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

Posted in haiku, haiku, Kukai, short form poetry | 4 Comments

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…

Posted in haiga, haiku, photo haiku, Places, Warrenpoint | Tagged | 3 Comments

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)


Posted in artwork and poetry, haiga, haiku | 6 Comments

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.


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

View original post 122 more words

Posted in European haiku, haiku | 3 Comments

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


Posted in Ireland, Mountains of Mourne, Original Irish Art, Rostrevor | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

The Label, the Map and the Jukebox

The Label

I must admit, I’m a sucker for quirky ways of distributing poetry. There’s something very enjoyable about watching the reaction of the public when they have been unexpectedly exposed to a poem.

Belfast-based, Fermanagh poet Maria McManus is the artistic director of two literary projects that do just this, and I was fortunate to have been involved in both earlier this year.

The most recent- LabelLit – went live on Poetry Day Ireland last month and involved the distribution in public places of over a hundred brightly coloured luggage labels from sixty poets. On each label the poet had written or typed a ‘teaser’ line from one of their poems.

labels group

Whoever found a label was asked to Tweet a photo and, on the first day of the project, the person who found one of mine fluttering at the end of Warrenpoint marina turned out to be the daughter of an old school friend with whom I’d lost contact decades ago. Small world and all that…

The Map

This year LabelLit introduced the Poetry M’App, a feature that enables you to click on a location and listen to a poem inspired by that place. To hear a poet reading his or her work just visit the map below to go directly to the site. Wherever there is a map pin, there is a poem!

Poetry M'App

Two of my poems were included in this project, the first inspired by a stiflingly hot afternoon in the French countryside of Courtemanche, Picardy. ‘Placement Year‘ is also available on Soundcloud. The second, ‘The Island Affair‘, was inspired by a memory of a special time spent on Owey Island, just off the coast of County Donegal.

As an added bonus, participants the LabelLit project received these inspirational words on a luggage label from former Beirut hostage, Brian Keenan, which I will always treasure.

brian keenan label

The Jukebox

“What I knew for sure from the start was that there would be poetry because Ireland and poetry have become collocated in world literature. Think poetry and think Ireland…The actual job of choosing the 20 poems that would be exhibited was tougher than I expected.”

Tade Ipadeola

The second project involved the strange, tube-like contraption that is The Poetry Jukebox. The theme, In a Deeper Country, was inspired by the work of C S Lewis and jointly curated by Maria McManus and Tade Ipadeola, Nigerian poet, essayist, translator and lawyer. On the launch day in Belfast I watched members of the public approach, obviously intrigued by the jukebox which, just like its musical counterpart plays your selection at the press of a button.

Maria McManus has curated several of these installations in Belfast and Dublin and my haibun (prose plus haiku) Finding Narnia was selected for this curation that featured twenty poems from around the world, inspired by the work of CS Lewis.

poetry jukebox

Overlooked by this huge statue of Aslan from Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, the square was the perfect location for the launch of this curation.  Tade Ipadeola maintains a keen interest in all things CS Lewis-related and it was a real honour to have been involved in this amazing project.

Poetry Jukebox is a Quotidian–Word on the Street Ltd Project supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.


Some images from my label distribution day…just because Warrenpoint is such a pretty place to live. 🙂

label blue afternoonlabel bandstand colourlabel fuelled on love lustlabel white washed cottagelabel rockslabel marina.jpglabel shore

Posted in Donegal, Ireland, haibun, haiku, haiku, short form poetry, Warrenpoint, Writing Events | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Latest haiga…


I have added this haiku to my latest painting ‘Dreaming of Donegal’  … in memory of an old friend.

When we still believed copy



Posted in Art, artwork and poetry, Donegal, Ireland, haiga, haiku, Ireland, Oil Painting, Original Irish Art, photo haiku, Places | 6 Comments

Three Drops from a Cauldron – Samhain Issue

Thanks to writer and editor Kate Garrett,  my poetry and artwork feature in this spooky issue of Three Drops from a Cauldron. It’s good to be in the company of such fine writers and artists at Halloween.

Thanks also to editors Chase Gagnon and Lori A Minor who selected my featured haibun Rejuvenation Spell as runner up in their Halloween contest last year in  Scryptic – Magazine of Alternative Art.




Posted in ghost story, haibun, haiku, My Poetry, Original Irish Art, short form poetry | Tagged , | 3 Comments