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.’
Stitches in a Tapestry
Slow feathered tail wagging in wonder Panda is staring at the crisp, clear reflection of her Welsh Border Collie perfection mirrored in the serene, unflustered surface of a sea-weed draped rock-pool at Saltdean. Now a paw dips, breaks the surface and all is waft, shift, change and suddenly it's another now; February 3rd 1959 and Jimmy Finn is running towards me as I walk home from Waterford Glass Factory. Distressed, thin voiced, shocked, he screeches, 'Buddy's dead. Poor Buddy's been killed'. Too old to cry; but cry I do, deep sobs racking my voice as I ask, 'Oh Jasus, ah what happened to him Jim? Where is he? Are ye certain he's dead, sure he's only a puppy'. 'Aw ye feckin eejit', fumes the exasperated Jimmy, 'Sure I'm talkin about Buddy Holly, the American singer, not that mangy scrap of a dog of yours. Go feck yerself and yer dog ye ignoramus', A few wild ineffective punches later I'm at home, mangy scrap of a dog nuzzling my ear 'til it's waft, shift and change again as a splash and whimper from the rock-pool draws me back to Panda, to the here, the now and the where I am fifty years later;a boy-man too-ing and fro-ing between favouritesna Time-lord drawn to vignettes, cameos and one-act scenes from a tapestry draped constantly across the landscape of my thoughts now in sepia, now in emerald green, now in tricolour, now in mildewed purple; now in slowly fading black.