AAEX/MOPOSOGS - Awash With Colour

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Awash With Colour Catalogue of Works

A Creative Collaboration Between Members of AAEX and MOPOSOGS

About Over the summer of 2021 members of AAEX (Arts As Exchange) and MOPOSOGS (Monaghan Poets and Songwriter’s Group) collaborated in quite a brilliant way. Led by Caoimhe O’Dwyer of AAEX and Dara MacGabhann of MOPOSOGS, interested members from both groups submitted work to be included in the project. Caoimhe sent a folder of photographs of visual submissions from AAEX to Dara, Dara sent back a folder of written work in the form of poems, prose and songs from MOPOSOGS to Caoimhe. The works were randomly assigned to the artists and writers to respond to. It took three two-hour Zoom meetings to reveal the works and their accompanying stories; often filled with emotional connections no-one could have predicted. 92 poems, songs, works of prose and artworks were created as part of the project. A subset of those were

presented on 17th September 2021 at St. Helena's Park in Dundalk in an outdoor Culture Night celebration in which selected artworks were exhibited alongside recitals and performances of poems and songs. Most participants got to meet each other for the first time in person at that event. This was followed by a series of radio interviews for Dundalk FM's Town Talk program, pairing artists and writers in weekly sessions in which they relayed their experiences. This catalog now presents the full list of works produced, to accompany an exhibition at the Ìontas Arts Centre in Castleblayney, opening on the 9th December 2021. For future updates, recordings of the radio interviews or other information, please check the project website at www.awashwithcolour.ie

Art by AAEX that Inspired Written Works by MOPOSOGS Aileen Durkan - Spirit Vessel - Dara MacGabhann - Spirit Vessel

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Anna Marie Savage - Túir Faire Romeo One One Alpha - Enda Reilly - Where Does The Light Come From


Bernhard Gaul - Drying After Immersion - Enda Brennan - Abandoned


Caoimhe O'Dwyer - The Eludes - Miffy Hoad - Between The Islands


Catherine McCourt - Pints of Order - Seán Ó Roideáin - Gazing At an Image


Claire McAteer - Space to Shape - Seán Ó’Máirtín - Marked Perfection


Geraldine Martin - Treaghtrees - Dez Murphy - Park Run


Heather Cassidy - In Our Seas


- John Nutley - Identifiable Or Not

Jean Marshall - Dusk - Dez Murphy - Dusk


Jebun Nahar - Green Golden Village of Bangladesh - Ciaran Redmond - Nouakas in Haven


Jenny Slater - Time Traveller - Angela McCrossan - Life's Intricacies


Julie Corcoran - Follow Your Dreams - Alex Watson - Flying High Across the Mountains


Julie Corcoran - Foleys Bridge - Denis O'Higgins - Sam’s Bridge


Julie Corcoran - Pure Soul - Josephine O’Higgins - Balance


Mariana Clement - Final Irlanda Quarentena - Roseanna Myles - Beauty Disappears


Michael Stafford - The Seeker - Miffy Hoad - The Universe is Calling You


Niamh O'Connor - Smooth Path Ahead - Dara MacGabhann - I Seek Release


Petra Berntsson - One With The Forest Floor - Ciaran Redmond - At One with the Forest Floor


Samantha Brown - Eloisa - Roseanna Myles - Light Of My Life


Sinead McCourt - Silo - Angela McCrossan - You're On


Susan Farrelly - Red Coat - Andy Hogg - Red Coat


Tracy Fry - Cooley Mountains - Packie MacDonald - Eutopia


Úna Curley - Fungus - Sean Ó Roideáin - Germination



Spirit Vessel By Dara MacGabhann

I feel your spirit move with lazy sways within me I feel your presence rest in hazy swathes of grey I feel you dance in rhythms that remind me of you And take me back in time before you went away I I I I

see you see you want to want to

Pour me Pour me Don't let Don't let I I I I


drift and glide across my kitchen table float away before my very eyes capture you within this sacred vessel feel you brush against my sides

The time is ticking for me I can feel it Your heart it beats a tune for me to dance The time keeps ticking day on into night now Each dancing step it draws a new advance I feel your spirit move I feel your spirit move I feel your spirit move

a cupful of your sweetest kisses a cupful of your words straight from your mouth them drift or blow away or scatter those four winds blow your candle out

feel your spirit move with lazy sways within me feel your presence rest in hazy swathes of grey feel you dance in rhythms that remind me of you want to feel you take my breath away

Response to 'Spirit Vessel' Sculpture by Aileen Durkan



Where Does The Light Come From? By Enda Reilly

Where does the light come from? The other side of that moon? Behind a curtain of silken marine? A backlight to show you who you are, A backlight, a silhouette, reversed radar? Where does the light come from? The other side of that moon?

What then will the seer in the watchtower see? Another and another crashing wave Culminations Endings Glorious endings Illuminations Where does the light come from? The other side of that moon?

And there's an ocean wave that started 20 days ago 20 days from now it'll hit shore with a booming crash and a flashing sizzle What then? What then?

Response to ‘Túir Faire Romeo One One Alpha’ Oil on paper, by Anna Marie Savage


Abandoned By Enda Brennan Is this my final resting place Abandoned in a barren space I be gone tomorrow without a trace I guess life it can be cruel

I once was young with colours bright Kept you warm on winters night Snuggled up till morning light Came shining through your window

Or will Realise Or will Of the

I remember how you wrapped me around your waist While you were changing in a crowded place The salty sea, I could get the taste And that for me was Heaven

some to pick me up I had been forgot they carry on without a thought part I played for them

Just lying here on stony ground The silence makes a lovely sound Nature’s beauty all around This is not where I belong It may be hard to appreciate How I’ve ended up in this sad state My time has passed, it’s much too late The End, it has been written


Inspired by ‘Drying After Immersion’ Landscape installation by Bernhard Gaul



Between the Islands By Miffy Hoad

Soft, Slow, Silent, You slip between the islands.

Melt, Move, Meander, You emerge between the Islands.

Time, Tide, Tumult, You are torn between the islands.

Rest, Recover, Rediscover, You are reborn between the islands.

Broken, Beaten, Bereaved, You are banished between the islands.

Written in response to The Eludes Watercolour & ink by Caoimhe O’Dwyer


Gazing At an Image Music & Lyrics by Seán Ó Roideáin Refrain Gazing at an image. Verse 1 I’m transported back a lifetime, to the beach, at Inch Island. Staring at Lough Swilly’s hues of turquoise, blue and brown. On the strand to lovers walk then stand. Searching hand in hand, for stones, to serve as skimmers, hidden in the wet grey sand. At a session in Rostrevor, where I’ve been none too clever! Downing pints and chasers, like prohibition’s due. Mickey Duffy’s on accordion, McKeown’s playing banjo. From my bird’s eye view, the pints sway, as I sing “Foggy Dew”.

Verse 2 Meanwhile, at the image, a memory change takes hold. The yellows’ speaking to me, I’m back in 1970. The year the Beatles split up Chelsea won the FA Cup. A trip to Wexford with mum’s parents, reward for my first communion. So, I’m standing at the quayside, my grandparents by my side, eating “yellaman” together, so happy could have cried. Well, that’s my interpretation, of the colours and the forms. A kaleidoscope of memories, bittersweet like honeycomb. Chorus Refrain

Chorus Gazing at an image, but what really do I see? A photographic likeness? Or a deep sub-conscious plea? Or a study in texture, colour, or geometry? But do I have the language, to interpret what I see?

Response to Pints of Order Mixed media by Catherine McCourt

"16 "16



Marked Perfection By Seán Ó’Máirtín

Standing, looking wistful, into the soft reflection, watching her watch, her. Hair, orange red in the evening sun, pulled back to a quick knot. Loose strands draw her eye, down and delicate gold necklace glints. Raising her hand to gently brush the shop tag, still attached, resting, snuggled to her breast, aside. Her gaze falls slowly and lifts.

She feels the printed silk, smooth, against her skin. Dreamy, contemplating. Then, stop. Her eyes stare. Looking deep into the sudden cold reflection, down deep through the glaring glass. She sees it, there, there, near, where the label lay. drawn on porcelain skin, the faded mark, the assault on her essence her femininity her perfection.

Response to ‘Space to Shape’ by Claire McAteer


Park Run By Dez Murphy Park run 5k “Fun run” they said, Fun jog perhaps walk! How much more? Surely this is longer than 5k, Well intentioned marshals direct & encourage. It'll take more than that I think What? One more loop, go round again? At last, I arrive exhausted completely fast ones already dispersed “Well done!” they say, we'll email on your time. "See you next week" Yes! I think, you probably will.

Response to ‘Treaghtrees’ by Geraldine Martin




Identifiable or Not By John Nutley Ragged edges, stressed look, disregarded piece metal from a war machine perhaps! It's nothingness as clear as a child mind, Tarnished only by it surrounding and its eagerness to learn, etched by its own future. So should this object be identified as it sits upon the gallery wall or should it be left as it is so that it's only inscription to be deep within the recesses of the observer mind thus, initiating its own narrative.

Response to ‘In Our Seas’ by Heather Cassidy Aluminium on neoprene, found object


Dusk By Dez Murphy And so from our vantage we witnessed the ending of the day. The sun no longer raged but still, the earth held it's heat baking everything near to a crisp. Soon again we would emerge as if holiday makers to gape and point and move about in silhouette.

Response to ‘Dusk’ – Painting by Jean Marshall




Nouakas in Haven By Ciaran Redmond In happy exile Safe and secure, Warm, loved In a verdant isle, My soul fishes With my father, Our Nouaka nudges The neaps, eager ebb Home with the tide, My heart pains We cannot share Hilsa Or embraces.

Response to ‘Green Golden Village of Bangladesh’ Painting by Jebun Nahar


Life’s Intricacies By Angela McCrossan We never quite know How roots will behave, What terrain offers To grasping strands Spindling down In searching of holding. Mystery unfolding Each step urges us on To emerge From small beginnings Full of vigour towards the new. To go forward There’s a certain going back Bringing all from being held On to doing the holding. Nature in man and sapling alike Earths dance, leading the way.

Response to ‘Time Traveller’ Photograph/found objects - by Jenny Slater




Flying High Across the Mountains Written by Alex Watson

When you were young just seems like yesterday to me, You took my hand to show you the way, But now you’ve grown the years have flown past to me, So proud to see what you’ve become. Chorus Now you’re flying high across the mountains Like an eagle in the sky, You’re reaching out to touch tomorrow Just to find a reason why, Holding on to all your dreams now, Two lovers flying hand in hand, All your lives just lay before you Upon the shores like grains of sand, Like grains of sand. Sometimes you’ve got to take the first steps, To follow your dreams to take your own path, I know it ain’t as easy as it seems, You’ve got to believe just to take that chance.

Chorus You’ll be flying high across the mountains Like an eagle in the sky, Reaching out to touch tomorrow Just to find a reason why, Holding on to all your dreams now, Two lovers flying hand in hand, All your lives just lay before you Upon the shores like grains of sand Like grains of sand. Repeat chorus

Inspired ‘by Follow Your Dreams’ Photography by Julie Corcoran


Sam’s Bridge By Denis Higgins While I may appear, somewhat weather beaten and tired, I am proud of my robust stature and appearance. I was manually constructed over a hundred years ago by a gang of hard-working men under the guidance of a gentleman called Sam. My job was to carry weighty trains, full with their passengers and goods, as each trundled on its daily journeys from Monaghan Town to Caledon and back again. Now content in my retirement, I have all the heavy lifting done as its over sixty years since the final train passed my way. Some years ago, I was shocked when the machinery arrived and removed all my sleepers and metal rail-tracks as I feared immediate demolition. Luckily the local walking club came to my rescue by insisting that I must remain in place and be spruced-up. I have now been awarded a new lease of life as an integral part of a new green way. I enjoy my lofty perch providing a view of Glaslough Village and its Co. Monaghan hinterland. All the people around here refer to me as Sam's Bridge, in fact I am now the local landmark.

Response to ‘Foleys Bridge’ - Photography by Julie Corcoran




Balance By Josephine Higgins

Life is a balancing act, At one time we can be weighed and found wanting, At another we can be weighed and found worthy, But how do we know When we reach our optimum Balance, Will it arrive unannounced?

Response to ‘Pure Soul’ - Photography by Julie Corcoran


Beauty Disappears By Roseanna Myles

Tears fall from my eyes I cry and cry again What have they done to my beautiful earth It’s on fire with pain The silent sheep, they stand and stare They don’t understand why nobody cares The mountains, seas and lakes - how barren and dead The crows fly and land like vultures around my head Is it too late? Life goes on until it can go on no more The birds will sing The flowers will bloom The earth will give as long as it can Until the destruction of man kills its life breath.

Written in response to ‘Final Irlanda Quarantena’ By Mariana Clemente



Come on Out of Your Shell By Miffy Hoad

Do you think of me When I think of you? Do you wonder if I see you? Do my dreams touch yours On a cosmic causeway? Do you wake up wishin’? If I only knew that there was a you, If you only knew that there was a me. The Universe is calling me, “Come on out of your shell”, The Universe is calling you, “Come on out of your shell”, Come on out of your shell, All will be well. Do you think of me When I think of you? Do you wonder if I know you? Do my dreams touch yours On a cosmic causeway? Do you wake up wishin’?

If I only knew that there was a you, If you only knew that there was a me. The Universe is calling me, “Come on out of your shell”, The Universe is calling you, “Come on out of your shell”, Come on out of your shell, All will be well. Come on out of your shell, All will be well.

Response to ‘The Seeker’ By Michael Stafford


I Seek Release By Dara MacGabhann I am caught. Constricted. Flight Suspended. Strapped Feeling fraught. Wicked from Fright. Entrapped. Tensions taut. Restricted. A calmness sought, Depicted In my sight. Emotions overlapped. Breathing tight. I seek release.

Response to ‘Smooth Path Ahead’ - Mixed media by Niamh O'Connor




At One with the Forest Floor By Ciaran Redmond The wee boat, in chronic demise, Contains for us, one last surprise, It’s a microcosm, an amphitheatre, The lakeshore framed with a macro view, A magical place of love, and laughter, In the evening, when sunbeams dapple, Sylvan fairies, flutter, light on lattice wings, Under the gunnels, elves link arms, Hypnotised, as music charms, Goblins stand on thwart and tholes, Keeping Watch, for nasty trolls, A gaelgoir leprechaun with a pot of gold, Dances horn pipes, jigs, like sailors old, In the Morn, a blackbird in tuxedo, A yellow beak, and dowdy wife, Picks through Forest litter, Tweaks, rakes and beaks it tidy, Ready for the next performance.

Response to a painting by Petra Berntsson


The Light in my life By Roseanna Myles

The light in my life Shines far and bright, It illuminates the dullest day And casts dark shadows away. No more fear or hurt or pain, A ray of light can bring hope again. Look for the switch That can light up your world, Don’t sit in darkness And never be seen, Life is reality, it’s not just a dream.

Response to 'Eloisa' Photography by Samantha Brown




You’re on! By Angela McCrossan The stage is set Holding memory Of all who tread these boards Drapes hang suspended Backdropping yesterday’s recital With tomorrows still to come. An eerie stillness can be heard A pin drop, awe in the waiting. The thrill of centre stage, Draws the brave to take the plunge, A dance full of dreams, With splashes rippling out, Going to the depths Of hearts and souls Who, from creaking seats Meet their own journey With an internal performance. Here, container of the stars and moon Life’s performance Full of grace. Keen to catch the last word As epilogue unfolds.

Response to ‘Silo’ – Mixed media by Sinead McCourt "47

The Red Coat By Andy Hogg Once I had been worn with pride In moments of delight But time moves on and I became An object out of sight. The years go by and here I am Still hanging on the door My heart is ever filled with hope Will I be worn once more? I was that shield, a welcome guard Against the bitter breeze That whistled round the avenue in the winter freeze. Although I am no longer new With pockets frayed and torn I hang and wait upon the time ‘til once again I’m worn.

Response to ‘Red Coat’ – Painting by Susan Farrelly



Eutopia By Packie MacDonald Rugged hill tops painted stark and grey, Where the wild birds do hatch their young and play, And the heather grows so free, There is no place earth that I would rather be. Chorus And the wild birds fly on high, Yes, the wild birds fly so high, In the summer sky. Where the pine trees seem to reach up to the sky As they try to touch the blue clouds passing by, Utopia for all the world to see, A place were nature’s hand has wandered wild and free. Chorus. Hear the music from the wild birds and the bees, Hear it echo as the wind blows through the trees, Smell the heather as it floats upon the air, It’s so beautiful, there’s magic everywhere. Chorus followed by first verse and finish

Response to ‘Cooley Mountains’ by Tracy Fry


Germination Music & Lyrics by Seán Ó Roideáin I saw a photograph today, a mushroom emerging from the dark, cold clay. Thrusting through timber in decay, chipped paint reflecting its former glory. I thought I saw a metaphor, a new world replacing, the dying one before. The old world rotten to the core, but have we the time to heal the planet’s sores? Chorus Germination, of new ideas. Or, ruination, as we take refuge in our fears. I saw a video today, of frightened refugees, who were all screaming. The coffin ships of yesterday, now crowded, coffin-dinghies, some were sinking. People forced from their scorched earth homes, new scapegoats, for old hatreds, daily honed. Resource wars, famine and drought, all consequences of our climate changing. Chorus I wrote the world a song today, inspired by a shot of quiet precision. Nature is showing us the way, cooperation, or our mass extinction. To paraphrase, the world’s a play, has it a moral for our application? And would we heed it anyway? Our joints are broken and our paintwork’s pealing. Chorus

Response to ‘Fungus’ Photography by Úna Curley



Written Works that Inspired Art by AAEX Members John Nutley - Fatal Attraction - Aileen Durkan - Diptych


Seán Ó’Máirtín - High King - Anna Marie Savage - Hight King Diptych


Enda Reilly - Keep a Trickle Flowing - Bernhard Gaul - Print


Roseanna Myles - Left Behind - Caoimhe O'Dwyer - Watercolour, Ink and Print


Miffy Hoad - Midnight - Catherine McCourt - Painting/Print


Angela McCrossan - The Golden Bowl - Susan Farrelly - Gold Walnut Shell


Dara MacGabhann - Sparks - Geraldine Martin - Oil Painting


Alex Watson - Still Falling in Love with You - Heather Cassidy - Photography


Ciaran Redmond - The Brickie - Jebun Nahar - Painting


Dez Murphy - The Fiddler - Jean Marshall - Painting


Miffy Hoad - Welcome New - Jenny Slater - Print


Dara MacGabhann - When the Kitchen Grows Cold - Julie Corcoran - Photography


Josphine Higgins - A Memorable Cruise - Julie Corcoran - Photography


Dennis O'Higgins - Paddy Clarke, A Monaghan Character - Julie Corcoran - Photography


Roseanna Myles - A Mother Forever - Mariana Clemente - Digital Art


Ciaran Redmond - Awash With Colour - Michael Stafford - Mixed Paint on Canvas


Sean Fagan - Black and White Days - Niamh O'Connor - Mixed Media


Enda Reilly - Borderline Mouse - Petra Berntsson - Painting


Sean O'Riordain - Donaghmoyne - Samantha Brown - Video and Photography


Andy Hogg - So Many Things - Sinead McCourt - Mixed Media


Packie MacDonald - Sad Songs about Growing Old - Susan Farrelly - Painting


Sean Ó Roideáin - A Cousin of Mine - Tracy Fry - Mixed Media/Resin


Angela McCrossan - Antrim Coast - Úna Curley - Drawing





Fatal Attraction By John Nutley It flickered gently as it fought away the darkness Pushing it from one side of the room to the other. Out of control, or there again maybe not! Almost silent, its long journey downwards will take some time. Warm, cascading shadows mellow into the darkness. But nothing had interfered with it, until it drew the attraction of the moon lover. There ensued a crazy dance, with turbulent waves casting ghostly shadows around the room. Hovering in and out, almost taunting each other. Just like the tango, they dance away deep into the small hours, without a care in the world. Until the final dance, then love turns to reality and the honeymoon was over. Not till then did he realise to his peril, the closeness of his relationship. Ashes to ashes as he becomes dust. The candle burns out slowly just as daylight cracks the skyline. The false moon was there no more. He has fallen victim to its warm tender beauty on a cold Autumn night. Just as he had succumb to the flame, the flame had succumb to its self.

Inspired Diptych by Aileen Durkan


High King By Seán O Máirtín

A flock of unshorn white thorn stand, Huddled In a hilltop hollow, Looking down over the ‘lough field’ That dips its toes in the clear water. He lies among the thorny bows And peeps Through rabbit run gaps At invading, grazing cows Dotted here and there, He stares, As they slowly creep forth Up grassy slopes. These lazy lumbering marauders In well-formed plan Surround the ancient fort Of High Kings command.

The lookout on the highest branch Chirps loud warnings, As he calls for warriors For Fianna, Oisín, Fionn, Stand at arms, prepare to defend, While two swans on the mirrored lake Scarcely notice Their Kings pending doom. A soft voice carries on the gentle air Telling of the late hour And calls the High King from besieged dún The battle must now await the passing moon, And on drowsy lips a whisper cries, ‘Tomorrow, victory will be ours’ as he closes sleepy eyes.

Inspired High King Diptych by Anna Marie Savage




Keep a Trickle Flowing By Enda Reilly So Keep a trickle flowin Keep a spark glowin Keep a trickle flowin when your river is in drought Keep a spark glowin when the flames have all gone out Sing your song low when the crowd have all gone home For some day soon we all will sing along Your river will be raging Your flames will light the night Your eagle will be soaring bright You’ll sing a song of freedom You’ll find a tribe you believe in You’ll prepare and share a feast with everyone For this same river that flows before me Flows for the whole human family This same river will flow forever Winding it’s way through the trees So keep a trickle flowin when your river is in drought Keep a spark glowin when the flames have all gone out and Sing your song low when the crowd have all gone home

For tomorrow everyone will sing along Your river will be raging Your flames will light the night Your eagle will be soaring bright You’ll sing a song of freedom You’ll find a tribe you believe in You’ll prepare and share a feast with everyone For this same fire that burns within me Burns for the whole human family This same fire will glow forever With the wind that blows through the trees So Keep a trickle flowin Keep a spark glowin So Keep a trickle flowin Keep a spark glowin

Inspired a print by Bernhard Gaul


Left Behind By Roseanna Myles

I've worked here for 40 years or more you'll be amazed at what comes through that door lost and found they call this little space of mine come in have a look you never know what treasures you will find among all the stuff that has been left behind. Over in the corner there behind the three legged table and the 2 legged chairs past the 100 umbrellas and the 40 teddy bears and the stack of hats on the rack and coats and gloves and odd shoes too and the toy zebra left from Dublin. Over there hanging on the wall that's my prized possession of them. This picture it captures my heart Is it a famous work of art? The way her eyes follow you around and that smile or is it a frown?


I feel she is watching me no matter where I go. She is the most mysterious lady that I know. Who was her owner I'd love to know. Do they miss her or was she let go? Perhaps she could see their soul and they got a fright and that's why they left her on the bus that Friday night.

Inspired Caoimhe O’Dwyer’s watercolour, ink and print



Midnight By Miffy Hoad Cats call in eerie tones, seeking mates in piles of rubble, Sea gulls taunt each other Squabbling over offal. The humming of the boats As donkey engines Assist the drunk, Gently lighting the way to bunk, The couple who met at the dance, Taking the chance, The only care taken Is to wake before light, But enjoy the night, lying in bliss As the tide slaps the bows And nobody knows They are there.

Inspired painting/print by Catherine McCourt


The Golden Bowl By Angela McCrossan Once upon a time there was a woodcutter. He liked nothing better than walking through the woods tending and talking to his trees. He knew them well, every branch bowed to greet him such was the respect each had for the other. As he would approach, resting birds chirped with delight and flew to lower branches to have a cheeky chat. All was well, except for the woodcutters little bubbling of discontent at realising he was continually saying ‘no’ to natures advice of “being all that one was designed to be”. It was not that the woodcutter didn’t dream, nor long for a singing voice, but he denied himself such pleasures, telling himself to keep his head down – low. And so, he laboured away quietly feeling a fair enough level of satisfaction. The woodcutter’s wife, she too busied herself day to day, merrily going about doing this and that, and feeling generally content at what life had in store. After all she could try her hand at most things domestic and not. Up to this point, she hadn’t even considered sounding her own voice, well God forbid, it was a case of looking on while others dared to live, in a way letting sleeping dogs lie, in this neck of the woods. But every now and then, pots would rattle, smoke would puff out of the most peculiar places, curiosity bubbled, as if to remind her of those hidden talents, lying dormant within.


Now what was she to do, remain stuck forever or find a way through. As night drew in, strange rumblings could be heard around the hearth, “if only, oh! I couldn’t, I wouldn’t be able”, laments making their way up the chimney pot, at yet another close of day. Now we all know the result, this soup of regret thickens to stew, which tends to be tedious after a day or two. As if by magic, these mumblings flew and blew their way deep into the forest, creating quite a stir among the elders and birches, for they knew that this loss of lived life, would drain the very sap from their own out-stretched extremities. And so, leaning in, with perky robin presiding, all knew the time had come for action. Rabbits came out of their burrows, dragonflies hovered to hear the commotion, a colony of ants were alerted, and instinctively they too, knew exactly what to do. Quickly all formed rank, marched forward, took their place, and made their recommendation without hesitation. “You must gift the woodcutter and his wife 3 slats from the walnut tree, they must be planed smooth and

Well, without delay, the beavering got underway, and shavings began to drop like ringlets on the forest floor until three golden beams stood strong glistening in the morning sun. Overhead, some birds, unaccustomed to burning midnight oil, announced an early dawn chorus in recognition of their achievement. Back at the woodcutter’s cottage, the couple wrapped up warm, ready to meet a bright new morn. Each had their chores, and what a surprise, on seeing a mysterious path open before them. Their calling was clear, and so they stepped out so gingerly, with both courage and fear. Right there before them, lay three slats of fine wood, waiting, a gift from the forest, giving back to those who loved them dearly. With both arms, they gathered them, huddled in close, in union and chant, as the slats now shaped into a wide walnut bowl, a treasure to keep. The woodcutter, his wife, with their brimming bowl smiled in recognition, as the echoes danced, inviting them to embrace life from here on in. With berried red lips ready to kiss, the message resonated throughout the land, “this bowl is the trophy, for taking the risk, it celebrates life that is truly lived, its waiting

for you and its waiting for me, willing us on, to stay on the path of adventure and love”.

Inspired 'Golden Walnut' Photography by Susan Farrelly


Sparks By Dara MacGabhann Sparks fly when we rub together Sometimes We're like stormy weather You push me, higher Right to the, wire

And I don't know where this is going We keep fighting, without knowing Now I can see black from white When I step into the light

And I don't know where this is going We keep fighting, yet we're growing We're so different yet the same We're just people, different names

And then I look at you and I see me Somewhere where I want to be Somewhere where I once have been Where does future end and past begin

And I don't know if I can fight it Bursting inside trying to hide it Now I can't see black from white When my eyes are so shut tight

Sparks fly when we rub together Sometimes we're like stormy weather You push me, higher Right to the wire.

Sparks fly when we rub together You question I say whatever It takes to get us there Everywhere, and nowhere

Inspired an oil painting by Geraldine Martin


Still Falling in Love with You By Alex Watson


Hey Baby, you and I, We can almost touch the sky, Oh, Flying high upon the wings of love. There’s nothing we can’t do Each day that I’m with you, No mountain is too high for us to climb Oh, when you look at me I see every possibility with you, You know in your heart it’s true ‘Cause I’m still falling in love with you.

You’re the sunshine of my life, My warmth on a cold night, You’re everything that I’ve been searching for, And when you hold my hand I know you’ll understand The way I’ll feel for you forevermore, And when you look at me I see every possibility with you, You know in your heart it’s true Cause I’m still falling in love with you

Oh, darling through the night When I’m holding you so tight, I can feel you heart beating next to mine, I get lost in your eyes ‘Neath the moons silvery light. I wish this moment never had to end And when you look at me I see every possibility with you, You know in your heart it’s true ‘Cause I’m still falling in love with you.

Inspired art by Heather Cassidy



The Brickie By Ciaran Redmond The old brickie limped across the plastic wooden grain, The rich roasted coffee nosing in the air, His grey hospital stick, noisy clacks his pain, He’ll get a pensioners’ breakfast, a treat for him Two toast, four pieces, a pot of tea and water for a spare, For less than five euro, he feels as good as he can be. Back bent half-moon far too soon but his Hawkeye had me spied, “Ah young mister Redmond” he chortled, “I must have been promoted since me father died” said I. “Aye, I heard that ,what happened to his bees? Did you let them know when he passed away?” “A sure ye couldn’t take a chance on that, Told them meself, the very next day”, “You’re looking well” said I, lying, trying to give some cheer, “It’s the tablets, I’m rattling but I’m still here, The brother’s not well, going to lose a leg, and a foot”, “You’d expect that” said I, “No” he says “The other one, he’ll only have a butt!” Says I, “Diabetes is no fun, No bleeding smoking, that’s the one, Bet he’s off them now!” “Not at all, never even stopped, when he went blind. How’s your missus?” “Ah ,grand in the home, well settled ,they’re very kind,

How’s yours?”, “Kathleen?, yes, drank herself away Still finding bottles hid, even one today! I moved in with me daughter, couldn’t hack it on my own, The loneliness you see, near drove me silly. I couldn’t cook, black tea, bread and bleeding piccalilli and cheese!” “Did you sell the house or rent it out?” “No, it was council, I just handed in the key!” “I see the stick, did you get a hip or knee?” “No, bone on bone, I’m on the list two years, I spend every night in tears, the pain, Jaysus! I think I’ll die! Next stop Lathlurcan, at least it won’t be full I’ll be at the top of the hill, The bottom is too wet to lie!” “Did you ever consider cremation?” “No, too far away! Never liked Dublin day or night, I’ll hop in with Kathleen, I’ll give her a fright! I bet she’ll still be cold!” “Great to meet you Jack, to cheer me up, it’s a help!” “And you young Mr Redmond, great to see you too!” Young, sure I’m four years older than you I said to myself “See ya!”

Inspired a painting by Jebun Nahar


The Fiddler By Dez Murphy The final tune is sadly played & so it’s time for home, No mystery here the case is closed, The fiddler, he is gone.

One hundred airs once loved & learned now lost or handed on, A lifetime of listening over, The fiddler, he is gone.

And at such social gatherings a wedding or a wake, a simple tune upon the gut might ease a dull heartache.

Respectful patrons quietly leave this still & peaceful place, The fiddler's formed his final lay, may his soul now Rest in Peace.

With fingers dancing & hearts a leaping rooms would come alive when lively notes were called upon to wildly jig & jive.


Inspired a painting by Jean Marshall


Welcome New By Miffy Hoad Throw open all the doors, Allow the sun to shine. Let life breathe and Blow away the dust. Shake the dirt from the welcome mat, and spread new linen on the bed. Let second chances prove their worth, Hear children laugh and play. Walk firm to feel the Earth But don’t forget the lessons learned. Paint the structure bright and new, Straighten crooked photographs, Feed the crumbs to the birds, And above all, don’t hold a grudge.

Inspired prints by Jenny Slater


When the Kitchen Grows Cold By Dara MacGabhann I will wait for you To lift the latch Shake off your boots in the porch And pour yourself A mug of tae To warm you to your toes. And as always We shall dissect the day The goings on Stories heard and stories told Then gather ourselves For the leaba When the kitchen grows cold.

Inspired photography by Julie Corcoran



A Memorable Cruise By Josephine Higgins The collision of the MSC Opera Cruise ship in Venice brings back memories of another similar incident also involving a Cruise ship, on which I and my husband were aboard. We were all excited about going on a cruise on the Mediterranean no less. We weren't sure what to expect, but we knew it would be exhilarating. We were about to embark on a 2,000-mile sea trip in sheer luxury. On 4 February 2013 we departed from Dublin Airport, on the first leg of our exotic journey, and arrived in Barcelona. An immediate coach trip took us to the seaport where we joined the huge queue with the other adventurers on the pier. After a short wait the Gangway was extended from the waiting ship, and we were invited to climb aboard our Liner and completed the entry formalities. With the minimum of fuss, we were on deck and shown to our sea-view cabin. Immediately on completion of the compulsory emergency drill the voice of the captain came across the tannoy and signalled the


start of our novel adventure by announcing our departure from port on the dot of its scheduled 6pm. After easing away carefully from its berth our cruiser picked up speed rapidly cutting through the clear waters of the beautiful Mediterranean under a blue sunny sky. Motoring ahead we arrived at the tiny Tunisian Port of La Goulette at 8am on 6 February. Once anchored the passengers had the choice of remaining on board until next departure that evening or could decide to avail of a complimentary bus trip. However, we elected on walking to the nearest village, which was shown as three miles but, as we experienced, was much further away. On reaching the hamlet we were surprised to find it in a dishevelled condition. The road surface was cracked and the footpaths too dangerous to walk on and the place littered with cigarette buts. There was a lot of men hanging around the streets while many others could be seen indoors playing card games that were foreign to us. There was no sign of women at all. As we had some hours to spare, we sat on an outdoor

seat in the middle of the disorder. Within minutes we were approached by a group of the locals who were trying to overcome the language barrier and communicate. We formed the impression that their intentions were of a friendly nature, but when they started to point us back towards our Ship, five miles away we knew it was time to move smartly. It was only on re-boarding the cruiser that we became aware that a prominent politician, Mr Chokri Beolaid, had been assassinated in the Tunisian capital earlier that morning. No doubt the natives of La Goulette were concerned for our safety as our European features made us stand out from the local crowd. However, little did we know that we were about to experience another memorable surprise. After our long journey in a very hot sun, we were starving and made our way to the ship's self-service dining room. We had just placed our cups and plates of food on a table when we heard a tremendous crashing sound. At first, I thought this is what Mediterranean thunder sounded like. However, when our ship shuddered violently and all loose items - plates cups glasses etc. smashed to the floor we feared the disturbance was of a Titanic nature. On peering out I could see that we had drifted about a mile from port and many of our pending passengers, who had returned later, were now stranded in awe, on the pier. At this stage it was clear that the mooring cables had failed and our weighty ship had crashed against the opposite concrete pier. I raced to the stern of the ship to establish if the damage was visible or indeed endangering.

On arrival I noticed that a huge gaping hole had been gorged in the metal flank of the craft. The new opening was large enough to drive a car through. Worse still the damaged area was only slightly above the water mark. Surprisingly no personal injuries resulted. I quickly snapped some photos of the damage and within minutes the crew draped the area with a canvas to prevent further recording, in their quest to dampen comment or criticism. The captain restored immediate order by steering his ship back to Port where most of the unsuspecting passengers re-boarded. However, a small, concerned group refused to enter and announced their intention to bus their way to the nearest airport, discontinue their holiday, and fly back to Dublin. No official mention whatsoever, or apology was offered to us passengers. It was as if the incident never happened. No doubt had that same damage been done to its bow; the Liner would have been impounded until repairs were completed there at La Goulette Port. As it was, the damaged cruiser sailed away on its overnight schedule towards its next destination of Palermo. During our day-long stay in that City the ship had a new metal plate welded in place and that safety measure made us passengers feel a lot happier.

Inspired photography by Julie Corcoran


Paddy Clarke – A Monaghan 'Character' By Denis Higgins What defines a 'character' and why do those few stand curiously out from the crowd without ever being aware or trying to be different. The area I grew up in was teeming with a variety of these very 'characters', from farmers to housewives and a few codgers, who were special in their distinctive mannerisms or attitudes. Sadly, that uniqueness has all but disappeared now. However, for me and for many others about Co. Monaghan the late Paddy Clarke left a lasting memory as he displayed all the attributes of a genuine affable 'character'.

As he stretched out his right hand towards me I noted he was holding a worn paper folder containing a bunch of combs and razor blades. With a murmur that I could scarcely understand, he indicated that I should select my choice. He offered a range of colours, limited to brown and black. I picked one comb of each colour and placed a couple of shillings by way of thanks in his out-stretched palm. With our transaction complete he drifted slowly away towards the Diamond area and drew another potential customer into his quiet web.

When I first arrived in Monaghan Town, it was cold, wet, and nearing an early dusk on a February evening in 1972. After bringing my motor to a halt at the Courthouse car park, I stepped out into the bitter cold, closing the door behind me. There was no need to take the keys from the ignition, let alone lock the door, in those days.

I found this introduction to Monaghan Town intriguing and was determined to find out more about this character, and so I did. The story went that Paddy was born in Ladies' Lane, just off Dublin St, Monaghan Town in 1898. Similar to many other young men of his generation, he found that the only escape from poverty was in joining the British Army. So in 1916 at the tender age of 18 years, he traveled to Enniskillen, joined the Military and was directed off into the impending slaughter of the Great War.

The “Square” and “Diamond” areas of the town were quiet, with only a handful of shoppers hurrying about their business. I hadn’t rambled very far when I noticed a gentleman approach my direction and I knew by his gesturing that he wanted my attention. Owing to his demeanour and attire, my immediate thoughts turned to that famous son of Monaghan - the genius poet Patrick Kavanagh. Of average height and with a slow deliberate gait, this elderly gentleman was dressed in black, and wearing his widebrimmed dark hat, sitting low down, almost hiding his face. "82

While crossing the Mediterranean in 1918, the ship carrying his battalion was targeted by the enemy, and took a direct hit from a torpedo discharged by a German submarine. The colossal damage inflicted caused their vessel to sink within hours. Luckily, Paddy and all of his crew mates made it to safety after they managed to launch and scramble onto a life-boat.

Despite drifting in the Mediterranean for some days, all passengers were eventually spotted by a passing friendly ship and hauled, tired and hungry, aboard and eventually made land in Egypt. That near fatal and shattering experience had a lasting and adverse affect on Paddy’s mental state which was to bedevil him, in the form of shell-shock, for the remainder of his long and frugal life. Due to his illness Paddy was released from the British Army in 1920, and returned to his native Monaghan with a small short-term pension granted by his former Military employer. However, during Paddy's absence, monumental political upheavals had taken place in Ireland and the resulting new social climate did not favour returned Irishmen who had worked in British Army uniforms. As his permanent, and misunderstood condition made him incapable of holding down a job, Paddy marked time by shuffling about the streets of Monaghan.

Traveling by bicycle he was also a regular presence at livestock street fairs within a thirty mile radius where he sometimes entertained the attendees by playing his mouth-organ. Paddy was fluent in the art of busking, long before that pursuit was fashionable. In many old photographs featuring fair days and the like in Monaghan Town, Paddy's sculptured face is often seen in the crowds, and forever immortalised in those relics of the past. The genial Paddy lived out his very illustrious life as a 'character' around Monaghan Town, right into the mid 1980's. His death in 1986, at the ripe age of 88, brought an end to the physical presence a muchloved Monaghan character, but his memory remains etched in the annals of our local history.

Inspired photography by Julie Corcoran "83


A Mother Forever By Roseanna Myles I was guilty of being a mother. The biggest sin of the day. I wasn't married or loved So, I had to give my baby away.

Every time I see a little face I wonder is that you? Do you have golden hair and eyes of starlight blue?

Only a mother knows the pain of letting go of a beautiful baby girl that I will never know. I never will see her smile, Or watch her grow and play, Or dress her up or comb her hair, Or buy her toys or books to read, Or run through the fields on a summer's day.

My life is so worthless now. I can't stand the pain. If I had to live it over would it turn out the same?

All these joys have been taken away. I'll never get to say I love you my precious one and kiss you goodnight when the day is done.

My baby gone, I know not where, and I am a prisoner without parole. A life sentence, a broken soul. I just want to run out this door and find you and hold you forever more. But every day I cry my tears in vain Because I’ll never see my baby again.

Inspired ‘A Mother Forever’ By Mariana Clemente (digital art).


Awash with Colour By Ciaran Redmond I sit and gaze In wonder maze, Watch the hand of God. Paint a sunset of fire Forecasting Shepard’s joy, Behold flaring embers glow. Clouds ochre scurry by islands in celestial art, Colours mingling fusing slow. The pink apple blossom Sprinkles blushing snow on the verdant lawn. Virtual reality in real time, A matinee for every dawn Gracing earthly souls. Infinite love paints beauty, Composing a heart Awash with colour. Inspired art by Michael Stafford - Mixed paint on canvas




Black and White Days By Seán Fegan He took down the picture album off the shelf A little boy just trying to find himself His puzzled eyes they jumped from page topage and he uttered words that sure belied hisage. Dad! Was everything black and white when you were young? And where did all the other shades comefrom Were there no colour in thesky or on the flowers to beautify? Why was everything black andwhite when you were young?

Things have changed so very much as years goby When my iPad was a bandage for youreye Lots of letters everyweek - Now I email, text or tweet While none of my friends on Facebook everreply And I wasthinking very strongly to myself As I look up at that album on the shelf I may be going through a phase but(pause)I’d swap the colour of these days For a little time back there with that boy him self.

I smiled at how his innocence brought me joy When thinking of the best way to reply My littleson was oh soright though ‘twas adifferent black and white We encountered in our world in days goneby Ohyes ‘twas very black and white when I wasyoung With so many were rules to tell us right from wrong We were always so polite, and mum and dads were always right Nothinggrey - but black and white when you were young?

Dad! Was everything black and white when you were young? And where did all the other shades come from? Were there no colours in the sky or on the flowers to beautify? Why was everything black and white when you were young?

Inspired Niamh O’Connor - Mixed media


Borderline Mouse By Enda Brennan A Hairy, Scary little mouse By chance one day, came in our House And terrorised and scared my spouse. By spouse I mean my Missus. She ordered me to set a trap To try and catch the l"90ittle chap. I did the job; I heard the snap, Then she gave me hugs and kisses. I carried him out to the big red bin, Lifted the lid and flung him in Fulfilling my wife’s wishes. But you cannot blame the little Buck. The door was open, he chanced, his luck. Now he isn’t worth a damn, his neck is ‘bruck’, His short wee life is over. But the wee dead mouse he had a mate. Who may have witnessed his poor friends’ fate! And this wee mouse didn’t take the bait And mice are a thing my wife does hate. This wee mouse was smarter. Around the kitchen the wee mouse drifted, He seen the trap, and I think he sniffed it. But this wee mouse, well he was gifted And he wasn’t for being caught. He toured our house for about a week. Every now and then, we’d hear a squeak. The chance of capture was looking bleak, And then I had a brainwave! I got a plastic bottle shaped container. To me it was ingenious, a complete no brainer. The mouse would never see the danger. "90

The wife said I was a bollocks. How the hell would you catch a mouse in that? He’ll just run in, and he’ll run straight back! But I had another plan of attack. I’d apply some science. Inside the bottle I put some cooking oil The mouses escape plans I would spoil. And the wife would say “I like your style”. And I would be a hero. I set the bottle down at a gentle slope, One that I knew the mouse would think he’d cope, Then waited quietly in certain hope That I would catch the rodent. I heard him go in and jump about I heard him scratching and scrapping trying to get back out. When I looked in, he was very down in the mouth And he wasn’t going nowhere. I threw him in a bit of cheese, but he didn’t eat it. I think the wee bugger was just frustrated About the way that he’d been treated, But I thought he was lucky. You see, I hadn’t got the heart to kill him. And I couldn’t bear to hear him squealing, And getting caught, sure I know the feeling. So, I just let him go, After all he had been called to order. He wouldn’t bother my lady any further So, I took him off, and dropped him over the Border. “Goodbye little Mouse”!

Inspired a painting by Petra Berntsson


Donaghmoyne Music & Lyrics by Seán Ó Roideáin I like to walk in solitude around, the winding roads of Donaghmoyne. In my own world of teared regrets, I view the hills of Donaghmoyne. I loved a girl, with all my heart, And she was reared in Donaghmoyne. Illness came, and tore our lives apart. Now I feel lost in Donaghmoyne. Chorus Donaghmoyne, you cast a spell that caught my mind. Now I find, I think I’ll grow old in Donaghmoyne I take a right, I think I know, Past ivy-ed trees in Donaghmoyne. An unknown vista, now on show. I’m truly lost in Donaghmoyne.

Chorus High upon a Drumlin Hill, A diary herd is strolling by. Always grazing, as they go. Looking like a two-tone festival. I’ve found a place, now I’m lost in time, Meandering, ‘round Donaghmoyne. I contemplate, what might have been, Recalling walks with my love through Donaghmoyne. Chorus x2

Inspired video and photography by SamanthaBrown


So Many Things By Andy Hogg

Out with the old, in with the new, I’m making a change, starting with you, You wouldn’t do it right by the book, I’m telling you now, you’re slinging your hook!

So many things, I’ve got to feel, Now is the time, the time to heal I’ve got my chance, I’ve taken flight Now I know how I’m gonna win the fight.

ChorusSo many things I’ve got to do, All of these things don’t include you.

ChorusSo many things I’ve got to do, All of these things don’t include you!

Just one chance, I’ve got to take, All of these chains, I’ve got to break, So many things, I’ve got to say, Don’t need your roadblock, to get in my way. ChorusSo many things I’ve got to do All of these things don’t include you.


Inspired art by Sinead McCourt - Mixed media



Sad Songs About Growing Old By Packie MacDonald The sun comes up to start another day, Small birds sing as children start to play, No sign of stress or worry in their eyes, Their world is full of happiness and toys, It’s a special place for all young boys and girls. Well, it doesn’t seem so long ago you see When that little boy out playing there was me, And all my thoughts and dreams were bright as day Because life was very simple then, When you dreamed your days away. And we thought those days were always here to stay, But one by one the years they slipped away, And the hair that once was black has now turned grey, When once you couldn’t wait to start, Now it’s hard to rise each day. So, treasure what you’ve got, Each breaking day, Before your dreams are gone or fade away, Enjoy each moment every game you play, For those childhood days they quickly disappear As the days turn into weeks and the weeks turn into years

Inspired painting by Susan Farrelly


A Cousin of Mine By Sean Ó Roideáin Heading off to Buncrana in the car with me Da. Through the hills of Inishowen, with the yellow whins a blowing. A speak of humanity, he spied down the road and began his story, to unfold. I said "I know dad, what you're gonna say, you seem to say it several times a day. To your father, or your mother, in one way or another, your one is related, that's a cousin some way!" He says "what do you mean hey? What do you know? I didn't even get to show! We never discussed and we never debated, How to us your one is related" Chorus "See him, he's a cousin o' mine. See her, she's a cousin o' mine. See them, they're all cousins on mine, they're all cousins o' mine. X2 Soon I started thinking and I began reflecting,


my father he does be understanding, With a sense of meitheall, and sense of space, sure, he was integrated into Inishowen. Now my people come from Donegal, Monaghan, Derry. I've Deise, Diaspora and Wexford yellow bellies! My family name it comes from East County Clare, but it's fado fado, since we moved from there. And you know who also from quite near there, from the Town of Ennis, East County Clare? A family, from the Turnpike, by the name of Grady, ancestors to the Greatest Muhammed Ali Chorus So Muhammed Ali, could be a cousin o' mine. Yeah Muhammed Ali, must be a cousin o' mine. You know he floated like a butterfly and he stung like a bee. Ah sure, that was my cousin Muhammed Ali

Yeah, Muhammed Ali, must be a cousin o' mine. A free man of Ennis and a cousin o' mine. You know, he floated like a butterfly, and he stung like a bee. Sure, that was my cousin, Muhammed Ali. We're not all brothers and sisters, that's a bit purvy! But we're all connected, why can't you see? We're all descendants of the people from the Rift Valley, so everybody's related to me. So the next time, you're blaming it on somebody's brother, for homelessness, joblessness, crime, or whatever. The latest scapegoat, Muslim, Jewish or gentile, is still your family and that is fundamental! Chorus

Inspired collagraph/resin by Tracy Fry



Antrim Coast – Delighting in a Splash of Colour! By Angela McCrossan There are little Benbulbins in this landscape too. Behind me the baa of mother calls her own close. Below strong youthful bones oar in rhythm for heightened pleasure Across rippling pools, a cacophony of movement, with hypnotic effect. Nearby daisies pop their heads, ready to expand as sunshine promises a peek. Above birds have their view too, an overview swift and wide As they gather momentum Then change direction in one swift swoop. A comical bee does its own thing, His line is more direct, less of a dance He’s on a mission, gets right to the point. And what do you know, a heron, Glides down, lands camouflaged among the rocks And rocking sea. She ducks, then stretches her neck Aerobic workout, while gulls, it seems, are knocked off their perch As this queen of fishers struts her stuff. She’s solitary too. Doing it her own way.

Inspired drawing by Úna Curley




Claire McAteer

Caoimhe O’Dwyer

Enda Brennan

Seán O’Martin

Petra Berntsson

Susan Farrelly

Angela McCrossan

Dez Murphy

Samantha Brown

Tracy Fry

Packie McDonald

Roseanna Myles

Heather Cassidy

Bernhard Gaul

Dara MacGabhann

John Nutley

Mariana Clemente

Jean Marshall

Seán Fegan

Ciarán Redmond

Niamh O’Connor

Geraldine Marshall

Denis O’Higgins

Enda Reilly

Julie Corcoran

Jebun Nahar

Josephine O’Higgins

Seán Ó Roideáin

Catherine McCourt

Anna Marie Savage

Miffy Hoad

Alex Watson

Sinead McCourt

Jenny Slater

Andy Hogg

Úna Curley

Michael Stafford

Aileen Durkan