Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Lay of Glendalough

Saint Kevin and the Viking *

 In days of old when nights were cold
Saint Kevin and his band
Lived in Peace and Harmony
In Glendalough’s tranquil land

They worked and prayed each night and day
A simple life they led
They lived on honey
They had no money
This life is good
Just as it should
The weary Kevin said

From all around
From hill and town
The local people came
To sit with Kevin
To talk of Heaven
Such was his holy fame

He taught them all the way to pray
To live life rich and free
They said he spoke to animals
His goodness they could see
 ‘Twas said while praying by the lake
A blackbird nested in his hand
Knowing it was safe

 And all was good he prayed each day
He laboured for no reward
And when he tired and near expired
In Kevin’s Bed he lay
Then fame went out
Of monks devout
Who lived a life so rich
And word went loudly near and farvia
And reached  wild Scandinarvia

* This is an exerpt from the longer poem, in full
on Martin Swords Poetry site

Martin Swords  -  Wicklow Writers  -  Oct 2012

Thursday, September 19, 2013

New Season 2013 - 2014

Wicklow Writers are happy to announce the new season has commenced, you will find us
on every Monday Night (Ex Bhols) in Kilmantin Arts from Seven Thirty.
If you have an interest in writing stories, poems, memoirs, drama, whatever - do drop in
and say hello - you just might like us !

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


i.m. Seamus Heaney 1939 - 2013


The Blackbird is no more
In sweet Glanmore
And yet still
The songs he sang
Sing on and echo
Rebounding and redoubling
Far beyond the Wicklow Hills
Mossbawn to Moscow
Navan, Nullarbor
In Athens, Ashford and Athy
The song is heard
Trilling, growing, soaring.

Martin Swords
Wicklow Writers
September 2013

Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Word Smith

The Word Smith

Inspired by and dedicated to Seamus Heaney to mark his 70th birthday

What is the magic of the Word Smith
Taming the fire
Bending the earth
Bringing beauty from the brutal
Forging, refining
Shaping a sharp edge
Swords and Words
Sharp and Penetrating
Creating in mind and fire
Dreams, tools and everydays
That folk might live
Means of death, means of life
With the same strokes
Leaving a lasting mark

Are you a God, a Man,
or the SpiritWord
of Fire and Sound,
that men
both fear and love you.

Martin Swords           April 2009

Wicklow Writers Group

This poem, written in 2009 for the 70th birthday of Seamus Heaney
is posted today Friday 30th August 2013 to mark the passing of this great Irish Poet.

For all, thank you Seamus
Martin Swords

Thursday, January 24, 2013


Stille Nacht

A white table cloth,
a field of cold
sloped on a Wicklow hill.
Quiet. Chilly silent. Still.
Stark black velvet sky,
pinpricked, star strewn.
The Hunter moves slow
watching all below
his dog at his heel.
Nothing moves worth
hunting on this tableaux.
Breath exhales, reassuringly,
audibly, with every blown hand.
It could be a Christmas card.
A Carol in a bleak mid-winter.
It’s mid -January bleak.
Cold. Bleak.
Hunter hardly moves.
Dog doesn’t bark.
Stille Bleak.
Stille Nacht.

Martin Swords
Winter 2013
Wicklow Writers