Monday, October 26, 2009

Monday Poem : A Sunday Threnody

I've been (am still?) under the weather. Since later last Tuesday, I've been alternating between hot, headachey and clammy or shivery and exhausted. Having had quite a few commitments which I genuinely wanted / needed to meet, I've tried to spend any off-duty time wrapped up warm and horizontal, woozily hydrating. What a waste of a Bank Holiday! Still, it meant I was able to get things done - including meeting some good mates for a couple of drinks in town on Friday. I hope they're all still healthy!

So I'm only getting back in action (ish) today, just in time for TFE's monday poem prompt. This week, the prompt involved listening to a piece of music and / or staring into the mirror - reacting in either case by writing something.

Here's what arrived;

On Sunday


in every face the aftermath of riot

a lineage in cells

the merest flicker spells an epitaph

as rhythm falters

each sunken cheek a despoilt altar

tasks uncompleted

broken windows left unrepaired

no word is spoken


Sunday formed a puddle round my bed
crow dark, my throat scratched out any text
or performance

erased activity - even intent - held woods at bay
leaves fell unobserved, chill winds missed their target
while other torsos filled my space

on hills, on piers, on lawns, on streets, on Sunday.

© P Nolan Oct 2009

This prompt requested no investigation of the musical piece until after writing. I had heard it somewhere before but didn't know it was Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima by Krzysztof Penderecki.

The image above shows paper cranes made by japanese schoolchildren in memory of Sadako Sasaki whose tragic story, while horribly sad is also searingly beautiful. She died on October 25, 1955.

This poem is dedicated to her memory.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Monday Poem : Laughing Lenny

Another Monday Poem, in response to Totalafeckineejit's ongoing prompts. This time, the prompt was that modern classic of Irish cinema, Lenny Abrahamson's Garage. Responding to this low key tale of a life caught in the cracks was always destined to result in a fairly sombre tone - and so it proved.


given time, the incidental
sweetness held too tightly
can stifle as much as any
relentless night

sugarcubes pocketed
will curb, losing their chastity
to the silt of pocket lint
dissolving finally

as hips immerse
wading into that water
shoes, socks on the bank
trouser legs rolled

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

As The Crow Flew : Temple Bar and beyond

Well, the Crow Gallery show was a resounding success! A great turnout for the launch itself, with plenty of interested bodies through the gallery over the course of the exhibition. It was a real treat to get the work in front of a new audience - and the paintings got a great response all round. I sold about 70% of the work - which is remarkable given the CEC™ (current economic climate). Huge thanks to all those who purchased, attended, sent good wishes etc. It's been memorable!

I also had the opportunity to attend 2 really excellent exhibition launches last thursday; Comhghall Casey at the Merrion Hotel, courtesy of Solomon Fine Art, and Joe Dunne at Ib Jorgensen - two serious painters in fine fettle and full flow at the mo.

Also, due to being in town, I got a chance to take some photos of those Edward Delaney sculptures I mentioned earlier- that's them up top - epic work!

I missed TFE's poetry bus this week - but hope to have something for next monday's challenge. Should be a good one.

Off to the Crow Gallery again tonight, for the launch of Cloudburst - new paintings by Helen McNulty, also curated by my colleague Tony Strickland. Looking forward to this one - the work should be good, and I'll be off-duty :-)

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The Crow Show : Up the Walls

So, the stuff is stuffed, the deed is done, the walls may not be altogether plumb, but then neither is my head. Finished hanging Ecotones last night and it's looking decent, if I may say so. Launch tonight at 6pm - feel free to drop in. Should be fun - maybe moreso if the rain that's bucketing down on Dublin today goes away for a while.

I've been a bit hectic between this, that and the other - so didn't get to post my Monday poem yesterday - so here it is now. Reacting (not quite sure how, though) to Totalfeckineejit's photo prompts, resulted in something a little different, voicewise;


Tell once again the strange tale of the talking dog
how one day he raised his head and said

"I've only been quiet all this time
because I've been so busy watching you all
and couldn't believe my eyes."

think back to the various expressions of surprise
among the small gathering who happened to be there

to witness the burble of unbelief, self-doubt, fear
then finally the growing chorus of blame

and how that dog ducked and spun through a forest of legs
avoiding most of the blows, until finally disappearing from view

obscured by the dust of the disturbance
leaving behind a streaked crop of twist-legged hunched backs

scouring down into the settling dust, sweating, grumbling
finally meeting each other's eyes and seeing there

accusation, defeat, suspicion, confusion at the supernatural occurrence
that nobody really believed had taken place anyway

until the silhouette on a nearby hill

© P Nolan 2009