"What a strange thing!
to be alive
beneath cherry blossoms"
Welcome to my website.
I live in Limerick, a city which has just celebrated 2014 as Ireland’s first City of Culture, leading to a quickening of the cultural and artistic life of the city, and I look forward to participating in further developments in the years to come.
I am a member of Aosdána, and my most recent publications are the novel, A Year's Midnight (Pighog Press, 2012), and a collection of poems, Life Monitor (Three Spires Press, 2009). My head is full of poem-quotes as I had a very good verbal memory in my youth. Lines from poems still come into my head with a sense of enchantment.
Other likes are traditional Irish music, opera, and watching rugby, especially the Munster team. I also like getting away for breaks, whether long or short. A lot of my likes are retrospective, i.e. I was uncomfortable doing something or being somewhere, but recollecting in tranquillity a la Wordsworth, I began to see something magical emerge from the experience and this kind of retrospective view is often the thing that sets me writing.
I can be quite satirical, too, usually when when I am angered by some injustice or absurdity. But on the whole, I agree with Issa that it is a strange thing to be alive, under cherry blossoms or any other kind, and I try to capture that strangeness or wonder in my writing.
John Davies and myself at the London launching of my novel A Year's Midnight 17th of April 2012
POEM OF THE MONTH, JULY 2016
FOR THE RECORD
(Gibson’s Landing, British Columbia)
Arbutus autumn on a barnacled beach.
The water lapping in my son’s first piece
of wordplay: love fell off. Canada geese
come bobbing en famille, proprietorially.
Mountains, inlets, islands, boats and pier.
A passing eagle sums up the disdain
of all the wild for holidaying man
in a sidelong glance, but I don’t care:
my back supported by a driftwood log,
I sit on sand and watch the slow progress
of a drunken can along the ocean’s edge.
Eighty-nine steps lead down to this
from our house-swap halfway up the bluff.
I laze and listen to the love fell off