Happy birthday, today, May 10, 2016 to my daughter, Holly

Postcard from a Pigeon


My daughter, Holly, is 26, today. Tempus Fugit, when you’re having fun, I must add. Twenty two years ago, myself and my two daughters went on a road trip in a beat up old Mini. I wrote this poem, many years later, about that wonderful time, the three of us, in west Clare with NO RULES. My other daughter is Hannah.

There are no rules,
I told them,
just love yourselves
and respect all others
to be, to do, to say,
whoever they are

 we pointed the Mini, west,
and hit the road where
we can only go forward,
because we couldn’t go back
to a shattered beginning,
to carry away the fragile output
of that relationship

On loan for a fortnight,
set loose in the west
with a sackful of sweets.
No plans, no rules,
a rudderless ship
in choppy waters,
ever onward.

Into a future
with bright…

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Feeling old? Here’s 21 great reasons for you to enjoy being middle-aged

A former colleague from my days as a journalist, Dave Kenny writes sharp, humourous observations

Dave Kenny's Blog

Irish Examiner, May 8, 2016

“Dye your white hair. I don’t want people to think I have a middle aged son.”

That’s my mother talking. She is past the 70 mark.

“No,” I reply, firmly. “White is the new brown – except when it comes to bread. Brown bread is better for the bowels … as you get OLDER.” I thought the emphasis on OLDER might shut her up. It didn’t… and it didn’t silence the nagging voice in my head saying “she’s right, you’re middle aged… you’re middle aged…”

Webster’s dictionary defines middle age as being between 45ish and 65ish. I’m 49, so I’m over that threshold. I don’t feel middle aged, old or tired. I’ll be very happy to live another 50 years, even if it’s just to annoy everyone around me, demanding my bag be changed or my Zimmer frame be polished.

I am part of the…

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Harrowing but uplifting story about courage and strength in the face of appalling and perverse abuse


I’m 9 years old.

My mom is at work for the afternoon and I just got home off the bus from school. He was sitting in the house when I got home and we started joking around and wrestling. Soon, he had his hand on me, in places that shouldn’t be touched by any man when you are 9 years old. I froze. I should have run to my mom the minute the door opened, but I didn’t really know what was wrong and what was right at the time, for Christ’s sake, I was only 9 years old.

When he heard my mom pulling up to the house he grabbed me and yanked me into a closet in my bedroom. He wrapped his hands tightly around my neck and told me that if I ever told anyone about what just happened, he’d kill me.

Imagine that, 9 years old…

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Camp closed: desperation on the Syrian border

Mohammed is leaning on his crutches at the fence of the clinic. “Can you help me? Please, please can you help me?” We go back with him to his tent. It is in a transit camp for Syrian refugees on the Turkish/Syrian border. And the refugees – about 3000 of them – have just been…Read more Camp closed: desperation on the Syrian border