Tuesday 20 December 2016



This is a link to a reading I gave of my poem 'The Copper Mines of Peru' at the 'On the Nail' Series of Readings in Limerick, March 01, 2016. The poem was first published in my blog 'The Helicopter Poem' a few years ago. Hope you enjoy it.


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.

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 ;-)