Thursday, 8 October 2015

It doesn’t take much to convince yourself that you’ve forgotten how to tell a story…the hand was the same, the writing was the same, there was the same choice of vocabulary, same syntax, same punctuation, and yet the tone had become false. For months I felt that the preceding pages were beyond my abilities, and now I no longer felt equal to my own work. It made me bitter. You’d rather lose yourself than find yourself, I thought. Then everything started up again.

 (words: Elena Ferrante)

Meter is both functional and enslaving, it sets up a sense of normalcy and flow, the illusion/reality of composite structure, a kind of balancing act, lock/step, to convey musicality of language, call and response, the notion of coming to restive conclusions with/in meter ostensibly fools us into a (desired) locked sequence of time (mental enclosures) and sleeps with meaning in perhaps surreptitious ways.. hidden within this project lies a dualism - love/masochism - the disruptive kinship of needing to repeat (oneself), repetition, we seek forms, and uniformity, but this also oppresses the poet-warrior who also resists conformity, the death of becoming.. so meter is then a necessary evil, overdetermined by the simplicity of language constructs.. outside of poetic device I dream of a world where nothing ever repeats, and yet I am not sure if love could exist in such a world, the ontos of Eros, victim and lover of eternal recurrence. 

(words : Seven Nova)

photo : Gary Gray

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

The purpose of rhythm, it has always seemed to me, is to prolong the moment of contemplation, the moment when we are both asleep and awake, which is the one moment of creation, by hushing us with an alluring monotony, while it holds us waking by variety, to keep us in that state of perhaps real trance, in which the mind liberated from the pressure of the will is unfolded in symbols. 

William Butler Yeats


O vidro da janela estava frio. E uma brisa penetrante chacoalhava aquela frágil estrutura. Do lado de fora, reuniam-se os corvos, grasnando e grasnando... a ponto de sorverem todo o ar ali ruidoso enquanto circunvi(zinhav)am a velha casa da fazenda; pousariam em seguida nos pinhos. Os galhos balançavam para trás e para frente. Ana contemplava a égua castanha abrigada sob as árvores. A quietude dela impelia a um calafrio estranho, impertinente, e Ana, cruzando os braços resoluta, foi sentar-se de novo perto do fogo. As brasas estalavam. Mansamente. E Ana as espetava, atiçando as chamas. De então que, tirando do bolso um rosário, a mulher cantarolava baixinho o seu encanto, enquanto ia caindo no sono.

Ellen se acomodou no tapete surrado. A porta da sala de brinquedo abria-se em fendas. Ao fundo, tique-taques. Ela tão só erguia os olhos e tentava reparar, através de uma meia abertura de porta, na avó que descansava o rosto naquela almofada de crochê. Agarrada a uma boneca, Ellen não tirava os olhos dos pesados olhos da avó sobre aquela almofada, descansando, pois que a avó ali, com mãos rezadeiras. As contas do rosário, em marrom e dourado, continuavam em seu colo. Diante daquela criatura maternal sibilando em vigília, Ellen sentiu, num súbito, palpitar amor sem-fim. As brasas chamuscavam. E brilhavam. Um jornal amassado sobre as nódoas de carvão na lareira, e ela sentia crescer um amor sem mácula, ao passo que ia apertando tanto mais a boneca, agarrando-se a ela, que... O dia reluzia, como se mágico, glorioso, absorvendo tudo, inclusive Ellen. Era como se cada linha do tapete, cada forma ali tecida em miríades de tonalidades compusesse algo mais imenso ainda que a eternidade daquele momento, e dela mesma. Olhou, enfim, novamente para o relógio, cujo vidro espelhava seu rosto, e então ela mesma se espelhava através do tempo.

(traduzido por Carol Piva)

Monday, 5 October 2015

Waterford Film Festival

Garter Lane Arts Centre

Waterford, Ireland

6th - 8th November 2015

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Collaboration with Silva Zanoyan Merjanian

In memory of Rehan, Galip and Aylan Kurdi

Friday, 2 October 2015

the art of anticipation

so many things we do not openly discuss or even consider, the sense of anticipation in art, especially music, sense of drawing out wonder and emotion, and in life.. what is this insatiable romance with not resolving our aesthetic desire, this constant seeking of seductive qualities in nature and mind, so evasive, it's as if we will not settle for something, admit to a final cause, we prefer to remain unanswered, curious, unknowing. . 7 (courtesy of Seven Nova)

Anticipation by Lauren Goia

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

'The mind, whether expressed in history or in the individual life, has a precise movement, which can be quickened or slackened but cannot be fundamentally altered, and this movement can be expressed by a mathematical form.'

Note to ‘The Second Coming’, Michael Robartes and the Dancer full text (Dundrum: Cuala Press, 1922)

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Every blade of grass has its angel that bends over it and whispers, ‘Grow, grow’.
The Talmud

…to launch out into regions of thought and invention never trod till now, and to explore characters that never met a human eye before – this is a luxury worth sacrificing a dinner-party, or a few hours of a spare morning to.

William Hazlitt

Floating Water

photo : Deanne Richards  © 

photo: Édouard Boubat, Paris, 1947

with thanks to Seven Nova © 


There is a third mode of transcendence: in it language simply ceases, and the motion of spirit gives no further outward manifestation of its being. The poet enters into silence. Here the word borders not on radiance or music, but on night.


Down From Heaven

© 7novamusic 2012

Friday, 25 September 2015

Someone Digging in the Ground

an eye is meant to see things.
the soul is here for its own joy.
the head has one use: for loving a true love. 
legs: to run after.

love is for vanishing into the sky. the mind,
for learning what men have done and tried to do.
mysteries are not to be solved. the eye goes blind
when it only wants to see why.

a lover is always accused of something.
but when he finds his love
in the looking comes back completely changed.
on the way to mecca, many dangers: thieves,
the blowing sand, only camel's milk to drink.
still each pilgrim kisses the black stone there
with pure longing, feelings in the surface the taste of 
the lips he wants.

this talk is like stamping new coins. they pile up
while the real work is done outside
by someone digging in the ground.


Sunday, 13 September 2015


from Dreamscapes, first published in 2010
Earlier this month, I shared some of Carmen Medici's research into Celtic rituals during the 'Month of Coll'. Stretching from approximately August 5th to September 1st, this period in time was once renowned for enhancing shape shifting and astral projection rituals. It is the phenomenon the mystic poet W.B. Yeats delved into in his poem, 'The Song of Wandering Aengus'. Ramadan also occurs during this time, beginning when the silver moon is visible to the naked eye. Indeed, the moon appears to guide many religious and spiritual practices, its influence particularly celebrated in neo paganism, which also places much value on the interpretation of dreams.
The concept of mutual dreaming is explored by Chris Nolan in the movie Inception. It highlights the real possibilities of evolving creative awareness in the dream world. This 'architecture of the mind' theme is repeated throughout the movie and is applied to the various the levels of dreaming. The exploration of multi layered boundlessness and the multiple levels of consciousness is depicted through images such as the labyrinth.
The dreamscapes portrayed towards the end of the movie are particularly compelling. They reminded me of my early excursions through Manhattan, when the city was still alien to me. I was transported back to that great labyrinth of art and architecture, where within this tremendous cityscape, I could not remain lost, but could delve deeper into imagination.
To dream is to move beyond the mundane to a more creative state of being, because it is within our dreams that we are provided with the opportunity to meet with ourselves, to confront and acknowledge what the great dreamer Carl Jung would refer to as the Self/Shadow.
'The debt we owe to the play of the imagination is incalculable.' (Carl Jung)

Friday, 11 September 2015

'To say it was a beautiful day would not begin to explain it. It was that day when the end of summer intersects perfectly with the start of fall ....'
Ann Patchett

photographer unknown


Black and white always denotes strong binaries, things are clearly understood, there is order, rules, everything happens according to preprogrammed sequence, there are right and wrong answers, such individuals are always believers..
in her mind she guarded a unique private relationship with time, and in particular with the pigeons because they were wherever she happened to be throughout the city, she deeply felt they were a part of her spirit, she needed to believe, her own being imparted into every living creature, but the pigeons held a closer relation, she would think to them, even at times speaking softly towards the birds, conveying truths and saying prayers to protect them from cars..
to her, all of nature was a spiritual union, nothing was random, everything was connected, it was impossible to think otherwise, and yet unbeknownst to her, one day in the distant future, that entire presupposition would be held sacred and protected through romantic love...

(words and musical composition - Seven Nova - thank you)

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

author: Mark Doty

Details of embroidered cape made of spider silk; created by Simon Peers and Nicholas Godley, 2011

Friday, 28 August 2015

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Story Quilt

Lovely to see it's still there. Silk and paper patchworks created for Healing Arts Trust as part of Doing The Rounds project (University Hospital Waterford).

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Anna Kamieńska (1920-1986) was a prominent member of that particularly distinguished generation of Polish writers who experienced the Second World War as young men and women, many of whom died at the hands of the Nazis. During the war she taught in underground schools in the Lublin region, having studied Education in Warsaw. She continued her studies after the War and subsequently became deeply involved in the literary life of the Polish capital, working on the important monthly magazine Creativity. Her first published poems appeared in 1945 and her last in her Two Darknesses: Selected Poems (1984) from which the poems in this current volume are selected and translated. Her Notebooks appeared posthumously in 1987.
Her work was deeply influenced by the War, the Holocaust, and the suffering of Poland, as well as more personal grief, especially as a result of the early death in 1967 of her husband, Jan Spiewak, also a poet. Kamieńska is undoubtedly a religious poet yet she is also a technically and stylistically adventurous ‘modern’ poet. Although Biblical allusions and aspects of Catholic mysticism pervade her work, there is nothing predictably pietistic about it. She has been called a Catholic Existentialist, and her admiration for the great French ‘patron saint of outsiders’, the unorthodox, Judaeo-Christian mystic Simone Weil who died during the War, is significant. The thirty-five poems in the collection include the major ten-part sequence ‘Job’s Second Happiness’, as well as major poems on Dr Korczak, Edith Stein, Andrei Rublow, the Janów Orchestra and ‘A Short Conversation with Simone Weil’.
Shortly before Kamieńska’s death, which was unexpected, Tomasz Krzeszowski visited her and read her the translations in progress, including the Job poems. She was delighted with the project and gave it her blessing.
Tomasz P Krzeszowski, a lexicographer and poet, was Professor of English at the University of Gdańsk at the time of making these translations, and was subsequently a Professor at the University of Warsaw.
Questions on rights to reproduce the translations should be addressed to Desmond Graham.

It's Funny

What’s it like to be human
asked the bird
I don’t really know
to be imprisoned in one’s skin
but reach for infinity
to be captive to a particle of time
but to touch eternity
to be hopelessly uncertain
and a fool of hope
to be a needle of trust
and a handful of heat
to breathe in air
choke without a word
to be aflame
and have a nest of ashes
to eat bread
and be full up with hunger
to die without love
and to love through death
It’s funny said the bird
flying off into air lightly

Anna Kamienska

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Saturday, 25 July 2015

"Once you know with absolute certainty that nothing can trouble you but your own imagination, you come to disregard your desires and fears, concepts and ideas, and live by truth alone."
~ Nisargadatta (20th century Indian Advaita mystic)

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Art Undone

'Through the use of creative psychotherapy, imagination and creativity are engaged in order promote wellness.'

The following is a link to Art Undone's website, which focuses on my work in arts based therapy, featured in the forthcoming edition of Network Ireland Magazine.

art : Eabha Rose

Ryan McBride highlights Alicja Ayres' refreshing perspective on art and performance

Crackplot Interview

Thursday, 16 July 2015

The Blue Hat

Marie Engelina van Regteren Altena (Dutch,1868-1958)

The Whisperer in Darkness

"Their main immediate abode is a still undiscovered and almost lightless planet at the very edge of our solar system—beyond Neptune, and the ninth in distance from the sun. It is, as we have inferred, the object mystically hinted at as 'Yuggoth' in certain ancient and forbidden writings; and it will soon be the scene of a strange focussing of thought upon our world in an effort to facilitate mental rapport. I would not be surprised if astronomers became sufficiently sensitive to these thought-currents to discover Yuggoth when the Outer Ones wish them to do so. But Yuggoth, of course, is only the stepping-stone. The main body of the beings inhabits strangely organised abysses wholly beyond the utmost reach of any human imagination. The space-time globule which we recognise as the totality of all cosmic entity is only an atom in the genuine infinity which is theirs. And as much of this infinity as any human brain can hold is eventually to be opened up to me, as it has been to not more than fifty other men since the human race has existed."

H.P. Lovecraft

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

in the words of Silva Zanoyan Merjanian ~

One of the most brilliant talents in the world today, Suren Voskanyan, I am so honored to have one of your masterpieces as cover of my book, Rumor. 

When poetry and paintings like this unite, it's magic...

Suren Voskanyan was born in 1960 in Yerevan, Armenia, where he still resides. He studied the technique of the masters of impressionism and post impressionism in Hermitage Museum, Leningrad. In 1993 he graduated from the Yerevan Institute of Art and Theatre. Since 1993, Voskanyan has been an art instructor at the Design Center.

The artwork of Voskanyan is original, expressive and full of light.  His canvasses are beautifully composed with stylized figures, often times nude, amidst colorful abstract interiors. 

Voskanyan has been a member of the Realistic Artists Union of Armenia since 1997, and a member of the Artists' Union of Armenia since 1999. He has exhibited his artwork since 1984 in galleries in his native Yerevan, Moscow, Germany, Egypt, and the USA.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Beloved Composer Leonard Bernstein on the Importance of Believing in Each Other and How Art Fortifies Our Mutual Dignity

“We must learn to know ourselves better through art. We must rely more on the unconscious, inspirational side of man… We must believe, without fear, in people.”
“We’ve got to be as clear-headed about human beings as possible,” James Baldwin told Margaret Mead in their prescient 1970 conversation on race“because we are still each other’s only hope.” It is in such troubled times as ours — times of shootings, beatings, and the only kind of violence there is: the senseless kind — that we most need to heed Baldwin, to be reminded of who we can be to each other, of the tender and tenacious common humanity that undergirds all surface otherness.
Count on legendary composer Leonard Bernstein (August 25, 1918–October 14, 1990) — one of the most lucid and luminous minds of the past century, a man of immense insight into the creative impulse,deep capacity for gratitude, and complex emotional life — to do the reminding.
A decade before the assassination of JFK prompted Bernstein to write his unforgettable speech on the only true antidote to violence, he penned a beautiful and elevating short essay for NPR’s This I Believe: The Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women (public library) — the same altogether magnificent compendium that gave us Thomas Mann on time and features other ennobling reflections from beloved luminaries like Eleanor Roosevelt, John Updike, Errol Morris, Gloria Steinem, Eve Ensler, and Andrew Sullivan.
Leonard Bernstein by Jack Mitchell
Bernstein writes:
I believe in people. I feel, love, need, and respect people above all else, including the arts, natural scenery, organized piety, or nationalistic superstructures. One human figure on the slope of a mountain can make the whole mountain disappear for me. One person fighting for the truth can disqualify for me the platitudes of centuries. And one human being who meets with injustice can render invalid the entire system which has dispensed it.
A century after Thoreau wrote that there is “no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor,”Bernstein kisses awake our capacity for self-transcendence, from which our capacity to change the world springs:
I believe that man’s noblest endowment is his capacity to change. Armed with reason, he can see two sides and choose: He can be divinely wrong. I believe in man’s right to be wrong. Out of this right he has built, laboriously and lovingly, something we reverently call democracy. He has done it the hard way and continues to do it the hard way — by reason, by choosing, by error and rectification, by the difficult, slow method in which the dignity of A is acknowledged by B, without impairing the dignity of C. Man cannot have dignity without loving the dignity of his fellow.
I believe in the potential of people. I cannot rest passively with those who give up in the name of “human nature.” Human nature is only animal nature if it is obliged to remain static. Without growth, without metamorphosis, there is no godhead. If we believe that man can never achieve a society without wars, then we are condemned to wars forever. This is the easy way. But the laborious, loving way, the way of dignity and divinity, presupposes a belief in people and in their capacity to change, grow, communicate, and love.
In a sentiment that calls to mind Neruda’s exquisite metaphor for why we make art, Bernstein considers the power of art as a medium of love that confers dignity upon existence — our own and each other’s:
I believe in man’s unconscious mind, the deep spring from which comes his power to communicate and to love. For me, all art is a combination of these powers; for if love is the way we have of communicating personally in the deepest way, then what art can do is to extend this communication, magnify it, and carry it to vastly greater numbers of people. Therefore art is valid for the warmth and love it carries within it, even if it be the lightest entertainment, or the bitterest satire, or the most shattering tragedy.
Exhorting us to believe “in one another, in our ability to grow and change, in our mutual dignity,” Bernstein echoes John Steinbeck’s memorable assertion that“the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world” and adds:
We must encourage thought, free and creative. We must respect privacy. We must observe taste by not exploiting our sorrows, successes, or passions. We must learn to know ourselves better through art. We must rely more on the unconscious, inspirational side of man. We must not enslave ourselves to dogma. We must believe in the attainability of good. We must believe, without fear, in people.
Complement the wholly wonderful This I Believe with Bernstein on motivation, his beautiful letter of gratitude to his mentor, and his electrifying tribute to JFK, then revisit Viktor Frankl on why it pays to believe in each other.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Driving Around New York City - 1928


Light clarity avocado salad in the morning
after all the terrible things I do how amazing it is
to find forgiveness and love, not even forgiveness
since what is done is done and forgiveness isn't love
and love is love nothing can ever go wrong
though things can get irritating boring and dispensable
(in the imagination) but not really for love
though a block away you feel distant the mere presence
changes everything like a chemical dropped on a paper
and all thoughts disappear in a strange quiet excitement
I am sure of nothing but this, intensified by breathing

(Frank O'Hara)

Friday, 10 July 2015

in the stars

at the party there were those sage souls
who swam along the bottom like those huge white
fish who live for hundreds of years but have no
fun. they are nearly blind and need the cold.
william was a stingray guarding his cave. only
those prepared for mortal battle came close to
him. closer to the surface the smaller fish
played, swimming in mixed patterns only a god
could decipher. they gossiped and fed and sparred
and consumed, and some no doubt even spawned.
it’s a life filled with agitation, thrills,
melodrama and twittery, but too soon it’s over.
and nothing’s revealed because it was never known.
(The Lovely Arc of a Meteor in the Night Sky - James Tate)

Saturday, 4 July 2015

my arts based therapy practice features in the forthcoming edition of Network Ireland - Holistic Magazine, which will be hitting shops and letterboxes next week! It's packed with great articles on mindful eating, the therapeutic potential of creative writing, non-violent communication, starting new relationships, dealing with grief, why we should spend more time in the dark and lots more!! If you'd like to subscribe and have this issue posted out to you then sign up at
(via Network Ireland)

Monday, 29 June 2015

National Flash Fiction Day 2015

Celebrating National Flash Fiction Day with Big Smoke Writing Factory at Arthur's, Dublin 

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Near the end of his life Graves met a Sufi mystic, who told him about another goddess, a Black Goddess. Mother Night, the Greeks called her. this Black Goddess existed beyond the White. instead of desire and destruction, she represented wisdom and love - not romantic love, but real love, as you might say, reciprocating, enduring love. of those who devoted their lives to the White Goddess, and this endless cycle of ravagement and restoration, a very few, if they managed to survive it, would eventually pass through her to the Black Goddess.

Paul Murray, Skippy Dies