All posts by angela

Poem in The Ogham Stone 2019

The Ogham Stone

I am delighted to have a poem in this journal produced by students on the MA in English and MA in Creative Writing at the University of Limerick. The 2019 edition has a particularly thoughtful and coherent design which draws the contents together visually by simple and appropriate means. The foliage motif (below) combines with an on-page ogham-style vertical element in an elegant colour scheme. The 2020 edition is underway.

TWO AUTUMNS

Beyond the classroom window

The young tree burns, orange against drab,

Its loosened leaves drifting like languid fire-flakes.

I am ten and I try my hand at a Pearsean ennui,

Picked up from Palgrave’s ‘Anglo-Irish Supplement’:

O, the sorrow of the world is on me

And I’m tired with life…

I am as old as the wind that ferrets in the trees,

As the hidden sun and the pale and empty sky.

Today I’m sixty-one and beyond the window here

My acer shoots from its crown

The green stars of its year’s new growth

Skywards on arching scarlet rods.

Between trees – more than fifty years, the Irish Sea.

I could die now: spouse companioned through the turbulent years;

Children reared; grandparents in their graves.

 

Wasn’t it the solstice yesterday? A shortening of light

But, I predict, tonight we’ll be astonished once again

At the landing spotlit by a seven-eighths moon

Lancing through the toilet window.

 

What is it that I’ve learned? Windows are good and I

Should get out of my own light.

 

 

 

Christmas Stars

CHRISTMAS STARS

The stars, a rowdy, cheerful crowd,

ran to their places, prompt to the call,

and how they sing! since then,

a nightly choir.

Only the comets − their slow tears −

betray the sorrow underneath that steadfastness,

for haven’t they seen it all?

− what we do down here,

warping the darkness that they love

into sly coverts for our filthiness.

Poor stars. Don’t grudge them their reprieve

each year, when their paragon,

their Star of stars, leader of kings,

sets out once more and triumphs;

finds his place, finding the child,

perfect as every new-born.

Here! the Star declares to each of us,

Surely you see – surely – that you

are a Child Awaited, you

arrived − naked and loved − and you,

gift-bearer of nothing,

can stoop under this lintel,

step clean through the needle’s eye.

 

Best of the Books 2019 The Lonely Crowd

I’ve recommended three poets in Part Two of this fascinating list of reading tips from Welsh journal The Lonely Crowd: Glyn Edwards, Glen Wilson and Jean Bleakney.

Books of the Year 2019 / Part Two

Damian Smyth of Arts Council of Northern Ireland notes writers from Ireland who feature in Parts One and Two of this exceptionally-useful series of bestofs … much here to pursue, purchase & read . These include Caitlin Newby and Scott McKendry.

Notice taken here of Eilís Ní Dhuibhne’s gripping memoir Twelve Thousand Days: A Memoir of Love & Loss;  Ciaran Carson’s final collection Still Life and & Frank Ormsby’s The Rain Barrel.

Books of the Year 2019 / Part One

 

 

 

Devolution of Broadcasting, Wales

In the midst of the general election hurly burly an important consultation is proceeding in Wales: an inquiry into whether Wales should acquire greater powers over broadcasting. The deadline for submitting evidence has been extended from today, 9th December to Monday, 20th December. Whatever its outcome, this inquiry marks a key developmental stage in the process of devolution in Wales.  Continue reading Devolution of Broadcasting, Wales

ULSTER SCOTS WEEK – POEM

Re-entry, Ulster – on the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing of 1969

Ma feither caa’d Wee Tam’s The Mune,
Fer the eyefu’ frae the gutter o’ thon Deil’s Den,
The mair, tae a weefla, Iniquity, a stern kirk-wurd,
Glamoured thaim cowp’d Deil’s Ain.
Yit, canny, A luik’d ap tae Him, the Lord
That wrocht the stars, the mune.

But thon ither god, the Yankee wan, ris then.
A lairnt new wurds − Trajectory, Jettison
And I sloughed off my pleghmy, chagrining ain.

Fiftie year on, wised-ap, A’m bak tae yirth agane.

TRANSLATION
Re-entry, Ulster – on the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing of 1969

My father called Tam’s pub The Mune,
Citing the view from the gutter of that Deil’s Den,
Though, to a boy, Iniquity, a solemn, churchy word,
Shed glamour on those fallen Deil’s Ain.
Shrewdly enough, I still looked up to Him, the Lord
Who made the stars, the moon.

But that other god, American, rose then.
I learned new words − Trajectory, Jettison
And I sloughed off my own − my phlegmy, chagrining ain.

Fifty years on, and wiser, Am bak tae yirth agane.

by Angela Graham

First Published in The Bangor Literary Journal August 2019

Issue 9: The Open House Festival Edition

Cover Art: ‘Discworld 6-5’ by Les Sharpe