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Literature

Darker Later

The poetry and prose contained in this new publication provides us with a glimpse of the diversity and richness of a ‘Creative Writing’ programme which represents the hopes, dreams, observations, rituals and humour of over forty writers based in Kilagooley Training and Activation Unit ( KTAC ) in Enniscorthy, County Wexford.

LITERATURE

Darker / Later

New Writing from County Wexford
2017

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The poetry and prose contained in this new publication provides us with a glimpse of the diversity and richness   of a ‘Creative Writing’ programme  which represents the hopes, dreams, observations, rituals and humour of over forty writers based in Kilagooley Training  and Activation  Unit ( KTAC ) in Enniscorthy, County  Wexford. This participant  led ‘Creative Writing’ programme , facilitated by writer  Sylvia Cullen ,  has grown from strength to strength since its  inception over 15 years ago,  when it as initiated by the Arts Office in Wexford County Council  in partnership with the HSE.

On  behalf of the Arts Office I’m delighted to support this third publication from this prolific writer’s group , following on from the previous two publications: ‘ From the hill of the wild  berries’ ( 2008) and  ‘Climbing Mountains in our Minds’ ( 2012). Dealing with themes as varied as daily domestic rituals, childhood memories, the passing of the seasons, night time adventures, humorous musings on the moon, the daily struggles of being a  patient, and the power of friendship,  this selection of poetry and prose brings us the reader into the inner worlds of over forty talented writers. I would like to thank all the writers for sharing their inner worlds with us, and congratulate them on this beautiful publication.

The success of the Arts Ability ‘Creative Writing’ programme is also very much due to  the expertise and commitment of writer/ facilitator Sylvia  Cullen, other guest writers who have collaborated on this programme, the ongoing  commitment of staff in K.T.A.C,  and the ongoing partnership between the Arts Office and  the HSE via the ‘Art Ability’ Programme.

As Wexford County Council enters into its 6th Arts Plan –  ‘Advancing the Arts’ (2018-22),         I look forward to enriching and advancing our partnership with the HSE through ‘Art Ability’ for the further development of inclusive , person centred, quality arts programming  for Wexford County.

Liz Burns
Wexford County Arts Officer

Selected poems

On the first day, we came in together
Walked up the granite staircase to see the doctor.
I used to get the jitters on stairs
But my Dad steadied me, as always.

We sat on comfy chairs in the ward.
Not talking. Sitting in silence.
After a while, my Dad said he’d better go.
I waved
And watched him talk to people on his way out.
I felt glad that he had accompanied me.

© B.M.

What good are these?
Beneath the trees
Hung on ditches
Tearing breeches
Call them briars
Call them brambles
They’re everywhere the rabbit rambles
But in the Autumn
Comes a gift
Berries for us all
Balls of juice, hanging loose,
For creatures big and small
For me, memories like no other
Picking blackberries with my mother

© Michael Rossiter 

They are the Frozen People
Because those who have lied to them
Left them out in the cold,
By tricking them out of the truth.

When they are told parts of the truth, they smile.
But the smile does not reach their eyes.
They gulp it down as if it is delicious,
Little morsels of a greater Jigsaw Puzzle.
But they do not join the dots together,
To understand it all comprehensively,
Because the enemy has them by the throat.

Their reactions are frozen, so
They do not act at the right time
To prevent disasters.

They must awaken from this erosion of their consciousness
And cooperate with The Bigger Picture.
Then they will have the ring of ice taken away from their hearts.
Then they can smile again,
And the smile will reach their eyes. 

© J.W.

The coolness in the morning
The days are getting short
The wind gives out a warning
The autumn leaves they fall.

Hallowe’en’s not far away
Trick or treat at doors
Hibernation for some mammals
Long nights become a bore.

The summertime is gone
The summertime is gone
The summertime is gone
The summertime is gone.

© John Doyle

On Our Lady’s Island, pilgrims light hundreds of candles
Day and night.
On three sides, the sea sits calmly.
A heavy breeze coming in off it.
My mother walks the rough, stone paths.
Praying. Hoping. Remembering bygone people.
Holding her set of beads.

Sometimes I stay put in the car.
An odd time, I walk the island myself.My eyes following the dark glaze of the changing colours.
By dusk, the candles start to gutter
Flickering in the wind.
From a distance,
Their light against the darkness sees me home.

© E. C.

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