A New Ulster Featuring the works of J.S.Watts, Cliff Wedgbury, Colin Dardis, Michael Mc Aloran, Csilla Toldy and Judith Thurley.
Issue No 1 October 2012
A New Ulster
Editor: Amos Greig
On the Wall
J.S.Watts; Languedoc Autumn Almond Blossoming Ebb and Flow Artist on Lynmouth Beach Taking A Bath Backwards
page 7 page 8 page 9 page 11 page 12
Cliff Wedgbury; Tea with dad breakdown
page 14 page 15
Colin Dardis; Conditions for Prayer Unpublished Drought Chasing
page 17 page 18 page 19 page 20
Michael Mc Aloran,; all sungIf/ ever the hung lightof allof the final edgeunto birth(ed)zero point-
page 22 page 23 page 24 page 25 page 26 page 27 page 28
Csilla Toldy I wanted to tell you, but there was no time Hundertwasser, Impressions Vertical
page 30 page 31 page 32
On The Wall features the artwork and creativity of: Micheal Mc Aloran & Judith Thurley Michael's artwork can be found on page 35 Judith's art, poetry photography hybrid work can be found on page 39 Manuscripts, art works and letters to be sent to the Editor c/o Lapwing Publications, 1 Ballysillan Drive BT14 8HQ. Alternatively e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. (See Submissions for further details.) Hard copy distribution available via Dennis Greig c/o Lapwing Publications, 1 Ballysillan Drive BT14 8HQ Digital distribution via Scribd and ISUU
Editorial I deliberately chose to call this journal A New Ulster I have been involved in the cultural soul of Northern Ireland since 1993 and involved in the poetry world from 1988 when I designed the logo for Lapwing Publications. The name reflects the changes that I have witnessed since then and the aspirations for a better tomorrow. I wanted to create something that was inclusive, accepting and open to everyone, at the same time I wanted to pay homage to the work that had come before us. In May 1968 James Simmons unleashed the Honest Ulsterman onto the world with the phrase 'A magazine of Revolution'. The Honest Ulsterman was the magazine of its time a vocal voice for a very vocal era. The Honest Ulsterman ran for nearly 20 years and carried a range of concept poetry, artwork, letters and even an Irish language section. In many ways A New Ulster owes its origins to James Simmons I had the distinct honour of having known him and he posed for a portrait that was used on the cover of a Lapwing Publications chapbook. A New Ulster is not however a reborn Honest Ulsterman it is our hope that the journal will act as a reflection of the changing times in which we live in and grant you the reader a doorway into other worlds of the imagination. The work contained within this first issue is a step in that direction with this step into the mind's eye we can visit wistful vistas and turn the mundane into the surreal. A New Ulster is ultimately a publication aimed at reaching as many people as possible, sharing poetry, fiction and art with everyone no matter their creed or culture. It is the dream of the editor that future issues will feature writings from the many cultures that make up the peoples of this fair island and the further world. I share a similar vision to James Simmons when he wrote in issue one of The Honest Ulsterman "I hope this magazine gets into the hands of school children and the so-called man in the street" he saw the youth of the time as the means of securing a better future for Ulster as editor he worked with the tools available to him and I plan to do the same thing with this journal. I can take advantage of digital distribution to get poetry out there. It is my hope that this magazine becomes a bastion, a rallying cry for future writers, thinkers and doers. Each avalanche begins with a single snow flake and this represents my contribution. I deliberately left 'man' out of the title as I wanted to create an equal platform where men, women and transgendered can feel free to express their voice. Enough preamble! Onto the creativity!
Biographical note: J.S.Wattsâ€™ poetry, short stories and book reviews appear in a wide variety of publications in Britain, Canada, Australia and the States including Acumen, Envoi, Mslexia, Polu Texni and Orbis and have been broadcast on BBC and Independent Radio. Her debut poetry collection, â€œCats and Other Myths", and a subsequent poetry pamphlet, "Songs of Steelyard Sue" are published by Lapwing Publications. Her first novel, "A Darker Moon" is due out from Vagabondage Press in autumn 2012. For further details see:www.jswatts.co.uk You can also find her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/J.S.Watts.page..
Languedoc Autumn The vineyards are burning with autumn. The season has reached out its twig-dry fingers to touch each vine, igniting the fields in shades of yellow and gold, orange and crimson and the darkening bruise of plum. Here and there frail flickers of green still linger, pale mineral flames, the final spasms of stoically futile tendrils clinging to life beyond the grasp of reason. Such brief sparks do nothing to hold back the inevitable physicality of autumn’s corrupting fires. The scent of smoke haunts the air still damp with the rain’s last tears. The vine leaves crispen and curl in to brown, retreating further and further back into the heart’s black core until only the body stumps remain, arms tortured around the wires strung out along the hillside, perfected memories of what has fled the world. History presses onwards slowly and in time nature’s duality will restore what’s been taken with the Judas kiss of spring, the first green fuses, a fleeting consolation for the world endlessly turning on its wheel, winding and unwinding life’s fragile tendrils from this hard soil.
Almond Blossoming I dream of almond blossom, I think. I think I dream of almond blossom. Small white flowers, tight as a babyâ€™s fist, Draped mistily over the tops of low limbed trees, Netting the trees like snow fall Or the sugar-cake icing of a diamond frost, Like late wood smoke in an early spring, Like a brideâ€™s veil or an Easter hymn. I thought I dreamed of almond blossom, White as snowflakes in an afternoon sun, But what I thought of most was the purity Of that pale, frail mist Washing the trees like pearl water With a halo of freshness, The clarity of air that wakes The lungs with a crystal kiss, Inhaling its early morning shout. I want to breathe its hello, be washed in it, Made whole again, made perfection Like a veil of pure white thought Draped over early trees in The almond blossom mist of morning.
Ebb and Flow My intentions ebb and flow: to write this, to not, to remember, to let go, to release your memory circling like a coracle on currents too deep to gauge. Decisions evaporate, calcifying around not, but memories have currents of their own following their natural course, seeping through unnoticed cracks, forcing their way regardless of human obstruction, dripping discreetly a tear drop at a time, until the flow cascades a flood drowning present thoughts under flailing, churning hooves and white splashed manes, time running free, a tidal bore of past driving all before it. In the morning security of the shower, water splashing down its wake-up call, I find myself relocated back to the shower room of your home, a novelty for a girl brought up with only a bath tub for the task. There the huge mirror and gilded taps, there the cupboard of plump warming towels, the china cup of toothbrushes, miniature toy soldiers perched on the thick wood of the window frame. An unexpected frivolity amongst the routine necessities of cleansing. A trace of you. Evidence.
Standing at your window I can see the lovingly tended garden and down the wire of the valley, the slopes, the woods, an over-flow of isolated peace, the river sounding its way downstream to a tidal future no one can guess; where waits a turmoil of troubled water churned now with boots and camera crews and the unspeakable, refusing to be denied, slamming down on all of us, a hard rain falling, shower-water raining on clinically white porcelain and I am back here preparing automatically for a day you have left behind, memories draining in your wake.
Artist on Lynmouth Beach You on the skyline against the black stacked rocks Building our place in the recesses of my mind, Building your love in the depth of my heart. Green and black against the sky grey sea Like the green black rocks you load and stack Building high to take the horizon. These rocks my first real present to you A surprise gift, if you can give away a beach, Knowing they were here when you did not. My second gift, myself. I can give you nothing else, My heart already veined green and black. Back and forth you stride the horizon, Hugging and carrying your rocks like love With hands too gentle for such rough work Making bold patterns on the shore and the sky And on your rocks and through my heart And onwards into the rising future.
Taking A Bath Backwards Yesterday I faced the tap end. Today I confronted the wall. I think a change of perspective does you good, though I was reminded of when we once shared a bath and your pallid flesh, not the tiles, obscured my horizons. Tomorrow I shall try out the garden pond. Itâ€™s surprisingly deep, aroma-full, surrounded by rosemary and pansies. Letâ€™s see what the fish make of my white, wriggly toes.
Biography:- Cliff Wedgbury is a Cork based poet, born in London 1946. His last collection, "a lingering adolescence," was published by Belfast/Lapwing in 2007
Tea with dad lost in the heat haze of a backyard sunday he would sit and gaze across the steaming pond of a china mug talking in that cheerful way where truth surfaced easily as mum hoisted wet white shirts like familiar sails on a still horizon
breakdown she gave me her tights when the fan-belt snapped lost in the country just south of the map her parents were angry when we got home how could we tell them? (they had no phone) the landscape was ours such beautiful sights repairing the mini with nylon tights
Biography: Born at the tail end of the seventies in Northern Ireland, Colin Dardis is a poet, artist, and sometimes musician. He edits FourXFour, an online journal focusing on poetry from Ireland and beyond. He is also the founder of Purely Poetry, an open mike poetry night in Belfast. Colinâ€™s work has been previously in numerous anthologies, journals and zines in Ireland, the UK and the USA. Check out Colin's website at: http://lowlightsforlowlifes.weebly.com/ Fanbook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/ColinDardis/173153172766394 Speech Therapy Poetry Zine: http://speechtherapypoetry.weebly.com/
Conditions for Prayer Abandon the fireside, and instead hush your eyes with reverent spirit. Let the air be still around you, and take in this placating stillness. Dispense with pride, and adopt the aged, bowed stance of humility. Open your palms and feel anger as water dropping from your pugilistic grasp. Shed off claustrophobic layers of retribution and resentment. Let the spears in your flank dull against the stone shield of resolve. Give yourself naked and exposed as the child who has yet not learnt fear. Hatred is a wasted energy whereas love is the perpetual answer.
Unpublished Life is a poor novelist: it introduces too many characters without explaining their role and presupposes foreknowledge on the part of the reader. Often, the syntax is askew in passages of persiflage, highfalutin babble, impenetrable even with the best dictionary for translation. The chapters dispense with all sense of chronology and hold insufficient answers: subplots abandoned, intrigue unsatisfied. None of the pages are numbered, no index for easy reference, void of footnotes or appendix, we are not granted the luxury of books for further reading. People walk about with their dust jackets torn, spines cracked, dog-earred and yellowing, forgotten about on the shelves of humanity. Life would not reach print by the high demands of us human publishers, yet it is the only manual we have to read.
Drought I rest in ploughed fields, waiting for rain, that persistence absence of a postnatal mother not wanting to hold her child. There is no fear of the embrace, just disgust. The soil permeates my skin, a premature death of sorts, preparing to land in ash and dust; I am Prometheus in his death pit, open to the floods.
Chasing Old ladies at their fruit machines, superstitions chasing jackpots as the coffee and sandwiches fuel another hour. Thin stream of gold playing peek-a-boo around this crag, small kiss, fickle minnow undecided, rainbow trout spinning hope, such dumb, blind hope. One could drown in the collected tragedies of this room, coloured lights deadening eyes and dreams. Stroke your dragonâ€™s tooth, the trouble of greed forever handicapping any mournful reason.
Michael Mc Aloran was Belfast born, (1976). His most recent work has appeared in ditch, Meat Songs, Gobbet Magazine, Ink Sweat & Tears, Ygdrasil, Establishment, Carcinogenic Poetry, Stride Magazine, etc. He has authored a number of chapbooks, including 'The Gathered Bones', (Calliope Nerve Media), 'Final Fragments', (Calliope Nerve) & 'Unto Naught', (Erbacce-Press). A full length collection of poems, 'Attributes', was published by 'Desperanto' in 2011. 'Lapwing Publications, (Ireland), recently published a collection of his poems, entitled, 'The Non Herein' & The Knives, Forks & Spoons Press, (U.K), will release 'Emblems' and also an ekphrastic book of text/ art, 'Machinations' later this year.
all sung(‘the winds have ruffled my assassin hair‘). Georges Bataille ache unto/ bled (dry cough in a barren white roomscape) a black turning of lungs lashed from the caress of night’s sheer bone heart(less) liquid flowers of decimated shit I/ eye of vortices meat to caress from out of which to turn from lack or longing (blanked the eye…) subtle as a snapped neck’s whispering (heave-ho) drag/ drag/ drag alone of the bitten blood semblance of dry light and the smoke of (pyre unto absence/
If/ ever welt/ breath of silent winds stun/ else till mark/ spun/ exigent of the ruin rush ash and the wilting blood asked of spasm lock till claimed (image of a skyâ€™s black longing set to light) kicking dust from sunk eye till break of none spun aloud/ naught silenced lest the petals birth the rot of hours stitched colourings ruin of as if there ever was scattered remnants of what/ or else/ if /ever/â€Ś
the hung light-
raw ash a bone’s closed tongue till eye of/ distanced locked sharp till hang(ed) colourings broke/ spun I upon (once more) the flight from which unto the none dressage of night and the bound blight wind claiming the less and less till/ lest there be atrophy of the hand that gives traces across fleshed I-spun/ laughterling of silence the hung light oceanic as of breath’s escape ( I dreamed the…)
of allsheet white hollowed drowning of spun till lack (a-breath) divorced the skyline’s I of the settled distance the upturned eye’s devoid a graze of endings murmurings and the absent blood a landscape obese with night (I/ or if as it lathes empties) blossoms of rip till knocking upon/ echoing of/ silenced a foreign gaze, fettered stripped of all but the sky’s barren parameters
of the final edgesting-havoc of subtle embers/ embers till utter dark a coiled spring doused as a butcher’s blade I-spun in-dreaming else carcass/ ashen welts of sun light of the scuttling asked of subtle as no nothing no not ever I/ eye collapse of the flesh the bled ice of subtle laughter fierce/ density of the rind masked till emptiness a skeletal shimmering in the dawn’s pale birth silence(d) and the dead light’s knowing long shadow of the final edge garrotting out the skyline
unto birth(ed)steel’s theft to trace across silent flesh as of funeral/ the tide’s blind suffocating lie the beckoning outstretched cascade of till fathomless black waters the flesh aborts the glimmer of I/eye’s reflect as if unto sunken funereal/ drought/ abandon the air clefts the inhalations of toothsome wastage (retrace the bones gathered along the way) char/ blackened out from out of speechless a shutter-snap a scream slashed out in the emptiness a callused hand of supplication unto final as if unto birth(ed) the jagged nothing/ of
zero pointscattered/ hollow flourish of a skyline’s searing/ emptily (un-trace…) beacon of none come to claim the I-unknown blackened fingers trace/ (yet…) clamour for the tongue to lay its exigent claim eye-shattered/ sun’s abortive fragments/ absurd walls broken naught for the asking of given for the less or else these bone(ish) cries from out of which until unclaimed (alack/ whispers/ the shale’s wind chimes…)
zero point the retraced wind blood clot of nowhere else through which the drag of the flesh of the I-eradicated splendour of the irredeemable tide of
Biographical Note: Csilla Toldy is a Hungarian born writer and film maker living in Ireland. Her stories and poems have been published in Southword, The Black Mountain Review and Breaking the Skin anthology, in Poetry Monthly, Snakeskin, Poetry24, and the Strictly Writing blog. Currently, she is working on a novel. www.csillatoldy.com
I wanted to tell you, but there was no time In my dream I had to take the key to your flat and leave it there It was very hard to do I had to balance on steep rocks and loosened iron hoops In my thoughts I tousled your hair and something lifted me up A force - and my stomach jumped into my throat. I was laughing, for this was what I wanted. Then it was over – (some new dream, new convolutions began about A girl who dived into the awesome blue of the sea Cassandra – I was glad that she left me alone Like a sunset, her blonde locks sunk into the sea) I was thinking about symbols on my way to you near the southern railways And my stomach was in my throat. Arriving, I felt the usual little pain, you said I was beautiful And I believed you. There was no doubt about it – I could love You as it was good for me. We were standing at the glass panels In front of us the space I did not tousle your hair, there was no embrace, although desired I left, I was in a street again and a force lifted me up – The one that was leaving dragged me with itself. I was a weak woman then, tiny and the struggle with my own power Seemed ridiculous. I let it fall into the void.
Hundertwasser, Impressions All at once, wind - whipped and flaky, warm drops dive into the clefts between minutes, mountain lakes fall to swim away into space. Time wriggles in a spiral thought trees creep out of frame, seeking. Land fragments, creating monumental ripples and rainbow fossils. A face is suckled by ribs of grass that operate as channels between dimensions. A wink slides hither Inner space surges, eyes widen and flatten, Waving-wavering.
Vertical Engines fly in layers compulsively stirring the snow inside the billow Clouds sponge up the sun. Before reaching land the long distance traveller evaporates without a trace Seagulls cry in the window. Towering panes reflect fragmented memories of erect ambition Hanging on radio waves. Ignored sparkles of desire send secret lovers to the stakes â€“ walking pillars, in flames Smoking kills the blues. The hips curve, shooting painless twists of the tongue â€“ kisses missed in rush Headless passengers run. The city plays the drum on the feet, sensing rebellious spines: heartbeats to measure its time The dance is macabre.
If you fancy submitting something but haven’t done so yet, or if you would like to send us some further examples of your work, here are our submission guidelines:
SUBMISSIONS NB – All artwork must be in either BMP or JPEG format. Indecent and/or offensive images will not be published, and anyone found to be in breach of this will be reported to the police. Images must be in either BMP or JPEG format. Please include your name, contact details, and a short biography. You are welcome to include a photograph of yourself – this may be in colour or black and white. We cannot be responsible for the loss of or damage to any material that is sent to us, so please send copies as opposed to originals. Images may be resized in order to fit “On the Wall”. This is purely for practicality. E-mail all submissions to: email@example.com and title your message as follows: Artwork submitted to “On the Wall” (name of artist here); or for letters: “Letters to the Alley Cats” (name of contributor here). Letters and other communications such as Tweets will be published in “Round the Back”.
These guidelines make sorting through all of our submissions a much simpler task, allowing us to spend more of our time working on getting each new edition out! You can also order hard copies of “A New Ulster” signed by the Editor himself for the bargain price of just £4.95 per copy (plus P&P). Watch out however, as numbers will be limited. If you would like to purchase a copy or three (hey, I’m feeling optimistic today!), then please contact us with the details of your order via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org and title your message as follows: Purchase request (name of customer here).
OCTOBER 2012’S MESSAGE FROM THE ALLEYCATS: Thanks to all of the artists who submitted their work to be presented “On the Wall”. If you didn’t make it into this edition, don’t despair! Chances are that your submission arrived just too late to be included this time. Check out future editions of “A New Ulster” to see your work showcased “On the Wall”. From the next edition onwards, we will also be publishing your letters, Tweets, and Facebook messages. Why not drop us a line or two to be included in our up and coming section “Round the Back”? Well, that’s just about it from us for this edition everyone! Hope you come back again next month to catch our November edition. Enjoy your Halloween and remember, as a wise man once said: “There is no safe distance from a bear!” So beware
of bears! Pandas are fine though; everybody loves pandas...
By Michael McAloran
By Michael McAloran
By Michael McAloran
By Michael McAloran
By Michael McAloran
By Michael McAloran
Biographical Note: Judith Thurley had her poetry pamphlet Listening for Hedgehogs published in 1995 by Lapwing Press in Belfast. She has siince had poems published in Ireland, the US and Newfoundland & Labrador. She has had nonfiction nature prose published in A Wilder Vein by Two Ravens in Scotland and wrote a chapter onthe nature poetry of Ulster as part of A Natural History of Ulster. She is a member of Word of Mouth Collective and QUB Writers' Group.
By Judith Thurley
By Judith Thurley
By Judith Thurley
By Judith Thurley
By Judith Thurley
As with any work of literature, however big or small, there’s always a multitude of people to whom thanks are owed. I owe a debt of thanks to all the contributors without whom this journal could not have been possible. To my darling wife I am indebted for the support and tolerance granted to my pursuit of a dream. I would like to thank James Simmons – to whose memory I dedicate this collection – I only knew him for a few short years however his poetry lent me a certain strength. While I may have been involved in the magic of poetry since 1988 it was not until 2001 and the John Hewitt summer school where I developed my own voice. In the last year I have been published in various anthologies now it would seem I have at least earned the right to call myself a poet. I would be a fool to over look my short comings and there are plenty of them. I would like to thank my father for his support and sometimes guidance. If it wasn't for my parents and their exposure to so many talented poets, writers and artists I doubt I would be sitting writing these words. Of course, this collection would not have been possible without Dennis and Rene Greig, whose small poetry press in Belfast has produced countless first collections, contributing greatly to contemporary poetry, both on the island of Ireland and further afield.
A new poetry, short fiction and artwork journal published locally in Northern Ireland.