Monday, May 27, 2019

Poem for Jonah RIP

Answered prayers delivered every week day.

For Jonah

Beautiful Jonah
Who was so quiet
He only made one noise, once
When his tail hit a wire

In the last few years
He needed a high viz’ jacket
Or Dad mightn’t seen him there
At the bottom of the stair.

Faithful Jonah
Who’d always come in concern
To a cough or a sneeze
Not waiting for something serious like a turn
When he’d checked you were fine
He’d start sliding down
To your feet
To again take his ease.

Beautiful Jonah
A role model to others
Zola learnt how to behave 
Only once led you astray.
Sky, too, learnt how to be,
To try and hold it together and 
Not bark at the trees.

Beautiful Jonah
I understand Mum
With some decisions and sadness
You have to stay stum.
Soppy dog, Jonah
I understand Dad
To not get to say bye,
Would make you so sad.

It’s like Mum used to say
‘You treat this place like a hotel!’
But she couldn’t have born it
If I hadn’t come home 

Dad might be worried  
If the last time he saw him
He called him a mutt 
Or a total greedy gut
Knowing full well and indeed what luck
That it takes one to know one
And Jonah knew as much.
He also understood 
That we all loved him 
As much as we could.

Last night, I escorted his soul to heaven
It didn’t take much for it to leaven.
Clearing any fear that he had
At his passing
He is now again ready to
Receive prayers for the asking.

In addition to thank you for the wonderful time,
He told me specifically to say
Answered prayers will be delivered 
Every week day.

Monday, May 20, 2019

The Air We Breathe a class for 8-10 year olds

I wrote this for the Castlecomer Discovery Park and Footprints in Coal Museum, for the trip by the Pushkin Trust who are focusing on cross-border relations and particularly (this year) on the air we all breathe. If you run it by your children, you will be equally amazed I'm sure by how much the children this young know!

For the museum, craft village and to cover all this and the ecology and maths in nature trails in the fun of the woods, you'd have to go to Castlecomer yourselves! 

All children will need is some half sheets of A4 again and pencils to draw.
Activities: We can go and find and I will get them to draw, 3 different leaves and a pine twig for comparison. A  little venn diagram of  the three components oxygen O2, carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrogen (N2).  Then we will discuss and look for bugs, divided into beneficial insects and pests. We will draw them. Connecting some parts to the museum - Ie how before the first plants (tall ferns), 400 million years ago, there was no oxygen and the planet was mainly desert. We will also draw a fern to compare to the fossils and consider what harmful things there can be in the air.

Why is it difficult to see what’s in air?
It’s invisible
Does anyone know?
Oxygen (21%) what else?
Carbon Dioxide 
Nitrogen (not important for our breathing but very important for plants, so indirectly important for us)

Does anyone know why trees are important to air?
Trees produce oxygen.
They are very clever as they use carbon dioxide in the air and mix it with water, making their own food, like a sugar and releasing oxygen.

As we will see in the museum, before trees there was no oxygen. The land was just a desert with no animals or people.

Which part of the tree is important?
The leaves

There are broad-leafed trees and they are good for producing oxygen.

How else do they, help the air in summer?
Yes by offering shade and cooling the air.

If I told you the other sorts of trees are conifers, can anyone think of another word for those? 
They have needles rather than leaves and we have one inside at Christmas!
Yes, pines or fir trees.
As they are not good for creating oxygen 

What else are they good for? Fuel

Yes they are used for posts, building and making fuel to burn.
Do you think they grow faster or slower than broadleaf trees?
Yes faster, so does that make them a renewable energy?
Can we get more wood to burn to keep our houses warm?
How long does it take a pine tree to grow to full size?
Coilte, the forestry cut them down at about 25 years

Fairy door in a fairy tree, never burn wood from a Hawthorn  or you will upset the fairies

What else do we burn?

Oil, coal and peat/turf.
In the museum we will find out that coal is 320 million years old. And it took 30 metres of peat to press down into just one metre of coal. So can we make more peat or coal in 25 years too? No! 

That is what renewable means; we can get more of it!

If you were given the choice to work in the woods, cutting down trees or in a coal mine digging out coal, which do you think would have the best air?

What do we need air for?
Yes breathing!

Can you think of anywhere else there is air?
Is there air in water?
Does anyone know how fish breathe?
They take water into their mouths and push it out through their gills, which have lots of blood vessels in them that grab the oxygen on its way past and send it around the fish’s body.

Is there air in soil?
Yes plants need water, air and warmth to grow.
Do they need light?

No, you’re right, not to start with as we plant seeds in the soil, in darkness but when they have leaves and start producing their own food and oxygen for us all - Then they need light! 
The process (of producing oxygen from sunlight and water on the green leaves) is called photosynthesis! The way to remember it is like when you take a photo, the flash of light goes off!

What else do trees produce? (Moving from air to insects section)

Flowers and fruit.

But they don’t automatically produce fruit. Like with people and animals there are male and female plants… did you know that?  Pollen has to be transferred from the male anther in the male flower to the stigma of a female flower. 
So can trees move around and introduce themselves?
They need someone’s help.

Has anyone heard of pollinators who can fly and flit from flower to flower? 

Who are the great pollinators?
Yes, bees. But also lots of other insects and birds. Even the wind can blow the pollen around but the wind is not so accurate!

What’s another word for insects? Bugs!
We are going to have a look for one or two and draw them.

‘Bugs’ is a good word but does anyone here totally love bugs?
Most people say no so I like to call some bugs ‘beneficial insects’ and some ‘pests’. So we know who to look after and who to take out of our gardens before they eat everything!

What’s another word for beneficial? Good!

So some insects pollinate and that’s good.
What else do some insects do which is important/good?
Yes, they eat the pests!
Insects you are pleased to see include:
Bees, ladybirds, spiders, green lacewings (which are a rather elegant green flies with long see-through wings about 1.5cm.) and worms. Let me know if you can find any of these.

Worms are particularly good at aerating the soil (burrowing around and breaking down rotted leaves etc to make a breathing, living soil environment for plants to grow.

Harmful insects or pests! Include slugs, snails, fruit flies, ants and larvae. 
Does anyone know what a larvae is? 
They are like rolly polly maggots, who live just under the soil and nibble seedling roots. Uuugh!

But, what will they grow up to become? Yes, beautiful moths and butterflies.

So don’t feel bad if your house and garden has a few spiders, they will keep the pests away.

But we must remember that it is us people who decide whether a bug is good or bad. Do you think the little slug means any harm? No. And altogether they make up a perfectly balanced eco system keeping enough good air and food for everyone. 

So don’t kill pests, just remove them from the vegetable patch if you find one! 

Do you think chemical pesticides/bug killers can tell a beneficial insect from a pest? No, they kill both!

It is the same with plants. Does anyone know what a weed is? Definition:
‘A wild plant (no matter how beautiful) growing where it is not wanted and in competition with cultivated plants’ – cultivated means like a field of potatoes and lots of poppies growing up in the middle!

Is there anything in the air that we don’t really want and can harm us? 
Yes, there’s pollution, car fumes but also there can be bacteria, spores and dust.

I just put this photo in as, like Monsanto, this advert is trying to make something toxic look heroic!

We know bacteria as we can catch a cold if someone is sneezing a lot nearby. But does anyone know about spores?

The plant with a lot of dangerous spore we have a lot of  here is the fern! So never cut down ferns in autumn when they are letting their spores fly around to reproduce. They can be very bad for our lungs. Ferns however, were one of the very first plants to grow on earth. Wait until you see the fossils of the first trees that grew. They look exactly like this but 20 metres taller! Let’s draw a fern now so we can compare it when we go in. 

These are actually blue bells but I'm sure there's some ferns in there somewhere

And what about dust? Do you all dust your rooms? Have you ever seen a layer of dust on a table or flying around when you shake a blanket? Let’s see if we can find a sunbeam and see if any little bits are hanging in the air.

This is not too dangerous but think about the dust when coal miners were in a small space, chipping out coal from the tunnels far underground. Let’s go and see what it was like.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Sharing Writing As A Visual Choreography, Carlow 8.5.19

A Woman With A Baby...Stolen, even though she's watched over by angels!! 

This is a once in a lifetime, lunchtime, show case of work done by the screen writers and poets in our Carlow College Writing club!! We have been working with writer in residence, Oonagh Kearney who is a multi award winning film writer.
1pm on Wednesday 8th May, meeting at the entrance to the George Bernard Shaw and Visual Arts Centre, we will move as a group, audience and performers, around the grounds - if it's sunny! for four or five succinct poems and readings and then follow scenes that take place in the theatre building itself, ending with refreshments in the bar. Hopefully a lazy lunch hour in total!
Everyone is very welcome, although none of us have ever performed before and certainly not our own work! But I've heard what comes out of these guys, just in automatic writing sessions - when we're given a prompt and told to just write to it for 10 minutes, off the cuff. It gladdens my heart how much genius, creativity and expression there is around!
This is my most unusual commissioned painting so far...'I need a painting of a woman and baby, to steal from the gallery'. This might mean that the gardai will get it back and it will be for sale again but it might not!!

George Bernard Shaw was an early Irish vegetarian and a playwright rated a close second after Shakespeare!! He gave his property to the Carlow council to be used in trust for the less fortunate in the community...the council sold most of it off...No Change There!!!

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Now this is a book review! How To Live As One

If you help one person, the book was worth writing.
I can’t tell you how happy I am. How restored too! I was approached at work today, by a woman, completely elated to see me. She said I’ve just this minute put down your book. For a split second I thought she might have the wrong person!
She went on to say I looked at it there for sale 3 times and thought to myself what would I want with a book like that? Then, on the fourth occasion, she thought, at ten euro, what harm could it do? She said it had changed her life. She often dipped into it. She said ‘it really is about remembering that we’re all one.’ ‘I’m through things that I never thought I’d get out of. I’ve no bitterness, only recognition and still lots of love and hope. She said ‘there were bits when I first read them that I thought, this one (as in me!) is for the birds, no way I’m doing that. But then I went back and tried it and it has completely changed my life. I came to your talk in the library, she said, so I knew how to use the pendulum but I knew that night that I’d have to keep going with it, for it to work. 
I’ve worked through the whole book. She really wanted to impress that on me …that this wasn’t just an enthusiasm as she’d bumped into me. She ran back to her car to get the book to show me and there was a well-thumbed copy, with not just occasional notes in the front but at least 200 words of notes crammed in around each page. We laughed about how brilliant it is to keep growing, for insights to keep rolling in, alongside every thing we read or experience. We talked about the ripple effect of energy, as you let go and see things differently. 
It was the boost I needed as I’d all but forgotten I had anything important to say. And that whenever I ask what I’m supposed to be doing with my life, I get that it is to write and remind people of the spark of divinity in them and in animals and nature too. To remind people to acknowledge, appreciate and respect it and that that is the way to heal. 
For too long I’d let the doubt creep in, mirrored by endless clients who wanted me to write things for them, Masters theses, legal documents, formal letters, advocacy and maybe to teach someone piano or how to cook vegan or share my little bit of enthusiasm for organic growing… all of them insisting, hoping, or just letting me know in a multitude of ways that they didn’t want to hear any take on what’s really going on energetically (for them, me or anyone or anything) Just not comfortable with that mirror yet, even though I had ideas how to handle what came up to. I used to be sure that these were the real gems I had and I just learnt to keep them to myself… (except for Freya. Thank God for her, the only person always ready in 5D and 3D and 2D (coz usually on the phone) to hear what I’m really on about and how it might be crucial in the bigger picture.

I went on Amazon and was reminded how controversial the book was when I published it - on 12th of the 12th 2012 - End of the Mayan Calendar!! I was interviewed for radio and newspapers on 5 occasions, maybe more and NOT ONE MINUTE OF THOSE INTERVIEWS WAS AIRED or cameos in the paper!! Even though the journalists did their best and loved it. Vetoed from on high!! Which is interesting. 
So then I remembered the lady's opening gambit yesterday, about my book: She said I was brave to write it and brave to write it the way I wrote it. But it wasn't courage or perseverance that time, the book was what they called 'channelled'. I just sat down every day and asked for what I was to write about to come to me. Every time, it came as an exact paragraph. That's why, I suppose, it's an easy one to open at a page and mull it over, in the context of what's happening for the reader.
So I didn't write it, I allowed it through - Like the wonderful dance I had a few weeks ago, I had got ready but I hadn't dared to imagine what my efforts could be distilled into!!
Like, I had an entertaining turn of phrase already, I had done the multidimensional adventure, I had shown up to listen to as many people, places and animals that I could and then came the book. I had hoped that it would sell like hot cakes and I wouldn't have to meet anyone in person any more, just hang out here, in my own sacred geometry world, tuning in to things I wanted to work on, from afar. 
This is a way of working that Freya again validated in her explanation of what needs to happen and what life is all about (Just your average lofty topic for one afternoon!!). She described something along the lines of; we are here to intuit and articulate our own unique understanding of reality. Her example was Bach and his Flower Remedies, all discovered while communing with plants. Not about research or repeating and adopting what someone else said. 
So lets all trust ourselves and get our ideas down on paper, in art, in food, in business, teaching, whatever we do, just let it through from the heart not the head.