poems per entry and the fee is €8 which seems very reasonable. Though it says you can submit as many entries as you wish! But look up the details! Some interesting poems to read and a fair old standard to chew on when the food runs out. Any day now! 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Meath Folk Tales/Book Launch!

Meath Folk Tales/Richard Marsh

Peggy Murphy, Richard Marsh and Noel French
Gifted story teller and author Richard Marsh was in Scurlogstown on Friday night to launch his latest collection of folk tales and stories many of which, or versions of, would have been familiar to those growing up in a time when you had to provide your own entertainment. The electric light and the box in a corner put an end to those tales round the fireside! Half the myths (or truths!) of Ireland probably have their beginnings in the landscape around Tara and the Boyne and Richard's book is a retelling that deserves a place on the bookshelves. Noel French and Pat Farrelly were on hand to do the honours and Richard kept everyone entertained with tales as diverse as the Prophecies of Art, or Oliver Cromwell in Duleek or the Gates That Won't Stayed Closed. Websites to check out for info. and . The book retails at €12.99 or around there and is available as they say in all good bookshops or check out the web for prices.   

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Tom Clay..What The World Needs Now (Abraham,Martin and John)

I remember this one from late night radio back in the seventies and given the year that's in it why not! Just about everyone who was alive at the time remembers where they were when the news came through on the assassination of President Kennedy and there are as many conspiracy theories now as there are stars in the sky. In fact there are conspiracy theories about the conspiracy theories. But I'll tell you this and if you are reading here and on a good guess, only for himself and old Nikita and a few more we'd be in cinders... With thanks to youtube and the person who loaded!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Meath Writers' Circle/Christmas Party!

The Meath Writers' Circle/Christmas Party!

Pat Farrelly
Joan Leech
Christmas Tree~Christmas Tree!
The Meath Writers' Circle held their Christmas party at the Castle Hotel on Thursday night (the first!) with about forty in attendance and a meal that was followed by recitations, poetry and story telling, not forgetting Sean Reilly who entertained us with some fine singing. Some of the material I hadn't heard before and just about everyone contributed a piece or two, the highlight for me being a "poem" read by Paul Martin who said he "composed" it while sitting at the table. Another piece of note was an excerpt from the speech attributed to Chief Seattle read by Joan Leech. All in all a successful evening and hopefully more to come. Noel French gave a nice speech before handing over to Willie and Pat Farrelly and Paddy Pryle was in attendance also. The book is still selling and I might even add to the sales over Christmas. The next meeting will be in early January of 2014 and I'm sure we'll come up with something for the New Year! 
Eugene Kane

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Francis Ledwidge Poetry Award/"Riposte"

The Francis Ledwidge Poetry Award"Riposte"

Poetry Broadsheet
The winner of the above award for 2013 was Mairead Donnellan for her poem Castlewellan Pillar Box with second place going to Catherine Ann Cullen for Shoe Box Coffin and third place to Mary Guckian for Corsets. Mairead Donnellan is I believe, a member of the Cavan/Meath Lit-Lab group which has a number of the Boyne Writers to their credit and if I'm not mistaken another member of that group picked up an award as well. Congratulations also to Louise Scott who was highly commended in the above and who was a long time member of The Meath Writers' Circle and indeed has two poems included in the recent collection A Gathering of Poetry and Prose. Writers from both groups have had their poetry published in the Broadsheet edited by Michael Ó Flanagan (Riposte) and the Winter issue arrived today with a Ballot Paper for the Readers Choice 2013 which should or must be returned by Friday the 20th of December. The first prize is €150 so a nice little sum to pick up, though I doubt if I'll get a vote or two. I see Michael and his wife Helena were guests at Áras An Uachtaran with President Higgins during the Summer and well deserved too. Riposte is Ireland's longest running poetry broadsheet and has been continually published since 1996. Link to the right! 

Friday, November 29, 2013

The Gregory Ó Donoghue International Poetry Competition.

Back Cover of Cork Spring Poetry Festival 2014 Booklet

The Cork Spring Poetry Festival which describes itself as Ireland's largest runs from February 12th to February 15th and the above gives details of the poetry prize. The closing date is the 15th of December and the judge this year is Patrick Cotter. An interesting piece in the above is the introduction or part of a speech delivered by US President John F. Kennedy at Amherst College in October 1963 in honour of the poet Robert Frost. (something of the artist as last champion against and intrusive society and an officious state) And worth getting your hands on the booklet just for that. But look up the speech! The Kennedy brothers were some of the best speech-makers there have ever been and given the year that's in it I might go look up something on youtube. More to come as they say! Details of the above and more can be had by clicking on the following links.  Also:  And good luck!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tom Dredge/ Video Poem

Tom Dredge/Video Poem

"Teelin Fiddlers" was commended in the Gregory Ó Donoghue International Poetry Competition in 2012 and is included in the chapbook collection which was launched last Thursday night..

Friday, November 22, 2013

Tom Dredge/ The Path of Progress

"The Path of Progress" 

Tom Dredge
Always interesting to see where these paths will take you and last night Tom Dredge gave us an insight into what were childhood treasures and a suburbia that is long gone. Different games now. And that was just some of it. This chapbook is the latest in a series published by the Boyne Writers and celebrates someone who has had poems published in a number of literary magazines as well as forums such as the "Virtual Writer" website. Mentioned in the lists as well picking up awards in  the Gregory Ó Donoghue, the Frances Browne and the WOW awards. The launch was followed by an open mic which included poets such as Michael Farry, Orla Fay, Brendan Carey Kinnane, James Linnane, and even myself had a go, Willie Hodgins etc. James Lawless read a chapter from his forthcoming book and really gets into character and take while Paul Egan entertained with an excellent piece of satire on the "state" we're in! All in all a very enjoyable evening. More details and info on the launch and I'm sure how to acquire a copy if you click on the links over to the right. Michael Farry, Orla Fay, and the Boyne Writers Website.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Gemma McGowan./Falling Slowly


Came across Gemma McGowan here singing on youtube. Definitely worth a listen! With thanks to the person who posted the video.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Tom Dredge/Launch of Chapbook!

Tom Dredge/Launch of Poetry Chapbook!

From Google Images
This Thursday night coming sees the launch of Tom Dredge's poetry chapbook at the Castle Arch Hotel in Trim. A native of Dublin but now living in Leixlip, Tom has been a member of the Boyne Writers Group since 2008 and is a highly commended and published poet. This chapbook is the latest in a series published by the group, the other writers being Michael Farry, Brendan Carey Kinnane and Orla Fay and I'm sure there is more to come. More details of this launch can be found by clicking on the links over to the right for the Boyne Writers Group or go to Michael Farry or Orla Fay's blogsites. The start time is 8pm and all are welcome so if you find yourself in the south Meath area on Thursday night (21st) and poetry is your thing, why not drop in for a while. Bring a few poems or whatever, open mic afterwards.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Armistice Day Remembrance/ Navan Library 2013

Armistice Day Ceremony Navan Library 2013.

The Remembrance Day ceremony was led off by prayers and the laying of a wreath followed by a recitation of John McCrae's poem "In Flanders Fields" finishing off with a slide show and photographs of some of those who enlisted from the Navan area. This was on Tuesday last as there was some delay due to difficulties or other. I was at this event last year as well and managed to record a playing of the last post then which is back somewhere on the blog site and worth a listen, bur camera not at the ready this year. This event seems to be growing in numbers each year and I believe a major event to mark the centenary is planned for next year. Out here in the sticks though it wouldn't have been mentioned much over the years except  perhaps for those who maybe watched it on the B.B.C  A more familiar conflict would date back even further than that and the only war memorial to it is to the west of the old church at Tara though the inscription is long since faded. I can remember an old photograph of the unveiling of it and if I remember right Eamon De Valera was there as well as Fr. Cooney of Skryne. This was in 1948 I think, which was the 150th anniversary of  the Croppies. Not so very long ago people would point out to you where a grave was supposed to be or a skirmish had taken place. But memory plays tricks. Another conflict that holds just as strong in the local memory would have to be the war of Independence and the common thread between the two is the number of ballads that were written and are still sung today. I can remember a travelling show coming to the parish (Harry Martin ?) and the events of 1916 were played out to some effect, and to finish there's a poem out there by Pat Boran about the Irish between wars, have to look it up! Enough rambling. It's another Woodstock we need.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Poem from "Fracture"

This was a poem I came across in the film "Fracture" and just happy to get youtube to transfer to blogger. Nice poem, recited by Ryan Gosling. Will look up more details on it tomorrow. Getting late now!

A children's poem from Dr. Seuss and a number of takes over on youtube. Motivational, to get your day up and running. What will you do today? With thanks to the share button and whoever posted!

The Meath Writers' Circle/Meeting November 2013.

The Meath Writers' Circle/ Meeting November 2013

About sixteen people turned out for the November meeting in what was mostly a review of times past or at least the recent past. Still books to be sold and going into the shops now, though the usual difficulty with shops is that they sit on the shelves, or get browsed through there and then, but such is life! Talk of a Christmas Dinner for those who are so inclined and in lieu of our next meeting so if you weren't present on the night and wish to talk turkey or whatever, get in touch! For a modest fee Santa will come! Sean entertained us with some fine singing and on that note we adjourned to December and new plans. The next get together is on Thursday the 5th of December. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Donegal Creameries North West Words Poetry Prize 2013

Donegal Creameries North West Words Poetry Prize 2013

Letterkenny Town/ From Google Images

Here's another contest to enter before Christmas and one with a fast approaching deadline of the 15th of November. The prize is open to anyone over 18 years of age as long as the poem is the original work of the author submitting it. Must dig out one or two myself! Entries must not have been previously published or have won a competition and only poems in English are being accepted. The max number you can send off is three! No entry fee is being charged as North West Words is a non profit organisation run on a voluntary effort. However a small contribution towards the admin costs would be gratefully appreciated. (e.g. €5) and where would you get better than that. I must admit I've never been to Letterkenny but the google images look nice. Anyway send your entries to North West Words Poetry Prize 2013, 54 Thornberry, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal. Name and personal contact details on separate page.and not on poems.  The above info can be found on the Poetry Ireland Competition Page. Online submissions are not accepted. And good luck!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Boyne Berries 14

Boyne Berries 14

Kate Dempsey of the Emerging Writer Blog was the guest editor on this one and it makes for an interesting read. On a once through and it is always difficult to cherry pick but you read till you pause and Sean Ruane's  Fence Post was it. But it is a sort of sensual journey, or should that be sensuous, beginning to end, the collection that is, with other notables getting a spoke in. A signature of Berries Berries by now must be the contributions from Rory Ó Sullivan and Caroline Carey Finn, one for the Gothic script and the fine versifying and the other for the excursions off into the town lands of Bohane or wherever that is and it doesn't even allow for the rise and fall of Cinderalla's. This is worth the €8 and you can find details on how to purchase if you link to Boyne Writers over to your right. Also the blogs of Michael Farry, Kate Dempsey.and Orla Fay. Good reading! On a visit to Trim sure to be a copy in the Post Office or Antonia's book shop.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

"News For You"

"News For You"

News For You which describes itself as Meath's youngest newspaper opens with an article on the Best Days Of Our Lives by Christina Gillick-Correla which contrasts sharply the education and opportunities available for girls in this part of the world as opposed to places where it can be extremely dangerous. Focusing on the treatment meted out to Malala Yousafzai following her campaign for girls to be even allowed attend school, she stresses the need to avail of everything on offer. Also cites the example set by Rosa Parks when she refused to move from the bus seat when asked. Sometimes all it takes is a little thing and I suppose we have all become too compliant when told to stand in line. Other articles inside include book reviews, Baking in the Central, Days To Remember In The Gaelteach, Bullying and Important Things to Know About and a poets' corner. Girls In Sport finishes the contributions with items on archery and Gaelic football. Priced at €3 and enquiries to Navan Library for details on classes and info on The Meath Junior Writers' Group. Edel Gillick has taken over these classes and Saturday mornings in the library is the place to be!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Jonathan Swift Creative Writing Awards/Saggart 2013

The Jonathan Swift Creative Writing Awards 2013

Maria Wallace and Mervyn Ennis
Made it to Saggart last night for the above and although I've been there before it gets different in the dark folks. Anyway and given the danger of asking for directions I made it. The Virginia House Writers Group and in particular Mervyn Ennis and Maria Wallace I believe are responsible for this event with Maria judging the entries. The last time I was here and listening to some of the short stories being read I resolved to leave it alone. The standard of the writing and the content material is for the brave. Interesting that some of the most memorable short stories I've listened to or read over the past ten years have been written by women, or with the exception of one or two. One in particular I remember was read at the Knightsbridge Village at the Boyne Readings. A kind of Sophie's choice! Poetry though can be more difficult when listening, you need to bring it home! Whatever about the past the first person I encountered last night was Orla Fay of the Boyne Writers Group who was there to pick up another award. Orla was recently published in The Stony Thursday Book and blogs regularly. Link to the right! Those who made the shortlists are below.

Short Stories

Boats: Des McInerney
Hayseeds: Patrick A. Gavin
A Sense Of Duty: Stewart Devitt
Block Party: Joe McKiernan
Alice: John Martin
3rd Prize: Tightly Knit: Doreen Duffy
2nd Prize: Escape: Viviene Kearns
1st Prize: A Found Object: Andrew McLoughlin.


Casting for sea trout: Noel King
Twenty minutes on a Luas: Orla Donoghue
The brown pidgeon: Kenneth Nolan
The amoeba: Susan Flynn
Nora Barnacle's wedding: Aine Lyons
First exit after Finglas: A. M. Cousins
First Friday: Clare Ó Reilly
Inside the charity shop: Denise Ryan
After M. C. Escher's Hands Drawing Hands: Orla Fay
Joint 3rd Prize: After child in yard-Luis Le Broquey: Elizabeth Ó Carroll
                          The Deep: Frank Murphy
2nd Prize: Journey: John Power
1st Prize: Salvation: Clare Ó Reilly.

Hope I got all those names right!

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Francis Ledwidge International Poetry Award 2013.

From Google Images

The Francis Ledwidge International Poetry Award 2013.

Remember, remember, the closing date here is the 5th of November so better get your entries in fast. A number of local writers have picked up awards here with Evan Costigan of The Boyne Writers Group winning it outright in 2012. The winner will receive the Ledwidge Plaque and a cash prize with other prizes for second and third places and merit certificates for finalists. The first three poems will be entered in the Forward Prize UK and in addition the winner will be invited to read at the annual Francis Ledwidge Commemoration at the National War Memorial Gardens in July 2014. Info is as from above and rules as follows.
Poems must be the contributor's own work, not previously published or broadcast and not exceed 40 lines of type. €4 per poem or three for €10. Maximum of six poems €20.  Payable to the Ledwidge Society.
Name and address on a separate sheet and send to The Francis Ledwidge International Poetry Award 2013, C/O 20, Emmet Crescent. Inchicore, Dublin 8. Winners will be notified and results announced at the annual awards night. Enquiries to 085 8497531. Also on Facebook page: Inchicore Ledwidge Society. And good luck! 


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Book Launch Knightsbrook Trim/Photos!

Book Launch/"A Gathering of Poetry and Prose"

Willie G. Hodgins and Monica Sherlock
Sean Kane
Michael Farry
Michael Regan
Bridie Halton
Peggy Murphy and Joe Sullivan
Fr. Andy Doyle Bohermeen
James Linnane
Paul Martin and James Lalor
Sean Reilly
Tess Ryan
Pat Duffy
Michael "The Sheriff" Sheils
Frances Curran
Gloria Morris
Michael Kearney
Willie G. Hodgins
Verona Pentony
Dena Molloy
Not sure in what order but these girls can sing!
Rosemary Hussey and Margaret Sheerin.

Anne Gray and Irene Reilly
Gemma McGowan

Just some of the photographs from the launch and perhaps the most I've ever loaded at one time. The poets, the musicians, the singers, what can I say? Many thanks and appreciated! Some of the girls were outstanding or "Spellbinding" if I can borrow a term from Sean Reilly of Bohermeen. Thanks to all! 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Book Launch/The Knightsbrook Trim.

"A Gathering of Poetry and Prose"

Pat Farrelly of the Scurlogstown Olympiad group stepped in at the last moment to launch the above collection of poetry and prose by The Meath Writers' Circle and remarked that it was the first time he'd ever come on as an impact sub for the great Colm Ó Rourke, or words to that effect. Addressing the crowd in both Irish and English he remembered childhood days and eagerly awaiting the Christmas edition and poetry page of The Meath Chronicle. He also mentioned the wide selection and varied content of the book while paying special mention to the late Tommy Murray and his long association with the Olympiad and the Bardic School. Not forgetting other poets of Meath including F.R.Higgins, John Boyle Ó Reilly and Francis Ledwidge to mention just a few. A large crowd of about two hundred attended and there were contributions from musicians, poets and singers some of whom were outstanding. There were a number of other speeches as well but more info to follow..   

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

"A Gathering of Poetry and Prose"

Book Launch!

Well it's almost good to go, give or take a few difficulties and if the weather holds. The Knightsbrook in Trim is the venue and if you've got a song or a poem or two why not drop in for a while. Starting at 7.30pm local time we'd love to see everyone there. So if you're a member of a writers' group or a readers' group or just someone who likes books and is looking for a Christmas present for that long lost relative, then the above might suit. Arriving on their doorstep in far off New York or Boston, sure to please! Anyway hope to see you all there. Sadly Colm had to drop out but I think someone else is lined up do the honours.  

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Desmond Ó Grady Poetry Competition 2013

Desmond Ó Grady Poetry Competition 2013.

White House Limerick Poetry presents this and you have until the 31st of October to get your entries in, if so inclined. It is open to poets from all over the world and with a first prize of €1000, well worth the pen work. Each poet can submit up to twelve poems which can be in Irish or English but must be unpublished. The judge is Fred Johnson and the entry fee is only €3 per poem or €8 for three so very reasonable. A long-list
From Google Images
of 45 poems will be selected to be narrowed down to 10 to be read at the Final Competition Celebration on Wednesday 11th of December 2013 in Limerick. You can submit your poems online by going to the website Here or for those going postal the following address. Desmond Ó Grady Poetry Competition, White House Limerick Poetry 52, Ó Connell Street Limerick. Much more info on the website so pay a visit. Now I'll have to see if I can find a poem or two myself. Been otherwise engaged! 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

James Byrne Reads "Aura"

James Byrne reads "Aura"

This was recorded back in August in Navan Library and is James Byrne reading from his recently published book of poetry "Conflux". James is a member of The Small Impact Writers' Group who meet every Wednesday morning in the Library.

Sunday, October 6, 2013



On a day when the Seanad was saved (just) and why demolish a house because the occupants sleep too much. Anyway it brings me to a poem I wrote about watchdogs and their peculiarities.

From Google Images

The old hat was
De rigueur
And the coat 

You cut to the
Right side
Down to the 
Lisp belt
And the

All that navel gazing
Was for the birds
And the egocentric

Me, me, me,
And the world
Their couch.

Till you're down
To brass plaques
And the watchdogs
That bark for their

 Frank Murphy.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

"A Gathering of Poetry and Prose" The Meath Writers' Circle

"A Gathering of Poetry and Prose"

Well the book is finally here and ready for the launch with only a few details to take care of in the time remaining. Nothing left to say except to thank all those who contributed in any way especially those with regard to the spot  prizes and the venues for the fund raising with a special thanks to members of the group who arranged the events. Details as above on the poster and an invitation to all who would like to come and maybe bring a poem or a little music or just themselves. Book to retail at €10 and food for free. Hope to see you there!!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

News For You/Launch Navan Library

"News For You" Launch: Navan Library
John Doyle

Peggy Murphy
Gary Rutherford
Edel Gillick
Sean Reilly
Edel Gillick who has taken over from Tommy Murray as the facilitator for the young writers' group in Navan Library gave an excellent introductory speech before introducing some of the contributors to the new or planned periodical which will be on sale from Thursday next. Edel was ably assisted by members of the Navan Creative Writers with Sean Reilly reminding us of what life was like growing up in Ireland of the fifties, or was that earlier, and I believe he has an article included as well as does Michael Sheils with a poem. John Doyle the well known photographer was on hand to remind everyone to hang on to their memories and photograph everything that is special and more, while Gary Rutherford of the Young Carers Association gave a lovely speech and recalled memories and a poem of the late and gifted Davoren Hanna. while Peggy Murphy read her poem "The Little House". More info of the newspaper and where it can be purchased to follow and it will be interesting to see where it throws a little light. Myself I had to leave early, Kilmessan and more finals and will get back to the newspaper again. Good luck to all on the project!