The Tiger’s Tail – A Film Poem

With self-promotion increasingly becoming the lot of writers and poets – and social media making it easier than ever to share information – I see many poets doing the spoken word thing, direct to camera, as means of bringing their work to new audiences.

I like the idea of my poems getting out and about but, being the shy, retiring type, I don’t necessarily want to put myself front and centre.

So I had a chat with photographer, Mike Bors, about a poem, The Tiger’s Tail, from my debut collection, and my idea for making a little ‘film’ to accompany it. I wanted to keep it simple, using a slideshow format, rather than live film. We talked about the kinds of images that would fit the mood of the poem – black and white, street photography, night in the city, weekend revellers – and Mike took to the city streets to capture Dublin at night.

The poem itself was written about the events of 30 September 2010, the day Finance Minister, Brian Lenihan, made an emergency broadcast announcing the bail-out of Allied Irish Banks, after the discovery of massive undisclosed debt. I was in Galway and as I walked back to my accommodation, after an evening out, the late-night streets bucked and reeled with gleeful debauchery: Nero, fiddling while Rome burned.

It’s my first attempt at this kind of project and I’m delighted with the result, especially Mike’s beautiful images.

I hope you enjoy it and, if you do, please share.

For more photography by Mike Bors, go to




Ulysses: Molly Bloom’s Soliloquy

…the sun shines for you he said the day we were lying among the rhododendrons on Howth head in the grey tweed suit and his straw hat the day I got him to propose to me yes first I gave him the bit of seedcake out of my mouth and it was leapyear like now yes 16 years ago my God after that long kiss I near lost my breath yes he said was a flower of the mountain yes so we are flowers all a woman’s body yes that was one true thing he said in his life and the sun shines for you today yes that was why I liked him because I saw he understood or felt what a woman is and I knew I could always get round him and I gave him all the pleasure I could leading him on till he asked me to say yes and I wouldn’t answer first only looked out over the sea and the sky I was thinking of so many things he didn’t know of Mulvey and Mr Stanhope and Hester and father and old captain Groves and the sailors playing all birds fly and I say stoop and washing up dishes they called it on the pier and the sentry in front of the governors house with the thing round his white helmet poor devil half roasted and the Spanish girls laughing in their shawls and their tall combs and the auctions in the morning the Greeks and the Jews and the Arabs and the devil knows who else from all the ends of Europe and Duke street and the fowl market all clucking outside Larby Sharans and the poor donkeys slipping half asleep and the vague fellows in the cloaks asleep in the shade on the steps and the big wheels of the carts of the bulls and the old castle thousands of years old yes and those handsome Moors all in white and turbans like kings asking you to sit down in their little bit of a shop and Ronda with the old windows of the posadas glancing eyes a lattice hid for her lover to kiss the iron and the wineshops half open at night and the castanets and the night we missed the boat at Algeciras the watchman going about serene with his lamp and O that awful deepdown torrent O and the sea the sea crimson sometimes like fire and the glorious sunsets and the figtrees in the Alameda gardens yes and all the queer little streets and pink and blue and yellow houses and the rosegardens and the jessamine and geraniums and cactuses and Gibraltar as a girl where I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down Jo me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.

‘Penelope’ from Ulysses – James Joyce

Poetry Ireland Introductions Series 2014

Each year, Poetry Ireland – the national organisation for the promotion of poetry, in both the Republic and N. Ireland – selects 12 emerging poets for their Introductions Series.

The Introductions series mentors new writing talent, providing the opportunity to workshop poetry with an established, published poet and perform work to a live audience at a showcase, hosted by Poetry Ireland; the showcase is recorded and published on the Poetry Ireland web-site.

It’s been the launchpad for many a literary career – well, today, I got the call…

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