Sunday, 19 November 2017

Harvest Home

We laid our back against the stack
Wiped sweat and hayseeds from our brow
Caps cocked to shield the sun
Thirst slain in the billy-can

Saturday, 18 November 2017

When you lose someone

For Deirdre

Faye said
How beautiful, from a story-teller who paints with words =). 

Barbara said

" I know Deirdre will love it.  She has just been widowed and I know your book will bring her much joy.She is such a lovely soul.  They came to Dublin from NI many years ago due to the economics there, and started again from nothing, raising the children in the south.   Losing Eddie has been a hard blow for her and I know your poems will lift her."

Deirdre said

" What a lovely surprise I got this morning.  Thank you!!  My house is full of family at the moment, a gathering for a family wedding up in Donegal.  I want to sit down and really read your lovely evocative book.  From a quick perusal i was able to get a wonderful sense of place, the sights and sounds, I could even feel the tickle of the straw!! "

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

November Open Mic night ARTS4EVERY1

Thanks to Simon Falconer

Monday, 18 September 2017

Cafe Costa, cuesta?

Strange where your knowledge of languages come in.  

At our local coffee shop in Whetstone, a couple were trying to decline the Pluperfect of the Spanish verb 'escribir' , to write.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Open Mic session poems

The four poems are:

1.'Hands' by Ted Hughes
2.'The Rock Heads' from O Derry boy
3. 'The Door was open and the House was dark' by Seamus Heaney
4. 'Butlers Bridge ' from O Derry Boy

The Book ' O Derry Boy - a childhood in pictures & poems' by Mervyn Cooke
The venue is the Arts4Every1 centre in High Wycombe.

Open Mic session

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Preludio Triston plays Derry Boy poem (COMING SOON)

Coming soon to the Arts4Every1 centre with the words of Death of Aunt Martha

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

First Derry Boy recording on Marlow FM

A couple of friends convinced me I should re - release this . Hope you like it.  Comments welcome.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

You read and you said..

Click above here to read the poem.
" As with your previous poems, this really conveys strong images of childhood and of the natural world. I love the way your poems seem to draw the reader in straight away – the imagery you use is very powerful and I could really imagine being there. I particularly liked the description of the sheep, the ‘keepers of the mountain’ - their lively characters contrasting well with the harsh image of the dead crows in the next.

The description of the blue bottle in the last verse, desperate to escape, is great and emphasizes the peace and stillness of the room really well. I really like the way your writing conveys meaning so effectively and conjures up such strong imagery! "

" I really enjoy your poems - they have the magic of childhood and their particular time and place. We all have different experiences of childhood but your poems make the memories live for people who have not experienced them.

... I enjoyed your alliteration - those crows and the sheep. I like the way (think it called 'personification') you describe the sheep as 'keepers of the mountain'. I like the unexpected ways you use words, 'tidy death of flies', 'Sunday afternoon sleeping uncles', 'sun spilled, living room'. Lots of visual and sound imagery.

" What can I say - a dreamy long lost time and I wish I could have been there, it sounds so wonderful and warm. The only thing missing is hearing it with the proper accent."

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Mandarin is a must for today's workforce

" ......The UK's lack of foreign language skills is problematic for our export performance: a study by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills in 2014 estimates that language and cultural barriers are costing the UK economy up to £48 billion per year.

 Graduates who can speak more than one language will have a significant competitive advantage in today’s job market, and as China is a fast-developing market that the UK has a huge trade deficit with, Mandarin speakers will not only be in high demand by UK companies, but also essential to future-proofing the UK economy.  "

see the full article here....

Sunday, 1 January 2017

The Great Walk

There is a saying in Northern China,
(Bù dào chángchéng fēi hao hàn).


One who fails to reach the Great Wall cannot be called a man; you should not give up until you succeed; be determined to reach one's goal, not stopping half way.

It was November 2008 shortly after the Beijing Olympics when I  had stopped  atop the Great Wall, standing on tiptoe on Day 1 of a seven day trek across the northern parts of the Wall.   

I fancied I could see Mum and Dad’s bungalow in South Derry from here, both sitting out on the bench by the porch in the evening shade.

I cupped my hands and shouted ‘Mum, Mum, I can see you from here”