Tuesday, April 8, 2014


A soldier of The Great War

I was a soldier once
Now a bright white stone
I was a squaddie
Marching in step
Now I stand in line
Straight serried rank
I was a village lad
Laughing with the boys
Having a harvest beer
Now I stand forever
With my mates
No beer no harvest
Only the reaping of the dead
A generation cropped
Short before its bloom

Martin Swords
March 2014

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Last Monday's Session

Ted chaired last weeks meeting (31 March 2014) and introduced a favourite poet of his to the group. Taylor Mali is an American poet who focuses on performance as well as content. We listened to two of his poem's 'What Teahers Make' and  'The the Impotence of Proof Reading'. The latter was my favourite and was very comical. Well worth a listen or a look!

So this weeks homework is different for each member. We shook up a dice with icons on Ted's Ipad (!) and each of us chose an icon on which to write. There was a key, a tree and a magnifying glass, to name a few. I chose the magnifying glass. As I may not be able to make this Monday nights class I decided I would put my homework up here. Hope you enjoy!

Magnifying Glass by Ruth Moore

'When things seem blurred and clustered 
And my mind can't focus right. 
I take out my trusty spy glass
To help me with my sight. 

It's round and circular dimension
Seals off the unnecessary
And it identifies and focuses
What really matters to me. 

It takes what is important
And brings it to the fore. 
It leaves behind the jargle, 
The white noise and uproar. 

Your mood at the time of using
Should not be one of disdain.
As a heated heart may sometimes
Start an unwanted flame. '

Saturday, March 29, 2014

'Toyota - the best Built Car in the World!'

Nora sent me this poem to pop on the blog on her behalf. It was written some time ago as a suggestion by Eddie to write something a little light-hearted and comical. After some great feedback, Nora sent it into Toyota. They were delighted. As Nora's car will be a classic next year, Toyota have kept it on record for reference.  ; )


'That year has flown', the postman remarks,
'Your little Starlet is now due it's NCT'. 
''Thanks, Pat. I was expecting that, it is always due
around mid -January''.
I drove her up to the tap and untangled the hose,
I gave her a facelift as the frost chilled my nose,
I took off the hub-caps and washed her all down,
Soon she'll be bound for old Arklow Town.

I started her up and checked all the lights,
next, oil and water, the brand that she likes. 
We flew over the hill and down in the fog, 
Passed the young jobless out for their jog. 
Arrived at the centre and paid up my fee, 
Pulled into the queue 'til a space became free. 
'Drive her up on the ramp', the man said politely.
''Thank you'' I said, my heart thumping slightly. 

I watched her being driven along very slow, 
Between a Nissan, an Audi and a nice new Polo, 
Then she was hoisted right up in the air,
And a lady beside me looked up in despair.
'Oh! I'm sorry' she said, 'I have to go to the loo!'
And I have to admit I was a bit shaken too,
Then I thought "Sure it's only a car",
Nineteen years old and brilliant so far. 

A handsome fellow looked out through the door. 
Someone said 'Who are you looking for?'
In his soft Polish voice he said '95 Starlet' 
Not sure of his accent my face went all scarlet. 
'The Starlet'he repeated, and I said 'Yes, that's me!'
'Everything is fine, m'am.' and he gave me the key. 
'The Polo failed!', the lady disputed loudly.
Happily I smiled and said goodbye proudly. 

So folks if you're thinking of changing your car, 
For one that will pass the NCT
The Toyota's the one, it will never go wrong. 
There's no other as good, it's plain to see. 
Mine is nineteen years old a dream to behold,
Sure 'You'll have it forever', they say. 
She did me so proud, I feel up on a cloud. 
And she proved it all here on this day.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A Homework Update

Hi all, Ted here.

Things have been busy with the Wicklow Writers, though you might not know it.  This post is a quick report about what we call "Homework."  Each week we assign ourselves a small writing project of some kind to be completely for the following week.  These vary greatly and the extent to which the instructions are followed also varies a good bit. 

Last week, our homework was to write something (anything) that included the following words (chosen more or less at random): Look, And, Sacramented, What, Penguin, Never, and Mead.

Here's my submission.

Two men, well settled in to their seats in a sleepy pub late one afternoon. 

"Over there"
"Well I'll be a sacramented penguin!  I have never in my life..."
"Shhhh he's coming"

A man, dressed head to toe in authentic Viking garb enters the pub.  He sets down a large axe and what appears to be a battle-damaged shield on a nearby table.

"Mead" He shouts, as if it is the only English word he knows.  


This weeks homework (Due 31 March) is to write about the 36th of March.  36/3.  March the Thirty-sixth.  Anything could happen...


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Nora Fleming - 1st place in Arklow Musical Festival's recent poetry competition. Well Done!

Congratulations Nora Fleming!

This week at Wicklow Writers we received some great news! One of our own, Nora Fleming received first prize in the adult section of the Arklow Music Festivals poetry competition. Nora's poem 'The Long Stone' received great comments from Liz Sharkey, the competitions adjudicator. 

Ms Sharkey noted:

'Poetry by its nature is a very personal medium. ... The poetry which stimulates me most is that which creates vivid images, that play within the consciousness and also makes me look at my world differently.' 

Congratulations Nora! You did yourself and us proud!

THE LONG STONE by Nora Fleming

We met in the Wicklow Hills 
Over seven decades now,
A brief moment for you, 
A lifetime for me.
Now you are waiting under the 
laurel tree for the next generation 
and some day I will be but a memory. 

The finest pillar in the nineteenth century, 

You stood straight and tall by the garden gate,
Stonemasons referred to you as 'a beauty',
The best of Wicklow granite.
Decades turned to centuries,
Modernisation slowly creeped in and 
sadly you were replaced by fancy brick.

Now in a sheltered corner, two small 

stones bear your heavy weight,
You were always a landmark
known as the 'long stone'.
A waiting place in the game of 'hide and seek',
A finishing post in the game of 'chase'
And a warm place to relax as one
delved into their favourite book.

After all these years you are there

glittering in your corner like rich diamonds.
The evening sun peeps over the thatch,
Shimmering shadows dance upon you.
You a part of me.
Me a part of you. 
Sometime, soon, in your terms of time,
They will look at you 
To remember me.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Early Facebook

Early Facebook

Pete wandered into Nellie’s.
The usual faces in the usual places
His corner seat waiting. As usual.

‘Story Pete?’
Big weather huh?
Hi Nellie. What’s good?
Y’know, Crab Chow, usual.
‘Sgood. Ok. Nellie smiled.

What news of Fair Lady?
Sheltrin’ in Burton ‘till it blows.
Good. That’s good.

Pete shot the breeze with the boys.
And Nellie. Chow was good.
G’Luck. G’luck Nellie. Tomorrow?

All the friends he needed, waved.
Outside the wind was changing.

Martin Swords
Feb 2014