An Irish Spring: Flowers

Walked around the Centre this morning, and saw more things to post for this week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge: DENSE.

DSCN1394

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Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Marcus Cumberlege: First Wednesday of February 2015

from firelines (London: Anvil Press Poetry) by Marcus Cumberlege (who self discovered when she was at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, last May)

Children of Lir

Cork of the dark waters
Connaught of the storms
Meath of still pastures
Our triangle, our forms

Everywhere we come from
Everywhere we go
Swans grow sleeves of crimson
The ancient ring-marks show

Ireland is a no-man’s-land
Where dead and living meet
Finola’s ‘flower-stung’ fingers
Knit Pearse’s winding-sheet

Coffin-ships trawl the ocean
And on beds tilled long ago
The shadowy birds of winter
Claw crosses in the snow.

Marcus Cumberlege: “Sun”

SUN

Pours at daybreak like wet gold
From a trove of its own finding
Under the stones of our hill

The trees are saturated
It spills over all the grass
Flooding towards the cottage

Puts enough light
For the whole of Ireland
Into a green glade

Cities rust in the shade.

* * * *

Discovered a collection by Marcus Cumberlege in the main house of the Tyrone Guthrie Centre when self was doing an artists residency there, last May.

The poem above is from Cumberlege’s second collection, Firelines. She called Stairway Books in Galway and they had one used copy, which they mailed to her.

From the artists bio:

Marcus Cumberlege, born in 1938, has also lived and worked in Peru, France and England. In 1972 he moved to Bruges in Belgium, where he lives with his Flemish wife.

Firelines is his second collection. “These poems were begun in 1970 – 1972 when he lived on the west coast of Ireland.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Yellow 3: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Self is really enjoying this week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge:  YELLOW.

At first she thought it was rather a strange prompt. But after looking through her archives, self realizes that she must like yellow (the color) a lot, as she’s taken so many pictures with the color in them. Here are just three, beginning with the cover of a collection by the Irish poet Marcus Cumberlege. She discovered a book of his in the shelves of the main house at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, and called every bookstore she could think of. Stairwell Books in Galway finally came up with one copy and mailed it to her:

Self discovered this poet when she was in Ireland, this spring.

Self discovered this poet when she was in Ireland, this spring.

Every summer, self’s backyard blooms with color. This bush grows with hardly any care:

Euryops (Bush Daisy), one of self's most reliable plants

Euryops (Bush Daisy), one of self’s most reliable plants

And here’s a wider view of the same bush:

Beach Daisies, my star performers every summer

Beach Daisies, the star performers every summer in self’s backyard

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Gone, But Not Forgotten: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is GONE, BUT NOT FORGOTTEN.

Since it’s been raining steadily for most of the week, self casts her mind back to a sunnier season: summer, when all her flowers were gloriously in bloom:

Ordered these bulbs from Dutch Gardens, Fall 2013. Summer 2014, they just kept going and going and going, for weeks and weeks.

Ordered these bulbs from Dutch Gardens, Fall 2013. Summer 2014, they just kept going and going and going, for weeks and weeks.

Farmhouse Cottage # 4, Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Annaghmakerrig: Where I wrote a blue streak in May 2014

Farmhouse Cottage # 4, Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Annaghmakerrig: Where self wrote a blue streak in May 2014

Self's Kitchen Table, Farmhouse Cottage # 4, Tyrone Guthrie Centre: The most concentrated writing self has ever done was this past spring and summer.

Self’s Kitchen Table, Farmhouse Cottage # 4, Tyrone Guthrie Centre: The most concentrated writing self has ever done was this past spring and summer.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Descent: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is DESCENT — “A perspective looking down, from the top . . . ”

For her first attempt at interpreting DESCENT, self focuses on the obvious: stairs and ladders.

Cottage # 4, Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Annaghmakerrig, County Monaghan, Ireland:  May 2014

Cottage # 4, Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Annaghmakerrig, County Monaghan, Ireland: May 2014

Montmartre, July 2014: Steps to Sacre Couer

Montmartre, July 2012: Steps to Sacre Couer

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Loft Apartment, Bacolod City, the Philippines

Three different places, separated by oceans:  Annaghmakerrig, Ireland; Paris; and Bacolod.

Stay tuned.

Reading Poem (Next-to-Last Tuesday of September 2014)

An excerpt from “Nest”

by John O’Donohue (from the collection Conamara Blues)

 for J

I awaken

To find your head
Loaded with sleep,
Branching my chest.

Feel the streams
Of your breathing
Dream through my heart.

From the new day,
Light glimpses
The nape of your neck.

*     *     *     *

The book was given to self this spring by a priest in Dublin. She hadn’t seen him in almost 20 years. He used to work in the Philippines, then in the San Francisco Bay Area. He retired to Dublin. He’s 92 now and suffers from pleurisy. Yet he and a fellow priest managed to drive self from Dublin to the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annamakherrig.

The trip was epic. The priests told self things like: a lir is a swan, a kill is a wood, a dun is a fort. The younger priest, self discovered, was from Cavan. (Which is why in her story “The Elephant”, just out in Your Impossible Voice, the main character, a ship’s captain, hails from Cavan.)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Adventure 3: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Self saw a production of “Titus Andronicus” in the Globe during a week in London, en route to Ireland and the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, in late April 2014. When she told her friend Joan McGavin that she was going to see it, Joan said: “Bring a bucket. Loads of gore.”

And indeed, Joan was right. There was indeed loads of gore. The production was a bit Quentin Tarantino-ish. But it was still bloody great.

Titus Andronicus at the Globe:  Wild, Bloody, Great

Titus Andronicus at the Globe: Wild, Bloody, Great

Then self proceeded to Ireland, where she had many more adventures. Including, her first actual acquaintance-ship with real swans (as opposed to the swans in Hans Christian Andersen or the Grimm brothers’ fairytales). Here is a picture of a loan swan, powering across a blustery lake, early May 2014:

Sighted Yesterday, on the Way to Annaghmakerrig: A determined swan powers its way across a wide lake, in blustery winds.

Sighted on the Way to Annaghmakerrig: A determined swan powers its way across a wide lake, in blustery winds.

She was so impressed with this swan that she started to write a story about swans which evolved into a story about Noah’s ark, after she saw the Darren Aronofsky movie “The Ark.” The last rejection letter she received for her ark story was just last week:  “Sorry,” quoth the young man, “Revisionist Bible stories aren’t really my thing.”

Self’s most recent adventure was attending the Squaw Valley Writers Conference, this past July.  She’d been hearing about it forever. Last year, she finally bit the bullet and applied. And she got in! And they offered her partial aid.  She is so glad she went soon after getting back from Ireland. For by the time she got to Squaw Valley, in early July, she was fit, mentally and physically, from six weeks of traveling all over Ireland and England. And she made so many new friends.

The Olympic House at Squaw Valley: July, 2014

The Olympic House at Squaw Valley: July, 2014

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

 

 

Contrasts 3: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Contrasts:  Light and Dark . . .

2nd floor, Farmyard Cottage, Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig

2nd floor, Farmyard Cottage, Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig, May 2014

Son's Room. The painting was done for $20 by an artist in Great America, Santa Clara. Son was six or seven.

Son’s Room. The painting was done for $20 by an artist in Great America, Santa Clara. Son was six or seven.  He’s wearing a San Francisco Giants cap.

Contrasts:  Youth and Age . . .

A Bookshelf in the Main House at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig, Ireland

A Bookshelf in the Main House at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig, Ireland

The people in the photograph must long have passed away, but their image endures (Love the crease in the photograph itself:  makes the photograph seem very fragile).

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

 

Between 4: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

This week’s photo challenge is “Between.”

Here are two shots self took today, because she was thinking of the challenge:

Claremont, CA:  Downtown Farmer's Market

Claremont, CA: Downtown Farmer’s Market

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Self loves the apple cider and always gets some every time she visits son.

She’s also bought things from the spice vendor.  And Jennie gets hummus and other salads from a Mediterranean food vendor.

Self decided to throw in a picture from when she was doing a residency in the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, in May.  She was looking for shots of “between” that represented actual spatial demarcations:  between stalls at a farmers market or between walls or between earth and sky.  She looked through a whole lot of her Ireland pictures before settling on this one.  She was going to say it was an example of “between earth and sky.”  But now she thinks, not really.  It’s more of the way sunlight breaks through the clouds on a typical Irish spring day.

From a Farmyard Cottage in the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Annaghmakerrig, County Monaghan, Ireland

From a Farmyard Cottage in the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Annaghmakerrig, County Monaghan, Ireland

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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