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/
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.
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.
The summer comes to a clanging close. Gas rises up within me and my internal pipes bang. I imagine the faces of the children I have yet to get to know. They scare the inside of my head. My stomach just isn’t even there and fear gnaws at me.
I lie on my bed and the damn clock snicks time away closer to the first day. Do the other children lie on their beds wondering what kind of teacher they are getting? Will he be kind to them if they forget? WIll they be kept in detention often?
The statue of the Budda sits in the corner. I know what he would say, ‘Just say yes to all of this.’ I want the darkness to douse the coming day and make my tormets vanish into soft daydreams.
Chatting to teachers in the staffroom makes it worse. The school principal is breezily indifferent. Children play hopscotch on the yard. My stomach drums, drums in the deep. I cannot get out. A shadow passes over me. The bell goes. They are coming.