Listowel Writers' Week Fringe

Blogging Listowel's Literary Scene
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Poem for the road to Listowel (first draft)

May 24, 2009 By: Paul O'Mahony Category: poem

On the road to Listowel, I met a woman,

Ozymandiah was her name.

Covered in words from hair to sole,

dressed in syllables of the finest text,

a wagtail by her side.

“Are you the man from Abbeyfeale,

or the fellow from Kanturk?”

I’m neither dear,

nor inkwell lad you’ve met before,

with a pen at the end of his nose.”

“Oh jester fool, I’m in dire straits.

The rain is down, the hillsides gone.

I’ve passed nothing but cattle wand’ring,

the priest never came to show the way.”

“Is it Writers’ Week you’re after?”

She looked me through, and uttered back:

“You’re a lettered (or Kerry) man I see.”

I knew that flash of vision rare, it drew me out:

Come walk the miles with me.”

The wagtail passed the pothole, hopped forward on the road.

“Tis a reading hallowed in these eyes,

a voice I carry for ears,

a journey for all to hear.”

A shadow stretched, cloud open and still,

I found the gift of words:

“Tis written on your face,

inscribed on lines of smile -

paragraphs for the wise.

We have haste to make, the sun is up.

There are swallows in Listowel.”

She drew a handbag from under shawl,

her parchment from deep inside.

On blotting paper, I drew this map,

dried my lover’s name.

There are islands here, beyond Duagh,

parishes you’ve yet to know.

I’ll take you there if you hold my hand.

Her hair shone out like diamonds,

she said she was queen of the land.

Her lips apart, her tongue now loose:

“There’s no way back from Writers’ Week.

If we go there, we’re lost to dreams,

cause deep inside the fingers there,

entwined for all, beware,

is the DNA of another way

and all those streams, and all those Keanes.”

So woke the tale I share today.

We will be there, no need to care.

I’ve heard it said we’ll rendezvous,

in a public house or hotel bar.

We’ll know a friend has come to birth,

has walked this land,

has travelled the earth.

Accommodation in Listowel (2)

May 22, 2009 By: Paul O'Mahony Category: Accommodation, organisers

I’ve just been talking to an absolutely fantastic woman.

Norella Moriarty is “accommodation officer” for the festival. I rang her because I haven’t yet solved my accommodation challenge.

I’ve been so focussed on the blog that I’ve neglected to sort out where I’m staying.

If only I’d rung Norella a fortnight ago… She has people crossing the street to avoid her – she’s been so active finding beds.

Fortunately all is not lost.

I’ve found the phone number of great couple that put me up in 2007. Left a message. Fingers and toes crossed.

There’s always Abbeyfeale, and a registered B&B @ Park Lodge (068 31312). If all else fails, I’ll try Abbeyfeale and admire the river.


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This work by various authors is licensed under a Creative Commons License.