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

Thursday, 14 January 2016



‘Because we’re going to die, an expression of intensity is justified’, poet C.D. Wright, r.i.p.

How about it, Blandus, an expression
of intensity before you pop your clogs?
It looks like you’re a man without a mission,
and your poetry has departed to the dogs.

Ah 'tis yourself that's in it! you’ll declare,
contemptibly soft-soaping the Grim Reaper –
as if you didn’t know he doesn’t care
for anyone, prince, poet or floorsweeper!

And he doesn’t rate intensity a whit.
It doesn’t matter if you’re numb or feeling.
So go and live life fully for a bit
before your funeral bells begin their pealing.

© Ciaran O'Driscoll January 2016

Tuesday, 29 September 2015


The tenth celebration of the poetry festival Riflessi DiVersi (hence RIFLESSI DIVERSIX on the programme booklet) took place in Perugia and Magione from 20th to 27th September. This photo is from the final night, Friday last, at the Torre dei Lambardi in Magione. All the readings are over, the festival has been hugely enjoyable and good-humoured, there remains a beautiful meal to be savoured at Luciano's in Passegnano, and for Margaret and myself, a 'free day' on Saturday and then it's up on Sunday morning at 5am to drive to Pisa for our flight back home.
Somewhat irreverently, the joke that I'm making here concerns my 'half-stigmata' (right hand only), which means I'm really only half a saint, and therefore not fit to give the assembled pilgrims my blessing.
Present L to R: Aurelio Stoppini, Vera LĂșcia di Oliveira [talking to unseen Marco Viscomi], Self, Margherita Bernardini, Rita Castigli and Andreina Panico.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015


I wrote a post a few years back called 'Did Magritte Holiday in Novigrad?' in which I admired an ancient loggia in that Istrian town. Looking out at the sea through the arches of the little loggia reminded me of the surreal effect of a Magritte painting.
The great thing about the loggia at that time was its public access; now, sadly, it has been privatized, bought, and closed to the public as the Croatian word privatno announces on the notice hanging on the cordon in the picture below.

Here are two of the original pictures taken by Margaret on our first visit to Novigrad in 2011:

In the first of these, a bicycle leans against the end of the loggia, and a woman (presumably the owner of the bicycle) takes a photo from inside, through a glassless arched opening looking out over the sea to the left. That casual freedom to lean a bicycle against a public monument, to inspect and explore a public amenity, are now abolished by the word privatno.
The second picture attempts to capture the 'Magritte effect' which first attracted me to the loggia back in 2011.
And here, finally, is the loggia in full, as it looks today, after privatization, with tasteless up-to-date windows and its eccentric use as somebody's breakfast room. A hybrid, neither here nor there.