"What a strange thing!

to be alive

beneath cherry blossoms" 

Issa

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. 

 

 

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

John Davies and myself at the London launching of my novel A Year's Midnight 17th of April 2012

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