May neither wealth nor sadness overwhelm you

may sunshine follow in your tread

May obnoxious winds not chide you

nor poverty’s chill find grip

May dreams not leave you empty,

nor shadow you with regret.

May music echo your weary step

down every crooked path

May joy and light embrace you

like a blue scarf wrapped around

and may you find redemption

In the everyday, wherever it may lead

Kevin Dowling 2016

Sojourn in the Devil’s Lair


Sojourn in the Devil’s Lair  By Angie Mullins


A shuffling creep with a twisted leg:

My first encounter with the living dead.

He gestured me into his home

I felt as though I should atone

For all my sins- I was made felt

That I was going straight to hell.

Alas, the joke it was on me-

I had just entered hell, you see.


Then his wife, a terrible demon

Conceived of some abysmal semen

Did grace us with her presence thus.

My insides turned to instant mush:

What hatred dwelt behind her eyes!

I near fell to my knees and cried.

Such cruelty in the hearts of men

Are found within the coven’s den.


Her sister then I chanced to meet,

Her cloven hooves concealed by feet.

The grey pant-suit and 80’s hair

Could not quite hide her fork-tongued tail.

Her puckered scowl which didn’t bend:

The image of a cat’s rear end.

I dared not move, I couldn’t rest

Embedded in that vipers’ nest.


For two long weeks I battled bravely

Against these fiends- my chances gravely

Faltered yet I strongly fought

Until the day in which I caught

A lucky break, and so I fled.

Another week and I’d be dead.

I wept with tears of joy abundant;

Relief as such makes fear redundant.


And so I’ve tried repress this tale:

It marks a most unpleasant fail.

An ink blot in the copy book

Which rather smarts-I seldom look.

But yet today I did receive

From skulking Pant-Suit (scowl of glee)

A bill to pay, a handsome fare

For my sojourn in the Devil’s lair.



The Path beneath the Haze

The Path Beneath the Haze

Off the beaten path I walk

Terrain harsh and unfamiliar

The hard sun casts my shadow long

Truth and courage I remember.

The eyes of the wolf upon me casting;

Judgment with his stare.

Unscathed is my approval

My soul naked and laid bare

Basking in thought I summon regret

Loves lost and times swallowed whole

For life offers no refund

Now, I wait the horizon to soothe my soul.

Brian Mullins


The Purest Snowflake

The Purest Snowflake

Expectantly we wait months for the expected snow to come, in its beautiful soft and pure form

Tiny and light at first, but growing all the time

We dream and plan for the future, how we’ll love, treasure and groom you into a beautiful snowman

But then when you finally come you are so tiny, white, soft and beautiful, but yet so still

Never growing, we look with disbelieving eyes as our ears hear the words we do not want to hear

We cradle our dream and weep as our treasured dreams ebb out between our fingers

Our dreams are dead, our hearts have been ripped from our chests and scattered on the Dead Sea

We cradled you, and watched with tearful eyes as you ebbed away from us, now we must stand and watch as you melt deep into the darkened ground

Far away from our aching arms, but never far from our loving thoughts

Our purest snowflake






Gus Defoe ©

Farewell Seamus Heaney

The voice of Ireland’s

most beloved scribe

has fallen silent.

The quill that

traversed blank page

to tell us his most inner

thoughts and feelings

now dry of ink.

Gone to chat with

Kavanagh, Moore, Wordsworth

and other literary titans.

To wander on his cloud

above a host of Daffodils

enthralling angels

with his soft Irish voice.

A voice that will reverberate

forever in the annals of time.

As a deep sorrow hangs

in the Derry air

and a soft mist weeps

over Mossbawn,

we bid you farewell.


By Harry Mullins


He feels no headache anymore
At daylight in the dosshouse,
Just a dry-mouth craving for the cure
To take him to a high
Now each day measured
By an even lower low.
To start again the routine drinking
Which helps him to forget, forget Mayo.
Nothing there but rain and hardship,
With a wicked wind from Nephin
Blowing poison, as it was
When he was bullied
From the homeplace
To be bullied here as well
By gangers and their cronies,
Mayomen, fuck them, fuck them all.
No going back now, ever,
Fuck Mayo and fuck the dawn.

By Noel Burke

Taken from the book: Inspirations of a Curious kind by Ward9writers, who have kindly allowed us to post some of their work.


Darkness into Light

Darkness into Light
This poem was written after the Darkness into Light walk in aid of Pieta House, which took place in Roscrea on 11th May 2013

Dedicated to Siobhan Galvin, Joan Freeman (Founder of Pieta House) and all associated with Pieta House.

I focus on the strong intense light
From souls that have sailed on ahead;
They speak to me of their painful plight,
And wish they were not dead

They block my way and send me back,
And say my time has not yet come;
Oh I mourn for those lost in black,
And wish all their despair undone.

I speak of them and they live again,
I speak as one that knows the plight;
As the faint peeps of birds sound through the rain,
I walk with you from dark to bright;
I walk with you into the light.

Declan O’Reilly






I am old now, my time nearly done

Lived life with few regrets

And yet, if I could?


Sunlight filters through the shuttered window

I am reminded of summertime in Alabaskir

Quaint and old, nestling in the middle of nowhere


Young lovers hand in hand, laughing

Running through the orange grove

The lush meadow stretched beneath our gaze


Promises made, promises broken

Faraway lands, dreams are made

I loved you then, I love you still


Tired and weary of struggle

Living in suspended isolation

I’ll close my eyes, and return to Alabaskir


Michael Mullins 2011

My Other Self

My Other Self
By John Kelly

I talk to myself more often I shout
But it’s all among friends and we never fall out
It may be myself, but it’s only me
‘Tis’ the man that I am and the man I should be

That proud, thoughtful man gives a hand at the delph
In scheme operated as two of myself
And people who think such a system is ‘quare’
Would talk a lot more if I wasn’t all there

That shrewd, hard taskmaster, my good other self
Plays many a part besides washing the delph
My secret shortcomings are ever portrayed
‘Though he helps me a lot when I’m far beyond aid

A whole box of woodbines to pieces he tore
I only had bought them five minutes before
I knew he was right-but you what I’d say
If anyone else had behaved in that way

A poem I had written and deemed to be good
Was soon written off in more critical mood
With a pair of us in it, I couldn’t complain
So we put all the pieces together again

But there’s no-one on earth like that good other John
Who else would put up with my ‘quare carry on’
Not many I ween, though he thinks that I should
And tells me they should all be chewing cud

My good other self, though far from his prime
Still holds more in store than appears to be mine
Accepting commitments my legs cannot bear
He shouts down old age with a confident air

His vocal power of’t given much freer rein
To shout down long silence which causes more pain
Aye-silence which doth prevail to the last
With all its reflections on life in the past

He’d go for ever, a man of that kind
Who dwell’s on the things that are good for the mind
From non-stop to full stop, at work or in play
Aye even my legs could not stand in the way

The moment you stop the moment is lost
And you’re forced to resume at a much greater cost
Arthritis decrees that you keep on the move
‘Though neighbour, sciatica, wouldn’t approve

Two nasty near neighbours who never agree
Except at war with a fellow like me
Frustrating the plans I so carefully laid
At famous King’s Cross ‘neath the sycamore shade

He’ll not tolerate lying down on the job
Or health hazard comfort of life on the hob
That sitting-duck open to worse line of fire
Than all visualised in idle desire

My good other self always proves to be right
With mind to explore and discover new light
And from that high eminence free to expound
On broader horizons of life all around

John Kelly (1909-1984)

Heading To The Match


I envied them

As they stood on the roadside ditch

Chanting “We are the Champions”

And the AA man repaired the car

On their way to the match, I guessed

Young, free and happy

They had it all

Their song was carried on the air

To shake us out of our hibernation

Announcing to the world that spring had sprung

That life was for living

That we all should be singing

The car repaired

Silence descended

The champions were gone

Their song was silenced not ended

I found myself humming its tune

And wishing that I were young

Teresa Regan ©