Poetry

9-2-6-1-7

It’s 1999, I’m ten years old,

Emily is almost eight.

A family trip to somewhere fun,

Neither one of us could wait.

 

The tv wedged between the seats

And games of “Not-touching-you!”

Eye spy, slug bug, VHS tapes

And so the hours flew.

 

A passing truck, we pumped our fists,

And heard the engine revvin’.

It sped ahead and the license read,

“9-2-6-1-7.”

 

A memory challenge, “Bet you can’t-” “Bet I can-”

“Remember those 5 numbers.”

She was bound and determined,

To prove she could do it after one long car ride slumber.

 

It’s 2015, I’m twenty-five,

Sixteen years post-bet.

Emily now is twenty-three

And still she won’t forget:

 

“Nine-two-six, one and seven.”

She smiles every time.

And so do I for now I know to

Bet against her is a crime.

 

Creative, driven, Miss Independent


Blackout Poetry (Part 1)

This week I did a lesson on blackout poetry with my intermediate level high school students! Normally the project is done with texts from newspapers, magazines or novels, but I was worried about the vocabulary being too broad/out of reach. I wanted my students to focus on having fun, being creative, and playing with the language, rather than looking up/learning new words. So instead, I typed up a batch of their weekly English essays, omitted the names, and returned them for use with this assignment! Not only did this assure that the vocabulary was appropriate, it also made the assignment more personal and interesting!


A Blessing in De Skies

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It happens abroad

Feeling homesick

To explore is a great gift

But the tug of the deeply familiar in the midst of differences

Emotions too hard to deal with

Sometimes can be a blessing

Away from home will help you to remember that you love home



Release

When you open your heart and you open your mindflat,550x550,075,f

You might be surprised what you will find

People more willing to say yes than no

A thousand doors to where you want to go

 

Strange new places, unfamiliar faces

Sprinkled with only the slightest traces

Of home, of the past

Try to make the moment last

 

Because after you blink

There’s no time to think

Of what you would’ve changed

Left out or rearranged

 

The present is fleeting

It’s here and it’s gone

Breathe in, the night is greeting

You, breathe out and it’s dawn

 

Don’t look back, no regrets


Thanksgiving Blues

by Pablo Harris

You know there’s only one thing that can make me smile
Barkeep, just make my turkey wild
They got all them bird & biscuits, peas & mashed potatas in a pile
But all I need is a glass of that turkey, Wild

Baby ain’t in bed, she certainly ain’t in the kitchen
‘Cause she knows I’m a seven year itchin’
Don’t need no rocks, don’t even need a glass
Sure as hell don’t need you to preach no mass

There’s only one thing that can make me smile
Barkeep, just make my turkey wild
They got all them bird & biscuits, peas & mashed potatas in a pile
But all I need is a glass of that turkey, Wild

Perhaps I should give my babe a call
Perhaps I should take the next train to ‘Frisco
But I know we’ll end up in a brawl
Me camping in the ditch with a bottle of Cisco


‘I Just Want to Scream’ – Reading at PEN Korea Poetry Concert

PEN Reading in Jukjeon, April 26

Just a little announcement regarding an exciting event which I’ll be participating in this Saturday afternoon in Jukjeon, Yongin. There is a PEN Korea poetry reading by Korean and foreign poets based in Korea taking place and yours truly will be one of the readers. Expect a good eclectic mix of readers in a relaxed […]

I Just Want to Scream

 

I just want to scream, but I know it won’t do any good.

I heard that a ferry to Jeju that was sinking. News implied all would get out alive. I thought it was Costa Concordia like, if only it was comparable now.


“Poetry & Art” – An Essay on Creative Production (2008)

During 2008 I was slap bang in the middle of a masters in 20th and 21st Century Literature in the University of Southampton. At the time, one of the course options was a poetry writing module, which was part of a larger creative writing MA but suitable candidates could take part if they had proof […]

Seamus Heaney

Seamus Heaney died today. He was 74. By no means a young man, but in this day and age it cannot be denied that one of the world’s greatest poets has left us early, and this is to say nothing of the feelings I can barely imagine his family and friends are suffering under as we speak.

I was once in the same room as him. That is the best that I can say of my personal relationship with him. It was in UCD and he was presenting on a reworked version of the Antigone, where he spoke about the challenge of translation and representing the Ancient Greek classic in the twenty first century. To tell the truth, I can’t recall if we went up and introduced ourselves or not. He struck me as I did not expect someone of his significance to strike me; down to earth, honest, and light hearted, with a deep and warm voice from which words seemed like they were happiest coming from.


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