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Featuring the works of Peter O’ Neill, Adrian Fox, Cliff Wedgebury, Maeve Heneghan, Sue Morgan, Maire Ryan McSherry, Rachel Sutcliffe, Neil J Burns and more. Hard copies can be purchased for £5.00

Issue No 5 February 2013


A New Ulster On the Wall

Editor: Amos Greig Editor: Arizahn Contents

Cover Image by Editorial

Amos Greig page 6

Amy Barry; The Meeting of Gazes The Fairytale of Dublin

page 8 page 9

Byron Beynon; THE CHILDHOOD TRAIN NEVERN CROSS CURLEWS VIOLETS HIRAETH THE CAST

page 11 page 12 page 13 page 14 page 15 page 16

Neil J Burns; Putting on the Hard-wall After the Corn Harvest in Late August

page 18 page 19

Will Daunt; Night Owls The Last House Graduation Day West Wales

page 21 page 22 page 23 page 24

Mia Fey; Hidden

page 26

Maeve Heneghan; If I could Make It So Dream Catcher Sins of Youth

page 28 page 29 page 30

David McLean; Evening is a warrior It is cold and sun hides Faces in mirrors Trees and no sea The wind whines, Amanda

page 32 page 33 page 34 page 35 page 36

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Maire Ryan McSherry; Title: Love at Sleep

page 38

Sue Morgan; The Removal

page 40

Peter O’ Neill; Grand Canal Bank Blues O'Connell Street Revisited The Night Watch Atomic Sonnet The Caretaker

page 42 page 43 page 44 page 45 page 46

Rachel Sutcliffe; The Lodger

page 48

Cliff Wedgebury; Scent conversation from mars stac polly

page 50 page 51 page 52 On The Wall

Message from the Alleycats Maire Morrisey-Cummins; Maire’s work can be found Adrian Fox

page 54

pages 56-59 Round the Back page 61

Manuscripts, art work and letters to be sent to: Submissions Editor A New Ulster 24 Tyndale Green, Belfast BT14 8HH Alternatively e-mail: g.greig3@gmail.com See page 52 for further details and guidelines regarding submissions. Hard copy distribution is available c/o Lapwing Publications, 1 Ballysillan Drive, Belfast BT14 8HQ Digital distribution is via links on our website: https://sites.google.com/site/anewulster/

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Published in Baskerville Old Face Produced in Belfast, Northern Ireland. All rights reserved The artists have reserved their right under Section 7 Of the Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988 To be identified as the authors of their work.

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Editorial Poetry: the very word can divide society. Some see it as an expression of free will, others see reading poetry as a chore, a drag. Is poetry still relevant in an increasingly digital and technological age? I would like to think that it is and that I am one of the many sources for sharing the work. What makes A New Ulster different is that we are not limited to just a hard copy but also exist as a digital body: we stand on both paths of traditional magazine and e book. Do we serve a purpose? I would like to think so; certainly our reading figures show that there is an audience for poetry and that there is a need for such outlets. Poetry is as ever about the individual, the artist and their place in society. It is a celebration of their work and a window into their techniques. A New Ulster is open to experimental and traditional poetry styles and approaches. A reporter for the Washington Post claims that poetry is obsolete. I disagree. Poetry is not obsolete. It is still a relevant tool; a delivery for social criticism and nature. Poetry gives voice to our inner demons and brightest inspiration. It is true though that poetry books are scarce in many bookshops, however that is not because of a lack of demand. Rather the paucity of poetry in book stores is due to larger issues. We just have to look at the book shelves to see that Young Adult fiction, historical romances and action thrillers fill the shelves. At this time that is what the audience is buying so that is what gets stocked. Of course the journalist or blogger in question was debating the merits of American Poetry but the question is still valid. I believe that creativity and passion for the arts should be nurtured, and that we need to encourage poets, artists and writers. I do have fears for local poetry, as I have seen certain poets drop off the map. I have plans for 2013 which I hope will see the journal grow and develop. I attended the Intercultural Europe Assembly where A Troubles Archive was revealed. It will exist in both booklets and an online format. There were some criticisms delivered towards the project due to its use of established poets. I was glad to see one of the forgotten poets mentioned. A poem by Padraic Fiacc was read out in connection to the project. Why forgotten? Because their work has for one reason or another become hard to come by. James Simmons for example has a large collection of unpublished work left after his passing, none of it has seen print and his work with Rostrevor has all but been forgotten. Enough pre-amble! Onto the creativity! Amos Greig 6


Biographical Note: Amy Barry

Amy Barry writes poems and short stories. Her poems have been published in anthologies, journals, and e-zines, in Ireland and abroad. Trips to India, Nepal, China, Bali, Paris, Berlin, have all inspired her work. She lives in Athlone, Ireland.

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The Meeting of Gazes

Her presence, like a magnetic force, courses through his veins. Her scent of wild roses, dampened with musk, envelopes him. Her smile, a vibration of warmth, curls over his skin. He yearns to lean over, to kiss her neck, just there.

Amy Barry

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FAIRYTALE OF DUBLIN

He holds out his hand, on the crossbar of the bicycle, I transform to a child, a moment of ecstasy, Dublin’s night life explored one winter evening. Blood in my veins, eyes shine, thrill at journey’s vision, the wind intense, ripples on cold skin, yet my heart, my soul, are impervious. Parnell Street till Pembroke Road, Christmas lights dazzle the city, the Spire, rises above O’ Connell Street, Jim Larkin, Daniel O’ Connell, Molly Malone statues, I gaze, stroll the streets of St Stephen Green. Take in every detail, every sound and smell, remember it all, for this is real, delight fills my spirit, adrenaline surges, as my heart vibrates, my mind at peace, a journey that tender night, brings me closer to him.

Amy Barry

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Biographical note: Byron Beynon

Byron Beynon lives in Swansea, Wales. His work has appeared in several magazines including: Cyphers, Black

Mountain Review, London Magazine, Poetry Wales and Chicago Poetry Review. Recent collections include Cuffs (Rack Press), Nocturne in Blue and Human Shores (both from Lapwing Publications.).

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THE CHILDHOOD TRAIN I hear the shadow of its sound fading into the distant evening as I settle before the departure towards sleep. In time I was able to tell the difference between passenger and freight, that rocking assurance, a shuffling move that came swiftly and grew to a metal crescendo, continuing alone on that private journey, entering once more the unknown night.

Byron Beynon 11


NEVERN CROSS This crafted dolerite with ribbon interlacing a symbol of eternity, standing aloof outside in Brynach's churchyard; pulsing my hand on the grey workmanship, sensing the carved geometry, dictations and patterns floating like a living movement through time, entering imagination's store like the fractured weather it has survived.

Byron Beynon 12


CURLEWS

I watch them working the estuary probing the mud with curved detectors, intense with silence they have waited until now for the tide to leave, urgent and fresh the unknown thoughts within investigate the intimate in a mourning of wind, coaxing in the winter light a communal menu on this sure line, they will return to these ingredients, unbroken habits that come once more inside the day's echo.

Byron Beynon 13


VIOLETS

Found on hedge-banks they were Keats' favourite flower, straggling stems in April and May prized with a depth of style. Inhabitants of landscape, insiders of nature designed to preserve the pure value of attention, working their own capable way. Near summer's doorstep, bleeding like arterial blood a variety of purple and blue shades watching the sudden daylight. Who cares for this plant ? A poet's indolence dreams of love's futility with small petals cupped in a mortal palm.

Byron Beynon 14


HIRAETH

Can a word hold a meaning that lives in the past and dreams of the future? There are the lonely places where the chiselled earth exists, a canvas that breathes in the imagination rising and falling on a surface where eyes perceive the torn song. To glimpse a distant wood in the unmirrored air, footsteps which belong to each living hour, the lost heart that is submerged and then found again.

Byron Beynon

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THE CAST

High above the kiln of orange tiled roofs a woman sits alone inside a public park, resting under the cooling influence of August leaves. The flat canvas shoes, a practical use for her swollen feet, the worn dress that will fit for years over the aged complexion of skin. The two plastic bags have balanced each hand, weights of injustice offending the summery air; entering that solo life each thought zig zagged after the explosion as a dying fire wept deep inside the cast of her secluded mind.

Byron Beynon

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Biographical Note: Neil J Burns Neil J Burns is a 31 year old blogger. His blog, titled Belfast is my Mojo, was short-listed for the Ireland blog awards 2012 for the category for best Arts/Culture blog. The blog receives on average, 300 hits a day. One blog post was published on Blackstaff Press's website. Neil writes in all genres, and has recently been published in 30 Under 30; with his short story To Chapel Haven. He has also been published in The Open Ear Journal (May 2011). A former QUB Master's degree student in Creative Writing and erstwhile attendee of the QUB Writers' Group, Neil is currently homeless but hopes to move into own place in January 2013.

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Putting on the Hard-wall That thud sound of mud like earthen-hue plaster lifted and slapped from hawk and board, scudded over the palpitating dry wall. They levelled out the hard-wall, working the trowel - heavy in wrist weight. Sealing in the shellac-sheen-wetness. Thick paintbrush cloyed with water, drenched the quick drying plaster. Again the workers wrought out any possible creases, shelving their trowels through the wall numerous times - to smooth it. The dry-rub of sand and cement: grey, dusty, gone. Work finished, radio off. Eggshell-gloss smelt clean. The whole room was clay-dark, heavy-wet. But new.

Neil J Burns 18


After the Corn Harvest in Late August The splendid morning field where the crow flew breast close to the golden crop-head. Glens of Antrim, tractor turning engine, and two men followers of the full grain. Summer close to end, blade-edge towards Autumn courage Let canvas bed down wood. Silence then. But, in farm-shed the settle was on the corn-dust: glinting, dancing, falling. Farmer’s hands felt the burn of hard work. Tap-head released him. The cool of the water. Tea-pot sluiced pour, while butter was thick about the loaf. Angelus news rang out. Later, coast crofter to bed. Boots felt the open of yard air, as honest snores rose the house. The dark crow in night field cawing from upon a gatepost. Man slept well as another field - yielded to him.

Neil J Burns 19


Biographical note: Will Daunt

Will Daunt lives in Ormskirk, Lancashire. He has written five books of poetry, including 'The Good Is Abroad' and 'Distant Close', both published by Lapwing. Will has previously reviewed for Envoi and New Hope International.

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NIGHTOWLS

You don’t know why and cannot guess what woke you from the loam of sleep that had been dug with booze and love far out in these potato fields. Your furrowed sheets are white as beams like cars at dozing time which traced fake stripes of daylight through the blinds until the dark reclaimed its crop. You don’t know how you woke up next and felt a scream swoop through the house as one last hunter strafed the lanes after the heart and eyes and gut.

Will Daunt 21


THE LAST HOUSE There’s always one, if the dry stone falls where the bracken’s as wild as untied hair and the telegraph poles lose the will to breach their seas of peat. There may be no track or drive, just a stretch of shale or cobbled slopes of broken boulders. A dog could howl at the fleeceless pens or bound about, announcing someone might be in, or might be back, in time. Sometimes the home is a snug cocoon of triple-glazed new pointing, blinds as thick as eaves under sun panels, on reclaimed roofs: havens at arms’ length. As likely are after-thought, half-ideas from wallets that promised… a gable held by scaffolding, render stained, jambs flaking under long-primed, soft wood doors. The false summit of holidays. These outposts mark where we attempt to untame ourselves, to feel familiar swells of hope, release, resolve and who we meant to be when we were young. There’s that brochure of memory: the shags on the sandbar; a couple of cairns; stumbling from fog up the peak of that final isle; joining a train, to face the farthest bay. But when we reach home, nothing’s changed.

Will Daunt

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GRADUATION DAY It took six months to bury her and on a day in that wet June we drove towards the churchyard where her villagers had scraped a tomb. The village had not known her when she scavenged up the 505 or poked around the Norwich road, nor how she lived to keep alive. A few would see her scurry up the slip road, to its planted bank and stoop towards the needled earth which wandered to her frugal camp. They found it that November, what had grown into her home, but then one summer dawn, became small news: a dead room, shaped by shelves and tarp and simple signs of how to eat and read alone, where purring cars would wake her days and help to brake starvation, cold and creaking years. And in that autumn den they found a neat, dry shroud of bones, whose mould was left in mulch and kindling by the form fillers and uniforms. Time staggered through its rigmaroles of looking up who Sally was, but she had never bothered cops, or registrars or dentists’ chairs. We drove beyond the churchyard with a child to see, degree to get, and guessed her plan: a dugout, priest and - none the wiser - local souls.

Will Daunt 23


WEST WALES Nothing much. A pebbly path mooches off the road and a gate hangs loose, by a sign or two. A platform for half a coach lies low, gazes west and gets off on walls of waves that salt the sedges. A concrete limb crashes out where breakers fancy giving that old, yellow track a good seeing to. A shelter of perspex rusts and makes quite a scene with a quick word or several, engraved lustily. A train in a huff drops by, side tracked and sleepy, held up by litter like tbis and watching the sea.

Will Daunt 24


Biographical note: Mia Fey Mia Fey is a University student residing in Belfast and this is their first time in print. Mia is a local up and coming poet who has made great strides in they’re poetry.

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Hidden Shadows on the wall remind me of your lopsided smile; it made me feel inadequate. Your eyes said. ‘I almost like you enough’. Your eyes, where hidden was the treasure you took from me. Your eyes, where you kept it stored – a secret; hidden behind your darkest thoughts, underneath those dark, deep, pool – like pupils. Verbally, you jousted; and wrestled; and stole my love. You returned only the shell, the empty husk. The Kernel, eaten, used. The empty husk burns, and smells like dead hay at the end of a long dry summer when they’re clearing the fields with fire– leaving a bitter taste in my throat – it catches; and scratches the back of my mouth, and nose and eyes, making them water with tears. Tears that sting and burn, like dry ashes. Your eyes said, ‘I almost like you enough’. The one sided nature of our relationship, where only you took, not gave – like your lopsided smile.

Mia Fey 26


Biographical Note: Maeve Heneghan

Maeve Heneghan is a native of County Dublin. After a number of years teaching English in China, Maeve returned to Ireland and is now living in the Midlands with her husband and daughter. She has been writing poetry and short stories for a number of years now and has had some of her work published with First Cut,

Verse land, Static Poetry and Every Day Poets.

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If I Could Make It So He told me people were talking In the classroom, Saying I was looking at him, He was looking at me. How could I disappoint him? Maybe tell him a lie? That the object of my stare, Was an uneven patch on The wall above his head. Perhaps the truth? That those lingering looks Were meant for the boy sitting Next to him, with eyes to die for. At fifteen, Love can be the sweetest, Love can be the cruelest. Maybe he’d feel better If he knew, I was invisible To my brown eyed boy.

Maeve Heneghan 28


Dream Catcher Cushioned by teddy bear sentinels, closing the book on your nightly read, you enter the pages of dreams. I kiss your forehead, eyes flicker beneath closed lids, Morpheus takes you in his arms. I wish you soft dreams, in a land of new beginnings, a place of happy endings. Wherever you go, in those silent hours, is not for me to know. I wait till you cross that sleepy meadow, when a waking world beckons you back with the dawn. Perhaps you will tell me, where you have been, if playful sprites of night have not sworn you to silence. As the sun peeps through the window of morning, hold on to those dreams, don’t ever let them go.

Maeve Heneghan 29


Sins of Youth I committed my first crime at seven years old, egged on by three neighbourhood boys. My desire to be noticed brought fruition to the plan, one flick of the hand, lay between me and my prize. At the village shop, a vegetable stand, stood as an oasis to my timid youth. I grabbed a carrot prize, my hand smeared with earth and sweat, stealing wasn’t enough, I must prove myself, with a bite. This was no apple, but I became Eve, guilt left its bitter taste, my Eden too, was gone. God showed his wrath. For days I didn’t sleep, shame gnawed at my insides, I broke down and confessed. Ma didn’t scream, didn’t shout or hit, just looked at me with hurt in her eyes. Ignominy took me to the scene of the crime, I bought repentance for my sin with silver coins. With each passing year, Eden edges close again. But the guilt remains.

Maeve Heneghan 30


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Biographical note: David McLean David McLean is from Wales but has lived in Sweden since 1987. He lives there with partner, dogs and cats. In addition to six chapbooks, McLean is the author of three full-length poetry collections: CADAVER’S DANCE (Whistling Shade Press, 2008), PUSHING LEMMINGS (Erbacce Press, 2009), and LAUGHING AT FUNERALS (Epic Rites Press, 2010). His first novel HENRIETTA REMEMBERS is coming in 2014. During 2013 a seventh chapbook SHOUTING AT GHOSTS is forthcoming from Grey Book Press. More information about McLean can be found at his blog http://mourningabortion.blogspot.com/

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evening is a warrior

evening is a terrible legendary warrior holding two rusty swords covered with cobwebs and guilt, as if to assess them, to make new friends and accomplished accomplices in his scarred history, pieces of skin assembled like the patient weight of death;

evening is a warrior with his skin still on, and war happens next

David McLean 32


it is cold and sun hides

it is cold and sun hides. earth grows its face of glass where trees shamble elegantly motionless their hormonal disorder.

and the sky swoops down to touch us disinterested, like a murderer being the best he can be; it is cold and sunless, everything smells free

David McLean 33


faces in mirrors

the faces in mirrors are escaping, shrugging the anxious from them like snakes shedding skins or devils regurgitating sins they have swallowed to cleanse us of them;

as if anything could be wrong or not permitted, when the law is nothing but the blood that runs through us, patient and waiting to escape, and devils live wherever we do, collecting faces and forgetting

names. as if anything at all could be sinful or radically significant when all there is is skins wearing their living, nothing to do but live huddled within them, nothing to do, and nothing to forgive

David McLean 34


trees and no sea

here are trees and no sea, two puppies and two cats, smoke over a battlefield is supple stomachs

trees and no sea is memory and being somewhere, skulls and dried hair

David McLean 35


the wind whines, Amanda

the wind whines round houses of sand terrible psalms of absence as we decay our today in painless hate's anterooms, the saxophone lies of love all there is left to embrace us,

and planets are things that live in absences there is too little petrol to put the fire out so we shout at ghosts that god is not forgotten, his funeral is orgasms and drunk in the morning,

drunk every mourning, and all i need is your vagina to feed on, gods are things that feed on absences and i want a hiatus, an emptiness, a forever and a death; all these things are sex

David McLean

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Biographical note: Maire Ryan McSherry Maire Ryan McSherry started writing in 2011 and was embraced into an online writing forum, Splinter4all. Maire enjoys writing poetry and short stories, normally derived from personal experiences. Her favourite place for inspiration is Curracloe Beach near her home in County Wexford. Maire works full time in the financial services industry and is a mum to two boys.

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Title: Love at Sleep One thirty on cue, but not lunchtime. Darkness filling the night, the spell chime quivered. His breathing came evenly as he relaxed into his visions, Hidden beneath his complicated wiring.

As was her habit, she leaned on her elbow, Facing him and his fears, if they cared to visit. Her fingers trailed a path on Egyptian cotton Within scenting distance of his broad chest.

Dark eyelashes hid impish eyes, at rest. When open, they darted and danced, Trailing her haplessness with a crease at his crow. Laughter chased wherever they rambled.

Too soon, the song thrush would welcome in a new dawn. She would alight first to charge the schedule. Words clung to her lips but were beaten back. It was still too soon, perhaps it always would be.

Maire Ryan McSherry 38


Biographical Note: Sue Morgan Sue Morgan lives in Northern Ireland with her husband and teenage sons. She writes in an attempt to stop the dust from settling, recent work can be found at the

Southword Literary Journal, Crannog Magazine, The New Poet, Poetry 24, Abridged and elsewhere. Her work has been long listed for the 2013 Venture Award.

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The Removal The old gate was lifted from the Orange Hall at Donaghmore. Harry hoicked it hard, it lay heavily on the back of his worn grey donkey, half-balanced, bunjeed tight against fading Massey- Fergusson flanks. He carried it no more than a mile to the bottom field, then abandoned it against the dry-stone wall. I saw bursting galls and proud mottled cankers beneath the festering, pied-black paint, a late perching place for bossy magpies. I took to it with a wire brush, scoured and scraped back to bare metal, soaped it well, then covered it, thick, with a new Dulux veneer. Now when I pass through to the barley, sometimes I imagine I hear lost voices in the air.

Sue Morgan

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Biographical Note: Peter O’ Neill Peter O’Neill is a Dublin based poet a collection of his work part one of his series The Dark Pool will be published by Lazarus Press. The poems will be published under that title

Antiope and will be available on Amazon KDP from the 13 th February 2013.

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Grand Canal Bank Blues After Patrick Kavanagh

Ripples appear on the surface like the lines of serenity on a mandarin’s face. And all of the Asiatic frailty of his sorrows are given their finest expression through the weeping of the willows which bow down to the unique majesty of these waters. Beneath this mask there is a darker side. Burnt rubber, plastic bags, half rusted shopping trolleys, cigarette ends and cans of Coke and beer float, or have sunk beneath the surface. Mementoes of a jaded and complacent race. Still, as long as there are no bodies‌ Canal, time locked, we still walk by not on the water.

Peter O'Neill 42


O’ Connell Street Revisited

for Brendan O’ Grady

Ever so often you must stop to remind yourself

that you are not just walking on a street, but that you are swimming in the river of humanity. The press of ageing flesh; frailty, vice and innocence are all being borne away on Anna Livia’s languorous scales. A nonchalant Spanish waiter, Lorca in chains, looks down contemplating the slow ebb of tedium under shafts of golden light which cuts the caressing breeze. Illumination likened to a Summer pasture where every girl is a muse and the law walks in pairs suitably capped and tied like a surreal, androgynous couple. From the bars the reveller’s songs fill the air like prayers. Babylon’s bitches are wailing, for every day the devil burns them. And middle-aged couples amble along with ease, their pockets and bags of years shared together barely noticeable, while the shyer young hold onto their promise like flowers. Babies bob up in their mother’s arms as if at sea, while their father’s look on in disbelief acknowledging with their eye’s life’s supreme prize. I follow each and every one them, when our eyes meet I extend an invisible hand and clench them warmly, with my words I uncover them. Poets are like chamber maids. See, I part the curtains of your hair.

Peter O'Neill 43


The Night Watch

For Thomas Kinsella On Baggot Street, every Friday night, Le Rideau de la Medusse, as painted by Gericault, comes to life above the hot air vents outside TESCO. However, there is a fundamental difference. For, here the down and outs do not look out for ships on the horizon. Instead, in this tableau vivant, their hands hold onto flagons and cans, which for them are the only places where hope abides. The sudden rush of alcohol to the brain momentarily douses the fleet of fire ships, and the many bridges in flames.

Peter O'Neil 44


Atomic Sonnet

for Derek Mahon Whatever happened to the slow, serpentine rapture of sweet heart’s Delight? Like a Halley you monitor the trajectory of this dark star, Your lines’ light crystal are form of whiplash we suffer to read During these veritable, last, few extinguishing hours. Tantalise and frenzy are the names of the withered beast’s own limited Company, its mascot the body of a dead hound floating somewhere off The coast of Ibiza where his late master, hung high on a pouch, mind Splintered into a kind of overkill of fancy, floats high on a lilo Walkman in hand. And, there’s Juvenal’s voice rising like a hooked fin In the water. He will later appear to you in sandals on the beach like some Modern day Crusoe, or predatory tourist, ready to announce A possible, further five hundred years of barbaric silence. Meanwhile, Bowls in hand, we sit in the collective mind’s blank cell with the Proverbial rat for company whose panhandling alms are our own unique sense of r e s p on sibil ity.

Peter O'Neill 45


The Caretaker Suits of condescension hang inactively inside the closets of malice Till the bought boy or girl step up in their emperor’s clothes And slip into them as smugly and smoothly as only bastards can. After first preening and primping around, these atrocious specimens Royally descend the stairs and step out into the forever time honoured Space. From here on in their every gesture will be political. Each decision Taken will be governed solely by the absolute calculation; ‚What’s in it for me?‛ The marathon hours of polish envelope the body of nepotism In a protective cocoon, which, along with the corrupted magnates of Indelicacy, will only further spawn a cancer, this their poor harvest after Years of rich measuring; security, security! The solid blocks of greed and Bile fall off the scales onto the bloated carcasses, which float lifelessly Through the stagnant marshes and swamps of thought weed.

Peter O'Neill 46


Biographical Note: Rachel Sutcliffe Rachel Sutcliffe has suffered from an atypical form of lupus for the past 12 years, since her early twenties. Throughout this time writing has been a great form of therapy, it’s kept her from going insane. She is an active member of a writing group, has her own blog @ http://projectwords11.wordpress.com and has seen many of her pieces published in various anthologies and journals, both in print and online, including; thefirstcut and Every Day Poets plus the haiku journals Shamrock, Lynx, The Heron’s Nest, A Hundred Gourds and Notes From The Gean.

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The Lodger It starts As a passing worry Nothing more. Then it reoccurs The fleeting concern And reoccurs A nagging trouble. Each time you feed it A little more thought And so it grows, Swelling stronger Lodging itself Firmly In your skull. And still you feed it, And so it seeps Making endless circuits Through your mind. And now you can’t Not feed it, So it invades Every waking moment, Fills Every sleepless night. You’ve no escape, Anxiety.

Rachel Sutcliffe 48


Biographical Note: Cliff Wedgebury Cliff Wedgbury is a Cork based poet, born in London in 1946. His last collection "a lingering adolescence" was published by Belfast/Lapwing in 2007

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scent let me master this beauty alone this landscape this solitude this empty place love is just the burden of your departing face while here no trace remains but the scent of an empty perfume bottle lying like me unscrewed upon the unmade bed

Cliff Wedgebury 50


conversation from mars intelligent life on earth? it doesn't look promising they fight torture kill and do not care such a beautiful planet spinning there it's hard to comprehend that humans cannot share half are grossly fat half are bone and skin the ice is too thin see it melt and recede they shall drown in greed

Cliff Wedgebury 51


stac polly wester ross a still april evening in perfect visibility i observed the four compass points no littered streets or lampposts here no graffiti tattooed walls no chimney pots or tower blocks the only blocks that towered here were sandstone home to hawk and eagle carved by the chisel of nature in acres of sky bereavement had drawn me like a magnet five hundred miles from home just long enough to stand in leave-taking and place on the cairn a stone

Cliff Wedgebury

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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: g.greig3@gmail.com 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! You can also order hard copies of ‚A New Ulster‛ signed by the Editor himself for the bargain price of just £5.00 per copy for black and white, £7.00 for full colour (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: g.greig3@gmail.com and title your message as follows: Purchase request (name of customer here). Yearly subscriptions are also available, for £79.99 each; which includes 12 full colour copies and all P&P.

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FEBRUARY 2013'S MESSAGE FROM THE ALLEYCATS: Congratulations to Dennis Greig, who spotted our deliberate mistake: ‚anymoire‛. This past month has been extra cold, but the snow did provide us with some lovely photo opportunities. Keep your eyes peeled for future covers. And wrap up warm – we don’t want any of our readers to catch a chill! 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‛.

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Biographical Note: Maire Morrissey-Cummins Maire is Irish, married with two adult children. She lived abroad for many years, working in Holland mainly and Maire lives between Wicklow, Ireland and Trier, Germany at present. She loves nature and is a published haiku writer. Maire retired early from the Financial Sector and found art and poetry and is really enjoying the experience of getting lost in words and paint.

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Summer’s End by Maire Morrissey-Cummins

Sheep Drifting by Maire Morrissey-Cummins

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Swell of Gulls by Maire Morrissey-Cummins

Night of Dreams by Maire Morrissy-Cummins

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Late Night Train by Maire Morrissey-Cummins

Red Burst by Maire Morrissey-Cummins

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Lilac Dawn by Maire Morrissey-Cummins

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Biographical Note: Adrian Fox Born in Kent, England of Irish parents, returning to Belfast in 1967, Adrian has an M.A. from Lancaster University and The poets house, Donegal. He was taught by the great poet James Simmons. Adrian’s poems have been published by Cyphers, Poetry Ireland, the Honest Ulsterman, and The Black Mountain Review, as well as four collections by Lapwing and Lagan Press. His poems have been translated into Hungarian; and whilst in Hungary, Adrian taught in the main university as part of a peace programme in 2003. He has also produced a CD, ‘Violets’, a homage based on the lost lives of all who died in Northern Ireland. Adrian is also a painter and teaches poetry online at: www.adrianfox.org

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THE PURE POET Somebody once said that some men aren’t meant to be happy they are meant to be great, Patrick Kavanagh is one such man. He has seen himself beyond himself, beyond poverty, Mucker, Dublin and even beyond his reality of spirit that he found on the ‘grand canal’ bank. Only when we are lost are we found, only when something is taken from us do we find an Inner strength, at the moment he wrote that poem/leafy with love and the green waters of the canal/ or the moment that Raymond Carver reached out in the poem to shake the doctors hand in ‘what the doctor said’ or the moment that Robert Lowell wrote epilogue and the line’ imperfection is the language of art’. There are lots of magic moments in poetry the list is endless, it is them moments that make life worth living for me. He might have had a lung removed and tossed into the hospital incinerator but the day he walked the grand canal banks his soul was on fire and he almost joined the ranks of the pure poet with Keats and Rilke, just when he reached the pinnacle of poetic words god takes over the poem. Patrick Kavanagh and Raymond carver are my reason for writing, they gave me the confidence to write these words, I love carvers filthy realism, I’ve read him and Kavanagh for years and every time I read Kavanaghs’ selected or collected I want to read them without god. The soil and the poverty would be so much richer without god and that’s my opinion, I believe that Christianity has ruined this country, the conflict in this country has been going on for 300 years and once we were finished with that we had the church sex scandals, I believe that Christianity the cause of both scandals has hindered this country and put us on the back burner where we play catch up. Even in my creative writing classes I hated the word god in a poem or the essence of god, the power and the majesty that we’ve placed on three letters is to much for any poem to hold so for me poems with the word god crumble. I was 14 when this happened on my way to a mock confirmation mass PRAYER Poetry is as Robert frost said ‘the sound of sense’ And as Robert Creeley said ‘you write the senses In front of you’. In writing poetry we fill in the gaps Of sense to help us understand this mess, trying to Bridge the gap between the pen and the pure page. Projecting the past into a readable present. Every day a poet has a new beginning a rebirth A smudge of reality on the clean page. Poetry is like jazz music it trembles to caress The vibrations of life. We live in this moment And because of what we see and hear, dwelling In this reality our attitude to the language dictates What we write. Because of what I seen when I was a boy, ill try to capture that: Striding the steps of holy cross church Armed with a cheap plastic prayer-book. 61


Just as I was approaching the great doors I heard gunfire from behind, I turned to see A man in a balaclava holding a gun in the air Victorious he yelled for god and Ulster Standing over three dead bodies. I looked At the prayer book, the great doors and ran home crying. Before I say any more and offend people I should explain that I have no problem with the entity it’s how people interpret it, just like the poetry of Patrick Kavanagh I’m going to try and remove god from a poem. I know that’s going to be difficult because Kavanagh’s poems are god and that time and place is Kavanagh and the Irish people but other poets do it so well and don’t have to mention the word god. Kavanagh has passed into the realm of great men whether he mentions god or not but just for my sake god doesn’t live here and my perfect world would be to read without god and to put him back on the shelf between Keats and Rilke. My belief is that Kavanagh would be a greater than great man without the man. A poet has to stand and be counted and let the words do the talking, I think his poems Would be richer and wiser and I believe that Christianity in this country is as he himself said anti art. Canal Bank Walk Leafy-with-love banks and the green waters of the canal Pouring wonder for me, grow with nature again as before I grew. birds gathering materials for the nest for the Word Eloquently new and abandoned to its delirious beat. O unworn world enrapture me, encapture me in a web Of fabulous grass and eternal voices by a beech, Feed the gaping need of my senses, give me ad lib To pray unselfconsciously with overflowing speech For this soul needs to be honoured with a new dress woven From green and blue things and arguments that cannot be proven. As Patrick Kavanagh said the self is only good as an illustration: Wow what an illustration, all I have done is take away two lines and without going to deep into the heart and the meaning of the poem I believe it to be a better poem without the word god.

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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.

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A New Ulster issue 5  

The Feburary issue of A New Ulster featuring the works of Peter O’ Neill, Adrian Fox, Cliff Wedgebury, Maeve Heneghan, Sue Morgan, Maire Rya...

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