Saturday, June 30, 2012

Taking a Break

Taking a Break?

Today Saturday was the last meeting of The Juniors in the Navan Library so it’s off to Limerick for a few days before The Battle of the Books next Sunday.  I expect to get a better idea as to how my second poetry collection is doing.  It is not available in the shops in Trim and sales haven’t suffered as a result of this, as a matter of fact I sold more copies individually around the town as a result of not having it in local shops. For me every copy sold is a triumph.   The main reason for this is that Poetry is not everyone’s cup of tea.   It would be a different matter for books other that poetry and if I decide to bring my ‘Ghost Stories of County Meath’ for a Halloween launch out then it will be in the shops.    In fact a number of shops have enquired about its progress.  The reason for the delay is that it is just another factor that is waylaying me from writing poetry and the poetry comes first.  I have loads of sponsorship for the book so I will have to make a decision sooner rather than later.   I have entered poems in a few competitions (making sure that they are not just fund raising ventures) however, I will support even fund raising ventures at the risk of getting yet another Certificate of Merit.  Looking ahead to September I have a number of schools lined up for a visit including Moynalvey and Kilmessan and St. Josephs in Navan.   However, that’s all in September in the meantime I had better get writing and try and produce a few poems over the summer

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Trying to write a Haiku

Had great fun during my recent visit to school getting students to write Haiku
Sticking with the traditional 5 7 5   three line Haiku we tried our collective hands at composing writing some.
Bearing in mind that the haiku should be a present tense snapshot of the moment

We began         Class of thirty two
                         Trying to write a Haiku

Then through it open to the youngsters to complete the third five syllable line
And we got ---- No homework today.
I personally think that this captures the essence of the Traditional Haiku except for one thing and that the haiku must have a reference to nature.  Recent changes in the form have suggested that there is no need for  the image to be natural but I personally like the references to nature.

It does however, fulfil all the other criteria including the fact that it captures the moment and will live with these young people for years to come.  A digital camera couldn’t have done anywhere as near to getting the image and would have produced a flat one dimensional image that would eventually have become nothing but a vague memory within a short time.
After two hours there was still no sign of boredom and right through the session the students kept filling in the last line with suggestions such as

Rain falling outside                5 Syllable

Scribbling scratching pens     5 Syllable

We eventually opted for the ---Rain falling outside because it had that change of direction and well rain is associated with nature.   
Would have loved to have progressed to the Tanka or even the Yenga but that is for another day. 
I have never met anyone that didn’t like the Haiku and writing a haiku every day in your journal is just about the best way to record your experiences

Monday, June 25, 2012

A Nice Little Profit

Launched on the 31st March 2010 and priced at a modest ten euro 'With the Boyne Through Trim is now on sale at Amazon at Nineteen Euro and fourteen cent showing a profit of over nine Euro

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Book Launch in Moynalvey

It was something of an honour for me to be asked to launch a book for the pupils of Moynalvey National School and a great turnout of parents and pupils for a great social evening with tea, biscuits and poetry (not in that order) and a beautiful collection too.
Have to say that I am looking forward to returning to that school come September.  I read a few poems from my latest collection for the second time in twenty four hours the other venue being St, Joseph’s School in Navan where I spent some time with the pupils there.   It may have been the longest day but the weather contradicted the calendar but we will remember the occasion and forget about the rain.   Inside Moynalvey School the sun was shining brightly.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

First Salvo in The Battle of the Books

While we all look forward to the annual joust and we have nothing but admiration for the Boyne Writers Group we live in hope that there will be no repetition of the shameful behaviour of the judges.   Our gripe is not with the Boyne Writers team but we have reservations about a judge that will deduct points because a particular piece is supposed to be out of date despite the fact that is contained references to people like Bono, Michael Lowery and several other characters currently in the news.  Then when one of our members tried to make a point he was for the want of a better word ganged upon.  That particular judge just didn’t understand what it was all about. .  I had to use all my powers of persuasion to get a team to compete under these conditions.  These gripes it must be said were not lost on the audience who on more than one occasion voiced their disapproval in no uncertain manner.   However, we did get a team and they are a very angry team and short of using fisticuffs it will be adopting a policy of zero tolerance towards the judges

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Congratulations to Orla Fay on her forthcoming publication, 'Drawn to the Light' which will be launched in the Knightsbridge on Thursday evening at 8pm.   Orla has been making steady progress in the world of poetry over the past few years and has been published in more than a few of the best magazines.  I am looking forward to getting my hands on a copy and I hope to make the launch but I expect to be just a bit late coming from Moynalvey, where I am launching a book for the students of the National School there.
I just love the cover and indeed if the cover is anything to go by I should be looking forward to a feast of concise and no frills poetry the type that has been the hall mark of Orla's work to date.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Just a bit nervous about visiting St. Joseph's School in Navan as I probably know most of the students from my Creative Writing class across the road in the library.   That's happening on Wednesday morning at 9.30.
Then on Thursday evening it's off to Moynalvey to launch a book for the children of the National school there .  Saturday is the second last day of creative until September when we will be launching our new collection of children's poems 'Golden Rhymes'.  The title here is a little pretentious as there is some work to be done on most of the poems but they have the summer to do it and everything should be ready for September.
Here is a sneak preview with a poem from Golden Rhymes.  I
It  is by 13 year old Sarah McShane from Navan
Sarah attends St. Michaels Loreto.


It is all around
But nobody notices
Man-kind has ruined
The landscape around
Changing our views
Time was, where you now sit
A land beyond dreams
With hill and mountains
Surrounding a valley
Where a waterfall once rippled
And a rainbow once shone
Brighter that any sun
Birds of the rarest kind flew
Unusual creatures once stood
No human dared touch
Nor dared to ruin the sight
That is now ruined by man-kind
Only a hundred years later
What you see now ruined the land
If you see another landscape, so beautiful
Please remember what I told you
In a million years it will not exist
Be cause of our descendents.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Haymaking Festival

A great day at the Haymaking Festival, read a few poems sold a few books and met a famous writer, Shauna Gilligan from Newbridge.   Quite a few visitors to the Writer's Hut including the man himself, Pat Farrelly.  Richard Haworth dropped in to say hello as did Colin Rayfus and a few others.  Willie Hodgins acknowledged our presence with a brief nod and a splash of official yellow, but then he was extremely busy.
The next meeting of the Meath Writers Circle will be on Thursday 5th July in the Trim castle hotel at 7.30pm.
 anyway here's my thoughts on the day that's in it, Fathers Day

Father’s Day

We knew that mother’s day
Would be a hard act to follow

Flowers were out
Make up, a mockery

We considered chocolates
A lying in state of succulent shapes
With a blue ribbon and a bar code

Before settling for a selection of scratch cards
And a prayer

That you would win enough
To boost our inheritance

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Meath Writer's Hut

One place that should be a virtual literary Brobdinag on Sunday next will be the Meath Writer's hut  which will have pride of place at the annual Hay Making Festival.    All are welcome to come along and read a poem or in desperate cases maybe sing a song.  The hut will be open  from noon until late and there will be  books on sale at greatly reduced prices

The week ahead   Saturday           Meath Junior Writers  Navan Library
                            Sunday             Writer's Hut at Scurlogstown Olympiad

                            Wednesday       Workshop for the students of St, Joseph's Convent Navan

                            Thursday          Launching book in Moynalvey N,S.  7pm
                            Thursday          Attending Orla Fay's Launch in the Knightsbridge  8.30pm

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Annual Wreath Laying Ceremony

It is always something of an occasion when I am asked to lay the annual wreath at the grave of  poet F R Higgins.  Higgin's grave in Laracor Churchyard has now become something of colorful event and yesterday's ceremony was no exception.  The weather held up and after laying the wreath and reading a suitable poem a few words from Noel French and Richard Haworth and the task was over for another year
The picture shows Richard and myself at the laying of the Wreath  which was at the request of the Scurlogstown Olympiad Committee