more from the creative project in the Mournes

These are poems which have been donated by another writer after my original visit.

I Heard It From An Irani

I heard about it form an Irani
Teherani to be precise
As opposed to a Shirazi
Actually the equivalent of Kerry…I digress,
But the links exist
The land of the rewards for martyrs
Who never heard of the maze
Or internment
Or rubber bullets
Or Irish eyes are smiling
Or Great Victoria Street
Or the Belfast City Hall
Or the Mountain Road
Or Atticall
Have heard of Bobby Sands
And named a street after him
Rue de Bobby Sands
Downtown Teheran
In Iran
I heard about it from an Irani

H Block Locks.

Linda knew before anyone else.
They were in her garden,
And her neighbours
And the other neighbours
Across the street
Followed by the army
And then the police.
They went over the back
Leaving no tracks
And escaped the H Blocks.
You see she lived across the road
From the H Blocks
And thought like everyone else
There was locks.
Apparently not.

  • Dave, does your ‘poetry’ group benefit from public funding? I ask because there has to be better forms of reconciliation available to local kids than to sit around writing the shite you have posted on Slugger over the weekend.
    I would be seriously pissed off if my taxes are funding this rubbish.

  • Nevin
  • Colm

    you should tell that other writer that just because they form some kind of rambling vaguely linked sentences, it doesn’t mean it’s any good.

  • Donnacha

    So he heard about it from an Irani…Ronnie Irani? I always thought the adjective was Iranian. But I have to agree with the above posters. Just because it doesn’t make sense as prose doesn’t mean it’s poetry.

  • tra g

    Surely this blog is a wind-up like Friday’s embarassing episode-Michael Shilliday must still be trying to get the yolk of his still red face- To quote Lord Laird ‘scundered or wat?’

  • na

    While not wishing to be as rude as others, I really have no idea what these poems are supposed to be about, get nothing from them, can’t see any role for them in reconcilation and certainly couldn’t understand public funding (if it happens) for this kind of stuff.

    Maybe those that understand the poetry and concept behind it could explain the point to me.

  • Pete Baker

    Well, while I have been critical of the referencing of these pieces, and the pieces themselves somewhat, it’s worth looking at how Dave has presented them.

    This is, we are told, “more from the creative process in the Mournes”.

    This is where I might disagree with the official aims for the project, which specifically references reconciliation, and agree with the – creative – representation here.

    The value, and the objective, of such projects is in engaging people, of whatever age, in a creative process.. and in encouraging them to continue that creativity on their own, or in groups – it should be added that whether these particular pieces flowed from that recent engagement is not clear [I’m being as generous as I can with that comment]

    Additionally, whether the results of that engagement stand on their own as poetry is, to a large extent, irrelevant as the value and reward is experienced primarily by those directly involved.

    As for those complaining of public funding… there are much greater wastes of public funds going on. And, more importantly, the expenditure here is minimal.

  • Aidan

    I sit pondering
    And come to the conclusion
    This stuff is pure shite

  • Pete Baker

    Two Haiku by Roger McGough

    only trouble with
    japanese haiku is that
    you write one, and then

    only seventeen
    syllables later you want
    to write another.

  • Pete, because greater amounts of public money is wasted on other schemes doesn’t make public funding of this project right,
    I ask Dave Wood again, does your group benefit from state funding, no matter how minimal?
    So far his silence on the issue has been deafening.

  • Pete Baker


    Public funding of the project depends, entirely, on its value and rewards.

    Those, I’d argue, are justified for the absolutely minimal expense involved.

    Trying to undermine such projects on the basis of funding is, I’d suggest, wrong-headed.

  • moochin photoman

    Community workshops such as these are pretty much the norm.
    Organised locally, generally after having to jump thru hoops to secure the funding,a holistic approach is deployed, which it is hoped engenders a sense of ownership, pride and a sense of achievement.
    More often than not, this will be a first time experience for the participants who often have been out of the mainstream education system for a number of years. The results are not the be all and end all. It is the process of engagement that is important and this is the key to community arts.
    9 times out of 10, funding for such projects are based on contact time with the participants, meaning that the preperation time and the time spent in meetings is not paid.This can mean that a third of the actual time spent on the project is unpaid.
    Projects such as this and others, help groups and individuals to understand their community, often opening new links and avenues of expression and communication previously unavailable.
    You’d have to be a real begrudging curmudgeon not to appreciate these type of community workshops and the good that they do.

    Community artists are often working out of their own comfort zone to deal with parts and elements of our society that are largely ignored.
    Even when quoting the arts council ni guidelines for workshop costs(based on years of practice and experience) a minimum rate is applied. Why should someone with 10 years experience want to take a drop in wages to facilitate a project with a good idea of the inherent problems to be faced when conducting such a project? This is hard earned experience that is being lost because of the undervaluing of the skills and talents needed to work in community settings.
    There is a real problem issue of burnout amongst community artists due partially to some of the above problems but also because community art is seen as “crap” and undervalued.

  • Miss Fitz

    If I could make little clapping symbols here, I would like to do it for what Moochin Photoman has said here.

    On Slugger, the ease of the internet allows people to use a cloak of invisibility about what they do and what they say. In some senses, that is a very powerful instrument, and frees people to speak sometimes against the more traditional views of their cohort.

    Unfortunately, the anonymity of sites such as these allow people to take potshots at well meaning individuals with no recourse or appropriate challenge. I have seen arguments flaring up on these sites and I fear sometimes that it does little more than promote negative or poorly thought out ideas and concepts.

    Dave has been posting on his experiences in the Mournes for several weeks now, on his own and through my facilitation initially. Anyone suggesting that this is being done for money is both michievous and ill informed. AFAIK, there is a small amount of funding for the travel, subsistence and production of a finished product.

    As Mooch has said, it may not reach a level of aesthetic that is pleasing to all, but it allows the vocalisation of views long held private, secret or buried and may enable a community dialogue.

    And as we all know: It s good to talk. 🙂