Creative Writing Entries

“Workshop” by Tom Howlin2022-04-03T11:52:17+01:00

I’d thrown the spanner harder than I’d meant to. It bounced against the granite wall with a sharp clang and rung out around the workshop. One hard object clashed with another hard object, neither relented and the result hung heavy in the air. The spanner had missed the framed photo of Pope John Paul II that, for some reason, hung on the wall, by about two inches. Eamonn wouldn’t take this well, he loved that photo.

“What exactly is it you think you’re doing firing spanners around my workshop?” he bellowed at me under the brim of his bright red work cap; “I’ll wring your bloody neck if you keep carrying on like that in my worksh..”

“Your workshop?” I said, my throat dry with indignance. I picked up another spanner and, gripping it tightly, I pressed the round end into my palm with my fingers; “Your workshop is it?” I said waving the spanner in his face; “Me here bent over these bastardin’ machines all eight hours of the day and you barking orders at me from that little office of yours. Your workshop my eye”.

“Eight hours of the day?” he said with a smirk “Is it the ESB you think you’re working for? Because I’ll tell ya, you’re a gas man with your eight hours a day. And it’s a straight face you have on you telling me this, is it? The only times you’re here for eight hours of the day are the times I don’t wake you up to go home”.

I felt the veins in my neck protruding again.

“I’m sick to the back teeth of this carry on” I snapped; “Constantly looking over my shoulder and breathing down my neck about this thing and that thing, treating me like a child. The doctors are telling me I’ve to watch my heart, ya know. If I’m here at nine, you’re giving me palpitations by ten.”

His eyes narrowed and I could see his sharp tongue working in his mouth:

“It’s a good thing you’re never here at nine then”.

The second spanner hit the wall with a toll like the first bell of the Angelus.

“Drift and Withdrawn” by Jake Griffin2022-04-03T11:37:02+01:00

Gaps in elder aspen cast frilled shades

Moonbeam knocks on water-top

Like a rap on a cellar door

Crossly tapping ripples on the surface

A trickle telling tales to drooping roots

 

I confess a poor pittance grieved to them

Sanct and profess admittance

Harm at a hand withdrawn from play

Withheld the scars of an old dream

Left drift across the pool shallows

 

A glare of hypnosis determined

A level head at shallow axis

Of the furthest regretful reflection

And the orient of tenebrous morals

As a teardrop joins the surface

“Freedom” by Anne Quirke2022-04-03T11:33:15+01:00

Freedom

 

It is like having a comfy chair

We don’t appreciate it until it is gone

The lack of it is so unfair

Like a sun that never shone

 

It is more than just an open door

Or the absence of war

It is laughing or crying loudly

Walking, head up proudly

 

It is using your voice

Showing your age

Having a choice

of a book or a page

 

It is browsing in a shop

Dancing ‘til you drop

Eating your fill

Having time to make a will

 

It is family around you

Old and young

The spice of life

Not the end of a gun

“In the Grass” by Maighread Ní Luasa2022-04-03T11:45:43+01:00

The rustle of the grass in the summer breeze gave her goose bumps. The blonde hair on her forearm standing upright as if reaching for the warmth of the sun. Dampness rose from the grass as if a timer going off. Líobhan knew her ‘me time’ would be over soon. “Smell the flower, blow out the candle. Smell the flower, blow out the candle”. Breathing in deeply as if her life depended on it. The glowing on the horizon visible through her tear-filled eyes. Warm and salty, they streamed down her face and then hit the earthy soil, their final destination.

The zephyr felt as if it was offering a warm embrace. That skin to skin she so deeply craved seemed out of reach. Líobhan’s hands wrapped around her body so tight, nail imprints showed sign of connection, but she didn’t feel them. Shaking her head in disbelief, mourning that sense of self was gone forever. As if her past self was the pollen blowing in the wind, unsure of its destination.

Her body bolted upright as if she was launched from the damp meadow. A deep breath filled the lungs to such a degree the chest protruded, ready to burst. Throwing her hands out wide she shouted, “Where are you”. The sudden release of raw emotion seemed to take every ounce of energy from her. Collapsing to the ground her face grazed the grass. No pain was felt physically. All the anguish was inside. Closing her eyes to the pain that was felt that morning, Líobhan curled up and began to whimper.

How could one look in the mirror and not recognise the reflection? Who were these bloodshot, green eyes staring back? “Tell me who you are? It’s okay I won’t hurt you.” Her blotchy face covered with tangled clumps of hair not brushed for days opened its mouth but couldn’t speak. Disgruntled Líobhan says again, “Who are you?”. The reflection offered no indication of life. The person staring back seemed lifeless.

A baby cried in the background, alerting its mother of the need for connection. The baby smiled and cooed when “Mommy” was in sight. The warmth of her bosom offered more than nourishment. It offered love, reassurance and security. Could this be given to a mother in need. A mother who is deep in the trenches holding out hope someone will save her.

“Líobhan”, a man’s voice broke the silence. “Líobhan are you here?”. It took a few seconds to realise that she had fallen asleep. The glittering of lights appeared on the brow of the hill.

The Moon shining and the stars sparkling. It seemed to be a magical night. In a way it was. Líobhan felt her journey was beginning.

“I need help”, Líobhan said as she sunk her head into the chest of her husband. “Shhh shhh dear, you’re alright. I’m here now”. Stroking her hair with such tenderness and affection a realisation formed. Was a bosom always there for her only she could not see it. These months of sleepless nights and recovery seemed never ending until now. Now she felt heard.

“Natural Beauty in West Cork” by John Kelleher2022-04-03T11:44:23+01:00

As August 11th clicks into August 12th my Kayak glides through the Bioluminescent Lough Hyne, the largest salt water lake in Europe. My hand trails the water, diamonds fly. Gently quietly paddling, explosions of light all round. The bow causing under water fireworks.

Above The North Star and the Plough, in the distance Venus and Saturn hang low in the sky, Milky way all round, we are in space with the stars and the Bioluminescent engulfing us.

The only unnatural light comes from the last departing car, which is our beacon to get safely ashore.

“Hi Bridget” I call to my sister “The car is leaving”

We drift toward the far shore under trees which we can’t see but know are there due to the smell of wet ferns, musky branches and overhead shadows. I can’t see her except for the light around her kayak.

“That’s fine” she whispers, “ We’ll find the pier at some stage”.

Just then the clear night erupts with numerous shooting stars, sparks splash all across the sky directly over the lake like rockets. Earth is passing through The Perseids Meteor Shower.

I sit back amazed by these two natural phenomenon, relax and think “Yes, we will find the pier – -later”.

“How one moment in time shapes the rest of your life” by Emily Featherstone2022-04-03T11:32:30+01:00

She crept down by the fencer and held out a tentative hand, silk like whiskers tickled the tips of her fingers sending a shock up through her body. Her body jolted and the powerful horse with its fight or flight instinct on high alert chose the latter and flew off down the field leaving dust in its trail.

The girl decided to head for home, swinging her school bag over her shoulder and making light work of the big gate that separated that field from the rest of the world. Over dinner she would enthusiastically tell her parents that she seen the most beautiful creature living in the field down by Ring Hill half way between her bus stop and home. They would nod their heads and listen politely, proud that their daughter seemed to have a spring in her step for the first time in a long time.

This family had moved over to Ireland having taken a leap of faith for want of a quieter life in peaceful surroundings. The English daughter with the rosy cheeks had not taken well to the peace and serenity of Ireland. To this quiet girl it had taken the ground from under her and left her with an aching heart until that day where she had laid eyes upon that horse.

The 4pm bus home each day could not come fast enough, she would dream of spending some of her afternoon before homework watching the horse mow down the field, each day the fencer extending to allow for more luscious grass to be grazed upon. One could not deny the bond that was growing between girl and horse. Precious moments of trust and curiosity were built on foundations of loneliness. When the school bag got flung over the gate ahead of the girl, the horse would nicker and canter up to the fencer waiting for the girl. The girl standing on top of the gate would smile like clockwork every time she heard him. Confidence bloomed; she would sneak under the fencer hearing the current tick above but risking it to get closer to her best friend.

Time passed by without the girl realising that the fencer was getting stretched to every inch of its life and that horse had nearly gotten through the whole field. There was one particular evening where she was sitting down watching her horse friend roll around in the dirt, feeling the last of the days sun radiate on her face and she thought to herself that life does not get any better. “Ring Rover” is what I will call you. Skipping away she looked grateful and at peace with herself. She glanced back taking in the beautiful bay horse with his long legs and the white strip down his face whilst wearing his trademark torn rug. He may not have made it as a racing horse, but he had made it into the heart of this young girl forever.

That young girl was me and that was the last day I ever saw that horse. Miles were travelled on my bike trying to find what had been taken from me. However, I realised he was never mine to take. Love can take form in many ways. This moment taught me what it feels like to give love, how it felt to receive it and how to be grateful in the process. I dedicate this personal piece to Ring Rover. I worked for many years with horses realising that I should probably get myself a “proper job” and study hard, so here I am closing in on Year 2 of my Account Technician Programme having realised that at the end of the day what I long for is my own horse, on my own strip of land stretching my own fencer.

“The Freetaker” by Darragh Mehigan2022-04-03T11:32:53+01:00

He looked between the ball in his hands and the goalposts 45 metres away. He did his run-up – RIGHT, LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT – then in one motion he turned his right hip, swung his leg, dropped the ball, and struck it with his instep.

-“Bollocks!”

His aggravation broke the morning stillness. Frustrated that he was frustrated, he marched towards the goalposts. His studs and the morning dew combined to cut up the turf beneath him. The groundsman would kill him.

-“Rhythm Rhythm Rhythm,” he whispered.

He took one of the ten balls from behind the goal and soloed slowly to the 13 metre line. He held the ball in his fingers and pressed it gently to his chest. The dampness of the ball seeped through his jersey and onto his skin.

-“Let’s find your rhythm, my beauty.”

Arms extended, he held the ball in front of his torso. RIGHT, LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT, hip turned, leg swung, ball dropped, instep struck, and the ball sailed over the bar.

He took a purposeful breath; imagined the frustration leaving his body. He trotted behind the goal, picked up the same ball, and this time soloed to the 21 metre line. Same run-up, same process. Over the bar again.

He had a little more pep in his step as he went back to the 45 metre line. Before he started his run-up, he studied the ball in his hands.

-“You’re getting there, my beauty. You’re getting there.”

He went through his process. He caught the ball nicely but he hooked it ever so slightly and it swung a few centimetres wide.

-“Is that you ruining my pitch again Seán?”

His serenity broken, he turned around and waved at the groundsman in the distance. He turned back, looked at the ball and allowed himself a slight smile.

“You’re not far off, my beauty.”

Entry by Abby Sheahan2022-04-03T11:57:45+01:00

I lowered myself to the hard ground in an unladylike manner. It wasn’t yet October, but it may as well have been. There was an ominous threat of gloom after every evening meal and the birds were delaying their operatic alarm until the dawn had come. I pulled out my pen and notebook and opened the book to the nearest blank page. I hadn’t planned to write my goodbye to him amongst the grass and trees, but writing it in that big empty house, seemed to chill my bones more than the outdoors. I allowed myself to think back to the night I met him.

It was a balmy July night, he wore a grey suit with a black tie, which violently stood out against the summer fashion of vibrant yellows and greens. He stood surrounded by throngs of people, eager to witness whatever anecdote that was forcing people to hide their giggles behind their champagne. It wasn’t long before he was introduced to me by a friend, and we spent the rest of the night sipping our respective poisons and talking. He spoke with such confidence and grace that I found myself mesmerised by the gestures that accompanied his words, entirely unaware at times of the content of the discussion. The infatuation blossomed into love and before long, we were inseparable, two halves of whole, choosing, in front of our friends and family, to walk down the same path of life together.

The brilliance of the match didn’t last. After a year of marital bliss other shades of crimson were beginning to bleed through my rose-coloured glasses. His tongue, which could produce such charming poetry, suddenly was as sharp as a blade, his eyes, once the colour of dripping caramel had turned dark, like burnt molasses. He was so aggressively himself that to sustain his way of living, no one surrounding him could be themselves.

The decision to leave wasn’t due to a large event, but during one of our weekly arguments, where I would wait for his storm to pass in our joint bathroom. Exhausted, I leaned on our sink and glanced at my reflection in a mirror. It was startling. I didn’t recognise the creature looking back at me, she used to have such a vibrant smile, but her mouth was in a grim down-turned state, as if she was losing her smile through lack of use. Her heart had been chipped at and the disillusion of love had shielded her from her internal decay.

Opening my eyes to my present, I was struck with clarity, the only word he deserved was goodbye. I stood up, more resolved and steadier on my feet that I had been in a long time and packed my envelope into the front letter of my carrier.

Once home, I cautiously pushed the door open, and tip toed inside. I walked down the well-lit hall into the kitchen and placed the little brown envelope on the table. I didn’t need to say my goodbyes to the house, it wasn’t born from my money nor designed from my mind.

The end of a relationship is tough but losing yourself is tougher. I can still feel the tepidness in my conviction, but I can also feel a strength brewing and on occasion, I can feel sunshine in my veins again.

I walked until the house was a beige dot and as I skipped further from my past, I couldn’t help but realise the moral of my story; the best love story is the one you write with yourself.

“The Story of Maggie and Margaret” by Chris Howard2022-04-03T11:33:06+01:00

When it came to the local pub, The White Horse, on a Saturday night in the quite town of Bridgelough, there was a woman named Maggie Mae Coleman, who liked her ‘drop’ every Saturday at 8pm sharp – in her usual corner – only  if it was free of course. Margaret was eighty years of age and had lived through many years of joy, smiles, happiness but also pain and heartbreak. Maggie stayed until 10pm sharp every Saturday –  until the revellers appeared for a night’s session, or as she called it ‘The Young ones’ Social Interactions and Shenanigans’

One of these revellers was Margaret Mary Robinson. Margaret was eighteen, and had just experienced her first experience of joy and heartbreak – that being bought a car by her parents for her big birthday – only if she saved enough money for her own insurance and driving lessons – which of course she had, being a level headed young lady. The heartbreak of course, being dumped by her boyfriend of one year shortly after the celebrations!

Maggie and Margaret used to see each other quite a lot on Saturday nights, as they used to pass each other just as Maggie was leaving and Margaret was coming in, yet they never really engaged. But one night, as Maggie got up to leave form her ‘usual corner’ after her ‘usual drop’  – 4 brandy’s in – she dropped her walking stick and struggled to pick it up. Margaret, out of all of her friends rushed over to help a slightly embarrassed Maggie. As she handed her the stick, or as she called it ‘A useless annoyance of the more elderly lady’ Maggie smiled and replied in a calm polite tone ‘Thank you Child!’

‘No problem,’ replied Margaret smiling putting her Jägerbomb down on the table next to Maggie’s empty brandy glass.

‘I see you most nights when I’m out here, it’s a nice pub isn’t it?’ smiled Margaret sitting next to Maggie casually flicking her long beautiful dark hair.

‘Oh and I see you child, having fun and enjoying yourself – you are a gorgeous young lady my dear!’ said Maggie remembering fondly when she used to have such hair instead of the grey ones she had now, along with the ‘wicked wrinkles’ as she called them.

‘Ah thank you, you are very sweet, so do you girl, you look great’ smiled Margaret enjoying the compliments fixing her collar of her black leather jacket.

‘You remind me so much of my daughter’ said Maggie now putting on her elegant, perfectly fitted purple wool coat.

With that sentence, Margaret and Maggie, two perfect strangers,  had a conversation on that Saturday night. It was like they had known one another for quite a while, yet of course they didn’t. Margaret spoke about  how she was out with her friends, and had turned eighteen a few months back, and how she was heartbroken to loose who she thought was the love of her life, a fella called Barry, –  and all this time, Maggie just smiled pleasantly and listened,  – listened to the innocence of the young voice of today –  to a lady who seemed to be quite level headed and mannerly.

Once she had stopped talking about herself, Margaret turned to Maggie and asked her had she ever experienced anything bad in her life, and if so how do you get over it. Maggie again looked at Margaret and smiled gently and pleasantly, ‘Only once child, when I lost someone very dear to me, that was true heartbreak!’

‘I’m sorry’ replied Margaret ‘Was he the love of your life like Barry?’ drinking into her Jäger.

‘No’ smiled Maggie with a tear in her eye ‘She was my daughter, and she was just your age when she passed.’

From that sentence, Margaret got a true lesson from someone who had experienced it all. It suddenly dawned on her that she never even experienced heartbreak yet – just part of life.

From that Saturday on, Margaret and Maggie met each other quite a lot, for a ‘quick drop’, and a ‘quick shot’, until one night where Maggie didn’t appear at all – again another lesson and realisation in life that Margaret took with her in hers.

END

“All the Silences” by Sharon Burke2022-04-03T11:50:50+01:00

He was no longer what he once was: a daily morning 5k run, before the household stirred, followed by a busy round of meetings and calls, all of which afforded little time to get home before his only daughter’s bedtime. That was then.

Now, he tagged along, at heel, willing weary legs forward, as his breaths came short and raspy, betraying his effort. Did she know the cost? He loved her. Those unspoken words were held in his mind and lay in all the silences between them.

When she answered her phone, he heard the sharpness; the normally soft timbre turned into something edgier as she gave instructions to the unseen caller. Her agitation ground itself into her very stride and she unconsciously quickened her pace, moving ahead of him.

He could never remember what she did. He could not bear the condescension that would come in a query now. He wondered at rage and all its range. He used to be able to contain his until the day’s weary end and a whiskey at home weakened all restraints.

He leaned heavily on his cane, allowing this and the yielding earthy ground to support him, its smell a comfort and a distraction from effort. When he caught up with her, she had finished her call and acknowledged his arrival through the flash of an eye’s sideway flick.

Their time was up. She drove him home with radio DJ’s voice expanding to fill the space between them.

-See you next week Daddy.

“The Heirloom” by Trevor Hayley2022-04-03T11:53:32+01:00

“No no no, not today, definitely not today.” Anna was getting ready for her big job interview for ‘Expressive,’ arguably the most prestigious fashion magazine in the world. From going through an MA in Creative Writing in a small town in Ireland to moving to the sleek New York City and now here she was, getting into her silk blouse and expensive suit pants she was missing only one key thing, her lucky charm bracelet. An heirloom passed down to her by her great grandmother, it was considered to be magic, as Anna believed there was no way that she could have gotten into writing before without it. She used it whenever she wrote anything including this magnificent piece which landed her this once in a lifetime interview to be a new fashion writer for her dream job and now the morning of it is nowhere to be seen. “I could’ve sworn I left it here on my bedside like I do every evening” she panicked to herself, hoping that wizardry would somehow manifest its way back to where she left it. Maisie, her six-month-old puppy nudged beside her with a mysterious – yet alarmingly recognisable sparkle coming from her mouth. “NO MAISIE GIVE THAT BACK TO ME NOW!” Anna cried as she had to carefully strategize whether to snatch the bracelet and risk losing all luck she will ever have again or allowing the dog the chance to carefully place the bracelet down, but like any other six-month-old, it was going to be a battle. ‘C’mere Maisie, c’mon girl give me the bracelet’ she bargained, but Maisie had other plans. The main door was open, and she bolted out like a flash. Anna was so preoccupied with the thought it may have fallen off her wrist in the hallway yesterday evening, that the seriousness of one leaving their front door wide open for anyone to enter, or worse leave in this instance was not a consideration. “Maisie, come back here, ugh you big Boxer bitch!” Anna yelled, running down the hallway, throwing off her red bottom heels and out to the New York streets. The static sound of the city that never sleeps and the combination smell of pretzels and cigarettes were of no distraction for Anna to get that bracelet back. As she broke through the bustle of busy people, she eventually saw Maisie being petted by a stylish, brown-haired man. Breathlessly, she bent down to the stranger. “Is this yours?” He held the bracelet between his sturdy fingers, his left-hand petted Maisie. “Why yes, both the dog and the bracelet thank you for saving them both for me.” They stood up together and locked eyes. A glimmer of ocean blue eyes met hers and a gasp reached her mouth that left her lost for words, “There’s no problem honestly” a spark of chemistry flashed, she glanced away, trying not to blush. ‘Well, I better go, I have an interview that I have to get ready for.,” “Oh good luck.” he said sadly, “Where is the interview for?” “’Expressive’ magazine, you probably don’t know it.” He chuckled and grinned “I think I might know of it; my car is right there; I can give you a spin home if you need.” Anna realised she had no shoes on and that it would not be the best idea to bring her dog to a sophisticated job interview. He clicked the keys of his car and there it was, his shiny silver Audi R8 sports car. She got in and acknowledged that this was the luckiest charm bracelet in the world.

“Get Away” by Innocent Mwale2022-04-03T11:35:59+01:00

This is esoteric as a matter-of-fact abstruse, beyond comprehension. Your understanding will
be commensurate with the depth of contradictions that inhabit and provoke your thoughts if
they are listened to at all. This bitter earth nobody commiserates with unfortunate states of
mind broken hearts that never mend. Individualism, yes, its embraced but it comes with little
to no support networks that result in issues of mental health emotional compliance or restrain.
Addictions that are sadistic chain of events mum is getting a boost in her vein a child wonders
what is going on don’t feel pretty enough since there is no assurance at home only pain. Xanax
becomes a shoulder to cry on. You thought you were like toy soldiers, but they move on you
still in the cold chasing castles. You are stronger than you think what does not kill you makes
you stronger. You hear it all the time it is only a buzz word as sustainability is today it consumes
you, but you died at birth no resurrection.

Growing up in a society where grandiosity is becoming the norm you try to fit in. Inclusion is
one hell of a drug, it is addictive, you do anything to get it. Unsurprisingly, in no time you want
to rule, is it schizophrenia or mere delusion of grandeur that is constantly being fed in this
society is the question. Life beats you to pulp so fast like the speed of sound and reality hits,
but it turns you dark no return like you drunk a cup of virgin blood pure with innocence but no
return you are addicted. Parochial mentality follows and they say it is self-sabotage.

Life is savage, isn’t it? The hurt the betrayal, lies, pain, pedophiles and predators roaming the
quays get you squirmish to their glance but they feel its squeamish. Another step in the cold
world they follow with advances that betray my vulnerability as my self-esteem needs dope
boosting nicotine fusion serving up their fix so is mine. You say to yourself let go of the
illusions, hallucinations, sexual dissipation, moral decadence start some restraining you hear
the counsel, but it keeps you agnostic. Dark clouds roaming in your mind as you attempt to
search where it all came from but to avail.

The fruit it bears, the song without a melody nothing turns up your symphony, your own
allegory of mind-bending spiritual journey. Burst in your own glory, past conquests deeming
slowly. You look at the ones you had under your belt, but they gone, and you are still
blowing in the wind for a long time as time turns to decades. It all began like ply, but it
turned into something with grave consequences.

Get into your own territory such acts of buffoonery nobody appreciated acts that you turned
yourself into a parody. Awareness of thy existence with ideas farfetched not worth burning
the candle. The wish for equilibrium but dark thoughts come to mind. Play civilization on
but you give brain drain still mundane. Go to Newenden that civil parish in Kent or Ghana a symbol of tranquility.

“My Journey to Ireland to College” by Radha Thapa2022-04-03T11:49:41+01:00

I was born in a small village, where there is nothing to do much. Lack of education, lack of infrastructure, lack of employment, natural disasters, things were never very good. Life became very hard day by day. As a young girl it was even harder to live in a country where there is no future. I decided to come to Ireland to study and built my career. For the obvious reason, to get a good education, to work in a better place, and to live a happy and safe life.

My journey to Ireland started from 05/11/2016. I was just 19 years old when I left my home. As a young girl studying in a college had always been my dreams. But my dreams never came true for 5 years. I was so down, and my dreams were shattered because of visa problem. I never thought that immigration process will take this long. All those 5 years I usually found myself held prisoner in the house because I had no permission to go to college, to go to work or to do anything. Even the bank didn’t allow me to open a bank account. Exploring the world, learning new things, and living my independent life is all I wanted in life, but things not always happen as we wish or want.

As, time went on, I began to lose my purpose in life. I was worried, depressed, and frustrated. I soon realized that after every night there comes a beautiful morning likewise after every hard times there comes a good time too so, I need to have a patience and I have to be strong. I had to believe in myself, and If I waited for 5 years the day would finally arrive when I could go to college and work. As an international student, English is not my first language but to get admission in college I had to pass an English exam, there comes another fear for me. However as I like to take on challenges in life, I decided that studying English for just 2 months which was not a easy task, would get me my place in college.

My next challenge was that my parents were unable to pay for college and for my expenses. Therefore, I had the responsibility to look after myself in order to do that, I needed to work part time as I have a full-time class. Well, it’s not an easy to do everything at once but I know at last it will be worthwhile. Being an immigrant in another country was a very different experience for me. I had to overcome more difficulties, language barrier, looking a job, learning a new culture, etc. Since I’ve joined CORK COLLEGE OF FET my life has changed in a good way. Being at college here has already given me so many opportunities that I never would have gotten the chance to do. Here, I can go out and socialize with new people every day. I am surrounded by people from different countries, cultures and who were raised differently but they are very nice people who treats everyone equally. College helped me to overcome my fear. I’m so blessed that I have a very good teacher (Martina) who supports me and always encouraged me to do better. Currently, I’m studying Early learning and Care level 5. I understood that studying Childcare will bring many opportunities to my life. Studying in a college is not a dream for me right now. It is a pathway to reach my career goals which is needed. My aim is to do honor degree. My teacher (Martina) taught me that I should always dream big, and I should never stop, I must continue to my personal and professional improvement. I believe that CORK COLLEGE OF FET will support me to receive my associate degree with good grades.

At last, I really appreciate Nasc and St.Vincent De Paul who helped me through my journey to college. This is only possible because of them. Specials thanks to CORK COLLEGE OF FET my teacher and my dear peers because of you all my college journey is being easy and memorable, and I get to learn and explore widely.

Census 2022″ by Neasa O’Riordan2022-04-08T09:30:20+01:00

Ding dong. Not expecting visitors, I turned off the bubbling potato soup and opened the door just a crack. It was the census enumerator handing out forms. It doesn’t feel like five years since the last one. Or is it six? Was it delayed because of the pandemic?

I remember the last one so clearly. Sean filled it out that night for the four of us. He always handled the paperwork: bills, bank stuff, tax returns; but I always did the birthday cards. Looking back, it must have been early on in the Alzheimer’s. He struggled with the form.

‘How do you commute to work? This is crazy stuff, sure I am retired…’

He threw it on the floor and stormed off to bed, I filled it out myself when I was sure he was asleep.

It got worse after that. He would go out for the milk and come home without it; would shout at the radio because he had ‘lost’ RTE1; and the night the neighbours found him in his pyjamas, lost and crying in the middle of the road, I was mortified.

His anniversary is coming up. He was part of ‘the first wave’. I went to visit him in St. Jude’s but they wouldn’t let me in. Tried video-calling but by that stage he was lost in a bundle of wires and cables and bleeping machines. Even the bleeping machines couldn’t save him at the end.

The girls are above in Cork now: good jobs thank God. They come down the odd time, just for the weekend mind. The housework is too much for me now if the truth be told. Too many empty rooms. I keep the doors closed to stop the dust when it’s just me here.

The doorbell rings again, it’s like Piccadilly Circus here today. First the census man, now a woman, Anna I think is her name, swishes past me into the kitchen. We have met a few times around the place. She is foreign, maybe Eastern European, it seems rude to ask these days without seeming nosey.

‘This stuff in Ukraine, it’s terrible…’

I make a cup of tea as she pours out her life story. Met an Irish fella, an engineer, working in Ukraine. Moved here with him two years ago, got a job as a carer in St. Jude’s, knew Sean well… It turned out her sister is part of the millions who have left Ukraine, with three small children in tow. Anna is weeping by now, I hand her a tissue. The sister, Tatiana, is in Poland now and Anna is trying to persuade her housemates that they should take them, but the house is already full to the brim; four of them renting that small house. She gets out her phone and starts showing me photos of her sister’s family, the youngest no more than a year.

Out of the blue, and much out of character, I blurt out.

‘They will come here to this house, I have tons of space. There are empty bedrooms galore up above. It will be a bit of company for me’.

‘What? Are you sure? I didn’t mean… No, really’

‘You’ll have to do the paperwork but that’s it, it’s settled’.

And so it came to pass, that when Census night arrived, I had five names to fill in: my own, Tatiana, Borys, Viktor and little Nadya. I spilled a little bit of borscht on the form, it’s bright purple, but I am sure no-one will notice.

“Lúil” by Jess Daly2022-04-03T11:43:17+01:00

Sunshine dances on my warm cheeks and

the waves wash over our already soaked

heads. As I emerge up for air, you inform

me of the salty air rusting the visitors

bikes, a kiss from the sea herself.

Seagulls circle as we proudly gaze for

miles upon the glistening peninsula and

remind one another of how beautiful our

emerald green home is.

I collect the clay like sand in my hands

and inspect it’s glittering mica in

admiration, the water grabs it ack as the

sculpture slides off my palms but I am not

alarmed because it’s supply is limitless.

Eolian flecks make their home on my

tired feet and U smile, welcoming their

comforting embrace.

Happiness is endless here and it lies

within the fossilizing shells, the red

stone, the colossal cliffs and the ambient

crashing of the restless waves.

“Am Garth i m-muir, Am tond trethan,

Am fuaim mara”

I am wind on sea, I am ocean wave, I am

roar of sea.

 

2022-04-17T12:08:57+01:00
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