Tag Archives: words

September

The photos of mine I like most are the ones which serve as a springboard for words or stories. I never push it. If it comes, it comes. But sometimes just sitting in front of an image things are triggered and the words flow. Sometimes, I leave them with the photograph on Flickr and other times I delete them. In the coming year, I am going to compile them into a little book.

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September

September was a good month for my photography. There are several images I like, but the one I am choosing has a short poem which was inspired by the image. The old adage of ignorance being bliss is true here. The things we know can eat away at us, but we can banish them too. Not easy, I know.

 

a clippety clop it goes
this nagging knowingness

a drip-dropping aloneness
a still-of-night remoteness

a head-flopping heaviness

this nagging knowingness

a shrunken world below us
a carved out hollowness within us

this socketless electricity
this unyearned-for-loss

a clippety clop it goes

a clippety clop it goes
this nagging knowingness

it can end

this nagging knowingness

it can end

Posted in A Flickr Year, My own favourite photographs, photograph posts Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , |

July

Writing this on a cold, wet and windy Christmas eve it is hard to imagine the balmy sunshine we had in early July in this year’s summer. There were about three weeks of wall-to-wall sunshine, which not far off a miracle in Ireland. We are so used to getting miserable summers.

We went on a family holiday with friends in July. We didn’t need to travel far to get to some of the most spectacular beaches and scenery in the world. West Cork is amazing. I know I am biased, in that I am a very proud Corkman, but I urge any of you who have not been to Cork to come and visit. You will not be disappointed. The shot I am choosing for July is one of my two kids holding hands staring out to the Atlantic ocean from the most southerly point in Ireland, Mizen Head. It is virtually impossible to get kids to pose for photographs, and while this one is not staged, I could not have wished them to pose for me in a better way. I love the sense of possibility about this image and the love the two share together. I would hope as they journey through life they continue to be there for each other and to believe that everything is possible; possible with love.

I won’t be posting tomorrow – Christmas Day, so I will take this opportunity to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and to say a very big thanks for all the support and kindness this year. Have a great day tomorrow.

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July

Posted in A Flickr Year, My own favourite photographs, photograph posts Also tagged , , , , , , , , , |

The room welcomed me alone

 

The bed had one plump pillow and another that felt sad. The duvet had a half that lay there flat.The room welcomed me alone and never heard me laugh.

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Breathe to fade

 

Posted in photograph posts, Words Also tagged , , , , , , , , |

Germans

Where I come from waiting for the green man to appear before you decide to cross the road just does not happen. It is not uncommon to see mothers push their prams on to the street without any thought of whether cars are coming or not. They just know the cars will stop. The idea that jaywalking is something that is against the law is laughable to us.
In contrast, I remember the first time I went to Germany and stepped out of the hotel to see a group of people at the lights on a car-less street all waiting. Waiting for what, though? I bounded past them, crossing the deserted street, looking back to see if they followed. They didn’t. But their looks all said that I had just done something wrong. Something bad. Something illegal. I had not waited for the green man to signal that it was now safe and now within the law to cross the road. That there were no vehicles of any sort in sight did not matter. You wait. You obey.
But I am from Cork, we cross when we and where we want to.
And this brings me to the photo I am posting today. A photo taken on a wet night in late August on Cork’s Western Road. The building is Cork’s courthouse, an impressive edifice. I have taken a few shots of this before and knew what I was looking for. I wanted to get a blurred shot of people passing. And that it was raining and that there would be umbrellas in the shot all the better. But! It would not be that easy. Western Road is a busy road. It leads directly out of the city centre. Stationed on the opposite side of the road, the passing traffic could obscure the view.

I waited. I wanted to shot and I was willing to pass the time until I could get it. And time did pass. And the rain continued to fall. Times like this I get very self-conscious, especially in my hometown. Passersbys’ attention is drawn to a guy standing in the rain with a camera in his hand. They look around and examine the scene to see what could it be that he wants to photograph; to photograph in the pouring rain. But still I hung in there to get that shot. 

Then it appeared. Further up the road on the opposite side was a group of people, walking in couples and groups of threes approaching. And all seemed to have umbrellas. Perfect! This was it. I could get the shot and get home. I was, at this stage, soaking wet. I was sniffling and cold and impatient. On they came. I checked the settings on the camera. Checked the focus (or lack of it!). I glanced up and down the road and saw there was no traffic coming. Excellent. This shot was going to be exactly as I wanted it.

And then I saw the couple at the head of the group stop. Those behind too and soon a large swell of a group formed, all standing, all waiting at the pedestrian crossing of the intersection just before the courthouse.

Germans!

Again, I shot a glance up and down the street. Not a car in sight. Over at the crossing they were at, not a car in sight. Yet, there they were waiting. Cross the road, for fuck’s sake cross the road, I found myself saying. But they waited and they waited and of course, cars came by on all sides. The view I had, unobscured on to the courthouse was now gone. Those damn Germans. Couldn’t they just cross the road. It was ten, maybe fifteen steps from either side. No, they preferred to wait in the rain for the green man to appear.

And then it did. The beep, beep, beep signalling it was safe to cross was audible from my side. The swell of the group stretched out into a long file as they crossed the road and began to come into frame. But by this time cars were passing on my side of the road blocking my shot. I had no choice but to get out on to the road past the cars on my side. There were no cars on the opposite side. I could get the shot. I dodged between the traffic. Not that difficult to do as Cork drivers expect people in the city centre to step out in front of them.

Click, click, click. I got it. One of the Germans saw me in the centre of the road taking their photograph and drew his friends’ attention to me. I gave a quick wave and ran back through the traffic to my side and headed home happy.

I had got the shot.

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Germans

Posted in photograph posts, Words Also tagged , , , , , , , , , |

press 1

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Press 1

I knew the phone would be passed to me. I knew this once she took the call. She showed me the caller ID as it rang and vibrated in her palm. Hello, she said, her gaze fixed on me. Yes, she said, this is me. She lowered her head and listened intently. Sorry, she said, can you repeat, she said. She turned from me and walked a few steps ahead. I see, she said. Yes, she said. Yes, what? I said. She turned again and raised her head and looked at me, mouthing something. What? I said. With her arm and hand fully extended she passed me the phone. You talk, she said. Hello, I said. 

Posted in photograph posts, Words Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , |

Someday I will just drop off this world

When I was a child in school the teacher told us the world was not flat, that it was round. I had never thought of the world having shape. He seemed too pleased to tell us this. He said people had believed we could just walk and walk and eventually would fall off the edge of the world. He demonstrated by walking his two fingers along his desk, stopping and looking to see if we were looking and then dangled his two fingers over the edge and screamed a little until it changed into a laugh. We all laughed too.

Falling off the edge of the world, he said. How ridiculous is that, he said. One boy, one who always loved asking questions, asked but how come we can fall of the edge of our seats. The teacher smiled at him and said it was because of gravity. He said it again, but this time he said it more slowly, breaking up the sounds and telling us that was why; gravity was the reason. The boy asked what gravity was. The teacher said it was a force that kept us fixed to the ground. The boy asked what a force was and the teacher smiled again, scanned the whole room, bit on his bottom lip and said it was gravity, gravity was a force that stopped us from flying away. Another boy said we could not fly away because we had no wings. The teacher said if there was no gravity we wouldn’t need wings, we could just jump and fly. I said why would we need to jump. He said because we would be on the ground. He jumped to demonstrate. I said but isn’t gravity what keeps us on the ground. He said yes. I said without gravity we would not be on the ground so how could we jump. He scanned the room again and said I had all the answers. I said that was a question. I said how could we jump if we were not on the ground. The teacher laughed. He said he would like to walk me to the edge of the world and let me fall off. He laughed again. The class laughed too. I said if we got to the edge of the world I would push him off. He did not laugh. The class laughed. But the world is round he said. You couldn’t push me off he said. He began to laugh. I said I would not be walking anywhere with him anyway. This time we all laughed.

The teacher picked up an orange from his desk and held it out. He rotated it in his hand and told us the world was like the orange.

 

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Someday I will just drop off this world

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My music box of dreams has unwound

When I was little my mother would stand on our doorstep and watch me walk down the hill on my way to school. My schoolbag was made of old, brown leather and had straps that allowed me to carry it on my shoulders. Even though I knew she would watch until I turned the corner, I still would turn around to check. I had to turn because the schoolbag was too big for me to glance over my shoulder. Reaching the corner, I would wave to her and she to me. Then she would go back in home to do her housework and I would unstrap my schoolbag, walk over to the walled garden of the corner shop and drop the bag in.  Then I would climb in after it.

– Is that you, boy?

– Ya. I’m here.

– What kept you?

– Nothing. Sure, I’m here now aren’t I?

In the darkened shade of the evergreen trees, we would wait. 

 

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Posted in iPhone, Words Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , |

No dread of hello

Leaving, like so much it is the anticipation. The dread. The slow build to those goodbyes. Once they’re done, you have not left, you have arrived.

The familiar faces are replaced with those of strangers. You see it in the way they don’t even look at you. You catch your own reflection as you walk along the electric walkway. It surprises you.
You are self- contained now though, secure. Your small white earbuds play loud music. You feel your throat vibrate as you hum. Should you wear those sunglasses too?

Identity check. You are in the queue with your passport open at the photograph page. One by one they pass through. You hand your passport to the official. He looks at your photograph, looks at you and with a lowering of his head, hands it back to you.

On the plane you sit at the window seat. The raindrops settle on the pane. A man sits in next to you. You fear he will want to chat. He does. Time-killing, inane, bland exchanges. You close your eyes. Apologize. I am praying, you say. I am a nervous flier. He smiles and says it is OK.

Coming home? Or is it leaving home? There is no dread of hello. Not this side.

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These things we carry with us (iPhone photograph)

 

 

Posted in iPhone, Words Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , |

this breath in my chest unchewed

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this breath in my chest unchewed

 this noise behind
has the glass vibrating
the dust in the sunlight
dancing

but it quietens

a shadow glides past
and has me frightened

no words i heard
have me prepared
for this darkness

my toes in my shoes
don’t move
my breath in my chest
is unchewed

but it passes

this noise behind
has the glass vibrating
the dust in the sunlight
dancing

Posted in photograph posts, Words Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , |

this nagging knowingness

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A clippety clop it goes

a clippety clop it goes
this nagging knowingness

a drip-dropping aloneness
a still-of-night remoteness

a head-flopping heaviness
this nagging knowingness

a shrunken world below us
a carved-out hollowness within us

this socketless electricity 
this unyearned-for-loss 

a clippety clop it goes
a clippety clop it goes
this nagging knowingness

it can end

this nagging knowingness it can end

 

Posted in photograph posts, Words Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , |