Monday, November 24, 2014

Homework - Less than a 100 word story!

So for homework last week and the week prior we were to try and write a story of less than 100 words! This is my attempt!

Suppose this were my final day. by Ruth Moore

I would like you to know that I loved you. This should go without saying.

I would not want to visit all the places I have ever dreamed of nor would I spend all my money.

We would sit together on the beach. The stones uneven against our bottoms.  The cool breeze blowing in from the sea, allowing our hair to rustle gently. Quietly enjoying the pleasant scent of seaweed in the salty crisp air.

We would work out how you would move forward without me in your life. We both would be certain that you would be ok. 

(99 words excluding the title!)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Monday Night Meeting 17 November 2014

At this week's Writers session we spoke about short stories. Our homework from the previous week was to write a short story of 100 words in length. Each of the writers presented their homework. This opened the floor to discussion on what defined a short story. It was agreeable to all that it is one that has the standard beginning, middle and end, that something had to take place to make it a story and that it 'takes a turn'. Other definitions include that the short story has one main theme, it focuses on one plot and possibly has one main character.

We briefly named a few American and Canadian short story writers such as Richard Ford known for his short story ' Rock Springs' and 'Sweethearts', Canadian short story writer Alice Munro, George Saunders short story '10 December' and many of the Irish short story writers such as Brendan Behan and William Trevor.

We are looking forward to attending the Wicklow Library's Seasonal poetry reading night next Wednesday 26 November from 6:30p.m. where the public have been invited to nominate their favourite Christmas poem and present it for reading at the Wicklow Library. Some of the Writers will be there to read some of the poems and read some of their own work on the night.

My favourite and most memorable Christmas poem is 'A Christmas Childhood' by Patrick Kavanagh. I love the part of the light shining through the stacked bale of hay in the barn and how he likens it to a 'hole in heavens gable'.

I look forward to the evening.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Poem about Food

‘Pieces of Bread’              By E. J. Ryan.

Pieces of bread, pieces of bread,
Fresh baked toasted or fried,
Cut into soldiers ready for dipping
In soft-boiled eggs golden and dripping,
Croutons for soup tainted with spice,
Oh, isn’t eating ever so nice?

What about meats? So many kinds,
Prime beef or lamb, bacon and pork,
Chicken and turkey or succulent duck,
Rabbit and game-bird, haunch of a buck,
Sausages, puddings, rashers thin sliced,
Oh, isn’t eating ever so nice?

So many fish, fresh from the sea,
Netted or caught on the line,
The salmon the cod, maybe a wrasse,
Tuna and herring, mackerel or bass,
Lobsters and squid, oysters on ice,
Oh, isn’t eating ever so nice?

There are the vegetables, many and varied,
Frozen or par-boiled or pickled,
Salads served fresh can be so crispy,
Spaghetti, all shapes, noodles so wispy,
Root veg of all kinds whole or well diced,
Oh, isn’t eating ever so nice?

Cheeseboard and fruit, too many to name,
Gorgonzola, cheddar, feta and brie,
Apples and pears, plums or a peach,
Strawberries and cream, just within reach,
Juicy sweet melons, care for a slice?
Oh, isn’t eating ever so nice?

What about something to wash it all down?
Whatever your pleasure may be,
Fruit of the barley or of the vine,
A variety of ales and of good wine,
In moderation it’s not a vice,
Oh, isn’t drinking ever so nice.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Wicklow Library Book Launch

Finally we got a few snaps from the Long Stone book launch that was held in Wicklow Library in September 2014.
There was a lovely 'write up' in the Wicklow People also.  A great night was had by all. Photos and excerpt from the Wicklow People September 2014.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

So I've entered two competitions!

So from the title you will know by now that I have entered two poetry competitions! I found details of which on the Poetry Ireland website while I was researching a school competition my son wanted to know about. So I took the plunge and entered my poems 'I Close My Eyes' and 'Goodbye'. I entered one into the Ballymaloe International Poetry Prize and the second in the Troubador International Poetry Prize. So fingers crossed! I am only a small bit competitive but 'Game on!'. See you Monday...  

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Long Stone and Other Treasures

It's finally here.. our book launch ... well nearly here. Wednesday 10 September to be exact... at Wicklow Library ... from 6pm until 8pm. See you there.

Just a quick reminder that we will be meeting on Monday night 1 September to discuss the launch and then Writers will commence the new year on Monday 15 September 2014. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Long Stone and Other Treasure's Launch

The launch of our new anthology 'The Long Stone and Other Treasure's' will be Wednesday 10 September 2014 in Wicklow Library from 6p.m. to 8p.m. looking forward to it!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Finishing up for the Summer!

As we are closing for the Summer months, we had a final get together at the National Library of Ireland and were guided throughout  'The Life and Works of William Butler Yeats' Exhibition by a member of their staff. We were also treated to a viewing of the reading room upstairs in the Library where we could locate a copy of our previous publications! We concluded the outing with a lovely meal in the Dairy Restaurant, Phil Healy's Bar. This is where we met up with the other Members of the Wicklow Writers who could not make the earlier part of the day.
Our final Writers session was this evening and we hope to be active again on 1st September 2014. In the meantime, if you want to contact us or see what we're about please check out our facebook page or contact us via email.
Look out for our e-book, The Long Stone and Other Treasures due to be published soon.
In the meantime, have a great Summer!

Monday, May 19, 2014

COSMIC POETRY - Sunday 25 May 2014 at 12 noon

We are delighted to announce that we will be hosting the Cosmic Poetry open mic poetry event this Sunday 25 May 2014 at 12 noon. Come Along, bring your friends and your poetry to the Cosmic Garden, An Tairseach Ecology Centre (beside Dominican College) and see what it's all about. This event is in connection with the Wicklow Arts Festival that is taking place in Wicklow town from Friday 23 May until 25 May. Looking forward to seeing you there.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

EASTER  PARADE by Nora Fleming

As I gaze into the mirror
A voice whispers in my ear
A reminder of my debut
Bliss, emotion and a tear,
Staring into each shop window
Admiring Easter Bonnets
Primrose yellow my first choice
With all the frills upon it.

Marching with the big Grand Marshal
To the drumming of the beat,
Flags blow gently in the breeze
From the lampposts on the street.
I feel like I am dreaming
It all seems so surreal,
Drums beat louder, we march along,
It’s true, “The dream is real”

Nora Fleming

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

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Lazy Beds

Lazy Beds

Lazy was not the word for it
Hardwon. Backbreacking.
Little enough return for effort
Lumpers. Poor nourishment. Fear and Famine

Ridged soil scratched on unlikely hills
Where hope grew better than food
Overgrassed abandoned now
Sower and Harvester gone to grow in Newfoundland

You did not seek to make a monument
Only a meal, or a grave
Yet your Lazy Beds have left a message
Your unintended story written in the ground

Martin Swords
Feb 2014

During the course of my guided walks in Glendalough I often get asked about The Famine of
1840/50.  I explain something about its impact - before, during and after the event - on Irish
History and Emigration to America. I ask people to look out for Lazy Beds as they tour around
The Irish countryside as a connection with this period.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Just for the day that is in it! Happy Valentine's Day!

Love by Ruth Moore

They both looked into the darkness,
Each others eyes held a different fate.
But did it hold a secret passion
or a pathway of hate.
Into each others arms they lunged.
Their mouths moving slowly but long.
No questions had been answered.
Only a situation prolonged.


The First Evening by Ruth Moore

The flame stretched higher and the mood got softer
As he felt her trembling body in the chilly atmosphere.
His hands moved, searching the contours of her body
Sending her into a World of Utopia.


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Monday Evening Meetings post by Ruth Moore

This week's Monday night session's 'homework' is to research or read about the American poet, Billy Collins. Next week, 3 February, we will discuss and present a piece in his style. A quick 'google' of his name brings up a few animated Poetry videos, 'Forgetfulness' and 'the Dead', to name two. Worth a look!

Our recent entry into the 59th Wicklow Federation Drama Festival (noted in a previous blog) was thoroughly enjoyed - even if, in hindsight, it may have been the incorrect platform for our poetic sketch performance. It was great to see the high standard of theatrical performances from a number of the well established local drama groups. The experience was memorable and greatly appreciated.

Just a quick poem from a recent 'Free Writing' session we had at a Monday night meeting. The 'free writing' session lasts for about 15 minutes so the poem is unfinished and needs tidying-up but it is an example of 'on-the-spot' writing. The attempt here was to create a sonnet with the rhyming sequence 'abba , cddc, effe, gg' but you will note I've missed a line! Oops!

'Stepping Stone' 
by Ruth Moore

I've come from lands not far away, 
To this small isle, unknown before.
With eyes ahead, I land on shore.
With patience, focus, for however long I stay. 

I take the work you throw aside,
As this is not my final calling.
The thought of promise - I'm only stalling. 
Day-in, month-out, a passing tide. 

Nine years I have served and paid my way, 
Papers completed - I'm a better 'brand'
As if I were born a part of this land. 

No loyalty or allegiance to this land or home,
For this is but a stepping stone. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Wicklow Writers make big impression with Poetic Drama

Wicklow Writers Group performed their short Drama 'Listeners' - based on the famous poem
'The Listeners' by Walter De La Mare, in the ICA Wicklow Federation 59th Drama Festival in Glenealy Village Hall on Fri 24th Jan 2014.

 The short drama was written by Wicklow Writer Peter Hickey, and this novel interpretation 
of a famous poem was performed by Wicklow Writers members who played the parts 
of characters and human props eg moon, leaves etc from the poem.

We didn't win, but we made a big impression.

And a great time was had by all !

Saturday, January 4, 2014

A Pocketful of Zen

A Pocketful of Zen

She would rather be naked
Or elegantly dressed
But I see her in underwear

I sit and think
The words form just inside my head
No one to listen

John Lennon on the radio
Still alive

The pen does not write
It translates thoughts
Into words

The Poet sees
But does not say
The Poem says
But does not see

Martin Swords
Jan 2014

Zen in the City

Zen in the City

City streets are hard
I cannot feel
The yielding Earth

A busy crossing. Halfway
High heeled stumble. A catch.
Beautiful smiles.
Christmas throng swept on.
They both remembered.

Christmas in the cold city
Jesus huddles on every pavement
Asking the Philistines to be Samaritans.

Martin Swords