Won the Ballyroan Library Poetry Prize

I found out that I won 2nd place in the Ballyroan Poetry Prize. Thanks to the organisers. Here’s the link and the poem below.


They knife their food in unison, scrape their plates.
She clears her throat and asks for the salt
a hard word from him falls onto the table.

He marches out around the garden,
pulls leaves off the shrubs, 
tests the hose, checks the lawnmower.

She pokes the fire, feeds kindling to the flames
and runs her finger down the tongs,
tension held in the clasped claws.

Link to the poem and the Ballyroan Poetry Prize Facebook page

A poem in Crannóg

A poem of mine called The Singing Hollow will be published in Crannóg, which is a journal based in Galway, Ireland. Here is the poem.

The Singing Hollow

Deep in the bowels of Dublin, there is St. Audoen’s Park.
In the middle is a singing hollow,
a slab of rock upright, grey,
with a hole carved into it. 
You are invited to place your head inside,
clear your throat,
purse your lips and hum.

Vibrate until all your organs are in tune
and the pulse matches the stone.
Waves spread out and meet
the road, blackbirds, apartments,
all vibrate in concert,
beyond what the ears and eyes can tell
but the heart knows.

Bright Morning: A Poem

A poem of mine called Bright Morning has appeared in issue 7 of Impossible Archetype. You can read it here by clicking on the link https://impossiblearchetype.wordpress.com/7-2/

Bright Morning

for Iona and Ailsa Fitzgerald

In the cold wind
clouds let rain fall down on the streets.
Weeds crack through rigorous pavements.
Mists dissolves and dewdrops congregate on windows.

Your eyes rotate behind closed eyelids,
nerves tingle and your legs
stretch out for your first steps.
Keep on going by focusing on your breath.

Naked trees will come back to life,
leaves coaxed out by the promise of fresh air.
A root searches in its slow way
for something to grasp.

In Glendalough Wood: A Poem

A poem called In Glendalough Wood appeared in issue 27 of Boyne Berries.

In Glendalough Wood

The breeze comes through the spruce trees 
where the air is filled with peppermint,
light filters onto a blanket of pins.

I stop on the wooden bridge
holding across the scented wind.
My head churns with heavy thoughts

as a forest of applications sits on my desk.
I am here seeking a way out,
see the tree trucks blocking my path.

I drop my bag, relax my shoulders,
and dip my hand into the stream
know water finds its own way.

Over the Edge Competition: Long listed poem

A poem of mine called Silent House was long listed in the Over the Edge New Writer’s Competition 2019. It did not make the shortlist or the prize. I am delighted that it made the long list. You can check out all the writers who made the long list here. https://overtheedgeliteraryevents.blogspot.com/2019/08/

At Cee: a poem in Crossways issue 8

For the last three days 
between Santiago and Cee
I have walked at a furious pace
trying to outrun my thoughts. 
Now I am on the cliff top gazing at the sea. 

I abandoned my fellow pilgrims 
as I felt uneasy with a disparate group 
from Italy, Germany, England, Brazil and America. 
I felt that they found me unacceptable,
a contract written in white ink, 
its terms clear but silent.

They booked an apartment for themselves
and I was given the couch to sleep on.
I snook off without a word and found my own bed to say in.
I have tried to forgive myself to no avail.
Their faces haunt me.

Walking along the cliff edge
I realise I have always been on the edge
of friends, family, neighbours and work,
and I exclude myself.

The sea is a sheet of the clearest blue,
the wind brushes a ripple over the surface.

Published in Crossways issue 8 https://crosswayslit.com/1095-2/

Market Lane Writers’ Group anthology launch

The Market Lane Writers’ Group is launching an anthology on Friday 13th September 2019 in Fermoy, Co. Cork, Ireland at 7:30 pm. I had the pleasure of addressing the group and giving them a reading from my first collection Thames Way. Two poems of mine will appear in the anthology. The launch will be in the old Ulster Bank branch, which is now an art gallery.