Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Pete Seeger ( May 3rd 1919 -Jan 27th 2014)

Pete Seeger

Following on from the poem Siptu locked out, here's one from Pete Seeger, though maybe I prefer the Christy Moore take. Sorry to hear he died. Pete Seeger was one of the giants of the American folk tradition..Now all we have are boy bands. Where have all the flowers gone indeed.With thanks to youtube and the person who posted!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Poem Siptu Locked Out!

The Poem Siptu Locked Out!

Michael Sheils is a member of both The Meath Writers' Circle and the Navan Creative Writers' Group and this here is a poem that was taken down from a number of sites or at least a number of times. But I'll let him tell you the story. Also posted on his own site (Link to the right-Sheriff from Navan). Myself I find it extraordinary with people living out of soup kitchens provided by religious groups and others, the hospitals with clampers preying on the infirm and elderly, not to mention those who are not feeling the best, and waiting times designed to finish you off, they manage to stay so so quiet. And that's just a few of the gripes. A hundred years on it's a whole new game folks and rank has its privileges.   

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Phizzfest Poetry Award 2014

Phizzfest Poetry Award 2014.

From Google Images
The above is inviting entries from those who are at least 16 years of age on the the 31st of March 2014. The competition is open to residents of Ireland and an entry to the competition consist of two poems of not more than 32 lines each, which sounds reasonable. Though you can enter again in another envelope. An entry form  can be downloaded at and other details of the competition are on the site.The entry fee is €5 for the two and they must be the original work of the entrant, previously unpublished and not entered in any other competition. A prize of €250 goes to the winner with a runner up prize of €50. A number of these may be awarded. A pamphlet of poems selected from the entries may be published by Phizzest and by entering you consent to this. A small fee to be the authors (other than the prize winners).of poems reproduced in the pamphlet. Send your entries to Phizzfest Poetry Award, c/o Shandon Park, Phibsborough, Dublin 7 accompanied by the entry form. The closing date for same is Friday 14th of March 2014. But go to website for full details. And good luck!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Tree Huggers and Cats!

Tree Huggers and Cats!


The joker was wild
When the night was still young
Dressed up to the nines
In his holsters and guns.

And lean on the curves
With their backs to the sun
The cats on the prowl
Had their buttons undone.

But he had it in spades
As he shuffled inside
Just skirting the edge
Till the music had died.

And borderline quiet
That look in his eyes
When somebody whispered
Let sleeping dogs lie.

But he drew on a pair
With the lady in red
When discretion and better...

Had crept up to their beds
Where she rifled his drawers
And left him for dead.

And the moral...well that!
Ye gotta be careful
When you're dealing with

Frank Murphy.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Strokestown International Poetry Festival 2014.

Strokestown International Poetry Festival 2014

This is one of the big ones should you be lucky enough to get an invite or make the shortlist and has a closing date of February the 28th. Two main categories as usual the International Poetry Prize and the Percy French Prize for Comic Verse. Something of a how to do about that last year as it seemed to stray off the beaten path but I won't go down that avenue as we've loads of judges up here and roads and you'd never know who you'd meet on a night out. Anyway the breakdown is...

Category I - The Strokestown International Poetry Prize
                     1st Prize- €1000 
                     2nd Prize- €500
                     3rd Prize- €200
                     3 x shortlisted readers fees of €100 each.

Category 2 - The Percy French Prize for Comic Verse

                      1st Prize- €300
                      2nd Prize-€200
                      5 x runner up prizes of €100 each. 

Rules and guidelines apply to the above categories and should be checked out on the website where full details and other info is available. Both online and postal entries are accepted and forms can be downloaded. Go and good luck! 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Motherlode: A Mosaic of Dutch Wartime Experience

Motherlode: Carolyne Van Der Meer

The above titled is now available from the Wilfrid Laurier University Press and glancing over at Amazon they have a release date of the 17th of January priced at $16.32 so I hope those details are correct. Described as a creative reinterpretation through short stories, poems, and essays of the experiences of her mother and other individuals who spent their childhoods in Nazi-occupied Holland or were deeply affected by the wartime there the book also documents the author's own personal journey as she uncovers her mother's past through their correspondence and discussion and through research in the Netherlands. The book also considers mother-daughter relationships and the effect of wartime on motherhood.
Carolyne Van Der Meer is a Public Relations Professional and is a University Lecturer and readers of Boyne Berries will be familiar with some of her poems, having been published in a number of issues. I particularly liked  "Atonement" which was across the page from Michael Farry's "Road Trip" in Boyne Berries 11 and both of them had the same opening line. But then I sort of like road poems. I can't help thinking though nothing much has changed and in many parts of the world nothing  has changed at all but the Europe we were promised has turned out to be nothing more than the same old same old. A rich golden circle and the rest can go fend for themselves Hundreds of thousands of people or at least tens of thousands have been driven out of Ireland because of the crisis and you'd get knocked down by a horse box crossing the road and every time you get back up again there's another tax. Probably to pay for the box or the hundreds of millions they lost because of an accounting error. Anyway enough of that, info on the above can be had if you go to . Give a read!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Meath Writers' Circle 2014!

The Meath Writers' Circle 2014!

The Meath Writers' Circle November 2013
The next meeting of The Meath Writers' Circle will take place on Thursday the 7th of February in the Castle Hotel Trim at 7.30pm. So hope to see everyone there. Interesting to see what comes up for discussion or what we'll get up to in the year ahead. Nothing like a deadline. Meanwhile have to keep writing, or trying to, and have just sent three poems off to the Hungry Hill poetry competition. Reading through some of the past contributions, a fair old standard. And then there's Strokestown and on it goes. Some of the blogs over the Christmas were very good and enjoyed reading them but finding time is another "story". And of course books everywhere. Get around to them!  

Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Field Names of County Meath

The Field Names of County Meath

The inspiration for this collection is an interesting opening piece and introduction by John McCullen to a book that tells more than just what it says on the cover.. A beautifully crafted piece and perhaps one of the best books ever produced in the county it contains a wealth of information that can be dipped into again and again. For myself it was a present over the Christmas and you would need a week or two of spare time just to get through the articles and different info on all of the place names and town lands not to mention the fine poems and history items contained within its pages. And that's not to mention the beautiful photographs. Two of the articles worth making a beeline for would be "The Names of the Fields" by Tom French and "The Last of the Storytellers: 1798 and Meath" by Eamon Doyle. But then you have "Native Wit and Landmarks of the People: Folklore in Meath" by Seamus Mac Gabhann and an array of articles by Joan Mullen so it really is a treasure trove and a credit to those who put it together. In the past while I've come across a number of books, on or about different parts of the county, where the production values are superb and the above is certainly one for the collection. Priced at €20 and published by The Meath Field Names Project. In all good bookshops as they say.        

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

To anyone who might be reading this! I've been searching through my poems for something suitable for the New Year and without much luck, mostly because they all need more work, but given the day that's in it and the rain, a short poem will have to do. 

The ties that bind..

From Tara 
There was always
That silver lining
A touch of class.

Patterns of...
Gilding the lily
The wrap around
Hanging off
The convent types.
Thai Silk
Old School
The Builders' knot.
Crimplene over
Your shoulder
And the shirt off
Your back.

And the bottom line was
People would go
To any lengths!

Frank Murphy.

Or as they used to say on Hill Street Blues? Be careful out there!