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A New Ulster Featuring the works of J.S.Watts, Geraldine O'Kane, John Liddy, Michael Mc Aloran, Alistair Graham, Aine MacAodha, Inso and more.

Issue No 2 November 2012


A New Ulster

Editor: Amos Greig

On the Wall

Editor: Arizahn Contents


page 6

Brian Adlai; Jimmy

Page 8

J.S.Watts; Eggs Witch Tree

page 10 page 11

Peter Pegnall; Fargo Do Not Queue on the Zebra

page 13 page 14

Geraldine O'Kane; Portrait: Constructing Chaos Winter Dawn Aggressively Dressed Object Portrait: Moments

page 16 page 17 page 18 page 19 page 20

Michael Mc Aloran; Cascade ...obsolete ...abattoir ...what will ...delirium X ...bone break

page 22 page 23 page 24 page 25 page 26 page 27

Heller Levinson charting the apparitional journey syllogism rarely at which point oftentimes

page 29 page 30 page 31 page 32


Alistair Graham; A Knock On The Door Ally Ally Oh I know VOTES R US Men Know

page 34 page 36 page 37 page 38 page 39

Inso; The Field Surgeon Sitting in an American Mess Hall.

page 41 page 42

John Liddy; A Moments Pause for Pauline Between Swims The Anarchist Tombstone Blues Touching Base

page 44 page 45 page 46 page 47 page 48

Aine MacAodha Inner Space Water Sky 3 Haiku

page 50 page 51 page 52 On The Wall features the artwork and creativity of: Micheal Mc Aloran & Peter Fahy

Michael's artwork can be found on pages 55-57 Peter's artwork can be found on pages. 59-61 Round the Back

page 63

Manuscripts, art works and letters to be sent to the Editor c/o Lapwing Publications, 1 Ballysillan Drive BT14 8HQ. Alternatively e-mail (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 Issuu



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. One of the hardest roles for an editor is choosing what to use in an issue, what order to use them in and what format to use. Every poem, every piece of artwork that I receive is treated with proper care and respect. I am careful not to abuse that trust placed in me by the writers I work with. Not every piece makes it into the journal sometimes because of space sometimes because the writer has asked for it to be withdrawn and rarely a piece just does not sit well. A New Ulster is open to everyone to contribute towards while every ship needs a helmsman and a captain I see this as a group venture with myself at the helm. It is with great pleasure that this issue opens up with a homage to Jimmy Simmons I would like to thank Brian Aldis and the other contributors without whom this issue would not be possible. I still see A New Ulster as a journal that 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 issue builds on the work and maintains the 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. The poets and artists whose works make up this issue span the global compass each uses their talent for catharsis, exploration or liberation.. 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. We all represent islands in the sea of humanity, around us nations teeter and societies struggle with identity and change. Members of societies use art in one form or another as a release from their struggles, to express personal experiences, losses or to experiment with structure and form. Enough preamble! Onto the creativity!


Brian Adlai was born and raised in Belfast. Brian has worked as a teacher, journalist and academic. During a brief period of work with the BBC he produced two of the long running arts radio programmes – New Writing in Ireland, and The Arts in Ulster, at a time when the renaissance in Ulster poetry was beginning to gain recognition. Brian once commissioned a piece of writing from Jimmy Simmons in a series called Letter from the West, which was rejected by senior management on grounds of ‘public taste’. Only as a courtesy to me did Jimmy bite his tongue and let me have another piece which was used. A few years later we were academic colleagues.


Jimmy. (James Simmons - poet) He was in his element, alone on the beach at 6 am on a summer Sunday , attacking some driftwood with an axe. ‘Look’ he said, jokingly theatrical, ‘It’s a present from Neptune.’ His solitary engagement with nature suited him. That’s how he was - not the precious poet, but a broad-shouldered fixture in the landscape feet on the ground, secured by a gentle wit. He was an invitation to conversation, with frankness the rule; an open book, Everyman exposed, sometimes stripping himself to embarrassment, saying ‘Look’ - as he bared his brain, his breast and his ass. He strummed with a smile a template for honest answers, a road on which to step. We lost touch. I left him that Sunday with his sleeves rolled up life by the balls swinging and striking and singing, forever. Suddenly I’ve just found out did you know he died two years ago. Without a shout? His axing grip was loosened and stopped by a stroke. He moved from spinning reason to spilling tea dear God, I’m glad I didn’t see. Now the book is closed. When asked for his epitaph he once said “My name is Simmons. I wrote - see what you think.” But his worth is too hidden when he’s this succinct.


Biographical note: J.S.Watts’ 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, “Cats 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 You can also find her on Facebook at


Eggs I walk my life on egg shells, fragile bubbles of weak morning blue, faint toned green from late afternoon wash-light, coffee and terracotta and milk-surprise white. I walk slowly, positioning my feet with delicacy, pausing, placing precisely. One random stumble and another frail dome is gone, its friable curves too fine to stand life’s robust unpredictability. So many shells. A lifetime’s broken china clutters my wake, careless mosaics, blue, green, brown and white, patterns of the unplanned. Life’s thin membrane cups my tracks, its strength wearing with each destructive step. Eggs within eggs. Who knows when the rich yellow heart yolk will break from an accidental stammer of the World? Pausing, placing myself precisely will not prevent those unlucky incidents that craze our lives. A dew drop curves over a shell, catches the weak blue light of morning, the green of new life and the brown beneath, the whole Earth in a tear. Blue green ellipsoid, a giant egg orbiting its own glorious revolution, nested by the Universe and the random luck of existence. Eggs within eggs within eggs. Fault lines run deep and arbitrary; the superficial eternity of the sphere waiting for the careless blow that will crack such brittle dreams forever. 10

WITCH TREE Full moon tonight. The fields are bathed in purity But not the yew. Old Man Tree, brother to Tiresias, He knows nothing of absolution. He squats, monolith Cloaked in night, On a plain of silver. Troubled by what he has known And blind to the light. It is said he broods: Bearer of strange fruit. Three who knew more than was seemly For women and paid the price For their presumption. On a night such as this He bore their souls away. Moon Sister looking on, helpless, Her full promise of fertility Mocking their loss. The grey geese flew far. Hollow wings told their tale And many quaked to hear. The men behind their walls of righteousness Were unmoved. They harvested the yew On a night of blackness. Hidden from sight He accepted the full tithe Laid at his roots. And now, tonight, he holds the darkness to himself As a miser clasps his gold, Disdaining the Moon's silver. He is as complete and final As a corpse.


Biographical note: Peter Pegnall is a poet, teacher and critic. He has had four collections of poetry published: Broken Eggs, Foul Papers, Through the Rock and Season of Missed Chances (Lapwing Publications). His work has also been published in many magazines and anthologies. He started the first Anglo-Portuguese Poetry Festival in Silves, the ancient Moorish capital of the Algarve, which ran from 1994 to 2001.


Fargo The title's a white expanse; you can't make out the names, a car looms through the blizzard. Music's anodyne, hypnotic; no figures, no landscape, not a heavenly wing. not a prayer. William H. Macy, everyman's loser, mousy hair, ugly cherub face, acid smile, not smile, grimace. Stupid balaclava husband without a hard-on, father fakes interest in the ball game. One son, conceived between sleep and awake. Not a shrub. But car parks grow, motels, dimwit hookers, every minute of life a sheer climb. Two hired assassins, inept, cannibal. and so the whirligig snowstorm spins hapless puppets this way, that way, deep freezes their private parts until, snug in bed, Frances McDormand, pregnant, cow-cuddly transports her quizzing smile across the wastes, exercises her fine mind. Lancelot of the glacier, Guinevere of the moral gutter unmarried soon-to-be-mum, happily dopey partner gannet of the eat-all-you-can pit stop saves the day too late to save the day. She cannot fathom the random way of slaughter grotesque subversion of the human. she hands the killer to state justice she hounds the coward to incarceration and his numbed conscience . and breaks my heart.


Do Not Queue on the Zebra Don't dally on Bridget Riley, you might be caged in black and white, misplace your painted veldt, your prehistoric majesty. Don't strap yourself to the golden eagle she belongs somewhere above the Andes or Cader Idris; don't teach the dolphin how to warble sonnet one one eight do not betray your borrowed trust. Last night I waltzed with Emily Bronte broke papadums with Rabrindanath Tagore joined the queue of lousy little poets latching their donkey tails to Spanish, German, Italian, Urdu illuminati. Forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit. I very much doubt it.


Biography: Geraldine O'Kane has been writing poetry for over ten years, she has had several poems published in local magazines and online e-zines such as Black Cat Poems, Speech Therapy, Allo Trope and Short, Fast and Deadly. Geraldine is a member of the poetry performance group, Vocia Versa. She has previously been a part of a local writers group at the Craic Theatre, and has performed some of her work in local theatres and the Dungannon Borough Council Arts Festival.

Her Poetry is mostly inspired by observation, and the human condition and emotion.


Portrait: Constructing Chaos A living breathing Dali brought to life's stage you are carefully constructed chaos. A vixen of the worst kind; chameleon without intent, sucking colour from lives onto your canvas. Fuchsia lips a megaphone for the holy ghost, smiling, always smiling so no-one can see your forked tongue. Your wedding band obscured by six inch stilettos, Reveals the temptress you are. Cutting edge bangs conceals untainted skin, a smoke screen against peer envy; insidious to those too anorexic to play your games. Giggling your way through conversations, intelligence carried around in your many pockets a concealed weapon, as you masquerade hungry for life, your canvass grows more colourful. but how will you know when you are truly satisfied.


Winter dawn Last night I hung up my thoughts like clothes gave myself to restless sleep, dreamed of giving you the gift of effortless slumber. Too early sunlight peeks through my window To find me already dressed in thoughts Of what you did last night in the wee small hours Awake and alone. Dawns are often heartbreaking I watch you with panther eyes for the slight up down movement of quilt, as a mother lingers at the doorway of a sleeping child. It is not solace or comfort I look for, more a justification for leaving you, the invisible judge and jury can find me guilty but cannot hang me in your gaudy scenes of still life The yawning sun, tries to steal the moons stage on this dusky winter dawn as I leave you to walk in the angels first blush, before murky smog lays its frothy head on the coffee cup of the world, before lips are soured and stung by the rising mirth of workers and conservatives peddling their greasy tongues spattering the face of humanity. A chilled crisp air, warms my lungs like no alcohol can and cool jewelled diamonds are crushed underfoot as bare branches creak, birds springboard skyward waking the world, with their morning song.


Aggressively Dressed On the floor of a two-up two-down in newton park, his was a rude awakening; the world absorbed him from splayed legs. breach from birth, that dilated black stare. reminiscent of an unripe soul, the morosity of those eyes deepened into adulthood, where well-honed psychologists tried to pick pocket his psyche, their two fingered dip blocked by the barriers permeating his frontal lobe; the shadow-land where dreams and desires hid his a master plan a place for the innocent when they fail to bloom; caged within cells, yet knowing no boundaries. during times of mental landscaping he called in code, her body responding without touch; he'd sit close, relieve himself of the constant burden of innocence; her cupped hands resting invisible below his chin. when done, deftly she made for the dinette, his eyes following her black floating hem as it meshed with the chequered tiles, her feet found only the white squares. on arrival methodically she'd upend her hands into a vial, add tea to sweeten the tincture. returning, humble as a medicine woman he would receive her offerings, unaware her greatest act of love was nourishment.


Object There is no shame in tenderness, So rip the cross binding your mouth, Perform a verbal strip tease that leaves Aghast and agape the barren makers of the muse, caress their ego’s with your silken tongues and give praise to the men who immortalised us As sexless and sexy seducers Of their patriarchal power, Who founded us as goddesses of love, War and the home, Depicted us as mothers of country, earth and children we grew, iridescent in their adoration carnivalesque felines with no howl. We are not just portraits or words on a page It is our time, to slash open the chambers and meaty sinew of the secret keepers Who have been innovators and captivators for centuries, abandon your halos, slip into a cotton dress feel confident in your own fleshy chic cut up your power suits and lay down your stilettos used as modern day spears to stab the hearts and backs of men breathe deep and expunge forth your fiery vocals. Take them as your muse for all men are not broken, as all women are not devoid of sound.


Portrait: Moments That awkward moment when you turn in remnants of sleep snake arms around your lover in morning embrace, making them stir slightly, remould themselves to the shape of your body. Suddenly your mid riff rigid and in pain feels like a washboard has been inserted and the machines who have certainly taken over your body, are wringing your bladder furiously against it. You lay for a moment and picture the scene as nothing more than a dew drop, sagging from a leafs edge, and wonder if a two or six pack, feels like this, before the thought trickles away, giving rise to a tide of doubt that you can keep up this mental dam. Turning scientist, you try to calculate the depth of your lovers sleep by measuring the slowness of rhythmical breaths, against the frequency of miniature epileptic spasms of the body, gingerly you lift one finger, two fingers, three fingers, then slide back whole hand and arm, with the stealth of a ninja defying a motion sensor, suddenly made visible by the words groggy words "everything ok", right on cue for you to beat a retreat from bed to bathroom.


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.


…cascade of, until aside, the whisper’s talon, skin deep, in the flesh of night, traces, yes, yet ever-evading, skinned lest there be none, or else, for one…

…all spoken from/ which/ till said alone, in the bleak air, the blood cold yet lacking ending, broken glass to taste, where the sheared breath blindly turns to silhouettes of speech…

…lock-held, till once again, echoing out of one pale pageant, until, all said all done, in the arc’s weld, a noose to touch, bitten like the teeth of shiv, inhaled/ exhaled, or…

…stillness then, to clutch, sands in a bloody latrine, its seals unbroken, asking of the eye, till splendour closed, closing the fist around the snare the pulse of…

…till stripped, stale light, embers of the trace of it, the laughter echoing, alone, in some foreign chamber, shadowed by…

…foreign, yes, abound, trace of the eye’s liquid unlike tears, or the final depths of ice, the breath revealed, silenced, silenced…


…obsolete ash, the breath submerged, the dead veins of absences, inflexed, all snared, undone by the one thing never grasped of, speech yet ever stammering, in the empty bordellos of silences…

(…ah, roll the bone dice, of emptiness, till erased, black vault to absolve, scattered teeth of sunlight, in a darkened room…)

…a closed fist, a broken jaw, splinters of light to taste, the half-spun settlements of trace, and of the abortive eye’s claim, of naught…

…knock again, nothing…knock once more, echo, none, implacable nothingness, and the gild of a sheet metal silence, the vibrating ice, blood to ask of, settled, without, knock again, knock once more…

…ah, havoc and be done, or not, there are no treasuries, elixirs, the binds fade, the blade sharpened draws liquid tears of, incommunicable oblivion, as if to taste till dark unknown, subtle then, struck from the…erased…


…abattoir of nothing, claiming all but the none, asking of the settled ash gathered by the drift, the shadowling of birthing breath, (till close), yet none forgotten, from out of the bone break of all asking, prayers to the deep, till claimed…

…spin lest of follow, in the snapped tongue of breathless, the ache of blindness, the brittle bone, subtle as the scarred flesh’s ghost mimicry, theatre of, till the price asked of, settled then, as if…

…picking the blind brail from the flesh, in the pissoir night, all spun, dressage of blind and rock-a-bye, over then once till spasm, locked out, breaking forth, in splice of…

…in spite of, it is said, it retracts/ it settles/ it claims/ it refuses, knocked upon till redress/ dressage of, vague, nothing, no not none yet of, till naught, and the breath of it, sour as a cadaver’s reek…

…all until, and the dregs, the warped bend of the sky’s teeth, split of bone and knock reclaimed, where the whispers claim, fade, where the blade bites hard, dead space of bled time, unknowable…


…what will, from the severed fingers of it, that demand speech, claim or none, breathing of the night’s silent laughter, spun aloud, terse, nothing left, nothing more splendorous, nothing…

…the sunk eye dreams of nights without end, where to tread is the landscape of none, all spun/ snared/ devoured…

…all dreaming, in-dreaming, snags the wind, opens up like a shadow of sun light, the open palm asks, there is dirt in the wound, a trace of acrid smoke, there’ll be, till clasp of final, still asking of…

…(the naught drags the cadaver to the pyre, the pyre crosses no palm, with silver lights, non said it is said, that never was, aching out of which till shadow’s shadowing…)

…the idle light blooms, spits plumes of nothingness into the asked of, the speech spelled out, knotted, not a step, no, not from which of this, which once may have…no…


…delirium X., zero point, a trace of benign tears, that tread, asking of the none through vapour eyelids, the hands clasp the silent stream of winds, till horse tooth atrophy clears the lungs, of broken emptiness…

…non spoken, no, no words to collect the refuse of it, the scum of it, till dress rehearsal none, asked of, never of, till hilt, of shadowing…

…broke not, till jugular vault, the stretch of hours and in the basking of it, in the dark where static shadows graze, never silenced, ever silent…

…the flesh turns to subtle acrid flowerings, the breath searches, till meat of absurd longing still, as if to press, subtle as caress, in the foreign night, butchered, burning away in vault of obsolete…

…here and there, the blind terse, the fettering of all, spun till head of, till spire of spine recorded, as if to un-know, hence laughter cracks the ice like some obscene symphonium, trace of desire still the living clot in the eye, the tongue torn out, silenced of all…

…ah break the bones of it, there’ll yet be, asked of, till splendour held in mockery of stun, shards of bone and foreign silences, child’s toys, fragments, the walls peeling, in the artificial light…


…bone break, and the silence shredded, fallen/ settled/ sheared till meat resends, an acrid sting of tears, hollowed out, tread/ non-stir, the ashen fingers grip the dark, subtle as blade in the night…

…steel-held, and yet of the/ yet or else, till haven, bloodshot the eyes that rove, till mockery all, the sting of it, the barb reclusive, till nowhere, else there…

…oblivion neither laughs nor celebrates, the dead sky still as a hoarfrost’s breath, swell/ alack, knock/ knock upon, ever empty, there or else, with what held, in the broken flames, in the none of that which never was…

…spillage of dark/ ask of the ferocity, the returning silence, no…all that was ever, as if, what was, till claimed, nothing spoken, not a trace, it’ll soon be over with, it’ll matter/ it won’t matter…


Biographical Note:

Heller Levinson lives in NYC where he studies animal behavior. He has published in over a hundred journals and magazines includingAlligatorzine, The

Cartier Street Review, Counterexample Poetics, ditch poetry, First Literary Review-East, Hunger, Jacket,The Jivin’ Ladybug, Mad Hatters’ Review, Mad Swirl, Mid-June, Moria, Omega, Otoliths, Poets for Living Water, Skidrow Penthouse, Street Cake Magazine, Sugar Mule, Sulfur, Talisman, Tears In The Fence, The Wandering Hermit, The Toronto Quarterly, A Trunk Full of Delirium, Venereal Kittens, and Wood Coin. His publication, Smelling Mary(Howling Dog Press, 2008), was nominated for both the Pulitzer Prize and the Griffin Prize. Black Widow Press published his from stone this running in 2012. Additionally, he is the originator of Hinge Theory. email contact:


charting the apparitional journey syllogism

appearance manifests


manifestation = arrestation, → configurative impulse to configure, → the locatable the locatable anthems in the cradle of designation vocalizes perimeters, . . . → outlines

elision riptide fossil fantail landscapes feverish oft times

cutlery (char-i-ty) to carve/bring out/into form format fitting fitting a format transpositioning: the claim in migration alightment initiations


rarely hardly if ever seldom seen the purview short shorn of latch crazy with the gravy easy on the mellow driving directions to your homepage in this time of spite off the light rapiers sleek silky subtly keen a forage near dear darling of the dank rapscallion prank opportunities in the buff delectations deliciously dolorous fold enough’s enough huff & puff grab by the scruff if hardly if ever


at which point the smote milling ambidextrous harping ominous smoking omnivorous forever amphibian rhizomic strove a tuck took to duck caressed careen career in spin let’s get outta here I can’t stand the din as a stand-in octopus jeremiads kick shin butterflies will do do you happen to have a shoe-horn put your belabouring in your mouth your troubles on the backfire fire up the pit quick slip split hasten heap deep across blade typhoon blaze flame blear target tear calypso calliope carom croon carousel rune


oFtentimes the slip skid-skedaddles run amok untucks thunderstruck deciphering anecdotes a moat bunches piled till kingdom come comeuppance insubstantially Hal he was a fair weather friend until the end that brutal finish code of wheel dubiousness an enterprise a lurch a mulch for lunch keepsakes on the quick quirk smirk tremulous with mirth smell embellished pathfinder so much about loneliness & bathing


Biographical Note: Alistair Graham left Shaftsbury House College in 1984 and is working in sales and account management for the Royal Mail Group. He lives in Belfast with his wife Lucille and sons Samuel, age 25 and Dary, age 20. He has just finished a second poetry collection “Streets of Belfast” which is due for publication. His first book, “War and Want,” was published in 2011.


A Knock on the Door I heard a hell of a knock on the door I lifted my head, I heard it once more A dreadful noise, a please let me in knock A for heaven’s sake, don’t leave me here knock I slowly opened the door towards me To a dishevelled man clothed bizarrely With his upper lip raised, his gum exposed A mouth of words, a purple tongue and nose The snakes, he shouted, the snakes, bloody snakes Let me come in son, thank god your awake Come in, I implored, come in and take rest Please sit by the fire and tell of your quest He leaned back in the chair to draw a breath And to all the world appeared close to death What’s that, I whispered, pointing to his hand He motioned to speak then got up to stand It’s snakebite, he shouted, see for yourself But I was further concerned for his health He hoisted both arms high above his head I’ve been roaming around this world, he said His weathered hands clasped the pewter tankard The liquor waves crashed the sides and downward Take it, take it, go on take it, he said Medicinal juice without which I’d be dead I sipped it, he smiled, I sipped it once more I took a great gulp, I smiled then I roared I like it, like it, I like it my friend, The feeling inside, I hoped would not end My arm round his shoulder, his arm round mine We danced up the room and down in quick-time My heart, he cried out, for one and all aches Because current psyche’s a shallow lake


He studied my face through tears in tired eyes Certain the people were happy with lies I’m off now, he said, damn-all I can do We broke our embrace, I knew it was true I heard a bang. The door pulled behind him On the floor lay his card. Must have fallen I picked up the card and turned it over St Patrick called today, three leaf clover


Ally Ally Oh If Titanic skin was our skin the question I’m asking is would we sink into ourselves and die Our skin is double-thick anviled and armoured bullet-proofed and barricaded bomb-proofed and separated labelled and ware-housed on terra ferma Belfast built


I Know I know the crease beneath your eyes I know your lips your brow your chin I know the hair that clothes your head I know the surface of your skin I know the rhythm of your breath I know your movements when you sleep I know the moment you awake I know the promise I will keep I know when you castoff the world I know when sorrow’s at your door I know when secret tears you shed I know my power to restore I know the verse birds sing at dawn I know the setting of the sun I know the light cast by the moon I know my pure love is legion


VOTES R US Very nearly didn’t vote, votes change nothing quote-unquote or nothing ever changes, stays the same Then I slice a slice of Five Mile Cheddar and up the hill inclement weather “if you don’t vote then you can’t complain” A flyer from a friendly face on entry, now inside the place I’m fed warm cheese on stick, on paper plate Plug-in smellies on the walls fat men in wellies know-it-alls and opium burners filling heads with bait Flag wavers of every sort, piled-high troughs and sniffs and snorts of greedy pigs feeding on human flesh In a small room out the back a laughing roaring spluttering pack of bloated faces over-run the crèche Wine and beer is complimentary spirits, cider, wickeds, plenty, flat-screen sports and fashion shows, three D And rows and rows of smiling faces hanging low from boot-size laces screaming, if you buy one get one free In a trance now; silly me


Men Know

Men know the moon the stars the sea Men know the speed of light and sound Men know the price of everything Men know the value of nothing around Men know the power that money can buy Men know the steps on corruption’s road Men know the weak are fashioned for use Men know the system and the system’s code Men know that excess is not enough Men know that dearth is required Men know that all men return to dust Men know that greed is admired


Inso grew up in Somerset and joined the RAF before he was 18 and has worked on helicopters ever since (I've been in the forces now for 24 years). He spent a year in NI and was there when the lads got killed outside Massereene Barracks. He has travelled with his job to places in the middle east and Africa (amongst others). Inso has been writing poems and stories on and off for the last 25 years but normally just to level his mind and for his own entertainment. He is a family man with never enough time for everything he wants to do.


The Field Surgeon. If I were you, I’d look away, and not be watching here today. The poor lad took a round, you see and removing it is down to me. With swift precision, in I go; I can’t be squeamish now, you know. If I don’t find it he will die; there’s not much hope but I must try. A small cut here a big one there, the blood is flowing everywhere. With each incision chances fade, I question choices I have made. At last I find the metal slug, and swift with tweezers, hard I tug. With sucking sound the slug pulls free, a bloodied gem for all to see. Be quick with swabs and fast to stitch, to lose him now would be a bitch. Be neat and tie the stitches well, we wouldn’t want the wound to swell. With iodine, wash clean the state and hope that germs won’t infiltrate. With white clean linen wrap him well, I hope he’s fighting I can’t tell. Now we wait to see him wake, with all the effort it will take, He’ll need to fight hard for his life, to heal the damage caused by knife. He slowly stirs from slumber deep, and opens eyes gummed up with sleep. “Did I make it?” spoke the lad. “Yes, you did...we’re rather glad”. If I were you, I’d stop and stay, to see me do my work today. If you are lucky you will see, that lives are saved from death, by me. I can’t tell you what will be, when I perform my surgery But mark my words; I’ll try me best, to save them from eternal rest.


Sitting in an American Mess Hall. To sit in tan, alone amongst a sea of grey; To hear the voices of the world and not know what to say; To taste the food you love and not recognise the taste; To receive so much, it can only lead to waste. To have a stranger ask of you your time; With no request of reason or of rhyme; To sit and talk of home and other’s homes; To hear the foreign dialects and tones. To hear of troubles from a distant race; To tell them yours and have them listen in their place; To find the troubles that we have are troubles shared; And when at war, we aren’t the only one who’s scared. To sit in tan, a speck amongst a sea of grey; To hear the voices of the world and know you have a say; To be accepted as an ally; friend and mate; And know together, soldiers share each other’s fate.


Biographical note: John Liddy has published several books of poems and a new collection, Some Light Reading, due soon from Lapwing.


A MOMENT’S PAUSE FOR PAULINE i.m. Pauline O’Dell (nee O’Brien) 1911 - 2011 There was no fuss or fanfare for my aunt Pauline When Elizabeth II alighted in Casement Aerodrome, Clad in symbolic green; twin ironies, two symbols in one, The day Pauline drew last breath from a century begun For her in the year George V anchored in Kingstown. And when the band played God Save the Queen In the Garden of Remembrance, there was a reciprocal Bow of the head from Her Majesty in reverence To Ireland’s patriot dead as Pauline, with near perfect Timing and in good company, laid to rest in Glasnevin Cemetery a life framed by two visiting monarchs Yet remained anonymous, preferring suburbia’s round Of golf and a drink in the club house to a hundred Years of warring neighbours who, at last, could rhyme Anthems wrapped in protocol and sing of BhFionn And Queen in the time it took to bury Pauline With all that she had felt and seen.


BETWEEN SWIMS It stands at a slight angle to the Universe Claude Cockburn When Huston was planning the day’s shoot In Paddy Linehan’s Pub, I was being wheeled Passed Perks for my first sea-airing along The prom in spring sunshine mixed with salt. Eleven minutes of Youghal in Moby Dick Became part of my biography as it was made In the place and year of my birth and mother’s Favorite actor was Gregory Peck. When the film crew packed up and left The town must have gone into a depression. So much of Hollywood made everybody, Including my piano-playing father, bereft. With my brother and sister to make a castle I had my first contact with waves swirling About me, breaching the walls as I tried To beat them back with my shovel. The half-view from our window of the strand Shaped my view of the world, returning to me Years later when I waded in with my sons And had a whale of a time on the sand.


THE ANARCHIST Except for the occasional comment about the man round the tertullian table, I knew little about Alfonso, who wore a blue kimono, sold matches and tobacco from his decorative stand in Madrid’s Café Gijón. Regular customers exchanged pleasantries with him but otherwise he was silent, overseeing conversations in the smoky room, the visceral talk amongst Spain’s artists and writers, fuelled by liters of wine. Today one may buy tobacco from a machine close to his desk now a shrine, where a plaque in black lettering commemorates Alfonso the Anarchist, who once said “the day God retires, I will rise.”


TOMBSTONE BLUES More a monument than a tomb, a place of pilgrimage like a shrine, messages and mementos festoon five finger-frets that jut out of stone in St. Oliver's cemetery; placed by pilgrims who recall concerts, the way he played the blues. It was 1972 in Limerick’s Savoy when I emptied my head of school, filled it with his ’61 battered Strat bought from Crowley’s of Cork City, that gave us Bullfrog Blues and later his take on Philby. He was our local answer to Hendrix, who, when asked by a reporter what it felt like to be the best, suggested asking Rory Gallagher.


TOUCHING BASE for Tom Prendergast The randomness of meeting on a street in New York In the thick of a St Patrick’s Day crowd, appealed to John’s Sense of the epiphenomenal, but when fortuity struck Again thirty years later in Madrid, it was Tom’s Turn to ponder some mysterious power at work. Both aware without asking, personal details were set aside Since their paths first converged a lifetime ago in Limerick; Each to his own sense of privacy, respect for local pride. They could have passed each other by with a ‘How’s it goin’ As others have done in Red Square or the Taj Mahal. The aleatory moment suspended for more urgent attention Given over to the snafued agenda of their private cabal. Instead, they opted to renew the link, verify the pull of home, For that is how we are defined no matter where we roam.


Aine MacAodha is a writer and amateur photographer from Omagh, situated in County Tyrone; North of Ireland. Her essays, poems and photographic work have appeared in issues of Luciole Press and Pirene’s Fountain, her poetry has been published in online magazines including Argotist Online, Arabesque Review, Shamrock Haiku Journal, The Herald, Celtic Myth Podshow, Debris Magazine and recently in The Toronto Quarterly, Glasgow Review and the first two issues of soylesipoetrymagazine. which are also translated into turkish, also poems in a couple of issues of Thefirstcut and Outburst Magazine. She has two poetry collections published.


Inner space

Travelling into myself ghost of the past stalk the area. At times no one for miles. outside so busy. This inner universe carried in the vastness of the consciousness. I ‘m aware of much more various sized spaces corners often dark. Drifting there as a seed on unfamiliar ground seeking fertile turf. Finding a solitude a strange gratitude for having discovered this inner space.


Winter sky

I carted that vision with me all week the wild Atlantic trashing against the worn template of Roughie Rock. Edges of the water rimmed with foam winter throwing out its worst. Clouds above the cliff gathered in clumbs like unpolished amethyst. slowly moving and making their way out to the ocean to disperse as they see fit, or not. At night I recalled them they soothed me like when earthbound you drove us to the shore to breath in the sea air. Great for the lungs you said. This image reminds me of you father.


Three Haiku

over my shoulder the creaking door ~ no one to be seen full wolf moon half clouded over ~ ready for sleep already the blackberries are showing signs of death ~ angry Lunasa


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: 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 £7.95 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: and title your message as follows: Purchase request (name of customer here).


NOVEMBER 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 this 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 December edition, which will feature artwork by Arizahn - who has promised a Yuletide Special! Here's hoping that this will involve mince pies...


By Michael McAloran

By Michael McAloran


By Michael McAloran

By Michael McAloran


By Michael McAloran

By Michael McAloran


Biographical Note: Peter Francis Fahy is a graphic artist who specializes in pencil and ink. Most of these images are scenes from short stories that Brian has written, and there's a few based on personal experiences as well. Peter read a lot of Japanese manga so he is influenced by that style of drawing, especially Kishimoto - the artist and creator of the Naruto series. He wouldn't call this fine art - it's just a real vital part of the creative process for Peter. Whenever he writes fiction, he needs to have some images in there as well.


"Banged Up" by Peter Fahy

"Cowboy Style" by Peter Fahy 59

"Liam" by Peter Fahy

"Lydia" by Peter Fahy


"Tony" by Peter Fahy


"The Green Door (Lapwing Edition) is the eleventh in the series of the journal, it is a magazine dedicated to art, poetry and is quite hefty coming in at 110 pages. I was lucky enough to be granted access to the preview copy and I am glad that I was: the collection of poets contained within spans almost the entire lifespan of Lapwing Publications. The Green Door does not have a fixed release schedule which is understandable considering the complexities of modern life.. They accept poetry in English, French and Dutch primarily, although other languages can be worked with. The collection contains poetry from Kate Ashton, artwork from Mary Noonan and many others . One of the works which caught my eye was by Gerry Mc Donnell - an essay entitled Jews and Gentiles. This piece of work looks at the lives of the Jewish population in Ireland during the 19th century, a topic which I am very interested in. There is just so much content for the soul and the mind to absorb; the whole magazine is very hard to put down." *Review submitted by Amos Greig. The Green Door has been running since 2010. Anyone who is interested in submitting work to The Green Door should contact the editor on:

Four X Four

Four X Four is an online poetry ezine which takes the concept of four poems from four poets. The zine is currently onto it's second issue both issues can be found here ( and ( the work contained within each issue is of a high standard and the editing is well done. The zine is edited by Colin Dardis and released quarterly. One of the things I like about this range is the subtle editing and the high standard of poetry; with poets including Ray Givans, Geraldine O'Kane and Adrian Fox each issue is a satisfying and enjoyable read. ^review submitted by Amos Greig fourxfour is a recent initiative by poet and editor Colin Dardis contact details are,


Published in Baskerville Old Face size 12 Produced in Belfast, Northern Ireland.


LAPWING PUBLICATIONS RECENT, NEW And FORTHCOMING TITLES 9781907276798 Martin Domleo The Haunted Barn: A Novella 9781907276804 Helen Soraghan Dwyer Beyond 9781907276811 Richard Brooks Metaphysical Flaw 9781907276828 Martin Burke For / Because / After 9781907276835 Gerry McDonnell Ragged Star 9781907276842 James O’Sullivan Kneeling on the Redwood Floor 9781907276859 Una ni Cheallaigh Salamander Crossing 9781907276866 Teresa Lally Doll 9781907276873 Lynne Edgar Trapeze 9781907276880 Paul Tobin Blessed by Magpies 9781907276897 Laurence James Deliquesence of Dust 9781907276903 Marc Carver London Poems 9781907276910 Iain Britton druidic approaches 9781907276927 Gillian Somerville-Large Karamania 9781907276934 Martha Rowsell Another Journey Like This 9781907276941 Kate Ashton The Concourse of Virgins 9781907276958 Martin Domleo Sheila 9781907276965 Tommy Murray Swimming with Dolphins 9781907276972 John O’Malley Invisible Mending 9781907276989 J.C.Ireson The Silken Ladder 9781907276996 Mariama Ifode Senbazuru 9781909252004 Keeper of the Creek Rosy Wilson 9781909252011 Ascult? Linitea Vorbind hear silence speaking x Peter Sragher 9781909252028 Songs of Steelyard Sue J.S. Watts 9781909252035 Paper Patterns Angela Topping 9781909252042 Orion: A Poem Sequence Rosie Johnston 9781909252059 Disclaimer Tristan Moss 9781909252066 Things out of Place Oliver Mort 9781909252073 Human Shores Byron Beynon 9781909252080 The Non Herein Michael McAloran 9781909252097 Chocolate Spitfires Sharon Jane Lansbury 9781909252103 Will Your Spirit Fly? Richard Brooks 9781909252110 Out of Kilter George Beddows intro x Jeremy Reed 9781909252127 Eruptions Jefferson Holdridge (out soon) 9781909252134 In the Consciousness of Earth Rosalin Blue 9781909252141 The Wave Rider Eva Lindroos (out soon) There are other new works in various stages of preparation. All titles £10.00 per paper copy Or In PDF format £5.00 for 4 titles.


A New Ulster issue two  

Northern Ireland's newest online literary and arts zine.

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