All posts filed under: Walkabout

“Wending” and other Poems by Allis Hamilton

Mrs. Piper after Pied Piper of Hamelin   He came home with that wooden whistle one blustery winter’s day.   Said he found it on the snow at the crossroads of Hamelin and Coppenbrügge.   It was just lying there he said. He learned to play it fast enough,   one could well say he was a natural. But I got rather fed up with his playing here in the cave.   It bounced off the stonewalls and I could get no work done, so I sent him out.   The first time my husband returned after a day out with that whistle, it was flies that followed him.   All a-buzz in swarms like swallows on a summer’s eve. Next it was the worms slithering along behind him   like one enormous python. He used them to catch us plenty of fish.   When he brought home the rats, that was quite something.   I smoked the meat from most of them; we had a winter’s worth of food.   And I tanned their …

‘Tread Softly’ and other poems by Michael J Whelan

DELIVERANCE In the orphanage a child cowers from cursing men outside. She wants to climb back into her dead mother’s womb and hide inside its warm, soft, un-edged safety, where no explanation is needed or reason to hide under splintered staircases or run the gauntlet to basement bomb shelters, existing minute to minute with strangers until the dawn arrives with her deliverance and she refuses to be born. © Michael J. Whelan (Published in Cyphers, Nov 2011) GRAPES OF WRATH   It happens on a Thursday, just after 2pm, when ancient cultures and beliefs conspire and vultures spiral above a peacekeepers’ camp, where cedars age slowly and the Litani River caresses the ground where Jesus turned water into wine, where artillery salvos rip the air on their long flight and bite deep, deep into that place of safety vaporizing its concrete walls and burning and blistering and tearing apart the mass of terrified flesh and innocent blood seeking refuge from the hate of man. A soldier climbs from the rubble limbs and discarded faces, his …

Slán Muireann Ní Bhrolcháin

It was with great sadness that I learnt of the death of Dr. Muireann Ní Bhrolcháin, Senior Lecturer of Early Irish (Sean-Ghaeilge), at the Centre for Irish Cultural Heritage at Maynooth University. Obituaries and remembrances are too formal a way to encapsulate the energies of the person who has passed away. What we may say about her on paper; on her authorship, her survivors, and her activities, pale in comparison to the ball of energy that she was. Muireann had a huge and warmly generous physical presence despite her tiny size. She was quite literally a ball of energy.   I first met Muireann Ní Bhrolcháin at the Four Courts, as one did during the campaigns that dominated the Celtic Tiger era. Protestors would be in and out of courts fighting on issues related to the complete destruction of any and all heritage laws by the Fianna Fáil Party who came up with new planning bills even as they tore down and scrapped institutions that were charged with the preservation of our natural and built …

‘Haft Seen’ and other poetry by Shakila Azizzada

Once Upon A Time   in memory of Leila Sarahat Roshani   Granny used to say always keep your magic sack tucked inside your ribcage.   Don’t say the sun’s worn out, don’t say it’s gone astray. Say, I’m coming back.   May the White Demon protect and watch over you. Oh, daughter of the dawn,   perhaps this sorry tale, stuck in the mud, was of your doing.   Take the comb from the sack, throw it in the Black Demon’s path: seven jungles will grow at his feet.   Don’t say heaven’s too far, earth’s too hard. Don’t throw the mirror if you fear the sea and her nymphs.   Don’t say there was, don’t say there wasn’t, trust in the god of fairytales. May Granny’s soul rest in peace.   Give the mirror to Golnar’s mother who, down by the charred vineyards, dreams of birds and fish.   Don’t say the rooftop’s sun’s too brief. Say, I’m coming and this time, forget love’s foolish griefs.   Shake out the sack. In the …

A Preview of My New Book ‘She’.

The first edition of SHE was published by Oneiros Books in 2014. 82 Pages Perfect-bound Paperback. The cover painting image is © Anastasia Kashian, with great thanks to David Mitchell for design, and to Michael McAloran for accepting the book on behalf of Oneiros Books. Two poems from The Island Sequence of ‘She’ sea is a womb sea is a womb dip and flow the small boat rock and rock, rock the black black gold lace a-glitter and rocks – the rocks scrape her timbers beneath the carved wave lie monsters clawing at her base black the inky waves lap to black the inky waves lap to and black they suck the shale and if birds swoop they are the mere shadows of birds there are hands there to disembark you to hold you over the rocky black those hands that will arc you onto the comfort of stone this is the sea/       this inky black it does not smell of sea the gap between the boat and the shore is awesome the wood laps the …