Wednesday, 7 December 2016


Launch in Galway of Fermata: Writings inspired by Music, edited by Eva Bourke and Vincent Woods, published by Artisan House. 
Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop, Middle Street, Galway, 03 December 2016.

It was fairly cold last Saturday out on the covered passageway at Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop, for the Galway launching of Fermata, but we were eventually cheered by poetry, music and prosecco. Thanks to all who made it such an unique and enjoyable occasion.
Ciaran O’Driscoll – ‘Wasps in the Session’
Geraldine Mitchell – ‘Basso Continuo’
Mary O’Malley – ‘Geography’
Gerry Hanberry – ‘Lilter’
Peter Mullineaux – ‘A Piper Prepares’
Rita Ann Higgins – Excerpt from ‘The Faraways’

Each of these poems can be found in Fermata, among many more poems and prose writings that describe/invoke/celebrate music of all kinds and its place in our lives.

Photograph by Seán F. Ó Drisceoil

And what is a Fermata, anyway?  1. the sustaining of a note, chord, or rest for a duration longer than the indicated time value, with the length of the extension at the performer's discretion. 2. a symbol placed over a note, chord, or rest indicating a fermata.

Apparently, according to editor Eva Bourke, there is or was a T-shirt available bearing the legend: I'M A FERMATA, PLEASE HOLD ME ;-)

Friday, 25 November 2016



This poem has gone through a few tweakings since I first put it up. Hopefully, this is the last revision! (29/11/2016)


Parsley pales. The cat craps in the flower box.
Round the garden table, garden chairs still range,
an icebound working group on climate change.
The car door’s frozen doorhandle unlocks

when blessed by water. Christmas rules TV.
Although no visitor’s appeared in weeks,
the feeble latch-grip slips, the front gate creaks
its winter wolf-crying expectancy. 

Our neighbour takes his DIY indoors,
no longer deafens us with power tools.
Spleenwort fronds survive on old stone walls;
their undersides are blister-strips of spores.

© Ciaran O'Driscoll, 2016

Thursday, 10 November 2016


Picture shows me giving an impromptu post-midnight reading on request outside Bush's Bar, Baltimore, Co Cork. The poem was either 'Turnip' or 'Please Hold' from the collection I have in my hand, Life Monitor. I was invited down to Baltimore to read at the O'Driscoll Clan Gathering that summer. I use this as my 'profile' picture on the website , where I comment on A and AS Level English Literature, particularly poetry, in a student discussion forum. I think I might also make it my Facebook profile as it has, for me at least, some kind of iconic vibe :-)

Tuesday, 11 October 2016



Let’s all go binary
beside the seaside, beside the sea
with a two into one 
and so it goes on 
with a seagull here and a cormorant 
there on the breezy prom 
where little boys make goalposts
from their jettisoned jumpers
and the brass bands go pom! pom!
marching ad infinitum
with lots of girls besides
by the breaking of the waves
and my tongue in groove struck dumb 
for the love of a fishwife
with a fishwife’s tongue

© Ciaran O'Driscoll 2016