Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Timeless Skill for the Win

The following is a poem written by Wicklow Writers Member Nora Fleming.  She was awarded 1st prize for Original Poem and was presented with "The Mary Myler Memorial Perpetual Cup"  in the Arklow Feis.  Here's Nora with the cup, and below is a picture of the Subject of the poem, Tailor Michael Johnson.  Congratulation to Nora!






















Timeless Skill

He works alone, sixth generation,
placing the manikins for display
once a thriving family business
the master tailor prepares for a long day.
Through the plate glass window
hot rays of a welcome spring sun shine,
today he has a final fitting
a bespoke suit for a man of distinction.
After years of tireless hand sewing
his index finger bears all the
hallmarks of a pin cushion.
Once feet and inches
Now metres and centimetres
once Singer sewing machines
now automated industrial models.
His forebears turned out twenty suits a year
this three-piece tweed, lovingly crafted, only his fourth this year.
He checks his stitching, slope of the shoulder,
and waits
the most important customer of his life
the most important suit he’s ever made
an inaugural suit of honour
fit for a President.

-Nora Fleming






Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Merry Christmas & a Safe New Year!

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Joyful New Year! We will be back in action on Monday 11 January 2016 at the usual place , Kilmantin Arts Centre, Bridge Str., Wicklow Town at the usual time,  7.30pm.
Make it a New Years resolution and put pen to paper and let your thoughts or ideas flow!
See you then
Wicklow Writers! :)

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Homework for Monday 9 November 2015 and The White Cow of Derrynane!

So the home work for the Monday night 9 November 2015 is to choose a poem by Patrick Kavanagh and a poem by Mary Oliver and bring them to the Monday evening class to critique/ analyse.

Carolann Murphy ;)


Our very own Martin Swords had the opportunity to visit Women's Writing Group and The Poetry Group at Kenmare Arts Centre. Here is a piece written by Martin Swords that was inspired by his visit.

The White Cow of Derrynane

The White Cow stood
Silently watching
The thatch pulled to ground
The ram smash the gable down
The tears and wails of women and childer
The White Cow watched

The White Cow of Derrynane
Stood quiet hearing
The American Wake
The long journey’s start
To Cobh, to New York, one way
The White Cow saw them going

The White Cow of Derrynane
Stood quiet gazing
As the Liberation coach
Rolled roughly past driven
By hopes and well wishes
To a Parliament of promises
The White Cow watched
It return empty

The White Cow of Derrynane
Watched perplexed
A coach of black, feathered, ribboned
A Liberator, liberated
Of earthly toil unfinished
The White Cow heard the wails
The keen tears as before
The White Cow of Derrynane
Stood watching as brother
Ambushed brother both
Thinking to set the White Cow free
The White Cow needs them both
If she is to survive
But they have killed each other
The White Cow knows

The White Cow of Derrynane
Hears of messages
Words and pictures from far away
Places unknown to the White Cow
The young are gone and going
The old cannot manage not
The White Cow nor the messages
The White Cow cannot understand yet
Has seen its like before
And feels a hunger coming
To the White Cows of Derrynane

Martin Swords
Wicklow Writers
Written in Kenmare and Derrynane National Park
Sept 2015


Sunday, September 20, 2015

Upside Down, Rightside Up!

After a 3 month summer break, Wicklow Writers returned to meeting last Monday 14 September from 7.30p.m. at Kilmantin Arts, Bridgestreet, Wicklow. If you are interested in writing, pop down and say hello!

This week the members tried out another idea for a poem's structure. It was to create a poem that you could not only read from start to finish but also from finish to start! An 'upside down, right side up' poem , if you like.
This was J. Ted Voigt's attempt:

Seasons                         by J. Ted Voigt

coming up
Temperatures are 
Falling
No longer are
Leaves
On their branches
Buds
Ended with
Frost

The idea stemmed from a poem by Chanie Gorkin called 'Worst Day Ever?' that was posted on poetrynation.com

Worst Day Ever?               by Chanie Gorkin                
Today was the absolute worst day ever
And don't try to convince me that
There's something good in every day
Because, when you take a closer look,
This world is a pretty evil place.
Even if
Some goodness does shine through once in a while
Satisfaction and happiness don't last.
And it's not true that
It's all in the mind and heart
Because
True happiness can be attained
Only if one's surroundings are good
It's not true that good exists
I'm sure you can agree that
The reality
Creates
My attitude
It's all beyond my control
And you'll never in a million years hear me say
Today was a very good day


Now read it from bottom to top, the other way and see what Chanie really felt about her day. Pretty clever, don't you think? 
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On 16 August, Nora Fleming visited Gorey Writers to partake in their meeting. They came up with a group poem where each individual that attended gave one line towards the poem. They then put all the lines together to make one group poem. The poem was entitled "Courttown Woods".

Courttown Woods 
Back in the 50’s going to Courtown
Fishing for crocodiles
Throwing a stick
When I imagine a tree
True happiness can be attained
It brought back happy memories
We are dragons, we are real
Found a place, so good to be here, all enriched by each other’s participation
Each supporting each other, in fresh bed
Today was the worst day ever,
Caught a silver trout
There is something good in everyday
Two roads diverge in yellow wood
In leaves no step had trodden, black
Clears the mind.


by the members of Gorey Writers (that attended their meeting on 16 August 2015) 

Some of the members of Wicklow Writers put a spin on the Group Poem (above) and tried to see if they could rearrange the lines to make another poem.

Give it a try!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Wicklow Arts Festival

Once again, Wicklow Writers will be participating in the Wicklow Arts Festival 2015.

On Saturday 23 May 2015, our very own Ted Voigt will be taking to his type writer at the Abbey Grounds to do his version of the 'Instapoem'. Ted's mission "A poem in an instant written especially for you!"

On Sunday 24 May 2015, Wicklow Writers will be hosting a poetry reading at the Cosmic Garden in the Ecology Centre of Dominican Convent, Wicklow Town. The weather during the past two years has been wonderful and the attendance has been fantastic. So do join us to either recite a poem, tell a story or just to listen.

Other Wicklow Writers news:

Martin Sword' s "Blackbird" was recently published in the 'Spontaneity.org number 7' e-magazine. It is always good news to be published and get your work out there. Do check out the e- magazine "Spontaneity" for a read.

Next Thursday 7 May 2015 is 'Poetry Day'. Some of the Wicklow Writers will be at the Bridge Cafe in Bray, Co. Wicklow at 2pm to recognise the day. Do come along and meet us on the day.

******************************************

A few of the Wicklow Writers came up with an Instant Poem of their own just for Ted!

"I Write for Money"

Said Ted 'I'll compose on the spot
Festival poems that are hot!
I'll write them for money
sad, poignant or funny
and I'll hope that you like them a lot!"

Martin Swords

****************†******************

"Line up, come on in!"

Said Ted, "Come along to the Abbey!
I'll be there with me old Olivetee.
With a tappety, tap tap
I'll write you a rap
Or a verse with some style for some money!"

Carolann Murphy

Monday, March 9, 2015

Tonight at Wicklow Writers

There will be no Wicklow Writers next Monday 16 March 2015 due to it being the night before St Patrick's Day. But we will be up and running again on Monday 23 March 2015.
Our homework is to write a poem or short story with the following words:
COTTON, WRITING, LUCKY, BRIDGE, PYJAMAS!

So tonight we revisited poems we had written in the past, we spoke of Haiku's and listened to some poems that were presented at the meeting.
We re-visited the idea of what makes a poem and what differentiates it from a prose. It was decided it was ok to have different styles of writing but how can the reader differentiate whether it is a poem we are presenting or a short prose? We read two examples from the same author in the group and decided, that even though both were labelled 'poems' one was geared more toward a prose and the other was more of a poem. We differentiated between the two by discussing how the two pieces sounded when read aloud, the rhthym, the words used, the air of mystery presented and the collaboration of the words that allowed you to use your imagination. Where did the piece carry you/ take you, if anywhere?
We did a bit of free writing by once again presenting five random words: BLACK, TOMORROW, ALOT, FAMILY and JEALOUS. We then wrote for a about 15 minutes.
This brought up a conversation on Advent and black bread! Where did it come from? What was it made of? So our task is to research the origins of 'Black Bread' during times of fasting!!

Ruth

Free Writing Session: 

We sat together as a family. Always at mealtimes. But tonight we all ran for the table when called, as tonight was the night before Advent. Everything had to be eaten tonight. There was never alot but there would be more than what we would be getting tomorrow.
Mammy had made an apple pie. I was always jealous of my older brother, Jack. He always got a fine big slice. He worked now and helped put food on the table. So Mammy always rewarded his efforts with the thickest piece of the pie. 'Eat up now, Jack. You need your energy!' she'd say with a glow in her eyes.
I'd sit patiently waiting for my slice.
Dad's was cut next and left to the side. He always liked his as part of his supper. Just before bed with a cup of tea.
I licked my lips. I watched the knife slice through the soft crust and as Mammy lifted the knife it drooled apple syrup. It dripped slowly from the blade.
I waited for my slice.
She cut her own. A small piece. Always watching her figure. Just a piece to wet her lips - just for the taste.
I was fifth in line i.e. fifth born. So I had to wait until everyone else was served before me. It was never divided equally. You earned your slice, like Jack.
Niamh's slice, she was marrying wealthy!
Tommy's slice, he played rugby!
Bernadette's slice, she was a nun!
Diarmuid's slice, he played GAA!
Then me. I was only 12 and I hadn't done my chores! I watched in anticipation. Mammy handed me a saucer. As she lowered it to my view I raised my hand to take the plate.
Crust! Just the crust! Again!
I huffed into my 'slice'.
'Well if you don't want it...' she said, still holding onto the other side of the saucer. I took the saucer and bent over it, shuffled my bum away from her in my seat and huddled over it.
'It's fine! Thank you!' I huffed.
'Enjoy it!' she said 'It's the black bread tomorrow!'

END

Monday, January 19, 2015

We Are The Silent


We are the Silent

We are the silent masses
We are the politician’s fools
We are the plain and the ordinary
The hurlers on bar room stools

We are the data fodder
Results in election TV
We are the trendy forecasts
The outcomes they’re waiting to see

The pie-charts on Party tables
The malleable numbers are we
We are the taken for granted
Our opinions assumed to be

Yet silent, we are not unthinking
We see through the hype and the spin
Don’t think for us or make assumptions
We determine who’ll lose or who’ll win.

Our marches and protests don’t matter
We have little to fight with of note
But our numbers, and our secret weapons
Our pencils, and our little vote.


Martin Swords
January 2015
Wicklow Writers