Happy new year
One and all
Look on the bright side
See the sun shine
Above the clouds.
J.C.-Dublin-A City defined by hope.
Monday, 30 December 2013
Twelve parent offspring
Named during Fertilisation
After much debate, with angst
A poem about a collection of poetry and prose published by 'Virginia House Writer Workshop'.
It included my first published works.
Tallaght Soundings 2 is now available.
J.C-Dublin-A city defined by it's books.
Friday, 25 October 2013
Daisy had a great affinity with the flowers she was named after. Her mother was the love child of two flower children from the sixties. Daisies grandparents were very proud of her and had taught her how to make daisy chains which she brought into school occasionally. Daisy had a secret she never shared with adults particularly flower children who seemed very odd, even if they were her grandparents. She had seen the pictures of them at various festivals wearing nothing more than the daisy chains they had shown her how to make.
As much as she loved her grandparents those photos were a step too far for her and she tried to disappear politely as soon as they attempted to show them.
At Christmas her granda tended to take out a CD showing similar pictures of other people like him and Grannie. She had asked him was he drunk when they ran around without clothes, covered only in daisies and all he would say was “Not quite”. She didn't know what he meant by that but felt it was safer to leave it. She suspected they had a secret but then, so did she.
In the rockery at the end of her garden there are a lot of flowers but in one corner is a collection of daisies, lots of different varieties. She often crawled in there and played with her secret friends.
There were four of them and she called them Silly, Smiley, Ben and Sophie. They were all fairies but had different personalities and she tried to reflect this in the names she gave them. She was sure they had fairy names but she preferred to name them herself. She had given them these names before they became friends as they seemed to be afraid of her but now they seemed to have no problem answering to them.
She couldn't remember how young she was when she first came across them but it was a few years ago and they scarpered very quickly then.
Even now she creeps up on them very quietly so as not to disturb them and they always notice her at the last moment. She was finally becoming good friends with them and had good fun most of the time. Sometimes they weren’t there and she still didn’t know where they lived or what type of house it was.
They often disappeared like magic when they wanted and never said where they were going. At first she thought this was very rude but then realised that fairies were different to humans and probably had good reason for what they did.
Some of the books in school were about fairies and her teacher, Mr Thomas, said they weren't real. She knew different but couldn't say anything. Why she wasn't sure, but was old enough to realise that if she did he and the rest of the class would only laugh. Even her crazy grandparents wouldn't believe it.
Only last week she had received a sting on the back of her hand from a nasty bee and she went all red up to her wrist. She was close to her fairy corner when smiley appeared followed by the rest. They said nothing but placed some fairy ointment on it and within seconds it was better. She had no idea how they knew about the sting, another mystery. This added to her secret and certainly she couldn't tell any adults or they would think she was exaggerating.
This was her secret and a secret it was going to stay for as long as possible.
JC-Dublin-A City defined by it's fairytale's.
Saturday, 7 September 2013
The weather is good for the time of the year, I’m constantly being told. ‘A bit like June’ a
friend said to me during the week.
Does anyone give any thought as to why we have good weather at this time of the year, I
It is a little known fact that it relates to the activity of the fish on or in the river Liffey,
which runs through the centre of Dublin’s fair City.
It is due to a gathering of trout, both brown and rainbow, Wild Salmon, Icelandic Cod, Eel,
Bass, Flounder, Pollock, Mackerel, Monkfish (Who look after the spiritual needs of our
water friends.) Etc. In a sense, bringing together the different fish cultures of the world. It
is because of this gathering, that Whales, Dolphins, Penguins etc, stay behind in other parts of
this fair isle, where they find we have warm and welcoming waters, in the human sense.
If, as a City we discommode our aquatic friends, we end up with bad weather. Just look at the
pollution due to industrial discharges along this mighty river, how it effects our fishy visitors
and the consequential bad weather, no accident.
This is no co-incidence, as we now see with the downturn in industrial activity along the
river, our weather improves. What a summer we have had this year, a bit late but never the
Don't mind all that nonsense about climate change and holes in the Ozone Layer,
discommoding our fish stock is a much bigger factor. Anybody as old as myself, there aren't
many, will tell you about the hot summers and cold winters before we started polluting the
main river through our Capital city. You knew where you stood,
Summer and Winter clothes, put away in June and September by mammies the width and
breadth of the country. The Vikings were aware of this and knew they could control the
weather on trips to foreign markets for pillaging and a bit of rape.
Dublin was a no brainer as far as they were concerned, build a town, keep out the natives
as they would only pollute the river- keep the fish on your side. Some sceptics will claim
that there is little or no fish in the river at this time of the year, not true, this is a very active
time for fish and while some will go abroad, as all Irish nationals do, there are fish with
responsibilities, that stay behind.
Every fisherman knows there is a more plentiful bounty of fish at night in the river Liffey and
it is at this time you will see them at their best. I have watched them at four in the morning,
dancing in a circle or in straight lines. I believe that Riverdance was devised, after Bill
Whelan and Michael Flately were walking along the waterside near Guinness, on their way to
catch an early train from Houston Station. I'm not sure where they were heading, but it was a
momentous moment in Irish Musical history. To see the fish, on their Caudal fins, touching
their pectorals, in movement that has to have been the precursor to the traditional Irish
dancing steps. Remember, our ancestors were let out of the sea, in very warm climes, many
centuries ago. We grew into monkeys and eventually man, only because our fish friends were
in good humour, no pollution, no shopping trolleys in the water, no traffic cones or cardboard
boxes from your cornflakes. Look at the good weather, where we rose from the sea and
eventually crossed Europe and other continents.
We love good weather, particularly in the summer and can tolerate some necessary bad
weather, supplying water needed for the crops, with a bit left over to drinking.
The fish did send us a warning many years ago and some people and animals were saved on a
ship, owned by Noah, but we have ignored this and other warnings since then.
Beware of the fish?
JC-Dublin-A City defined by it's fishiness
Friday, 2 August 2013
Tuesday, 21 May 2013
I gave some thought to writing a book about things that get lost, an enthralling idea, but not about ordinary everyday things. A book leaves you, the author, with many options, wide and deep.
For example, what if your shadow was lost, went missing, maybe kidnapped. (Should that be shadownapped?) Interesting!
The immediate thought that crosses my mind is, how can an author write a shadow and would it have to be in black (That should be thoughts). In the thousands of books I read I never remember a shadow, doesn't mean they are never mentioned, no! just that I don’t remember them. As shadows tend to follow people and now and again precede them, they are often implied, we know they are there, somewhere. As shadows are created by light whether natural or generated, we know they are there, somewhere. This begs the question, does an author need to write some light or sunshine before he/she focuses on the shadow, or are light and shadow part on the same equation?
One of the many challenges facing an author, not an easy job.
Anyway, back to the reason I started writing this, ‘things that are lost’. Where would you start looking for a lost shadow and don’t you dare say “Behind you” I’ve no time for cheap jokes or pantomime, well, not at the moment.
Is it easier to look for a lost shadow in a book, does size matter, whether it’s hardback or paperback? I could start by writing a ‘Shadow Tracker’, someone like a modern day Hercule Poirot who specialises in tracking and investigating lost shadows. Mind you, if we had to wait for him to arrive from Belgium we could be in trouble. The internet tells me that here in Ireland there is a detective agency called ‘Shadow detectives’ they could be the answer. Of course the ‘Shadow Tracker’ doesn't necessarily have to be human, we could design an android ‘Shadow Tracker’ who wouldn't get emotionally involved, would obey orders and not look for payment. (Sounds like a politician)
Once these points are addressed what sort of technique does he or it use and how do they track a shadow at night, questions, questions, questions?
Another question, ‘where does the tracker start, not in the dark, though this would be a good place to hide a shadow. To find one we need a Geiger counter for shadows or maybe an APP or scanner to measure the intensity of darkness presuming shadows are only dark, stroke, black?
Authors thought, can shadows be any colour other than black, is this an outcome of light versus shadow, equals, black? As I have just watched a programme on television about suggestions that the shadows created on the moon, during the landings, are man-made in a studio with lights coming in all directions. There is a small cohort of people who believe that America, Russia and whoever else are duping us all into believing man landed on the moon when in fact, they say, this is all ‘Hollywood’ and created in a studio? A theatrical production with lights shining or highlighting from all directions. The suggestion was/is that if the sun shines from the back, throwing a shadow, the front of the astronaut would be black. Not so! As the programme crew demonstrate, with the light coming from the back casting a shadow there is spill all around and this light reflects off the ground onto the front of the astronaut making his front visible. They go on to demonstrate why other accusations are erroneous, but that’s for those who want to watch television. The message from the programme was, man did land on the moon, so there.
Books about things lost and a lost moon landing is complicated, a challenge to any author.
Anyway, back from the authors thought? There are a lot of questions we will never answer here but let’s move on. A mirror would be a good place to start because you could see if the shadow was hiding behind you or maybe just standing there, half way up a wall and the other half on the ground not knowing it’s lost.
Another consideration for the author (I am rubbing the sweat from my brow at this juncture) should the tracker be written without a shadow, worth thinking about this. It would save his/its shadow getting mixed up with the missing one. Remember it is possible that a number of shadows will be missing at any one time. Surely if one can go missing so can others and you don’t want to complicate things, at least I don’t. If you found a shadow how would you know it's yours. Is there a mathematical equation for working out if a shadow fits your body or someone else's. where does one store shadows found but not attributable?
Can shadows swim, float or drown, if not it would be worth looking at the bottom of a lake or river for them, ideal hiding places for anything that cannot drown or float.
Looking up is another good place to search, try it, a myriad of surprises await you. Things you would never notice in a month of Sundays or any other day lie quietly there. What a place for a shadow to hide, up there out of the way of man and light, bothering no one. Mind you I do wonder if shadows can climb and if they can how high. Knowing the answer to this question may save a lot of looking in the dark. Particularly if you are depending on sunshine which tends to shine from above, unlikely to bounce a shadow upwards, unless like on the moon the reflected light enabled this? Another one for the History channel.
Another authors thought-do people own their shadow or do these dark outcomes have free will, worth considering. If people have no claim on them, how can a ‘Shadow Tracker’ insist on them coming back home if found?
There are of course other things to be considered in the pursuit of lost shadows, what if they had a dublinbikes membership, the tracker would need to know this in order to keep up. The tracker would need to be a member also but this could be a problem for dublinbikes, do they take membership from androids and/or shadows.
If they did, just think of the other cyclists and onlookers as they see a shadow on one of these nearly blue bikes, trailed, tracked by an android cycling madly in pursuit. Could this lead to accidents or onlookers having a sense of delusion seeking cures from local chemists. Not to mention car and bus drivers alongside those people on Viking ships we see move through Dublin city on their way to invade the sea, the thick plottens.
Another thought by delusional author, what would happen if the book was lost, would that be the end or is there more to this story?
My next edition of this book will concentrate on lost 'Common sense'.
JC-Dublin a City lost in books
My next edition of this book will concentrate on lost 'Common sense'.
JC-Dublin a City lost in books
Saturday, 11 May 2013
‘The answers to all our problems are within’ is a philosophy I believe very strongly. We need to look inward and have faith in ourselves, the ability of the human brain in particular. We need to trust ourselves, use our instinct, it will guide us. Life is about a journey without knowing the destination. The constant search for answers is very human and what makes life worthwhile. Unfortunately we are encouraged to look for guidance and answers from external sources rather than within.
Reality tells us, if we have a problem, it is only us, me, you, who can solve it. We can certainly use other means or people to guide and advise us but they cannot do magic, it is only you or me who can create our own magic.
One of the primary tenets of ‘Design thinking’ is; “if you ask the right question you will get the right answer-if the answer is wrong, the question was wrong, so go back and ask the question again”. Always go back to the beginning and don’t be afraid it is a fruitful journey.
Starting on the journey to find the answer will often necessitate you/me going back to the beginning, no matter where we are on the journey. We may have only taken the first step or be close to the finish when we realise the answer is not what we need. We should not be afraid to go back and change or alter the question.
This takes trust, confidence and faith in oneself, along with bravery-it can be a lonely but fruitful trip.
Life’s journey is like writing a poem or story except you may not return to the beginning with your writings, you may alter these along the way, not so with life.
Life is much more fundamental and needs clearer and deeper answers to very searching questions.
The human mind is a very deep place, one we will never understand in our lifetime but it needs to be used, challenged and pushed as far as we can. It is only through this we can fully find its possibilities and enable it to give us real answers to the real questions.
These answers are within!
These answers are within!