Let’s hope it’s a good one…

…despite everything.

Best wishes for a happy, healthy and peaceful time over Christmas and the New Year.


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One day in 1983…

This haibun I wrote in recent months appeared in the November issue of the online journal ‘Failed Haiku’. I don’t often write about life during The Troubles in Northern Ireland, but this particular day came to mind when I was trying to come up with an autobiographical subject.

The remains of the Crown Hotel, Warrenpoint.

Edited by Mike Rehling, Failed Haiku is a journal dedicated to the short poetry form senryu. This particular issue was guest-edited by renowned poet Roberta Beary and featured her selection of submitted haibun—prose combined with haiku, senryu or tanka. I was very honoured that Roberta decided to include this one of mine. (Some poetic licence has been used, but the events of the day are very real. I was fortunate that I was never caught bunking school, and it occurred a lot less than the haibun suggests!)

Images used with permission from The Old Warrenpoint Forum (oldwarrenpointforum.com)

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Haiku translated into Chinese

UPDATE: Chen-ou Liu has also published my poem ‘sliver of moon‘ in One Man’s Maple Moon. This one is inspired by the local church in my hometown, Warrenpoint, and is a haiku that morphed into a tanka. 🙂

sliver of moon


A big thank you to Toronto-based, Taiwanese poet Chen-ou Liu for translating my ‘
rain clouds’ haiku into Chinese (traditional and simplified versions)

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I was so pleased when this haiku was placed first in the 31st Indian Kukai earlier this year. A kukai is a peer-judged poetry competition and I’ve never managed to win one before, so having it translated into Chinese was the icing on the cake!

Chen-ou’s bilingual haiku and tanka blog NeverEnding Story features many examples of these poetry forms, his own poems, reviews and essays and annual anthologies One Man’s Maple Moon and Butterfly Dream. His most recent project is the Coronavirus Poetry Diary

Posted in haiku, haiku, Indian haiku/haiku about India, Kukai, short form poetry | Tagged | 4 Comments

Published on English-speaking Union of Japan haiku programme

Thanks to my online friend Marta Majorka Chociłowska for alerting me of the publication of this poem in the August list along with our mutual haiku friend, Marina Bellinin! 🙂

English speaking union of japan

I thought I would try adding the haiku to one of my paintings to produce a haiga. Strictly speaking, the haiku should avoid repeating what is featured in the image, but I hoped it would add sound through those soft waves – and of course there’s no way the reader would know that the painting really is of my childhood beach!

childhood shore

Posted in artwork and poetry, haiga, haiku, Ireland, Mountains of Mourne, mourne mountains, Oil Painting, Original Irish Art, short form poetry, Warrenpoint | 4 Comments

A haiku of hope

I have just received this certificate from the Indian Kukai organisers featuring my haiku that was placed fourth in their 32nd kukai  (a peer-judged, poetry competition) The theme was hope, which we could all be doing with at the minute. For me, the white butterfly represents transformation and change – hopefully for the better.

Well done to Ed Bremson whose haiku was placed first; I was delighted as I was in total agreement, having given his haiku my top vote!

Congratulations to all who entered. Here are the results 🙂

hope haiku

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A video ku from the Mournes

The last time I was out for a drive with my family before lockdown was on Mothers Day, March 22nd. My husband drove my daughter and me from Warrenpoint through the village of Rostrevor and when he took this road alongside the Mourne Mountains, the familiar scenery brought back lots of happy memories.  I took some video footage, added the haiku and submitted it to Poetry Pea TV feature Moments where it was featured a few days ago.

My grandmother used to take us for drives around these back roads when we were young, as did my father. He called these Saturday morning outings ‘mystery tours’ and my siblings and I looked forward to them so much.

This area is great for walking and hiking. Here is a link to information on the different routes.

Posted in haiku, Ireland, mourne mountains, photo haiku, Places, Rostrevor, short form poetry, Video Ku, Warrenpoint | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Strange days…

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Inspired by Japanese prints

In autumn 2019, poets from around the world responded to a call for haiku based on Japanese prints in the collection at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery. Over 800 submissions were received from poets in thirty countries. You can view the entire selection here.

Many poems were inspired by woodblock prints in the museum’s 2018-2019 exhibition series, Master of Japanese Prints.

The project was arranged by haiku poets Alan Summers and Karen Hoy of creative writing consultancy Call of the Page. The call for poems was linked with a haiku workshop delivered at the museum with writer and producer Bertel Martin of City Chameleon.

I had this one accepted, featuring a puppeteer (quite a sad looking one, I thought)

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Haiku featured on ‘Harusame’ today

Thank you to Luca Cenisi (Founder and Former President of the Italian Haiku Association and the European Haiku Society) for featuring my haiku “you said” as part of his project ‘Harusame’ (‘spring rain’).

The project aims to publish an English language haiku every week with a brief critique, in order to provide visibility to beginners as well as to experienced poets.

Harusame

you said
we’d all the time in the world…
dandelion seedheads

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The Big Stone

When I was asked to paint An Cloch Mór, or ‘The Big Stone’ as it is known locally, I panicked at the thought of making a huge granite boulder on top of a mountain the subject of a painting. But the client, who had moved to England some time ago, wanted a scene to remind him of home, and it was easy to see why he requested this iconic image with its surrounding views of oak forest, Carlingford Lough and beyond.  In fact, it really is a stunning vista from up there.

Located 300 metres above the village of Rostrevor, in County Down, I remember believing the story that it was thrown by Finn Mac Cool during a fight with a Scottish giant. However, geologists explain its presence by suggesting that it was deposited by a glacier during the Ice Age.

The Big Stone was a large feature in my childhood and later youth.  When we were very small, my father used to drive us up there at Easter. He would find a whin bush (gorse) and put a handful of the yellow flowers with some hens’ eggs into a saucepan and place it on a camping stove to boil. The whin blossom would colour the eggs, and once cooked, we would roll them down a hill. The winner was the child whose egg was still intact at the bottom — although from memory very few ever were!

In later years, as a teenager, every Easter Monday saw a pilgrimage of young people walk the few miles from Warrenpoint and up through Kilbroney Forest Park to the famous granite boulder. At the top, we would lark about with friends, usually with a beverage (not usually a soft one, I must admit) until sundown.

As an adult, I have taken visiting friends to the spot many times and I never tire of the walk. The area has been declared a National Nature Reserve and an Area of Special Scientific Interest.

My ‘portrait’ of The Big Stone is painted in acrylic on canvas. I hope you like it. 🙂

the big stone

 

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