Wednesday 9 December 2009

Yule Competition!

The PPP is delighted to announce that thanks to the success of the Poetry Anthology we have an excellent prize fund for our Yule Competition.

First Prize will be a beautiful Fountain Pen
PLUS a £20 Amazon Gift Voucher!!

There will also be 2nd and 3rd prizes of £10 gift Amazon vouchers!

The competition is open to everyone. The closing date for entries is December 24th and the Winners will be announced in January.

You may submit as many entries as you like. All Entries will be considered for the Competition Edition in January as well as for the Competition itself.

View the images

Using either as your inspiration write a poem.
Submit the poem, clearly indicating to which image it refers.
Submit to
PPP members may also submit by PM to Beirn.


Tuesday 24 November 2009

Everybody says/Nobody Says

November Pad Challenge

Prompt #1: Take the phrase "Everybody says (blank)," replace the blank with a word or phrase, make that the title of the poem, and write the poem.
Prompt #2: Take the phrase "Nobody says (blank)," replace the blank with a word or phrase, make that the title of the poem, and write the poem.

Everybody says Hello

I remember getting letters
scrawled on torn notepaper
delivered to a camping site
in wet, wild rural Holland

How are you, sisters wrote
dutifully filling in lines and space
Hope the tulip picking is good
Hope you are having a good time

They didn't say some things
what they were doing today
who they were seeing today
where were they going.

Just mainly hi, and of course
everybody says hello
everybody misses you
come home soon, when you can.

Nobody Says Hello

Nobody says hello,
when you are a stranger
living among people, on your own.

No one asks you,
how was your day today?
what did you do, and with whom.

Nothing says home,
like a neighbour nodding,
saying hello with their friendly eyes.


Monday 23 November 2009

I hear ya

For the November Pad challenge

A poem filled with noise

I hear ya.

Hiss of fire, (gas, so no crackle
no shift of turf or coal, but still,
warm and comforting)
Hum of dryer, the kitchen
filled with moist damp air
whirl of washing in machine
(old machine, with choas
in its spin cycle.)
Nextdoor neighbours
shouting kids and loud
Rumanian curse words
and baby screams.
the quiet of our Polish and French
couple, moved away home)
TV tells me "It's going to trial"
(Law and Order on a wet afternoon)
and I clickity clack on my keyboard.
The wind chases demons down
the chimney, rain pelts against
my window, the heating kicks in
with a boiler-busting bang.
My iphone beeps, text message
insistantly calling, read me read me.

What are you doing?
Having a quiet day off, I say.
I hear ya, you reply.


Saturday 21 November 2009

I Make Myself Up

Another for the November Pad Challenge :
Todays prompt is "Invention"

I make myself up

I make myself up every morning;
It's all just invention and lies.
I draw in a smile on my face
and then I shade in my eyes.

I invent who I am every day
A new face for each dawn, anew.
My mood is reflected in changes;
stamped, in colours and hue.

I am a tissue of fictions,
a collection of fables and dreams;
I create a new world every minute,
no matter how real this one seems.


Friday 20 November 2009

And then Earth turns.

She swims in the cold ice river
Of time and space, across the eons
Look at me, she says, extending
One flawless limb
Look at me, I am so cold and tired.
It will never end, this journey.

She sighs as the stars flash by
Silver trout in a crystal stream
How cold you are, they say
As they pass, How cold it is
She catches one on her long eyelash
And it freezes like a diamond.

Look, the others whisper, look
The light has bloomed, the light;
A tiny glimmer in the distance, calling
Her back to life again.
She waits until she touches the shore,
And then Earth turns.


Thursday 12 November 2009

If Only She's Listened to Granny

Day 12 of the November Pad Challenge - write a poem with the titled "if only"

If Only She'd Listened to Granny

"That wolf is a nuisance,"
Granny often said,
hanging around like a tame dog.

Don't pat him, don't feed him,
don't let him sleep on your bed.

Granny is old and has seen things
she knows how the wild things are;
she won't let them into the house -
she won't sweep the hearth after midnight -
she throws salt on the back step.

Red is young and foolish.
There's some status is having
a Wolf by her side, teeth bared.
She likes to go walking in moonlight.

"That wolf is dangerous,"
Granny's last words,
spit through bloodied lips.

Red is sorry now.


Lower me Not

A poem I wrote some years ago; it was included in the anthology Where The Hazel Falls (Electric Publications) ; it was inspired by several traditional burial practices including Tibetan Sky Burial


Lower me not,
into a crimson mouthed coffin
under mahogony covers
a secret tucked away
Lower me not
into damp clay
weighted down
by marble grey

Set me ablaze
set me free
set me flying
like a dying comet.
Across the sky>
fling me, swing me,
let the wind kiss me
set me spiralling in flaming arcs.

float me away
a petalled offering
on a river of spices
through red dusty land
or rip me, espose me
the bare bones of me
speadeagled on a table rock
part of the raven, or the wolf

Lower me not,
leave me not
forget me not
let me leave you
let me depart
let me be freedom
and new life
and new dawns.


Wednesday 11 November 2009

One word at a time...

My "constuction" poem for the November Poetic Challenge

One word at a time

I built a bridge once.
It crossed a river, where water crashed white
on rocks and jagged edges.

I built it with words.
the first word fell on muddy land and sank
- it was hello, just hello.

I threw another word.
It took so many, one balancing on the other
until some settled on top.

Then I used bigger words.
Words that formed sentences, arching across
- sentences entwined.

Then I used poetic words.
that became ornate pillars and hanging baskets
that brightened our bridge.

The bridge still stands;
the river does not run so fast or violent now
but the bridge still stands.


Saturday 7 November 2009

What Is It?

My "Plant" poem for the November poetic challenge

What Is It?

"What is it?" my husband asked.
His faith in my knowledge was touching;
I can grow herbs and tomatoes
but am a mass murderer of houseplants.
"I don't know." We both stared -
it was a weed, or a baby tree or a flower.
That much at least was clear.
"Should we dig it up?" he mused.
It has reddish leaves and a long thin stem
and looks innocent, exposed
by our weeding and ruthless culling of hedges;
its secret life and gentle growth
gone forever, like childhood; I cannot cut it.
He looks at me, hopfully
"It could be a tree. I bet it's a tree."
It could be; some bird may have dropped seed
in the undergrowth of our garden
and from this tiny source, a trunk and branch
and deciduous colours in Autumn
and shade and root may yet grow, and tower.
Why not? Why not a tree as easily as a weed?
"It looks like a tree to me."


Wednesday 4 November 2009

Maybe not....

Another from the excellent Robert Lee Brewer poetic challenges

My effort for a Maybe poem...

Maybe Not.

I did not know
when I first saw you
that you had nothing
in your heart
but a sense of being apart,
a line in the sand,
a grudge and a complaint.

Maybe to me means
it is possible,
it might happen,
something might be,
could be, exists in potentia
but you always frown and say
Maybe not.


Saturday 26 September 2009

Twitter Fragments II

Twitter Fragments II

how I feel on certain days....

The city moves, a slow grumbling yawn
shoppers drifting in lazy knots
high heels and blowdried hair
rituals of consumer glee

Dublin awash with
post Arthurian hangovers;
spotted - more than one walking wounded
with Guinness pallor.
People with very shaky hands.

Autumn encroaches on the last days of Summer
Fat old woman, ripe in gaudy colour
pushing aside the frail and ailing belle

September sun
the cool balm of Indian summer
across the city like a gentle hand
a gift before ripe Autumn falls

Dublin is grey today windswept & autumnal
back to school blues & sad little doldrums
the first fallen leaves lie forlorn on the pavement

Early Sat evening in Dublin;
the everday life of the city
abandoned for the tinsel glamour of its night life.
Mad, wild, woolly...

hard seat, numbing both body and mind
I find myself dreaming of another future
reaching out for things no longer real

Light steals darkness from my room
gentle thief, fracturing dreams
emptying memories to lay bare jewels of time


Saturday 12 September 2009

The Returned Politico

On the pitiful sight of a man whose pursuit of power leads him to renege on his own solemn promise to quit political involvement

The Returned Politico

How sad a sight, the unwanted suitor
Pleading to be taken back, swaggering
As if he was invited. What tattered rag
of dignity he once owned, to warm him
in his leaving is cast now aside to be
trampled under muddy feet, as the mob
rush to mock and be entertained. Poor
fool, in his motley, thinking his words
fall on willing ears. The object of his love
Eriu in her stately beauty, turns aside.
Her protectors sheath their swords and
Send their lackeys to chastise instead.


Saturday 5 September 2009

The Hidden Jester

Hidden Jester

Grief comes,
in glancing blows
stealing up at tangents -
shards of promise, taut with loss,
might have been, should have been.
Nothing direct or clean;
but sharp cuts and sudden hurts
from shadowed corners.

Strange friend,
thief, despoiler
relying on one saving grace,
one charity of memory, doled out.
Taking more than giving;
a parasite of living;
poisonous flower, spreading
like a weed.

Hidden Jester
laying small traps
that catch you unawares -
the detritus of life, turned enemy
banal weapons that shard the heart
and once you start
you cannot stem the flow
and he has won.


Friday 7 August 2009

JOhn Hughes, director of the Breakfast Club and Ferris Beuller died today; as did Renato of Renee and Renato. MIchael Jackson is gone and Farah Fawcett.
It's sad to see the icons you loved slip away; the era in which I grew up is now becoming history.

The 80s are slipping away

the 80s are slipping away,
my teen years are fading.
Neon colours, legwarmers,
toners and shaders.
I've missed Bueller's day out, I think
I know I'm no longer Pretty in Pink.
I don't know the words of modern songs.
I think standing in pubs is all wrong.
I am old, dear friends, I am old.

I do miss the 80s, the hair and the fashion
the dancing in Fame, my enduring passion
for Harrison Ford, as he played Dr Jones
or Mr Douglas romancing the stones
Now, Charlie's Angel has passed away
the Thriller no longer holds sway
the events of my youth are history now
I've grown up and I don't know how.
I am old, dear friends, I am old.


Saturday 1 August 2009


In honour of the day - Happy Lughnasadh

sitting in golden splendour
belly full and mead sweetened
Look down on these my friends,
my clan, my people
my tuatha and my Tir
Lugh, let sweet mellow days
be their fill, and all the ripe
beauty of your season
leaven the approach of winter
with cider-apple and harvest
and plenty
and love.


Saturday 13 June 2009

Twitter Fragments

I'm doing a thing on twitter where we post a small poem (under 140 characters) Some people do haiku, but I tend towards fragmentary three line verse
twitter @gercelt

also check out @twitlaureate, or search #poetry for more on poetry on twitter

Twitter Fragments

Silent house, paused between sleep and wake
and I the ghost, that passes in that space
part guardian, part spectre at the feast.

Cold morning grey competes with duvet warmth
sounds of stirring city siren-calling me to work
summer, in the town beside the sea

Dublin is back in the bosom of winter,
grey skies reflected in slick pavement puddles,
grimly chilled by driving rain

Dead weight of afternoon, pressing down,
keeping me at my desk
oh for the freedom that came with summers past!


Saturday 6 June 2009

Where Dwell The Gods?

A comic offering from several years ago; part of a bantering exchange on the PPP site prior to it's apocolyptic crash. I was glad to find it; it reminded me of some good mates sadly long since moved on and some good times.

It's in a similar vein to "The Committee for the Formation of a Pagan Creation Theory"

Where Dwell The Gods?

'Where o! where do the gods reside?
the opinions are many, the theories divide
The Norse have Asgard, way up high
the Mediterraneans look to the sky,
Mount Olympus is a "des res," all will agree
where good Greek gods go, to relax by the sea:
we Celts have the Otherworlds, Tir Taingiri
while Manannán rules the wide western sea.
So what do they put on their RSVP?
what postal code, or locality?
are they in heaven or are they in hell
where do the gods of our nations dwell?
I've read all the theories, short daft and long
and I'm here to tell you they're all bloody wrong!
I know the secret, the homes of the gods -
they live next to me the noisy auld sods!

There's Thor with his hammer, banging away
the noise of his thunderstick booming all day.
Tthere's Aengus Óg in his "bachelor pad"
a man of his age, it's really quite sad.
Next Door but one, is the frog-god Hekat
and Diana the Huntress, she shot next door's cat.
I'm kept up each Friday by the parties next door
where a certain Adonis relives days of yore.
The poker game held just across the road:
guests wearing togas, helmets or woad!
where Zhu Rong, and Shongo and Yatikka Taccu
came to blows with Umvelinqangi, Belanus and Wu!
the Gardai when they came, were slightly perplexed
(there's not many cells can hold gods who are vexed) they gave them a caution, and tried to look tough
while Hora-galles kept shouting "C’mon ya big puffs!"
The neighbours are moving, the prices are down
the gods of all nations have invaded our town;
the residents committee is in complete disarray
since the incident with the flying horse at the last open day.
An Morrigiu is sitting in my garden right now
talking with what appears to be half woman - half cow
The three fates sit spinning and I don't like the way
they looked at me and went ""Snip, snip, whayhay!"
O where do the gods of the world dwell?
on my road, gods help me! I'm moving to HELL!'


Friday 5 June 2009

PPP - Summer Solstice Edition taking submissions

For details on how to submit
read here

Non Members - submit to

Themes: Well it's the summer solstice so that's one :) Summer, heat, the Sidhe, observing religious events, what astrological events mean to us....
Poems, articles, journals, prose all welcome!!


Tuesday 2 June 2009

Suburban Summer

The city lying in a daze
quieter than at midnight
rocked gently in a haze
of shimmering on black tarmac -
pavement hot to barefoot touch.

Sun glinting on shining glass
in spiralling reflection,
casting prisms on the grass
of gardens lulled by bee and mower
the infinity of suburban summer.

pottering in the garden shed
Tiny stirrings of family life
children still have to be fed -
the alluring sound of icecream van
the counterpoint to kitchen smells

Days too perfect in memory
and endless enigma of nostalgia
painful in unattainability;
yet there have been skies this blue
and hours of dreaming peace.


Friday 29 May 2009

Yule at the Court of Maeve

I just found one of my poems was posted on a certain wellknown neo-nazi website - posted by a member as if it was one of their own, no accreditation to the author, and no permission to post it. Not only a breach of copyright but theft. Although part of me is grateful that the nasty little moronic bigots didn't put my name on their filthy site.
Just so we're clear, nothing would ever induce me to prostitute my work by connecting it in any way with the mindless, one-brain-cell-between-them cretins that espouse neo-nazism. I hereby reclaim my poem, one of my favourites to add insult to injury and bad cess to the bigots - they are incapable of understanding the heritage of honour and integrity it evokes.

Yule at the court of Maeve

I left the city
and traveled through the plains
and found the forest
of Warriors, among the forts of the

The Warrior Queen, Maeve of the Sidhe
beloved of the Hunter and
favourite, blessed daughter of the Morrigan
greeted me.
I vowed never to return to
the corruption of the free.

I fished on the shores of the Atlantic;
I have prayed on the Mountain of
Late autumn now finds me dwelling
deep in the forest, with those
who escaped, like me.
I have no suits and no favours.
I walk in bare feet with the deer.

In the winter, I will pack my pelts
and furs, make me a gurney and load it.
I will pull it to the Court of the Tribes of the West.
I will unload it at the feet of Maeve
and beg her receive her daughter, and
I already know the pleasure I will see, in my mothers’ eyes.

I will pass Yule there and stay until
No more will I measure time by the glossy calendar of man. I will await
the spring with a glad heart,
and then ,
when the mountains shed their covers
and the green rushes re-appear,
I will gather my bow and my dagger
and once more, to the Hunt again.


Tuesday 26 May 2009

Enclosed Orders

Religious orders responsible for abusing children in institutions want to deal directly with victims rather than reopen the controversial 2002 indemnity deal.
This morning director general of the Conference of Religious of Ireland (Cori) Marie Ann O’Connor said the 18 congregations’ would prefer to “deal directly and to use all in their powers to channel whatever resources directly to the former residents” rather than reopen the terms of the deal.


Enclosed Orders

We would like
she said,
to be sure the money
deosn't swell the coffers
of the government
but we can see how it best serves
Them being the victims
details too horrific to repeat
civilised minds don't want to know
for goodness sake, how distasteful

We want it clear
when we say no
we're not saying no
(wonderful new phrase)
it's not a blocking mechanism
the redress fund will not best serve
- us.
Us being the ones who stood by
put our clothe above the child
beat and starved and touched
it wasn't only us, you know

Lets keep a lid on all this
keep some perspective
retain some dignity (not like them)
hold onto our assets; if you take
the away we'll pull the plug
it'll be catastrophic.
Indeed, imagine it - an Ireland
bereft of holy orders.
What a thought.
Yeah, best let
us decide what's right for them.


Saturday 23 May 2009

Out of the Corner of My Eye

Out of the corner of my eye
something moves.
It's nothing he says, nothing -
everyone's eyes play tricks.

he pours a glass, dark red
rustling behing me
it's a good year, full bodied
and licks his lips.

I shift in my chair, listening -
shadows crawl.
Taste this, just a sip
Cloying, too sweet

Breath on my neck, stirring
(hackles rising)
touch like cold meat on skin
(teeth baring)

Out of sight, Out of mind
he never learnt
He shouldn't have tried it on
not with me.


Wednesday 20 May 2009

Is This Not Blasphemy?

My very own Poetry Challenge - feel free to join in :)
Pick a news story; as current as possible (same day as reading this notice if possible) and write a poem about it.
Include the link to the news story too.
please feel free to leave a comment on this blog linking to your own poem!

OSCE argues against blasphemy law
Tuesday, 19 May 2009 17:08
Europe's top security and human rights watchdog has urged Ireland not to preserve blasphemous libel as a crime.

The OSCE said this would flout international free speech covenants.

Justice Minister Dermot Ahern said earlier this month that he would seek to amend the law that provides prison sentences for blasphemous libel, but could not abolish it altogether without a referendum to change the constitution.

I choose this newstory because imo the mere idea of blasphemy laws in a civilised democracy is absolutely unacceptable.

Is this Not Blasphemy?

The words in my mouth
are as sacred to me
as communion wafers.
They are the body and
the blood and the spirit
of me. You would rip them
out and trample them.
Is this not Blasphemy?

My freedom is the holy
incarnation of my being;
my mind in consiousness,
formed in the image of
the sacred and divine.
Take away my rights
and you will defile me;
Is this not Blasphemy?

Your right, to your opinion
is my article of faith; you
would deprive me of mine
and see no irony. That
we should all speak
as we see fit, is my dogma.
When you deny this
is that not Blasphemy?

Maybe your gods can be
threatened; so weak they
need protection, coddled
in the cradle of law. Mine
reside in my heart, safe
in the strength of my own
conviction, immutable.
They know not Blasphemy.


Tuesday 19 May 2009

Public hearing into revised Corrib route News reports: 

An Bord Pleanála is to hold a public hearing into a revised onshore pipeline route for the Corrib gas project in north Mayo.

The application is being made by Shell E&P Ireland, which is also seeking a compulsory acquisition order to gain access to private lands.

The hearing into the revised onshore pipeline route will get under way in Belmullet this morning and is expected to last for several weeks

Shell is seeking planning permission to lay 9.2km of pipeline to connect to an offshore line which will transport gas to the Corrib refinery in Bellanaboy.

The original route was exempted from planning permission nine years ago but when work began in 2005 locals objected on health and safety grounds.

The new route is a minimum of 140m from occupied housing. Up to 80 submissions are expected to be heard by An Bord Pleanála in the coming weeks.

Objections have been lodged by local residents' groups and environmentalists.

This is a much deserved ray of hope for the Corrib protesters; while the story has faded slightly from public view on May 9th 2009 80 protesters occupied the site of the Shell Glengad beach site, near Belmullet Co Mayo in order to remove perimeter fencing (Irish Times Saturday, May 9, 2009). One protester, Willie Corduff lodged himself under a truck in order to passively protest; he was later removed by force and injured by Shell security personel, according to eyewitness reports posted on various online support groups.

The fencing was erected by Shell at Glengad beach without planning permission; what muddies the water slightly is that entire Shell proposed route for the gas pipeline was originally exempted from planning permission (without reference to the public). However this exemption applied only to the route, according to protesters and not to individual erections and works.

On May 14th what has been described as a "daring protest" protesters mounted tripod structures to halt the works at Glengad, proving that the fight was far from over. The protest group Shell to Sea have repeatedly asked for the Corrib Gas to be processed at sea; this is standard practice and generally considered to have less environmental impact and fewer health and safety implications.

 For their part Shell claim that "the safety and security of our employees, our contractors and the communities in which we operate is the number one priority for the Corrib gas partners." On the subject of environmental impact the company states "As a result of the screening studies, it was concluded that the preferred development scenario for the Corrib field was a subsea system tied back to a processing terminal onshore" (

Whatever the right of it, the fact remains that a handful of community activists have suceeded in sending the matter back to An Bord Pleanala (the board in Ireland that deals with development and planning.) This is no mean feat in itself.

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Saturday 16 May 2009

The Perils of Publishing Poetry


The Perils of Publishing Poetry

The Perils of Publishing Poetry

see larger image

uploaded by GerCMByrne

I founded a poetry site in 2000, the Pagan Poetry Pages, to provide a space for poets whose influences and interests were non-conformist. With a loose brief of "poetry reflecting our interest in spirutal and metaphysical themes" we quickly grew to include poets who were not Pagan but deeply spiritual in their writing and Pagans who never wrote about their spirituality. In the end the PPP, as it is affectionately known, evolved into a place where good poetry was all that mattered; the need to express and the desire to share that expression was paramount.

Then recently, we decided to add another "P" to the PPP - "publications." The creation of an anthology of our poets  has been a long-cherished project; finally we found the right combination of poets and editors and it began to take shape. Simone LA Hogan, my co-editor brought invaluable skills both technical and aesthetic while the talented American poet, Kevin V. Moore, brought an eagle eye to the project considering not only the submitted poems but catching many an evil typo as he went. The result is a book we are all, justly, proud of but the journey to this point has been both instructive and challenging. For anyone hoping to self publish, there are some pitfalls and pratfalls ahead!

The first and most obvious challenge for us was to gather the poetry; we had submissions from current members but decided to include new works as well. This opened up the site to new members and encouraged a fresh input into both the proposed anthology and the members' forum. Once we had chosen poems - and made the copyright and legal position clear to each contributor - we were then faced with a formidable amount of formatting and design.

For the author publishing a novel, the formatting may not present as great an obstacle; but fitting dozens of poems into a suitable number of pages prooved too much for me! After 3 weeks of laborious "copy and pasting" Simone stepped in, and in three days had the bulk of the work done. Another couple of days and she had whipped it into a pretty shape and added illustrations. I turned my attention to the covers a job I think I managed rather well; but I now know that any future attempt on my part to publish a book will start with making someone else do the formatting!

Our next challenge was the rather boring but necessary task of proof reading. I cannot recommend highly enough that you share this task among many pairs of eyes. Even with three of us feverishly reading we still caught a few errors later on. It won't be the end of the world if one slips by - I have read many a published text with the odd mistake - but respect for the reader demands that you do your best to remove them all.

We choose to invest in ISBN numbers; the Nielsen Agency is the place to start if you are in Ireland or the UK. They come in blocks of ten and we saw it as an investment in our future projects; as it turns out it is a huge asset in promoting the book and getting it into mainstream bookshops. In the weeks since our official launch date, May 1st 2009, we have received orders from book wholesalers in the UK as well as independent retailers. ISBN are necessary if you wish to see your book take off.

We made a few mistakes as we blundered along; we underpriced our work at first and had to have the list price changed by Nielson and Amazon. When I say "we" honesty compels me to admit it was I, really. We learned that postage can be much higher than we fondly imagined. We also learned that a self published book can be hard to market.

You need to be proactive, and think creatively, when trying to promote your self published work; think of forums, websites, networks or writers, who might be interested. Try small retailers and bookstores and offer them sale or return. If publishing on Cafepress or Lulu consider buying ten at a time to have on hand, to distibute locally. Try everything - some things will work, others are more effort than reward. But you learn from every mistake.

Publishing the anthology was an amazing experience and one that has convinced me that for poets in particular, there really are not enough outlets for their work. As a result once we have recovered from Pagan Paeans  we plan on publishing Kevin V Moore's collection of poems on New England; followed by a collection of essays and a second anthology. There are few monetary incentives to do so; poetry will never make you rich. But the pleasure our first offering has given poet and reader alike may well be the best reward of all.

Words are written to be read!

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The Prompt is to write a poem on a Spring theme


Slight touch of green life
the first blush of bud

the seedlings sprout
before the ides of March

the rain falls in fat tears
the sky clears to egg blue

the air smells of earth
the light changes daily

the season rushes forward
the sap rises high


Friday 15 May 2009

Bealtine Edition of the PPP

Bealtine Edition is now available....including the results of the Pagan Paeans Launch Competition!
Also register to enjoy the member's section - post poems, read, give/get feedback, join debates and enter poetry competitions


Thursday 14 May 2009

Don't You Dare

Prompt : Take the phrase "Don't you (blank)," fill in the blank with a word or words, and make that the title of your poem. Then, write a poem using that title.

Don’t you dare.

Don’t you dare –
I didn’t. I daren’t.
I wish I was braver.
I wish I could jump
From planes.

Don’t you dare –
I never told them
What I thought
I kept the peace

Don’t you dare –
I am not reckless
I am the voice of reason
I am the
cowardly lion


Wednesday 13 May 2009

So we decided to .....

Another from the poetry challenge: write a poem using the prompt..."So we decided to go..."

So we decided to……

So we decided to go
Despite misgivings
Like, it was free beer
And although we didn’t much like
The look of them
Well, it was free beer

They were largely harmless
Huge shaggy youths
With gangly limbs and
Awkward. We stood to one side
And laughed a bit
Just among ourselves

I danced to Morrissey
And tried to look cool
And then someone
put on a song I’ve never been able
to recall. Something
about a child.

I remember the beginning
And the end, but not
The bits in between,
And I thought at one point – wow.
That’s a song
I wish I could sing.

I knew then I was
Getting too drunk
The room spun and
Someone pulled me into the hall
To tell me
They were lonely.

We’re all lonely
I said. We’re all alone
You’re not special.
I am never that cruel when sober.
I fell over limbs
Sprawled from the stairs.

You found me then
and held out a hand.
I’m starving, you said
And this is a crap party, isn’t it?
So we decided
To go.


Saturday 9 May 2009

Poetic Challenge : The Problem with You

See Writer's Digest blog Poetic Aside for details of prompts for each challenge: I am not doing them properly in order at all, but picking them up as they strike me. I am a bad participant :)

This challenge was entitled "the problem with..." It resonated greatly with me for personal reasons.

The Problem with You

She has a list. I jest you not
All the things that - in her opinion
I do wrong, say wrong, think wrong
am wrong
she can list them.

I am half flattered. A lot of thought
went into this. I am fully dismayed
she has sifted, thought, compiled, arranged
and delivered
a verdict on me.

She is a friend. I must remember this
Or make her suffer; I know her buttons
too and can remove that smile. The problem
with me is
I don't back down.


Poetic Challenge

Many thanks to poet Maureen Duffy-Boose for alerting me and getting me involved in this. It's great fun and while I won't do it everyday (I am far too lazy!) I certainly will be attempting it on a regular basis over the next month.

Writer's Digest blog Poetic Asides is challenging poets to write on a variety of themes (prompts posted by them on the blog)

Yesterday I did :

A poem on something missing

I keep finding reminders
of things I can no longer recall
I cannot even remember
what the reminder meant at all

When I find things now
I have to rack my brain
when did I lose it and
what on earth was it for, again?


Thursday 30 April 2009

Pagan Paeans Anthology OFFICIALLY LAUNCHED

It's a silly thing probably but there really is a thrill in seeing your book on Amazon !!

Offically Launched

Pagan PaeansPublisher: PPP Publications
ISBN 978-0-9562403-0-9

The first anthology of the Pagan Poetry Pages (The PPP) is now available. Pagan Paeans is a collection of poems from the comic to the heroic, boasting some of the most interesting and provocative poets in the Pagan Poetry Movement. Poets from Ireland, USA, Uk, Europe, and Australia share their views of life and spirituality, including both established and new poets, mundane and sacred themes, satire and sincerity. All proceeds from the anthology go to maintaining The PPP, providing prize funds for poetry competitions and publishing new can buy from USA & ROW UK and Ireland can also email


Wednesday 15 April 2009

Pagan Paeans Anthology

Now available (only €12 plus postage) from the cafepress site
From May 1st, you can buy in Ireland or the UK (details to follow) but if you can't wait....then order from Cafepress and be the first to get your hands on a copy :)
The PPP - bringing great poetry to you!


Thursday 26 March 2009

Pagan Paeans Anthology and Competition

The (The PPP) is proud to announce its latest poetry competition, to celebrate the launch of the first anthology of The PPP on May 1st (Bealtine) 2009.
Pagan Paeans is a wonderful collection of poetry from the satirical and comic to the deeply spiritual.

How to enter:
On in the members forum, we've posted two images as inspiration - all you have to do is look and write a poem. The best , most original take on it wins! Just go to the section marked PPP competitions and follow the instructions on how to post an entry.

The winner will recieve a great prize; a £20 gift voucher for Amazon and a free copy of Pagan Paeans, the first PPP anthology (out May 1st!)

If you are not already a member, just register, it's free and very easy to do!

If you have any queries please email ppp @

Pagan Paeans is published by PPP publications and will be available through or for Irish members details of purchasing directly from the PPP will be posted on site

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Pagan Paeans


The is proud to announce its latest poetry competition.

We've posted two images as inspiration - all you have to do is look and write a poem. The best , most original take on it wins!

Launching the Pagan Paeans Anthology

The winner will recieve a great prize; a £20 gift voucher for and a free copy of [b]Pagan Paeans, the first PPP anthology (out May 1st!)

Please post your entries in the PPP site, in the section "PPP competitions". If you are not already a member, just register, it's free and very easy to do!
If you have any queries please email ppp @

Pagan Paeans will be available from May 1st 2009


Saturday 21 March 2009

I dwell in your heart (i)

The Psalms of Living

I. I dwell in your heart

I dwell in your heart, child
the old woman told me,
I have no other home.
There are places I have laid my head
but they were not home.

I live in the way you laugh
in the things that make you cry
in the days you have not yet lived,
in the nights still to come;
I inhabit these places, waiting.

In your dreams I reach out
in your hopes I find strength
in your memory I am fed, sweetly
You hear me in your own voice
and are comforted.

Geraldine Moorkens Byrne


Saturday 7 March 2009

Inside Track

Inside Track

He said: Seeing you again
was strange; in a way
I was not sure you existed without me.

Tthat you have a life, a home, friends
that you breathe and speak and think
without my observing, I find odd.

I often think of that now; that space
between intimacy and loss. I have
lost friends and that abyss hurts.

I wonder if they too assume
knowledge, privilege of being current;
or if they feel absence.

I hoard memories and replay
them. They fade despite constant
retouching until only outlines remain.

When I am old, if I make old bones
I will no longer be sure who said
what and whose feat that was.

You cannot leave stories half way
it's too hard to be a main character
without remaining in the plot.

He said he thought I stopped
frozen by his inattention; I did not.
I thrived and grew and moved


Saturday 24 January 2009



It was simple:
-once upon a time,
-it'll all be okay,
-what doesn't kill you.
No hostages, taken or given
no price not worth paying
freedom defined by lack of,
ties or attachments
Complex how time
defers payment
cashes the cheque at the last moment
reaching into pockets
taking the ounce of flesh and to hell
with blood.
Not so easy now.
Not so simple, not
so clearcut . Time falling
like snowdrops, moments melting
away before you can touch them.
how easily it all becomes the past.

Geraldine Moorkens Byrne


Wednesday 21 January 2009

The Wedding Gift

For all those women whose approach to weddings is not to mount a military operation, who don't want to stress, who want to remember the day and the marriage not worry if the napkins match the colour of the bridesmaid's knickers. And maybe as a reminder to those who are acting as if they're about to invade Poland next - there's more to the day than style.

This is the best wedding gift I can give you....

If I could give you one thing
a wedding gift that will last
it would be the memory -
not of a glittering table,
lanterns and rose petals
favours and toiletries, or
chair covers in dusky pink-
but of the time you share
the choosing and the plans
the mother's face, the father's pride
the squeeze of hand, the
slight smile, the excited face
the neighbours gathered,
children pointing, guests
milling, laughter rippling like
a spring - stately walk, solemn vow.

I would give you the gift
of slowing time, savouring
each and every second,
noticing the important details
- not the trimming on a veil
or pewends tied with ribbon
drapes, capes, canapes,
colours, cut or clothe -
but the whispered love
the tearful eye, joyful
glance, awaited entrance,
first dance, speech and
speechless moments, grace
and bumbling fumbling, funny
sad and lovely, moments
strung like pearls on
the edge of a wedding veil.

Geraldine Moorkens Byrne


Saturday 17 January 2009

Mud and Bones

Up in the west of ireland on some hillside a few years back bad stormy weather caused a landslide that revealed bones of neolithic settlers, hidden for years. There's a storm almost as bad brewing outside and it reminded me of a poem I wrote I thought I would share...

Mud and Bones

I lie in the dark mud of Connaught
in the cruel rocky earth of the West
where the sun sets low in the evening
and HyBrazil lies just beyond sight
and I am part of your land and your lives,
though you see only the mound of my grave
and the grass growing high above my head
I am the bones of your country, its roots
the anchor of life as you know it
your seed, breed and long generation -
And I lie in the dark mud of Connaught.

Geraldine Moorkens Byrne


Friday 9 January 2009

Reality, for Tommie

A poem about friendship: I have a friend, whom I have never met face to face, but whose friendship is real. It is real, because it has endured - differences of opinion, changes in our lives, deep loss, happiness. We sometimes talk daily, sometimes sadly, once a month or even less. Sometimes we chat on the phone, more often online. Sometimes I have confided in her things I could tell no one else, and vice verse. Sometimes we just talk about nothing. This is her poem.

For Tommie; A poem about friendship

Shattered conversations, broken words,
glimpses of each other’s life. My words
rushed on a keyboard in work;
yours in a house with kids and dog.
Thousands of miles apart, heart to heart
across a continent, and over seas
through the ether, on the wire –
friendship spanning time and space.
Face to face, we’ve never been –
impossible to believe! I have held
your hand, felt your presence, seen
through your eyes…you have walked
city streets with me, sat at table, celebrated
family. How can it not be real?
We must redefine physics; ignore these
hard men who would say,
your friendship is virtual. Mutual
trust is real, laughter is real,
time shared is real. The only illusion
is theirs. We know, we know – Our words
are real.