Anu 53 / A New Ulster

Page 1

ISSN 2053-6119 (Print) ISSN 2053-6127 (Online)

Featuring the works of Mark Young, Daniel Wade, Stephen F. Klepetar, Jackie Oh, Al Millar, Gordon Ferris, Roisin Browne, Indunil Madhusankha, Natalie Crick, James Anthony Rooney, Milton Kerr, Jade Wallace, Peter O’Neill, Gaynor Kane and Richard Halperin. Hard copies can be purchased from our website.

Issue No 53 February 2017

A New Ulster Prose On the Wall Website Editorial


Editor: Amos Greig Editor: E V Greig Editor: Arizahn Editor: Adam Rudden page 5

Mark Young;

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

A line from J.R.R. Tolkien Geographies: Orange County The missing clownfish Pastoral The Instruction Manual The/Man who/ Shot Liberty Valance

Stephen F. Klepetar; 1. Across the Bridge 2. Memory 3. Absence 4. Shadow 5. Mysteries Jackie Oh; 1. I am not who I say I am 2. Contact Us Al Millar; 1. Sensual Tail 2. Luna Bong 3. The Losing of Quinn Gordon Ferris; 1. Growing Up Rosin Browne; 1. The Testimony of Samuel McCord as told by Isobel McHenry at the water well Templepatrick 1702 Dah Helmer; 1. Fear Future Plans 2. Gray, Ash 3. Oceans of Rain 4. Rumination Daniel Wade; 1. The Archaeologist’s Rest 2

2. The Clown and his Flower 3. Love Song by the New Moon 4. The Rapidity of Sleep Indunil Madhusankha; 1. An Unashamed Liar 2. Flowers on Sale 3. Convocation 4. Kilinochchi 2009 5. Fading Beauties of Youth Natalie Crick; 1. Angels 2. The Lovers 3. After Sleep 4. Empty Remains 5. Tulips 6. By the Light of Dawn 7. See 8. Blue Water 9. Bones James Anthony Rooney; 1. Decreased 2. Leonard Abandons Lou 3. Gated Milton Kerr: 1. Soul Valet 2. To Another Best Friend 3. Every Artist Jade Wallace; 1. If I only had a hearth Richard Halperin: 1. Enchanted Places On The Wall Message from the Alleycats


Round the Back Peter O’Neill: 1. 2. 3. 4.

The Galley Man Pandora & Gulliver Homer Flann D’Man

Gaynor Kane: 1. Belfast Moon January 2017 2. The Dark Daniel Wade:

5. Review of Divertmento. The Muse is a Dominatrix


Poetry, prose, art work and letters to be sent to: Submissions Editor A New Ulster 23 High Street, Ballyhalbert BT22 1BL Alternatively e-mail: See page 50 for further details and guidelines regarding submissions. Hard copy distribution is available c/o Lapwing Publications, 1 Ballysillan Drive, Belfast BT14 8HQ Or via PEECHO Digital distribution is via links on our website: Published in Baskerville Oldface & Times New Roman Produced in Belfast & Ballyhalbert, Northern Ireland. All rights reserved The artists have reserved their right under Section 77 Of the Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988 To be identified as the authors of their work. ISSN 2053-6119 (Print) ISSN 2053-6127 (Online) Cover Image “Blackbird in Winter� by Amos Greig


“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light. ” Aristotle Onassis. Editorial Here we are with the February edition of A New Ulster I must apologize for the delay in getting this edition I’ve been distracted by hospital appointments and had to attend one on the 4th the day that we normally publish on. We have a good selction of poems and prose this month and have several around the theme of forgotten poets. There’s a lot of poetic talent out there and many who have produced amaing work often get overlooked or overshadowed by larger names examples include Padiacc Fiacc, James Simmons and Adrian Fox. We often overlook their work and influence while focussing on the larger names such as Heaney and Montague. In some ways A New Ulster is a homage to James Simmons he started the original Honest Ulsterman and ran the Poets House first in Port Muck and then in the Republic I had the honour of working with him on several projects and attended the Poet’s House when I decided to start ANU I used The Honest Ulsterman as an example for what I wanted to produce namely a magazine for everyone with no politcal ties.. Padriacc’s work is often overlooked and yet he has such a strong poetic gaze, he represents in many ways the poet in exile, the Irish Disapora and the Return. 2016 wasn’t a great year for celebreties or indeed for the people of Syria still caught in the horrors of foreign backed civil war a war which has developed into a three sided power struggle while innocents suffer. The streets of major cities see an increased rise in homelessness and related deaths. People have taken a stance against such inhumane treatment.

Amos Greig Editor.


Biographical Note: Mark Young

Mark Young's most recent books are Mineral Terpsichore & Ley Lines, both from gradient books of Finland, & The Chorus of the Sphinxes, from Moria Books in Chicago. A new collection, some more strange meteorites, is due out from Meritage & i.e. Press, California / New York, in early 2017.


A line from J. R. R. Tolkien (Mark Young)

Paradigmatic examples of logical arguments include both the philosophical zombie & increasing the number

of quality English football players. Bodily differences must be confronted. The extended free-will defense

claims that encounters with gendered choreography contain, in solution, an evil nature. Now how can I face your parents?


geographies: Orange County (Mark Young)

A homeless guy named Mickey, using sweet major seventh chords, approached non-

custodial parents &, from their stories, generated a 10-episode supernatural comedy.


the missing clownfish (Mark Young)

A layer of mucus on the pterodactyl's skin protects it from that bridge between belief & emotion, the anemone's song. Is not apparent in the ocean. Is not a parent. Thus, misses out on the testing of turning points, does not challenge

negative attitudes towards infinitesimal analysis or any other branch of mathematics. Will often descend to the land to sunbake, much like a sea turtle, green on green.


Pastoral (Mark Young) The car is being serviced. I am sitting in a McDonalds just round the corner. Larry F. comes in, comes over to me, asks if I am waiting for my number to be called.

He can see I already have my coffee & a carrot cupcake—it's a rhetorical question. But the question the old ladies who arrive looking for love ask is not— "Are you my Big Mac?"

A big rig goes by outside, seven massive tyres chained to the trailer. Sets me to wondering but I do not ask.

The numbers mount amongst the digital noise, the wheeps & bistles of microwaves & drive-by counters. My cell adds to it. The car is ready. 158 is called. Somebody will have it.


The Instruction Manual (Mark Young)

The first instruction is to forget all instructions. Learn as you go. No need to know how many meters between lampposts, or the times of sudden sunsets as you

travel further north towards the equator. The lights will come on by themselves; & even if they don't you'll always see the headlights of oncoming cars long before they get to you.


The / Man Who / Shot Liberty Valance (Mark Young)

The central obstacle facing evolutionary tendencies is the notion of transposition— parallel change across lineages, the fate of people beyond state

borders. Modern technology, a negative notion not defined syntactically, attempts to glamorize its public image. In the absence of other constraints, a hypothetical

neuron that represents a complex but specific concept turns to hacking as a design tool, tries to sell us the resultant product, a John Ford movie in black & white.


Biographical Note: Steven F. Klepetar Steve Klepetar’s work has appeared worldwide, in such journals as Boston Literary Magazine, Chiron, Deep Water, Expound, Phenomenal Literature, Red River Review, Snakeskin, Voices Israel, Ygdrasil, and many others. Several of his poems have been nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize (including four in 2016). Recent collections include My Son Writes a Report on the Warsaw Ghetto and The Li Bo Poems, both from Flutter Press. His collections Family Reunion (Big Table Publishing) and A Landscape in Hell (Flutter Press) are forthcoming in 2017.


Across the Bridge (Steven Klepetar) A man crosses a bridge and watches snow swirling onto the river’s skin. The railings are cold and slick with ice, and wind dances through his hair. He has lost his way between the banks, and can no longer see the moon. He has lost the river and his name, which sat so proudly on his lips, a golden bird with a song about a country far away. There is a tale about a land you can reach, crossing a bridge on a night without stars. A girl climbs a stairway of cobwebs and mist, and he follows, with breath gathering about his ears. She brings him to her father, an old man who speaks the language of stones, and offers a necklace made of shells. Her mother offers a kiss that burns, and the wound she leaves glows until he finds a well, and drinks, and witnesses a hall of bells. He leaves his hands hanging in the pines, his ears dangling from a bush dusted with snow. Around his neck the shells burn and he recalls a long march across a frozen lake. The girl takes his hand as he wakes from this dream. The bridge sways between the east bank and the west, but he has a new body now, and a song made of glass and fire.


Memory (Steven Klepetar) “No wonder there are those lights of suspicion moving endlessly over memory and its face” W. S. Merwin Over the fence snow stretches in every direction down toward the slow stream, where ice forms overnight when the temperature drops and owls call in the darkness. I can’t remember when that was, but now, at this moment, through iceglazed windows, snow stretches everywhere I look, and the moment is gone. Owls penetrate my memory, but I don’t know why or where this was, but their strange yellow eyes glow somewhere in a night that has fallen through stars and floats above an icy stream. I know this because I recall the flash of cold, and my boots crunching through snow that had fallen and fallen for two days after a warm December, and there were Christmas lights, or maybe that was on another street in some dark city where I was living once, trading in gold or was it making shoes or selling oil? How cold it was by the fence, where snow stretched as if I had stepped into a canvass painted centuries ago and could only see the shadows made by trees and remember owls as they cried without grief to the moments as they sank away in the tides of time.


Absence (Steven Klepetar) In dark delirium, I wake to footsteps outside in the frost, but you are not there, not shivering in moonlight on the frozen snow, so I dress and ease out on the slippery drive. It’s dark by the trees, and your absence is terrible, a wide, jagged hole broken in the earth. All around, the dead churn, bending to gather their little boxes of breath. They make a sound like old men trudging on gravel toward a distant barn, gray and splintery by the side of the road. When they feel my heat, they scatter and blow away, rising in little puffs of disappointed air. It’s snowing again on the hard ground that holds you, another soft, white fall, which piles around my boots as I struggle home. The sky has become a river, spanned by a bridge swaying slowly in perilous wind. How could the dead find substance in this pre-dawn cold, their useless hands burning with loss and rage?


Shadow (Steven Klepetar) A shadow fell across a house with the weight of a hundred fluttering wings. Have you forgotten who lived here once, who stood by the window as rainwater danced on the drive, poured from spouts and pooled in low places at the bottom of the road? Could you have forgotten their tongues, how they tasted air like hungry snakes, or shivered with the memory of cold.? Once you knew their hands, the grain of every touch, every palm and fingertip, each eye, bright or dim, the texture of their hair. You knew the music that burned those ears, violins and saxophones. It was a house made of shadow, but also flesh and food, a house built on indifferent ground, a solid house constructed of fire and noises hurled among the stars. Did you forget in your rush to foreclose the clouds? Last night a house splashed into shadow, the lone vessel left in darkness, churning toward an illuminated shore.


Mysteries (Steven Klepetar) Back in the world, you’ve dragged your cart to the edge of a wood where mysteries drip from every tree. There’s the mystery of your name, with its clotted syllables in a language fused from rock and ice; mystery of worlds you crush to gravel with every choice; mystery of a thousand selves flickering in the night like fireflies. Unable to choose, you lie down to rest, and your eyes turn to darkness licked red by flame. There’s mystery in rain beating against the canopy, and a rush of wind. What can you do but crawl inside your body, that mystery where a pool gleams like a silver mirror turned face up in the grass? Once you rose through those waters, learning to breathe a strange new air. What trick of mist stares up at you, young and wild, with a body made of gold?


Biographical Note: Jackie Oh

Jackie Oh is from Northern Ireland, currently working in retail and studying for a fashion degree. Her influences include Jim Corrigan, Laney Stewart and Randy Rusev. She is a keen reader of poetry and hopes to expand the Irish dialogue through non-traditional approaches to the medium.


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Biographical Note: Al Millar Al Millar from Donegal, lives and works in north Antrim. Loves English language used well. Keen interest in Scots vernacular poetry in Ulster. In 2014, edited with biography and introductions 'Frae the Causey to Apolaypse' the poems in Ulster-Scots and English by John McKinley of Dunseverick. Enjoy writing poetry and prose in English and vernacular, and both together. Outside of literature hobbies include climbing hills in Antrim, Donegal, in fact any beautiful hill anywhere, also politics, and eating nice food.


Sensual Tail a dead rat in perfect health (Al Millar) Sensual Tail the young brown mill rat dropped into the meal bin to feed Her father oodles of offspring Scabby Tail would have scaled the short hopper side to escape wee bins being wee buns His forte Sadly Sensual Tail un-savvy and slender shy was no climber saw NO WAY OUT a poor soul inevitably discovered crouched shivering

curled tight to the wall of a hopper hoping whiskers sniffing I descend the short ladder torch steady killing is a pleasing prospect brush shaft raised in the dim bin Smelling surrender in vermin 24

and others is good Scabby Tail would have leapt at my throat the diseased snap and clasp vicious incisors holding on till death Not so Sensual Tail but still care in the stillness she's close My great WHACK connects with soft barley and Sensual Tail is driven under silently Unsatisfied I raise my weapon a second time those beady dark eyes looking at me snout twitching noiseless Mad I cudgel Sensual Tail properly CRACK to the head her jaw drops slowly Mute Lifting her outside by ‘sensual’ tail I drop her to the ground for examination brown coat soft as a rabbit spotless belly fur 25

white and kitten cuddly body sleek and well nourished 'Healthy looking' my father noted kicking her over true though her little life force had departed


Luna Bong For rock climbing friends who will understand (Al Millar) Our kitten bouldering the sofa arĂŞte sky hooks the scab on my knuckle with a single claw hangs the hold tries to pull through on the single point of contact I scream blood is drawn she lets go falls wipes her hooks looks up and goes again lunging all claws upwards fixed on reaching and hanging points of living purchase on soft flesh

I excruciate loudly as she hits my bloody knobble a second time hangs on multiple hooks powerfully oblivious to my agony But scrabble is for idiots and kittens working from below with feet hitting the pull through 27

she tops out onto the lap ledge immediately licking my fingers affectionately our little problem ticker LUNA BONG named for our grey speckled moon for a 180 meter slender slither of the Verdon Gorge France and... because she is MAD


The losing of Quinn For Caoimhe (Al Millar) Written after a work colleague left North Antrim for a new job in her home town of Belfast We lost Quinn On the cusp of Christmas; Preferring the smog to the bog She was pitiless. Quinn deserted As festivities started; Thinking booze was better than coos She departed. Racing Back home in her ‘bucket’ To be Cass the urban lass An' f**k it. Transformed Into a seasonal pressie She gifted herself to a city; it’s a pity She’s just crazy. Good bye Quinn Who chose Pinocchio over a real boy, The false light of street light To sunshine near Armoy. Burns Quinn, Sheughs you must remember; Striding over gutters and drains This day every December. Fareweel Quinn, Gone with the dying year; For she who wrote prostitute not prosecute We shed a tear.


A career’s Opening is at its close From the chaos of the conurbation A ‘Mogul’ will arise.


Biographical Note: Gordon Ferris Gordon Ferris is a 59 year old writer and poet from Dublin living in Donegal for the past thirty odd years. He has been published previously in A New Ulster, The Galway Review and Hidden Channel.


Growing up. (Gordon Ferris) We turned back towards the gates of St Michaels heading in the general direction for home in Finglas west. The rain was the drizzly type that gets into every crevice of your body, leaving you sweaty and cold. Desi had his black umbrella keeping him dry, the one he stole from Guinea’s when in shopping with his Ma for underwear, that is underwear for him, not his Ma. You see our parent’s generation swore by Guiney’s, anything for the household could be got there, from a sink stopper to your granny’s knickers. I grabbed the brolly from him calling him a greedy bastard for keeping the shelter to himself. As we headed along Ballygall Road I spotted from the corner of my eye, on one of the side street corners, four or five skinheads. I said nothing to Desi but realised by how quiet he was, that he had seen them too. We walked on quietly hopping not to seen. But it was too late, we could hear one of them, obviously their leader, say to his minions. “Who are these two pricks, wha, “ Heading now across the road in our direction, with two of his little gang behind him. The other two headed at an angle ahead of us, to cut us off. “Well what’s the story boys, where are yus goin.” he said, half way across the street. “On the way home, missed the bus, ya know yur self.” I said, hopping they would leave us alone. But I knew that wasn’t going to happen. “Any smokes on ya,” he said, to which I replied that we didn’t smoke. “Didn’t ask ya if ya smoke, are ya trying to be smart.” He said in a menacing voice. “Any cash on ya, yu migh have the price of ten No Six on ya” 32

he said, standing in front of us, blocking our route, backed up by his four pals. “No, we have no Money, we spent all we had on drink.” Desi said, in a withdrawn, but angry voice. I recognised the anger in his voice, but nobody else would have noticed it. “Well let’s have a look” The gang boss said, reaching for my pocket at the same time. I said, “No fucking way” pushing his hand away At this, Desi having realised he was standing next to somebody’s dustbin, picked up the mettle lid and lashed the godfather across the head with it, knocking him over, splitting his head open. Seeing this I lashed out with the umbrella at one of his stunned mates hitting him over the head, striking him with a downward motion that put him flat out. With all the gang momentarily distracted, both of us decided to run for our lives. We ran further up Ballygall Road as fast as we could. We could hear the shouting a good bit in the distance, angrily calling for our blood. We knew if we wear caught, we wear in for a hiding. We turned into the second or third side street, to avoid being caught sight of. It was a tree lined cul-de-sac, on the sign post I could only make out the Ave, the rest of the name was gone. In most of the driveways, there were cars, some even had two and one on the street. We ran into one of these gardens, got under one of the cars, holding our breath trying to be quiet, waiting for the sound of the hurrying footsteps and shouting get to get nearer. I could feel the adrenalin flying through my body, filling me with fear and excitement. We heard them going past on the Ballygall Road, thanking our lucky stars they didn’t think of trying the off roads. We waited silently, thinking they might have to come back this way.


Desi is a very strange person, weird what goes through his mind. With all this mayhem going on he leans over in my direction and, whispers earnestly. “What was that house doing with the bins out on Saturday, the bins go out on Tuesday.” “What” I said, not able to believe what he said. “With all that’s just happened, what concerns you most is if the bins wear not due to be put out. Is that what’s worrying you now. Really.” “Strange, I thought it was strange, that’s all. Ya know. Very odd, like Mrs Devine down the road, she cooks meals a day in advance, Sunday dinner cooked on Saturday. Strange like that I mean” He answered in all seriousness. Momentarily trying to figure out what he was talking about and where these thoughts came from I decided not to say anymore, we had enough on our plates now as things wear. I Hushed him and listened intently to hear where they were. I could hear the footsteps and voices approaching, less hurried now, getting nearer the side street we were on. To our amazement they kept going past until, eventually there sounds gradually faded and vanished altogether. We slowly emerged from our hiding place and restarted our journey home. No conversation for the first few mins, too busy listening for our attackers. It was starting to sink in what had just had happened, with me anyway, I won’t speak for desi. But I could feel myself shake, although I hid it well, I could feel a chill run down my back with the thought of what could have happened. We walked talking excitedly about what had just happened, eventually calming down when we realized we wear nearly home, passing what used to be the Casino Cinema and now is Superguinn where I perfected my shoplifting technique, more about that 34

later. We changed the subject to the plans for the next day. I was looking forward to the day more than Desi was. “You’re ok, you have someone to meet tomorrow, I’ll be on me own as usual.” Desi said feeling sorry for himself. “There-ill be a good few there tomorrow, you won’t be on your own, you know most of them and you’re not in any way shy, you won’t be short of company.” I replied, trying to reassure him. Turning the corner now onto our street, how silent our street was at this time of night compared to the frantic daytime din of children playing and parents calling to each other, chatting, arguing over their kids and always some child being called in for god knows what reason, be it his dinner ready, his homework or in trouble over some misdeed. Passing the house where Desi lived, we said goodnight at Desis house and I walked on the five doors to my own front door. The house was in darkness as I entered the hall, silence reigned, I looked into the living room anyway, just in case my Ma was still sitting up. She had a habit of sitting up late, her excuse was to watch the late movie, but we all realised that she could never get to sleep until everybody was safe at home. All was quite in the living room so I went on up the stairs on tiptoe’s and fell on to the bottom bunk, falling asleep to the tune of snoring younger brother on the top bunk and the two sisters farting in the partitioned girls room. Our rooms were one big bedroom, partitioned. We had to go through the girl’s room to get to ours. Sleep eventually caught up with me.

Sun forming a torch of light through the slit in the curtains, the love song and war cry of birds, calling for their mate or fighting over scraps, the typical dawn chorus on this particular May Sunday morning. I could hear my mother out in the shed filling the coal bucket. This was the second thing she did every morning, hail, rain, snow or the sun melting the tarmac in the 35

street. If me da was at home he would do it, but more often than not, he was away working early in the morning. First thing she always did was have a cup of tea and a smoke. She really loved her smoke, her voice could nearly be gone with the flu, but she would still reach for the fags. As soon as the cigarette touched her lips, all the worry and stress that lined her face seemed to fade Turned over momentarily with the intention of going back to sleep but remembered my arrangements for the day. Jumped out of bed like an overexcited puppy dog, without the pissing on the floor or chewing up all the pillows. Straight out to the jax and into the bathroom to throw water on my face, the Ma will examine me to make sure I did wash my face before I go out to face the world. If she thinks I didn’t do it, she be wetting the face cloth to scrub me face leaving all red marks. Ah Ma, I’m not a five-year-old, I would think, never had the nerve to say. Wooden spoon offence that would be. Eventually after being force fed porridge and scolding hot tea I headed out. As soon as Desi knocked on the door, I was gone. But not before my mother reminded me of the planned trip out to Tallaght later, so I was to home by seven. I didn’t let this dampen my spirits and pushed it to the back of my mind, worry about that later. Up the street past the few kids out already playing football on the street, or on the green at the top of our road. Youth replacing us I suppose; we have grown out of these childish games, replacing them with even more childish games. That’s the way some people would look at it. Around the corner now to another green with a few kids kicking a ball around, we were asked if we wanted a game and declined. From the end of this green we could see a bus at the terminus to our left, a short distance up Cappagh Road. The driver and the conductor sitting inside smoking with the door closed. We stood at the bus stop waiting for it to pull out and drive the twenty seconds to where we were at the first stop. There was no conversation, Desi seemed still half asleep. The bus came after a very long five minutes. Up the stairs we went where Desi, to my surprise, lit up one of his Carrols no 1 cigarettes. “Since when did you start smoking I asked him.” I asked him. “Sure I was bound to start smoking the way me da smokes, I think he wakes in the morning with one lit in his mouth.” Desi said in response. 36

“I could say the same myself the way my ma smokes. But I haven’t started yet.” I said, knowallingly. “Ye but you haven’t started to earn your own crust yet, so how can ye be tempted when you can’t afford them” Desi said, in his domineering tone. He seemed to be slowly developing a dominant personality as he got older. A few more passengers got on board between our stop and Finglas village, but all stayed downstairs. At the village however, three of four skinheads boarded, I got a glimpse of their bald heads and the distinctive Crombie coats they wore. I could see this from peering through the window. They headed upstairs. The stairs wear behind us so I couldn’t see their faces, my immediate thoughts ran to the previous night. The run in with the gang, and the prospect of a repeat performance. A hand touched my shoulder and I could feel the blood drain from my body. I looked around, half expecting a box in the jaw, thankfully all I got was a slap on the back and a big “Howya Georgy bow, frightened the crap out of you, did’neye” The voice came from a mad eyed red haired skinhead I knew. He was from Finglas East, in the same year as me in school, or he used to be. He was just an acquaintance, didn’t know much about him really. He was quite in school, never caused me any problems. Beausang and his little gang went down the back seat and started smoking. Yes, believe it or not, a red haired Irishman named Beausang, but then his Mother did marry a German man. The red one went by the name of Bomber. He boasted his da was in the Luftwaffe during the war and this was why he was called Bomber. Not something I would be boasting about, although, in some circles it might be a compliment. On with the journey now in piece. Already we wear heading down Whitworth road, almost at our destination. We disembarked on Parnell Street, just outside the Shakespeare pub, driver must have been late, because they normally stop around the corner outside the café. Fast footsteps now, slowed momentarily while Desi lit up his butt. We passed the Gresham, on past the Savoy, until we reached Cleary’s. Under the clock at Cleary’s, where many the Dublin family began, first dates, under the clock the number one spot, with the GPO a close second. Standing now under the clock, no couples meeting at this hour of the day. Desi dragged on the remnants of his Carroll’s no 1 butt and sighed looking at his watch. 37

“It’s five past ten, where the fuck are they” Desi said, looking up and down. “They’ll be here in a few minutes, don’t panic. Anna warned me not to be late. So they won’t be late.” I said, looking in the direction of O Connell Bridge away from Desi. “You didn’t fall for that did you, telling you you’re always late, and then tricks you by telling you to be there an hour earlier then you need to be, making sure you’re on time, and you fell for it.” Desi responded as he turned to me. “You fell for it too didn’t ya, you’re here aren’t ya.?” I said laughing “At least the sun is coming out” I added, changing the subject. “Ah changing the subject I see, you know I’m right” He said victorious, I nodded in defeat to get it out of the way. Silence now for a few moments as we both looked in the direction of O Connell Bridge. Desi sighing impatiently, saying “Fuck sake” under his breath. Lines of worry wrinkles crunching his face into a purple ball. I tried to appear as if calm, but inside butterflies and moths were doing somersaults. I don’t know why, I felt comfortable with Anna, found it easy to talk to her. Before I met Anna, I was always very nervous in the company of girls. I always had to plan conversations before I would meet with a girl, assuming what direction the conversation would take, never getting it right. Now that I think of it, I should never have been afraid, not with my having three sisters. On second thoughts, maybe with having three sisters, I should have been very afraid.


Biographical Note: Roisin Browne

RoisĂ­n Browne lives in Rush, Co Dublin Ireland. A public servant by profession, she is a member of the Ardgillan Writers Group and has been a participant at the Gladstone Readings and the Sunflower Sessions. Her work has been published in Creative Writing Ink, A New Ulster, The Galway Review, Flare, Live Encounters, MGV2 Issue 86, The Stony Thursday Book 2017.She was longlisted in The Over the Edge New Writer of The Year 2016.


The Testimony of Samuel McCord as told by Isobel McHenry at the water well, Templepatrick 1702* (Roisin Browne)

I stood before the Elder line They black and stern and starched Misters Evans, Wilkes, and Gray Bade me saith - My truth

He Stood small On the top floor All the tyme I spake No rosey smile was shining now And the glean wiped from his eyes His gait undone like a jaded plough Cast-down. Down-trod. A -Sundered

Five Springtymes since he told his tale And wronged me in My truth And so I spake again What my eyes did see, My ears did hear, 40

What I Did Ken

That Aprille morn, As my Mistress asked, I brought the pail to barn To set beside my stool And in the quiet Among the cattle, mucke and yellow straw Snorts and grunts rose up.

Dust displaced A cobweb mist Shadows danced Revealed to light. And my Eternal horror Bare flesh displayed. ‘Twixt cloth and boots An uncouth hand upon a breast. He all hair, and pants and sweats My Master! Wrestled Tussled Ruck’d With Janet Macklegord (Whose age be nearer to his childe)

They took my truth 41

Wrote it down I sat aside

And then his turn to spake; I have denyed this scandal That cannot be undone I have declared I prefer be shot Than stand afore ye Good Men But now My spirit aches. Burdened like darkness’ own childe Black- nights addled With an anvil tapping on my crown White days where no mirth be found -So it is-

The Providence of God hath crossed me In all my worldly affairs My eldest boy struck blind The middle one turn’d idiot My cattle ground to bones The good heart of my wife From me Is torn All my precious gifts Dashed against the wall. 42

So I come freely To confess It is the truth that Isobel spake Before you good men of God And ask You scribe it down In fresh black ink And let it bleed across the page -That Ears may hear -That Eyes may read I put my hand on ruinous plough Whilst wordly wrongs I churned Yet He had taught thy servant Hard Of transgressions of loosed ways He chastened like the welders fire Scorching all my days.

Red bloom Overtook his cheeks Gasping Buckled to his knees His hands upon his face And wept, 43

O Cleanse thou me within!

Discounting Samuel’s sighs Mister Evans eyes ahead The penance passedThe censure read -

Four weeks to stand Sackcloth’d Upon the public stool Ye scandal to confess, Thy soul to be renewed.

James Gray laid down his quill.

*Templepatrick Presbyterian Kirk Session Records, Co Down 1646 – 1744 (PRONI)


Biographical Note: Dah Helmer

Dah’s fourth poetry collection is ‘The Translator’ from ‘Transcendent Zero Press’. His first three books are from ‘Stillpoint Books’. Dah’s poetry has been published by editors from the U.S., the U.K., Ireland, Canada, China, the Philippines, Spain, Australia,and India. His poems recently appeared in Straylight Magazine, River & South Review, The Cape Rock, Acumen Journal, Sandy River Review, Indian River Review and The Linnet’s Wings. Dah lives in Berkeley, California where he is working on the manuscripts for his fifth and sixth poetry books. ‘Harbinger Asylum Magazine’ has nominated Dah’s poem “Some god” for the 2017 Pushcart Prize.


Fear Future Plans (Dah Helmer) Together we were hot infections spreading misery We thought you were pregnant A poet, a ballerina, craving sex, relentlessly as if always in a dream We pulled each other’s hair thinking we never had enough There was no fear, no future The sun could’ve been out the moon could’ve been and the sheets, always wet There were no plans A poet and a dancer full of sex then we thought, pregnant? I didn’t mean to be restless Spring rain fell like skin from a river I couldn’t tell if you were crying which, made me a heartless lover?


Gray, Ash (Dah Helmer) It starts with birds scattering in the sky, each step like wind flushing them from bushes Somebody’s dog is off its leash It starts with the softness of water ordinary waves crashing against cliffs wet salted sand A pelican scales the fog I felt your hand slipping from love from years of uncertainty from whispering ‘I will … forever?’ It starts with my voice empty of conversation, like drifts blown away The tender remains of how we touched It starts with brightness that dulls to an unsettled finish a sizable torment, my heart rattling from shaking How is it, in the future love blurs to the gray ash between two points The aching of a sunless day


Oceans Of Rain (Dah Helmer) A poet is one who wants to stop writing but cannot Don’t ask me what this means because there’s no answer to this foolishness Sky is pissing down oceans of rain something out of this world still, I deny the existence of Heaven and Hell I don’t like it either and I can’t change In youth, I’ve had questions as important as life go unanswered by the unwilling voice of an ecclesiastic conjuring idols from scriptural crystal-gazing Still, I’ve seasoned to this gray winter an old inmate waiting for light to reap darkness waiting for darkness to bear down Sky is pissing heavier like wet dreams from youth and if a cute nun slipped a nipple in my mouth I might be coaxed into believing


Rumination (Dah Helmer) What is unreal is this world a crowded earth waiting for suffocation Animals are the wonders of this life, having no words of repentance no memory of time, space no centuries to look back on in utter horror This world is not real it can’t be real Man’s failure to adapt to the wind’s shapelessness to the water’s wisdom to the draw of sun is a steady demise of unenlightened thoughts Man’s mind, so densely noisy noisy noisy so densely noisy


Biographical Note: Daniel Wade Daniel Wade is a 24-year-old poet and author from Dublin. His poetry has been published in Optic, Limerick Revival, Wordlegs (e-publication), The Stony Thursday Book (ed. Paddy Bushe), HeadSpace Magazine, the Seven Towers 2014 Census, the Bray Arts Journal, The Sea (charity anthology in aid of the RNLI), Sixteen Magazine (e-publication), The Bogman’s Cannon, Iodine Poetry Journal, Zymbol, The Runt, The Lonely Crowd, Deep Water Literary Journal and the Hennessey New Irish Writers’ page of the Irish Times. Wade also writes a monthly poetry column entitled 'Poems from the Coast' for the website Coast Monkey: In July 2015, his radio drama 'The Outer Darkness' was broadcast on Dublin south FM: embed_uuid=503cb2f5-c91b-4f95-a01bf00c98f56599& _radio%2Fdublin-south-theater-radio-23-062015%2F&hide_cover=1&hide_tracklist=1&replace=0 In October 2016, he released 'Embers and Earth, a spoken word album available for download on iTunes and Spotify: He is the author of the poetry e-chapbook 'Iceberg Relief', published by Underground Voices and soon to be available for download on Amazon. 'The Collector' his first stage play was staged at The New Theatre, Temple Bar, in Dublin, between January 23rd -February 4th 2017. His website is


Akkad’s Jackal (Daniel Wade) 1. The cupbearer lends an ear to his king’s worries, planting dreams of power, weaving a webbed delusion to hammer calm through the flux of peace. Base deeds attend him. His name is a grating oath, hissed on the tongue of savage and scribe; both know not to trust his oratory, where the silence ebbed. Then, just as now, pilgrims would kneel to sing for the veiled and perfumed temple whore, her lips beestung, charcoal hair spilling past her ribs, thighs parted for a holy orgasm, her breasts sanctified, scented and lissom, bored of rusty myths, of men at work and war. 2. The cupbearer lends an ear to his king’s worries as truck-wheels grind the border – APCs barrelling roughshod and rusty. Drones fall back, fires cease at the whim of some Marine Corps golden-ager from his desk in Arlington, calmly on-site in flyover country. Now, with the airstrikes and fuelling of death-planes at Shannon airport, what mosaic shall be grouted of it all? Cuneiform frozen in flint and time, lacuna-scarred narus? For the sake of toppling statues, keep etching out, word for word, the bone-white script onto kiln-cooked hard copy, party lines for infantryman and insurgent. 3. Brute force, smoking nostrils, armoured bone of Behemoth and Humbaba the cedar-lord shook the desert and left city-states to burn, the entrails piled as collateral damage for the Sumerian laid to rest at the world’s edge, all renown proven by his skill with a sword. But it’s nether gods nor monsters who authorise the point-blank searchlight, air-to-surface runs over Aleppo, Gaza begrimed in white phosphorous, 51

or the walls of Uruk, prized as copper, crumbling to the soil. At this global brink, men are stumbling to self-made demolition, cast in bronze. 4. Sargon’s copper skull hovers on display in a Baghdad museum, the left eye gouged out, the whittled beard, once changeable as clay, woven as thornily as the basket that ferried him downriver to his royal destiny, now time-dim and vandalised. Cupbearer, caliphate or conqueror, he hears the tremor of a rainstorm, trebly click of rain stirring the blackened tendril, the lone plant bristling in the desert, a swarm of jungle vine and petal, ripening anew for his pantheon of winged bull and Apkallu, daunting the jackals where they prowl. 5. The cupbearer lends an ear to his king’s worries for when the victory stele salutes his accession. There is collateral in the making of policies with kiln-cooked oaths hissed on scholarly tongues, troops withdrawn from the province of songs. Who will be left to make a claim of succession after his death, his bejewelled name, the iron-clad sun hoodwinking men to their own undoing? He wants no part of the future he’s built, glad to see his name etched on ziggurat and bas-relief, his face on the clay pots, and the cracked sheaf of narus, the level drum and its bruised tattooing.


Here, Paddy (Daniel Wade) Here, Paddy, I work in one of the Baggot Street pubs you and Brendan Behan used to get rat-arsed in. I’m inquiring for you nightly, as per your song’s instructions, but I’ve yet to hear a good answer. They’d the decency to print and frame some of your poems on the wall, and not just the ones everyone knows either. I wonder if some of your best lines came to you in here, gutted and gargled and sunk on a barstool? How much of your betting money was pissed away in the snug, the smoked hover of fog smearing the window like halitosis, streetlamps kneaded like well-oiled hearts? Did you grope for a few coins clanking in your pockets, a final pint to dim the view? Did you end up getting barred from here, too? Here, Paddy, maybe your ghost will shamble in here some night soon, after the rugby, your pipe lit just in time for last orders, and we’ll have ourselves a final lock-in together. The place won’t be as you’d remember it, though. We serve up lemon and lime in cocktail glasses, and there’s more craft beer on tap and draught than stout – stuff I’ll bet you’d never have touched, even if you were on fire. Or, maybe you would have. Who’s to say? You might drink anything I put in front of you while I polish and re-polish down the bar you’ll probably shatter untold shot glasses over. Here, Paddy, have one on me. I read you almost drowned one night after walking home from here, in the same canal that gave you your sonnets and restored your faith. Did you ever spew your cantankerous guts up in the alleyway out by the beer garden, where I’ll later on dump tonight’s waste? Were your raven-black lungs bleached white by the water’s cold swirl, pouring deathly and sore? Such is the purge: glint of a cross, the surroundsound PA spewing its woeful Christmas playlist, the age as golden as the calf you bled from its plinth of piety. The evening’s ash, swept from the ground, is a heap of glass and God-knows-what shame. What noble savagery starved you in this month 53

of fasting, when you’d vent your homily of flame? Here, Paddy, I’ll be honest with you: I haven’t read any of your poems in a good while. I’ve forgotten their magic. Supplicant of field, cartographer of cloud, your passionate transitory can’t be found here, no Eden flowering in a poet’s mind, as you might say, can be spoken of or enjoyed on a smoke break. The way your hills turned black, cattle trudging ahead of the plough, a girl’s dark hair woven like a snare to enchant the cobbled way you forced yourself to pass along, canal water warbling: all too far removed from the emptied keg, the ever-changing roster, the lounge heaving and black with bodies. Here, Paddy, it’s hard to feel inspired when you’re mopping up the dregs of a punter’s vomit or crushing wine bottles at 3 in the morning, and all for the sake of €9.25 an hour. Strain of ballads trapped in your thread-worn throat, another whiskey to pour at the void, your eyes’ glint watered down to blindness: none of these kept you from the threshing floor’s density. As for me, fatigue bites into my footstep, swings and clamps its bulky leg over my shoulder. The last of the punters are gone, the bar is stocked and ready for the next piss-up, the beermats are still crumpled and soggy with dew. It’s then I worry about going skint, my bills unpaid, my skull emptied, my shirt rumpled. But then, wasn’t that the lesson you left to us all, Paddy? To glean poetry from the least poetic of moments?


A Breaching (Daniel Wade) I do not mean to leave you in loneliness’ lurch whenever I fall quiet before the laptop or fireplace, nor let our home go to ruin on some unheeding search. But my failings and faults aren’t that easy to erase. I’m not the hero I still dream of being. But you knew that long before me. You could send me out of doors and I wouldn’t even object. Any plea is hollow to you, rightly unstirred by my stale snivels of remorse. And now that the scales’ drab silver has peeled from your eye, I’m drafting up yet another poem, an infestation of typos, better left unread and sealed off in a drawer, for you to put an end to the blame. But an apology won’t be enough. I know you’re sick of hearing me repeat them. Still, it’s the thought of you leaving that still jolts me awake, and the shock tying my tongue into an inaudible knot.


Rift and Ring - to mark the Presidential inauguration of Donald J. Trump (Daniel Wade) The PA speakers blare the anthem on repeat loudly as war, vigilant candles are lit and placed in every row; jesters cartwheel to a drumbeat, hooked, rouged and great-again grins faced sternly down by the tattooed strongman, lobbing his baton to a limb-twirling acrobat who cuts and runs with her bribable assertion as the new ringmaster, in tailcoat and top hat, eye of a freakish storm, a maneless lion tamed and groveling at his heels, spectators cheering from ringside seats at his spittle-flecked oratory, takes centre stage, the brazen spotlight leering from the rafters, as many prayed he wouldn’t. There are jugglers breathing fire, exit doors throng with clowns, faces white with smeared talcum, whose march of protest he ignores. This sickly pageant thunders in the star-spangled big top, to brass hammer-blows, the chant of campaign, the flag blood-sopped and mangled, until the ringmaster sets his mad dogs to lick the earth’s wounds clean, as crimson hands ink the war-consenting treaty like a grand finale; his words grind the show to its inevitable brink, ready to stoke the ring and the rift in the valley.


Dawn Rite (Daniel Wade) When she leaves for work in the morning belted and buttoned in a black New Look coat evoking both a tip-off-seeking spy and a man-snaring vamp, and crosses at the traffic light before it bleeps its green salvo, I notice a history of music in her poise and in her heels’ striding duet; the song spasms through my skull once more, hushed and dim by the weight of sleep I try shaking off as she vanishes at the corner, her overture concluded, her absence guessed by an interval of hours.


Vercingetorix (Daniel Wade) The chieftain dropped his sword before the Principate seat, but kept his pride firmly stored even at his enemy’s feet. He didn’t cower in the temple, he saluted no man as ‘sire’; his head was grey as marble, a ripe temptation for the fire. “I’m here to make the final stand,” he said, “against cohort and legionary. So if this is how your war must end then prove the meaning of mercy.” His shield bled its weight in gold his voice deterred all scorning: “Take me, or else return to the fold.” His eye was a pearl of warning. So, with the women howling their dirge amid the sum of dead labours, the tribune commissioned a final purge of skulls and rattled sabres. They geared the ramparts to fall in a rush of knife-work and seizure and they made a cheap tribute of all that might be rendered unto Caesar. He laid his ancestral torque to rest in the ember-scorched earth, and he spat on every Roman crest for the sake of sinistra’s worth. The scribes tallied up his deeds naked and bare in the sun: the planting of such mutinous seeds, all of the clans rallied as one. They made him forget the daylight under a jailer’s purple shroud, thinning his rabid resolve to fight as per the will of the crowd. Then they left him to rot with his mind in the flinty chasm of a cell; 58

when at last he was cut loose of his bind only the gods wished him well. He was paraded out in style through the pockmarked streets, where they tried to make him an example of diplomacy and defeat. His lips and hair were ashen, sackcloth slowed his bloodstream; he gave them all the sorry satisfaction of hearing him wail and scream. And what he had left to call a legacy was his face minted in silver on a coin, emblem of the supremacy only captives might call familiar, a miniature moon, hammered and hefted into a crescent stoop by gluey fingers, passed and lifted from pockets in a devious swoop. Some say his corpse was flung to the trashpit for dogs to chew madly over; others insist it crumpled under the lash, blood scraped off the Tullianum floor. But what scorn oozes from your eye now? Will you kneel before his exhumed name, or at least salute the limping hero, bare-foot, on his final walk of shame?


Biographical Note: Indunil Madhusankha Indunil Madhusankha is currently an undergraduate reading for a BSc Special Degree in Mathematics at the Faculty of Science of the University of Colombo. Even though he is academically involved with the subjects of Mathematics and Statistics, he also pursues a successful career in the field of English language and literature as a budding young researcher, reviewer, poet and content writer. Basically, he explores the miscellaneous complications of the human existence through his poetry by focussing on the burning issues in the contemporary society. Moreover, Indunil’s works have been featured in many international anthologies, magazines and journals.


An Unashamed Liar (Previously published in the issue 17 (Fall 2015) of the Literary Journal, Aberration Labyrinth) (Indunil Madhusankha)

“You are mine and I am yours.� That was our motto as a couple of lovers whose affection, as I think, is descended from uncountable births It comprised a staggering strength that could find no yardstick in the world to measure It was the day my fate was sealed We both were travelling by a bus Suddenly, a great crash of thunder exploded in my ears as if the sky was broken And, that is all my memory has stored I was at the hospital when I gained recovery I got to know from the stammering words uttered strenuously by one of my friends the occurrence of a bomb attack in the bus by a suicide bomber Even before he finished his speech I questioned him about her His downcast face was the only reply It was almost an insupportable shock providing enough room for an iron to melt away in my heart I felt as if a brood of wild elephants were screaming of anger within my head Now the sole relief of mine is the nostalgia for the train of our days 61

At the beach, we were the witnesses of the sunset The sun, half sunk in the boundless line where the orange sky springing to life in a reddish splendour kissed the magnificent ocean lady We drew an analogy you were the ocean and I, the sky But never saw the bad omen prominent in that union being placed in the unreachable horizon And now, I am already used to talk gibberish in sleep It has left an irremediable hole in my heart that I feel myself as an unashamed liar with the broken promise that I firmly gave you for the sake of our noble affair, “One day, if we happen to part from each other, we’ll let ourselves die together.�


Flowers on Sale (Previously published in the March 2016 issue of Scarlet Leaf Review) (Indunil Madhusankha)

Rose, jasmine, anthurium, carnation and hibiscus A multiplicity of gorgeous flowers to the taste of the wealthy, of the opulent gentlemen Tulips available only in Five Star Hotels consumed by millionaires who may evour in the most fulgent pollens while bobbing on the petals The remuneration package negotiable and depending on the superficial elegance or on the number of petals They are just toys, to the rapture of their clients Dark blots in these flowers and lacking more of the inner fragrance Branded as stray bitches Disdain and hate left as their badge And there lies under the very folly, in the bed of their heart, the cause, the unknown cause, that was the titillation provoking to be on sale


Convocation (Previously published in the Literary Yard e-Journal on 13th November 2015) (Indunil Madhusankha)

The heart beset with a thousand hopes which were ever increased by those of his parents who slaved away, not having even a sufficient meal to their stomach A bigger expectation, they bore to see the refinement of their son into an expert Dressed in white with the bundle of books gently grasped in one hand, he went down on his knees before his parents who patted his head murmuring, “May the Buddha protect you, my putha, you must be a doctor, a great doctor!� Amidst many scarcities passing the A/L s he entered the university, puffed up with applause and aspirations Yet, so soon, a majority was awarded their degree, the highest degree they could ever attain during a severe drought in the month of July In the midst of the dry season there was blood, drizzling Fingernails were pulled out Limbs were broken Hairs were blown off Bodies were battered to death or shot 64

Distinguished guests were treated with the blood, blood vomit, and the blood pudding of youth.


Kilinochchi 2009 (Previously published in the international anthology of poetry, “Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze�) (Indunil Madhusankha)

The dragon of canon restlessly puffing out huge balls of fire, yellow red, Piercing like rockets with a sparkling flash in the air The corpse in the yard, stained with a river of blood, jumping and dumping in vociferous thunder and searing in the crematorium of gunfire The cannons, the bloodhounds venting a rain of bullets The tigers with roaring jaws War heroes bravely wiping out the enemy plunging forward unwaveringly Caught in shellfire and the thundering rattle of rifles spluttering and sputtering The radiant sun, a blessing on the selfless heroes just as once was on the Prince Sapumal Foes one after the other falling dead on the grave and burning to the ground Curling fumes of guns rounding up the god in the kovil who despite the wounding turmoil still standing subdued emanating myriads of sympathy on mankind Amidst the rising war-cry with indomitable courage buffeted intrepidly the soldiers waging a singular besiege Crippled enemies, their unthinkable powers now languished, slipping out like eels 66

And their footprints blotched with blood Ensuing chaos now at the end Earth penetrating yell of wailing guns falling into silence The palace of selfishness and violence, the sky-kissing royal refuge feathered with cushion couches The fading warlord, the vampire, the monger of innumerable carnages Now shivering in suffocating fear The glamorous city, free from the clutches, from the tentacles of fierce skirmishes, just started breathing fresh air “Yeh� amidst the voices of victory, raised the flag of peace in the midst of which the loin bore the sword Explosion of crackers Proliferation of the pulsation of the islanders The embellishment of the land with floating flags of matchless conquest With growing gaiety of heart, offered bunches of flowers to our martial warriors in the fulfillment of the national ardour for a united Sri Lanka reigned by all the nationalities in the glory of a star studded sky and in the harmony of a line of ants building a hill, a large hill, though tiny like a dot an ant is!


Fading Beauties of Youth (Composed in cessation of the spread of AIDS) (Previously published in the July 2016 issue of Scarlet Leaf Review) (Indunil Madhusankha)

Cascading beauties of mellow youthfulness overflowing from her physical frame Enthralled by her carnal fancies and flamboyant existence, dressed in shimmering vermillion garments, sowed the seeds of her own destruction Ripeness of her soul, a creamy milky chocolate pudding Sought for the fantasies and delicacies in uncontrollable intoxication Regardless of the truth behind the rosy side of life that the Enlightened One, the Lord Buddha once preached The tormenting pain of abject poverty compelling her to walking the streets Carried away by the appetite for bags of cash Reached the very heights of sensuality Seductive ecstasies of youthful desires The fever of adolescence and nihilism Vivaciously exulting young lass in the heyday of life groping in the darkness of overflowing lust Now suffering the grinding decease, HIV/AIDS, an outburst of physical, mental and moral ailments Desolately dumped in her dark isolate dwelling, with her closed face, a cancer for the society Mellifluous music, now ringing in her ears in utter silence Curse on the ephemeral enjoyment of life Mercilessly thrown away even from the brothel The burst of her scream rattles the windows


The new born fresh bud in blooming beauty Despite the very virginity of the soul even before seeing the light of the world faced with the crippling plague Excruciating monster of AIDS, with no mercy, tattering and snatching the dreams of life She suffers, nagged by the splitting emotional injuries and the heap of painful sicknesses The day and night both alike for her Swarms of young birds now flying away from her that once beguiled to her magnetic grace and enjoyed her as if she was a juicy cherry Glancing at the dying sun, its falling rays, gradually becoming pale and soft in brilliance She suffers until her body slips slowly into the earth just as the fading sun dips below the far horizon.


Biographical Note: Natalie Crick Natalie Crick, from Newcastle in the UK, has found delight in writing all of her life and first began writing when she was a very young girl. She graduated from Newcastle University with a degree in English Literature and plans to pursue an MA at Newcastle this year. Her poetry has been published or is forthcoming in a range of journals and magazines including Interpreters House, The Chiron Review, Rust and Moth, Ink in Thirds and The Penwood Review. Her work also features or is forthcoming in a number of anthologies, including Lehigh Valley Vanguard Collections 13. This year her poem, 'Sunday School' was nominated for the Pushcart Prize.


Angels (Natalie Crick)

They choose Stark room with Wooden floors.

Bald rooms Marked by time, Stained by death.

They appear Out of darkness, Nebulous and blanched,

Summoned by moans, Wordless prayers. They smell of milk.


The Lovers (Natalie Crick)

Old woman stands At the window

Watching the moon slipping loose Of it’s skin,

Leaves dappled with light, Breath like heat lightening.

Now the stars Barely blink in the dark

And the beggarly moon Treasures it’s myopia of desire.

After dark, lovers Carry blankets down

To the water’s edge Beneath a clemency of cloud.

She grew lonely as a Sheep ghosting the field 72

As they emerged each night From the darkness,

The way the Earth Dreams a coming fluency of snow.


After Sleep (Natalie Crick)

After sleep Your eyelids open and close Like sunrise and sundown.

In this long curved room Walls start to shimmer, Breathe in rhyme.

Rose and charcoal dissolve to dove, Reaching into the dark For their colour,

Trees blackly jade, Dripping with cones like Jet suns.

This milky summer night Dazed, smiling, Lilies move into both of us.


Empty Remains (Natalie Crick)

The remains Of Winter dissolve like cream From dark lawns. I remember the forest: trees stood Stiff as slender ghosts, crow feathers Blackening the earth. I am still Blue with fever, Eight weeks of Winter in my veins. It is chilly and silent Except for the hum Of the empty refrigerator. I can remember you Like a bullet Remembers the bone. Our bodies heaving On the floor Of the lonely house, Before an unwelcome terror Let itself in. I cannot hope to see you Ever again. Or, for that matter, Wonder why you don’t come back.


Tulips (Natalie Crick)

The Tulips have wilted. Petals fall and light Bends, grotesque, Like a secret splayed open At the seams of a wide Black mouth. The crowns remain lush, A bouquet of teeth Gleaming bright in a smile As if to say: “I am not dead yet.”


By the Light of Dawn (Natalie Crick)

Rains arrive. Rivulet, replete with rusted dust, Loose suitcases of storms.

The thin grey skim of sky Breaks with a howl. I am lost, without

The slow simmer of dawn, when The sun rises red And the crop comes in,

Deep and golden. We wade into the burning lake And we wait.


See (Natalie Crick)

See how The moon hangs in utter darkness, A smouldering black,

A crack of light Disappearing almost, The world paused outside.

See how Blood’s blue shadow Barely runs beneath her skin.

See how her eyes glitter Like fire, wisps of inked Paper that one day will curl and smoke

Rising into the abysmal fields of Some star-haunted place, some Suddenly interrupted, fathomless sky.


Blue Water (Natalie Crick)

When my Mother dragged me out I wasn’t cold.

My breath was blued By the light, seeping through

Trees, black as night With all that nothing in-between,

Mother already grieving For the other who drowned.

Tonight the storm broke, Clouding the colour of

Mother’s necklace with the broken clasp. The wind whittles your apologies

To blue bone beads Small enough to swallow.


Bones (Natalie Crick)

I have to go back. I have to keep searching For something alive Among the dead. I am yet undecided How to arrange Her bones. I want to conjure The dark red throbbing heart. Regrow her hair and teeth The way they used to be. Her legs are in my hands, Cool to the touch Like bottled milk. Better, perhaps, to leave her alone, Unfeeling and without question.


Biographical Note: James Anthony Rooney Jim Rooney writes poetry to entertain, letting the life of his characters speak to his readers. Opening up to the experience of others expands perceptions and understanding...even if the experiences are in fact fictional. Of course, for the writer of these characters, they are so real, he suffers an ache of disappointment when they don’t send a Christmas card. A collection titled Molly Poems is to be published by Lapwing Publishing. Jim lives in Skerries, the second best place to live in Ireland he’s told, after Westport. It was an estate agent who told him.


Decreased (James Anthony Rooney)

Lou’s father was a family man, He was buried in Lou’s jacket Another son’s trousers His daughter’s socks And his wife’s blouse. There was a lot of talk about this, But Lou just saw it As Dad’s way. When challenged, Lou retorted They had stopped at putting in The pet canary. Lou was amazed at How intolerant people were


Leonard Abandons Lou

James A Rooney

He’d got the vinyls from his father Couple of weeks before he’d died. They were heavy, it took Six trips from the father’s bedroom To carry them to the car. Lots of Beatles and Stones JethroTull, and Rory Gallagher Playing at full throttle. Few oddities, The Strawbs, Lesley Duncan Colin Bluntstone, But it was Cohen who tuned Into the emptiness of Lou’s life, And filled it with melody And melancholy. In the blacker moments Leonard filled Lou’s heart When love drowned in a weighted sack And the road ahead washed away. ‘You Want It Darker’ was only out weeks When the frayed chords broke And Lou realised he was doomed To a life without the living comfort Of Leonard’s emotional embrace.


Gated (James Anthony Rooney)

Lou sat near the front. McGovern and Johnny Murphy Played the tramps. He wanted to leave, But everyone was in rapture. Even Zoe, on their first date. He checked his phone Until tapped on the shoulder From some uptight behind. On stage they droned on and on. Time became interminable. He felt the pressure, A head squeeze Waiting, waiting, waiting, And prayed To God ooooooh, please make it stop. Lou lightly picked his nose And wondered, Was his life being lengthened? Or shortened? Should have gone To The Miserables.


Biographical Note: Milton Kerr

Milton Kerr was born in New York City and now resides in New England. He is a published author and poet, a musician, and an editor and publisher of two magazines, Love's Chance and Fighting Chance. His two chapbooks of poetry are Damned If I Know and Still Damned if I Know. Kerr has authored five fiction-fantasy novels. He has incorporated his music with original poetry as well as dramatic plays. In 1995, he took an award for Best Underground Avant Garde/Underground Artist in Worcester, Massachusetts, USA.


Soul Valet (Milton Kerr) My conscience is less flexible than man-made laws. When I cross the lineleap out of boundsfly off the handle my little voice is louder, nosier than a chirping cricket.

To Another Best Friend (Milton Kerr) Lower class teen. Grown Man. Modern Paradox racking up sexual conquests. Fucking self-obsessed, beautiful, shallow on a daily basis, but sometimes, if one looks closely, there is that startling depth.


Every Artist (Milton Kerr) has to decide between what’s in their heart and what’s in their wallet. Creativity has some concrete rewards but sometimes a change in direction is necessary. Creative concepts can create a destiny, a reality, although the price is time and commitment. Accept your vulnerabilities. Deal from the gut as well as the head. No sense in being obsessed with success. It barely notices us at all.


Biographical Note: Jade Wallace

Jade Wallace is a legal clinic worker in Toronto, Ontario whose short stories and poetry have appeared in The Dalhousie Review, The Nashwaak Review, Draft, Feathertale, Poetry Sz, Breakfast in a Day, Pac’n Heat: A Noir Homage To Ms. Pac-Man, and six chapbooks from Grey Borders Books.


if i only had a hearth (Jade Wallace)

you say “i could fall in love with you in the middle of a cavalcade on an elephant draped in silken blue. yes, i could fall in love with you in a cavern full of calcium teeth, quivering seismically, ready to chew. or i could fall in love with you while a flute busker and a basketball game both beckon to be listened to. i could even fall in love with you right on these pillows and dull linens, had we only a hearth to warm us through. and still, perhaps, i could fall in love with you if it were april and not december; and if, perhaps, 89

you were older, too.” but really, dear, you must remember, that i will be gone before next spring. so all of your conditionals, dancing their delicate ring, do not, to my ears, mean anything. you say “i could fall in love with you,” and that might be a true enough trill. but still. you do not love me now. and by all forecasts, you never will.


Biographical Note: Richard Halperin

Richard W. Halperin’s most recent chapbooks for Lapwing are The House with the Stone Lions, 2016, and Prisms, 2017. His most recent collection for Salmon is Quiet in a Quiet House, 2016, with a collection listed for Autumn 2017,Catch Me While You Have the Light. Recent collections which he admires a lot are Going Home by Paul T Dillon (Lapwing) and The Pilgrims of Tombelaine by Glenn Shea (Salmon). He is very fond of a remark Stephen Spender mentions in his memoirs, that of Virginia Woolf, who handed him back – he was very young – a manuscript of poems he was hoping Hogarth would publish. She said something like ‘Mr Spender, you and your group think you must mention the horrors of totalitarianism in your poetry. But, Mr Spender, you have not yourself been a victim of totalitarianism. Unless you have been beaten and broken by things, you cannot write about them.'


Enchanted Places (Richard Halperin) i.

She knelt

She knelt at the shore of Lough Gur Like a creature in a Noh play. Waiting for a presence to come to her Or to a tree – there – or to three stones.

Was it her mother she wished to speak to or to be? Her husband who had died suddenly? The child she had almost had? No one was by her. She knelt.

The gates would soon be locked. It would soon be night. Although nothing can be locked By lakes.

She rose Exactly as she had been before she knelt. What was present was only what is always present. ‘Nothing wrong with that,’ she said.

In Ireland, if you care to call it that.



In Old Japan

In old Japan they had no windows. They had screens which slid. They lived in indications. When it snowed When there was a moon When the gardener chopped They could see out With a sense that such seeing Might be allowed. Architecture Is artificial divisions of space To deal with the terror That space cannot be divided.

I look out my window This December morning. I see my late friend John and me Walking along a lake. I see Venice. I see my mother laughing. I see the hills of Lough Gur I see many great sadnesses Postponed. A Christmas painting. 93


Received Rain

There was an Ethiopia. I was in it. In a City of it. I remember trees, Streets of dust and dirt, People walking, sitting, Some quite near death. I remember the smell Of eucalyptus everywhere, Light and movement Mixed in with it. I remember, After received rain, the huge Fragment of a rainbow, All primary colours, Which ended after the first Ten degrees.

Some experiences Come back Of their own volition. One is not Necessary to them. Like the Greek gods Or the resurrected Jesus, 94

They enter Without entrances. iv.


One feels God walked here once, Because where God has walked, places remember, And this place remembers. He may have come here on the seventh day. For rest, what place better? He may have curled up in the mind of a leaf, In the mind of a rock, In the mind of a doe, But not in the mind of woman or man Because there is not much rest there. One feels here God gone away, Which means, one feels here God, And, gone or not gone, It is enough.




I am reading a poet’s reminiscence Of her childhood and it could be my own, Although I never lived on a farm, And my mother, not my father, drank (For a while), and I was an only child While the poet was one of several. Words, mine, which collapsed as soon I uttered them. The wish, at any threat, To be in bed all the time. The sense – But then where’s the comfort? – that adults Are children in their mommy and daddy’s Clothing. And I am again under the Kitchen table in 1948, looking out at The fractured nobility of comportment. Thank you, lady, for your book this night, Since some books go where thoughts cannot.



New York, Revisited

When Henry James was not quite an old man, He revisited New York for a while. When he looked for things no longer there, He was no longer there. When he found things Which hadn’t been there before, he was No longer there. I think that in such things There is a loss of names. He could no longer Be Harry, because there was nothing left

To call out to him ‘Harry!’ and the new things Didn’t know his name. On the ferry To Staten Island, the wind took his hat off. His name already off, and there he wasn’t, The tears rolling down his cheeks – mother, father, Eleventh Street, his sisters clamouring For ice cream, all knocked off, and maybe Their names hadn’t been their real ones anyway.

It is good to feel one’s name loosen, it is good To try to grab it as it blows out to sea. It is good to know that in the midst of chaos Beautiful manners – he had written about these – Are luminous chaos, love also – he had 97

Written about that – luminous chaos. No other home to go home to.


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: and title your message as follows: (Type of work here) submitted to “A New Ulster” (name of writer/artist here); or for younger contributors: “Letters to the Alley Cats” (name of contributor/parent or guardian here). Letters, reviews and other communications such as Tweets will be published in “Round the Back”. Please note that submissions may be edited. All copyright remains with the original author/artist, and no infringement is intended. 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!



We have so many submissions the new year is off to a great start. Where does the time fly? It seems like it was only last week when we were busy making the January issue meow!!. Well, that’s just about it from us for this edition everyone. Thanks again to all of the artists who submitted their work to be presented “On the Wall”. As ever, 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”.


We continue to provide a platform for poets and artists around the world we want to offer our thanks to the following for their financial support Richard Halperin, John Grady, P.W. Bridgman, Bridie Breen, John Byrne, Arthur Broomfield, Silva Merjanin, Orla McAlinden, Michael Whelan, Sharon Donnell, Damien Smyth, Arthur Harrier, Maire Morrissey Cummins, Alistair Graham, Strider Marcus Jones Our anthologies


Biographical Note: Daniel Wade

Daniel Wade is a 24-year-old poet and author from Dublin. His poetry has been published in Optic, Limerick Revival, Wordlegs (e-publication), The Stony Thursday Book (ed. Paddy Bushe), HeadSpac e Magazine, the Seven Towers 2014 Census, the Bray Arts Journal, The Sea (charity anthology in aid of the RNLI), Sixteen Magazine (e-publication), The Bogman’s Cannon, Iodine Poetry Journal, Zymbol, The Runt, The Lonely Crowd, Deep Water Literary Journal and the Hennessey New Irish Writers’ page of the Irish Times. Wade also writes a monthly poetry column entitled 'Poems from the Coas t' for the website Coast Monkey: -daniel-wade/ In July 2015, his radio drama 'The Outer Darkness' was broadcast on Dublin south FM: d_uuid=503cb2f5-c91b-4f95-a01bf00c98f56599& adio%2Fdublin-south-theater-radio-23-062015%2F&hide_cover=1&hide_tracklist=1&replace=0 In October 2016, he released 'Embers and Earth, a spoken word album available for download on iTunes and Spotify: He is the author of the poetry e-chapbook 'Iceberg Relief', published by Underground Voices and soon to be available for download on Amazon. 'The Collector' his first stage play was staged at The New Theatre, Temple Bar, in Dublin, between January 23rd -February 4th 2017. His website is


Daniel Wade Review for Divertimento: The Muse is a Dominatrix, by Peter O’ Neill, published in 2016. Divertimento: The Muse is a Dominatrix, by Peter O’ Neill, mgv2>publishing, €12.00, ISBN: 978-1-326-62734-B The title poem of Peter O Neill’s twelfth poetry collection Divertimento: The Muse is a Dominatrix begins with the following lines: “After every beautiful encounter/Someone is bound to end up getting hurt.” In that opening salvo, the cadence of O’ Neill’s aesthetic is made clear to the reader: visceral, sexually-charged, well attuned to the realities of life, and almost determinedly resting beyond the pale of the Irish house-style poetic. Taking their stylistic cues from the hallucinatory revelry of Baudelaire and the early Modernists than from the more customary guidance of Yeats, Heaney et al, the poems to be found here are visceral and sexually-charged, each one acting as a surreal report for O’ Neill’s awareness that sex and death, two key drivers in human experience and endeavour, are inextricably tied: O love is a limousine built for two Driving down the open road, And where all of the signs seem to be leading me to you. And death is a motorcycle cop Who flags you down for driving too fast. O’ Neill keeps his personal life at arm’s length in the book, but does not leave it entirely at a remove. Poem by poem, the reader is held in a state of uncertainty, feeling they are being teased as to whether a personal account of wretchedness or an equivocated fever dream is being read. O’ Neill is a poet, and the final litmus test of poets is to know and confront the failure of language itself in broaching the thorny intricacies of life, when the reliable store of eloquence finally runs out. All that can then be expressed is one’s inability to express. This ambiguity runs through even the moments of seemingly-naked vulnerability: But the other [words] that somehow escape my aim, pulling the whole mortal weight of my time with them with those few I can only lower my gun and marvel at their brief moment of eternity, before they slip behind the sun. O’ Neill’s finely-tuned sense of the macabre does not stem from a puerile desire to shock, but an unflinching affinity to the abject, of the uglier side of passion. In ‘History’ there is a disturbing sense that the speaker may be addressing their beloved, or someone recently departed, after a particularly draining bout of sex:


You float like the dead, ferried across the Styx in my veins It is ghastly. And our mutual silence is the silence of the dead… O Neill’s binding of the sexual and the macabre recalls the stately darkness of Les Fleurs du Mal, but curiously, also lends the poems the same nightmarish atmosphere of a psychological thriller. In ‘This Side of You’, he finds that there is still much to be discovered about his muse. He concludes that “Love is hate in reverse, the world upside down,” whilst also accusing the addressee: “Go on, you would never even dream of showing this side of you to another.” Poems such as these illustrate T.S. Eliot’s principle of the psychological fissure existing between “the man who suffers and the mind which creates.” O’ Neill has turned his hand to poems which reveal an inner life acutely in the grip of an existential and spiritual turmoil, yet also one that is supremely aware of this condition and quite determined to weather it. The seemingly conventionally-romantic sentiment of poems such as The Mona Lisa are warped into something decidedly more sinister with lines such as: Through the smooth corridors of urbane Domesticity I go to sometimes view you, Secretly applauding how magnificently you’ve been framed To this writer at least, the poem calls to mind the malevolent hand-wringing of Robert Browning’s My Last Duchess. O’ Neill’s classic affinity with the poet as outsider, a theme arguably as timeless as war, death or love, is expressed throughout the collection like an obsessive motif. There is also Beckettian sense of nihilism permeating poems such as ‘Rumours Break Upon the Air’, where O Neill asserts that: The truth is, we were born to suffer, At every chance destroy. Cruelty, by implication, is by design. O’ Neill’s skill for the redolent image, the evocative vision, are on full display. A crowd of rush-hour Londoners is described as ‘battle-hardened Amazons/In their mid-thirties march through the labyrinth/of streets and corridors in pairs’; a page-three girl becomes ‘a paper Venus, Madonna of the celibates/who kneel before you to offer up their prayers’; ‘blood and death coagulate in the mercy cup’ in ‘Burlesque’; a speedboat observed from a distance in Dunmore East is ‘an amphibious car.’ The synthetic ostentation of contemporary pop culture and advertising is aligned (and implied to possess the same sense of time-defying durability) with the lofty masterworks of the Renaissance era, and past, present and future are in constant friction with one another. 104

Under an Armani billboard in Rome depicting David Beckham “like a colossus/evoking Michelangelo”, the immediacy of the present moment and the timeless are conjoined like yin and yang forces, perennially at odds yet inextricably defined by their very contrast. In the book’s final section, entitled ‘Divertimento’, a great sense of cosmopolitanism in O’ Neill’s work is presented; his affinity for Baudelaire and the luminaries of modernist poetry have led directly to poems set in London, Italy and France. Yet cosmopolitan does not necessarily equal refined, nor does it lend a superficial veneer of worldliness to the proceedings. Ugliness and danger have their place even in the most seemingly quaint of locations. ‘Avenue Arthur Rimbaud’ describes: Blocks of flats, urban Tissue box, tower above us. And above them, as a backdrop, The sky lit up, a safari. O’ Neill writes occasionally as a flaneur and always as an outsider, but his understanding of the reality of far-off destinations as real, lived-in places and not airbrushed receptacles of exotic sojourning is what keeps these poems rooted in their humanistic nucleus. In ‘Siliqua’ the atmospherics of a small Italian town square are cemented by the elucidations of a local tour guide: “The authenticity of the guide/Is always revealed in the quality of the information received -/Mine did not to me just about buildings/And if she did it was only in relation to the living.” And in ‘Needles’, a poem mercifully void of the mawkish introspection or smug self-referentialism that characterise so many poems concerned with sightseeing foreign travel, O’ Neill addresses his own displacement and the anxiety that arises thereof: So that I appear to be lost in a nameless country, Without a map, whose country is northless. Meanwhile, patron saints of the grim and grotesque, such as John Milton, Bram Stoker and Francis Bacon, are also given clear, if offbeat, homage. At times a frustrated relationship exists between the avidly contemporary O’ Neill and the great men of letters of the past whose influence he yearns to escape and yet knows that he can never fully evade. In ‘Milton’, he imagines the necessary but often devastating isolation the author must undergo in order to master their craft: On first contact, it was as if we were both thrown From a cliff, and holding onto one another, As unforgiving angels, we wrestled together Seemingly oblivious to our fall, so concerned Were we in our own actions. There is indeed a darkness to O’ Neill’s work and yet it is necessary darkness, one that any poet worth their salt must try to look unflinchingly in the eye. And yet the love 105

poems, which form the bulk of the collection, are not entirely marked by despair or depravity. ‘A Game of Chess’ brings the failures of macho posturing to bear when the speaker has ‘…talked myself silent,/Like some ritualistic male unburdening, my embarrassment is then so acute -/For all this while you have been constantly giving.” It is lines such as these that form the tempo of O’ Neill’s profane lyricism. In addition, the recurring theme of empathy and tenderness in the face of near-catastrophic breakdown adds a greater dimension to the collection. To the idea that love can be simultaneously a source of great elation and crushing despondency, O’ Neill claims that: “Love is the currency, a regal tender,/And each is to their throne, in the valley of Kings and Queens./Yet all about you now lies desert.” Divertimento is ultimately a book of dualities and nuance. O’ Neill emerges as poet operating with a plethora of influences looking over his shoulder, yet also resolved to exert his own style and poetic identity. His work stands as a singular and under-looked, at a remove of the Irish canon, but not completely disengaged from it. This ability to stand alone and to also be able to shoulder that aloneness are what makes this collection an absorbing and challenging read.


Biographical Note: Peter O’Neill

Born in Cork in 1967. Peter O' Neill is the author of six collections of poetry, most notably The Dublin Trilogy comprising of The Dark Pool ( mgv2>publishing, France, 2015), Dublin Gothic ( Kilmog Press, New Zealand, 2015) and The Enemy, Transversions from Charles Baudelaire ( Lapwing, Belfast, 2015). If Baudelaire is the unifying theme of his Dublin Trilogy, above, in which O' Neill attempts to transfer late 19th century French aesthetics onto contemporary Dublin, than Beckett is very much the unifying figure of his Gombeen Trilogy; the first instalment of which More Micks than Dicks is to be published by Famous Seamus in London, 2017. His work has been translated into French, Italian and German. He is currently working on his 13th collection Commuting with Baudelaire.


The Galley Man (Peter O’Neill) I. Who might that be? Beckett

Bound for the Pillars of Hercules, indeed. Confronting the nearest southwester, your voice whose Audible high above the waves and drowns out the sea's roar. Je. Qui ca, encore? Le galérien en pleine galére. The I then in total dissemination, All but for that other speaking to you through the Leaden scroll. There, that time, up on the first floor of The Phoenix, sitting alone beside the great hearth. The fire, of course, Heraclitean ablaZe as if The lights were still aflame above the great port of Alexandria, And all of the ancient parchments were still burning Upon the sea like oil, illuminating the slaves Whose cries can still be heard carried forward through the night, And which will be heard as long as pages can be read.


Pandora & Gulliver (Peter O’Neill) Langer limp and mollusc like, lying snug Between the thighs of its Master. A golden pearl of urine froZen, Followed by the mild odour of sweet corruption. The piss-stained scrotal sack of A middle-aged man sitting on the couch in his P Jay's before the television, The cool flat black field of his electric wonder. When Love is your only porn When Love is your only porn The barbed hooks of Life are caught up by the barbed hooks of Life Je ne connais, en fait des nymphes bocagÊres. Military! The svelte discipline of their impossible elevation (How to reconcile the biological body to its pre-ordained cultural inheritance) The trick now being to bring them down now to this level.


Homer (Peter O’Neill) headless the mammoth extension its petrified wings gently balancing Hector's bloody chariot borne corpse eyes full of carrion and decapitation under the rivulets of marble the trace of the extension bearing onward all the Achilles' heels of over two stampeding millennia under the stairwell in the Louvre the great equine beast looms pregnant with men at arms bent on rape and murder while under the pillars of stone plucked from the barren fields only the hungry wolves roam


Flann D' Man (Peter O’Neill) World of heteronyms, as multifaceted And fragmented as Fernando Pessoa's, De- “con”- struction as a Way of Be-ING; Heidegger's great collective atomisation! Twin satellites in both Lisbon & Dublin, Discharging both your visions' en masse. At Swim only to be fire-bombed in incendiary London And you Brian BlitZed by incredulity and pints of whiskey. Sometimes, I imagine you on the Quay, Tucked away in some office in The Custom House, Gandon's great enlightenment in edifice, Writing for the plain people of Ireland. And then, after a hard day's work at the office, I see you walking by the Liffey, imagining Dido and Aeneas.


Biographical Note: Gaynor Kane

Gaynor Kane recently graduated from the Open University with a BA (Hons) Humanities with Literature. Mainly a writer of poetry, she has had work published in the Studies in Arts and Humanities (SAH) Journal and the Galway Review. Recently, Gaynor was a finalist in the annual Funeral Services NI poetry competition


Belfast Moon January 2017 (Gaynor Kane) Venus and Mars are fighting for your attention. Trying to dazzle you with godly power. Spinning in alignment. Longing to caress the silvery curve of your crescent. From my Crescent they look perfectly positioned. Like threaded ocean pearls on pure black satin or golden embers on a boiler floor. It’s stifling hot in Stormont. They had the windows open all over Christmas. Searching for a sign, a star, or wise men in the East. No saviour found, just dark powers colliding; integrity compromised.


The Dark In memory of Joseph Campbell 1879 - 1944 (Gaynor Kane) This is the dark This is the seed from a farm in Flurrybridge This is the Catholic baby, born at the bottom of the Castlereagh Road three days after the glorious 12th This is the sibling, brother to nine This is the Grandson of a Scotch Presbyterian. A toll-keeper on the Halfpenny Bridge by day; tavern keeper by night This is the cousin of nationalist poet Ethna Carberry. This is the fellow who wasn’t content to stay in the place where his mother dropped him This is the coming of age, apprentice road builder This is the young man who took to the roads. This is the March spent looking at the moon This is the collector, the protector, of folklore and songs, Irish and Chaucer-cum-Burns This is the husband of Nancy, a union of activism in dangerous Dublin. This is the summer spent in Donegal, walking in all weather, encountering local characters, capturing their heart, homes and landscape in pencil. This is the man who walked away from his English name to became known by Seosamh MacCathmhaoil. This is the rebel, the rescue worker, in the 1916 rising This is the translator of Patrick Pearse’s short stories This is the prisoner of civil war, interned in 1922 This is the poet who thought ‘poetry, like devilry, likes darkness’ This is the dark.


LAPWING PUBLICATIONS RECENT and NEW TITLES 978-1-909252-35-6 London A Poem in Ten Parts Daniel C. Bristow 978-1-909252-36-3 Clay x Niall McGrath 978-1-909252-37-0 Red Hill x Peter Branson 978-1-909252-38-7 Throats Full of Graves x Gillian Prew 978-1-909252-39-4 Entwined Waters x Jude Mukoro 978-1-909252-40-0 A Long Way to Fall x Andy Humphrey 978-1-909252-41-7 words to a peace lily at the gates of morning x Martin J. Byrne 978-1-909252-42-4 Red Roots - Orange Sky x Csilla Toldy 978-1-909252-43-1 At Last: No More Christmas in London x Bart Sonck 978-1-909252-44-8 Shreds of Pink Lace x Eliza Dear 978-1-909252-45-5 Valentines for Barbara 1943 - 2011 x J.C.Ireson 978-1-909252-46-2 The New Accord x Paul Laughlin 978-1-909252-47-9 Carrigoona Burns x Rosy Wilson 978-1-909252-48-6 The Beginnings of Trees x Geraldine Paine 978-1-909252-49-3 Landed x Will Daunt 978-1-909252-50-9 After August x Martin J. Byrne 978-1-909252-51-6 Of Dead Silences x Michael McAloran 978-1-909252-52-3 Cycles x Christine Murray 978-1-909252-53-0 Three Primes x Kelly Creighton 978-1-909252-54-7 Doji:A Blunder x Colin Dardis 978-1-909252-55-4 Echo Fields x Rose Moran RSM 978-1-909252-56-1 The Scattering Lawns x Margaret Galvin 978-1-909252-57-8 Sea Journey x Martin Egan 978-1-909252-58-5 A Famous Flower x Paul Wickham 978-1-909252-59-2 Adagios on Re – Adagios en Re x John Gohorry 978-1-909252-60-8 Remembered Bliss x Dom Sebastian Moore O.S.B 978-1-909252-61-5 Ightermurragh in the Rain x Gillian Somerville-Large 978-1-909252-62-2 Beethoven in Vienna x Michael O'Sullivan 978-1-909252-63-9 Jazz Time x Seán Street 978-1-909252-64-6 Bittersweet Seventeens x Rosie Johnston 978-1-909252-65-3 Small Stones for Bromley x Harry Owen 978-1-909252-66-0 The Elm Tree x Peter O'Neill 978-1-909252-67-7 The Naming of Things Against the Dark and The Lane x C.P. Stewart More can be found at All titles £10.00 per paper copy or in PDF format £5.00 for 4 titles. In PDF format £5.00 for 4 titles.