Tuesday, 20 December 2016
Monday, 12 December 2016
John Montague, RIP.
Drove him back from Annaghmakerrig to Cork in a rusty Fiat 128 in the summer of 1983. He slept stretched all trustingly on the back seat while I kept nodding off, waking up once just in time to see a ditch straight in front of me. Ah them were the days.
I jumped a red light in Athlone, was stopped by the guards, breathalysed.
Guard: Now Ciaran, I’m afraid you’re over the limit.
John M: Excuse me! I’m an university professor. I need to get back to Cork. I have an early lecture tomorrow morning.
Me: John, please stay quiet...
Guard: Now Ciaran, I’ll tell you what we’ll do. You give me the keys of the car, and go up the town with your friend and have some fish and chips, and come back to the Station in an hour or so and collect your car.
John: But I’m a university lecturer and I have an early lecture tomorrow!
Me (sotto voce ) Shut up, John....
John M (later, up the town, as we ate fish and chips): But I thought it would help to get you off...
‘Like Dolmens Round My Childhood, the Old People’ – an all-time favourite poem of mine.
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.
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 ;-)
Thursday, 10 November 2016
The picture shows me giving an impromptu post-midnight reading at the request of some young people outside Bush's Bar, Baltimore, Co Cork, in the summer of 2016. The poem was 'Turnip' 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 Facebook as it has, for me at least, some kind of iconic vibe.
Monday, 17 October 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 with 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,
each finger-lobe a blister-strip of spores.
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
© Ciaran O'Driscoll 2016
Thursday, 14 January 2016
SEIZE THE DAY
‘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