Between 2011 and 22019 I self-published 8 collections of poetry four of which were awarded ‘Best Reads’ by Brighton’s daily newspaper ‘The Argus’. My 96 page epic poem ‘Me Me and Not Me’ was published by Waterloo Press in 2014; a reprint by Waterloo is imminent. In Pre-covid times I launched my collections at various venues in the South East including The Turner Gallery at Margate. Waterstones in Brighton stocked, and sold, all of the first six issues.
I have friends who have had their poetry included in Impspired and who speak highly of the experience and would like to join ‘the gang’.
I am Irish born but have lived in England since 1960 so my latest collection is written from the perspective of someone who belongs to an Irish diaspora which, as in the title of one of the poems, feels ‘Neither Here Nor There’, in terms of their status.
In 1974 Conor Cruise O’Brien wrote;
‘Irishness is not primarily a question of birth or blood or language; it is a condition of being involved in the Irish situation, and usually of being mauled by it.’
I talked with her again today; conjured her in a summer bloom of Elder flowers and cordial promise on the high, homely path above Saltdean; a doubting sorcerer, surprised again, gladdened again, to find my risen dead waiting at that same be-flowered spot where she'd appeared when I'd last lost my bearings and sought a known, familiar place, a known, familiar face to guide me. And so we talked the talk again, remembered the olden, golden days; those not so golden, olden days of grumbling bellies, groceries on tick and hiding under the stairs when the corporation rent-man called. Then the knowing glance, a wistful smile and a voice all soft and knowing; I like it here, it reminds me of Carrigeen Lane where me and yer Da used to pick blackberries in the sunny, long-ago days. Now we both smiled, her moist eyes for the memories we'd shared, mine damp and misty for the things I hadn't said, the things I couldn't say, had no time to say before the dream expired and she disappear back again into my past, back into the grave from which I'd resurrected her, that we could meet again to talk and cry for the things that couldn't change.
Putting Words in its Mouth
The sea never acts in anger, never gloats of drownings. and should the ocean wreak havoc on the land it will neither know, nor care. For the sea, is the sea, is the sea! It has no tongue, no nation, no allegiances, no creed, no philosophy! It doesn't plan tsunamis, wars, storms nor indulge in moods or pathetic fallacies. Neither does it live in the past, or look to the future. And though it's relationship with the land and the infinite sky is profound, it doesn't fall in love. So why then, does the sea seem so deep; so wide and foreboding; Europe so very far away, on this perfectly normal day? And the waves on this shoreline! Why are they collapsing upon the shore as though their hearts have been broken.
Another Sunny day down here in Sussex, yet the waves still grind their frothy teeth on the rocky shoreline. It's as though that hearing the plaintiff howls from friends in Europe and knowing our own despair, our home-grown fear of a perfidious Eton brat, they refuse to be mollified; by sunny days, laid-back clouds or the blustering lies of dressed-down clowns.