It’s been eighteen months since I last visited Northern Ireland, and I doubt I’ll be able to get over this summer; as of the time of writing, the GOV.UK site still advises against all but essential travel to NI (or at least I think it does; it may be downright illegal, depending on your source). […]

This month’s poem is inspired by both a trip during August to Northern Ireland, my journey of DNA discovery, and the depressing news cycle we watched when we (rarely) turned on the TV to catch the news while taking in the magnificent Causeway coast. I recently had my DNA ancestry traced on 23andMe and discovered that […]

We lived on a road at the base of the massive outcrop in the picture above which is, of course, Cave Hill. Straddling the skyline of North Belfast, it was immortalised by Jonathan Swift as a Sleeping Giant. The best panoramic views of the city and Belfast lough are from the peak by McArt’s Fort, or […]

…And the blackbird’s tune, And May, and June!                               – De Gustibus, Robert Browning I’ve added a lot of tags to this post; my four weeks away from writing and blogging generated quite a few thoughts and ideas, as well as […]

Philomena Who’s in that house there, look? I thought I saw a light flickering in the empty rooms; who’d be in there late on Saturday night? Who’s in that house there – that wee house belongs to my dad! No one lives there now. Should we go and check it’s nothing bad? Who’s in that […]

The Customers Finally, summer’s here, and we’re enjoying a wee drink in this bar. A mix of us, from both sides of the fence. Unusual for these troubled times but it works for us. The balmy moon glows in our glasses, when the yellow headed men invade the bar and call out for us to separate by faith. […]

(Apologies for the hiatus, I’ll be catching up with posting my NaPoWriMo poems this week…) David We’ve stopped here by a ditch, across the sea from home; guns across our chests, peering like Eagle Eyes action men. It’s wetter here, more clouds; the sky drips more, but still I know this grass, this hedge, this […]

Thomas I was dumped at this church, unable to get home; back down the hill into town. This city, this town is deathly sick; my head stoved in with a brick and barrels from the bar. I watch a car toil up Forthriver’s rise, from this hill among the skies. No hallowed stones or weathered […]

Roy Bells ringing on the radio, Merry Christmas Everybody, Silent Night; my ma wants a record of carols; I’ll pick one up tonight. I had a wee dance in the kitchen, and she laughed as I shuffled along; the fits have left me limping, and my arm hangs down all wrong. But after all, I’m lucky, […]

Brandy Black and tan, contentious colours, your panting flanks and eager eye. A questing snout quivers to defend; loyalty is your nature, not a means to an end. Drunk, I named you for a drink, But Fido, that tired  joke, is your ideal: faithful, trustworthy, except, perhaps, around a meal. Your greed was your doom, […]